Robert Skidelsky
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Resurrecting Creditor Adjustment
Robert Skidelsky
Project Syndicate | Tuesday, October 24, 2017

 
With all the protectionist talk coming from US President Donald Trump’s administration, it is surprising that no one has mentioned, much less sought to invoke, an obvious tool for addressing persistent external imbalances: the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement’s “scarce-currency clause.”

That clause, contained in Article 7 of the agreement, authorizes countries, “after consultation with the [International Monetary] Fund, temporarily to impose limitations on freedom of exchange operations in the scarce currency”; and it grants those countries “complete jurisdiction in determining the nature of such limitations.” A country’s currency is considered scarce in the foreign-exchange market if it imports more than it exports – which is to

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Bloomberg interview on central bank independence and European politics
Robert Skidelsky
Bloomberg | Friday, September 29, 2017

 
Bloomberg interview on central bank independence, and the role of monetary and fiscal policy 20 years after the Bank of England was made independent; followed by a discussion about European politics and the future of the European Union after the recent election in Germany. The interview starts after about 1 minute and continues until about 17 minutes 40 seconds in:
 
 
www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2017-09-28/full-show-what-d-you-miss-09-28-video
  
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Bloomberg interview on central bank independence
Robert Skidelsky
Bloomberg | Thursday, September 28, 2017

 
Bloomberg interview on central bank independence, and the role of monetary and fiscal policy 20 years after the Bank of England was made independent:
 
 
www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2017-09-28/skidelsky-central-bank-independence-won-t-last-video
  
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Germany’s Hour
Robert Skidelsky
Project Syndicate | Monday, September 18, 2017

 
Who runs the European Union? On the eve of Germany’s general election, that is a very timely question.
 
One standard reply is, “The EU’s member states” – all 28 of them. Another is, “The European Commission.” But Paul Lever, a former British ambassador to Germany, offers a more pointed answer: Berlin Rules is the title of his new book, in which he writes, “Modern Germany has shown that politics can achieve what used to require war.”
 
Germany is the EU’s most populous state and its economic powerhouse, accounting for over 20% of the bloc’s GDP. Determining why Germany has been so economically successful appears to be elusive. But three unique features of its so-called Rhineland model stand out.
 
First, Germany has preserved its

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“Never explain, never apologise”: review of David Kynaston’s Till Time’s Last Sand
Robert Skidelsky
Prospect | Monday, September 11, 2017

 
David Kynaston is a wonderful social historian, with three massive volumes on post-war Britain and many others to his name. He has been a leading practitioner of “history from below,” reflecting the experiences of ordinary people. He has now turned to telling the story of one of Britain’s most powerful and mysterious institutions—the Bank of England, from its founding in 1694 up to 2013.
 
He faced a number of challenges. Anyone writing an official history is bound to pull his punches. Though far from uncritical, Kynaston has succumbed somewhat to the Old Lady’s mystique. Then there is the question of audience. Kynaston was commissioned to write the book for “the general reader.” This is almost impossible because banking is highly

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