A system of private banks ensures stability without a central bank

Summary:  In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, Scotland had a stable financial system. Its stability arose from the pressure that private banks, which had the right to issue bank notes, placed on each other to behave prudently. Unlike in England, the Scottish banking system had no central bank. If one bank within the ... Continue reading
Britain takes a uniquely restrictive approach to occupational licensing. Around one in five UK employees requires a licence from government to practice their chosen occupation - a proportion which has doubled in the last fifteen years. Len Shackleton, IEA editorial fellow and author of a recent report into occupational licensing, sat down with us this ... Continue reading
Everyone objects to slavery. Employment should be voluntary. This liberal attitude towards labour does not extend to capital. A recent survey by the Legatum Institute showed that most Brits think people should be forced to invest in businesses on threat of imprisonment. That’s not quite how they put it. Instead, the survey respondents said that ... Continue reading
Markets and Morality
Robert H. Frank offered an unusual justification for clamping down on smokers in the New York Times last month. As it touches on some of the themes in my book Killjoys I want to discuss it. One the main points in Killjoys is that paternalists are always looking for ways to disguise their paternalism. Even in ... Continue reading

Gerard Lyons writes for CapX

Gerard Lyons, leading economist and author of the IEA's report on the City post-Brexit has written for CapX about the report. In his article Gerard argues that London needs to be aware of a future competitive threat from New York as the world's financial capital of the world. There, some of the deregulation issues talked ... Continue reading

IEA releases report on The City of London post-Brexit

The City of London is in a strong position to maintain its status as the financial capital of the world. Many of the City’s strengths are deeply embedded and therefore “Brexit-proof”. Plus, it is in pole position to become the centre of global FinTech. Nevertheless, with an increasingly globalised marketplace, steps must be taken to ensure ... Continue reading

Mark Littlewood writes for The Times

Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs has written for The Times on the secondary ticket market. In his article Mark argues that the reason you can get into events - if you have the cash and are willing to spend it - hinges on whether an effective secondary market in ticket ... Continue reading

IEA publishes report on the secondary ticket market

The secondary ticket market is growing and facing calls for limitations on resales and caps on prices. Yet heavy-handed regulation may do more harm than good, and common complaints surrounding high prices - such as lack of transparency or misrepresentation - could be solved by the enforcement of existing laws rather than interference in price ... Continue reading

Heavy handed regulation of ticket resales would be of scant benefit

Summary:  The reselling of tickets for events has a long history, dating back at least to Roman times. Such secondary markets in tickets are no different from other kinds of secondary market, and serve the same purpose: to correct flaws in the initial primary market. In recent years, new technology has led to the appearance of many ... Continue reading