2016 was the year traditional allegiances scrambled, on both sides of the Pond. The year Brexit and the election of Donald Trump shook the foundations of conventional politics, famously causing Angela Merkel to declare “Europe must take its destiny into its own hands.” But the genesis of these shocks goes rather deeper, as some pointed ... Continue reading

SMPC votes Six / Three to Hold Bank Rate in September.

SMPC votes Six / Three to Hold Bank Rate in September. In its September 2018 e-mail poll, the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) elected, by a vote of six to three, to hold rates in September. The three favoured a 0.25% rise. Advocates of holding rates noted that the Bank raised rates last month and ... Continue reading

Shadow Monetary Policy Committee vote on rate raise in June

In its June 2018 e-mail poll, the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) elected, by a vote of Seven to Two, to raise rates in June. One member voted for an immediate rise of 0.5%. Six favoured a 0.25% rise. Two favoured holding rates. Advocates of raising rates acknowledged that monetary growth has recently been weak ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Plenty of theologians and Christian leaders have become animated by the temptations of money. According to St Paul, the love of money is the root of all evil. Pope Francis has insisted that “money has to serve, not to rule”. But what is money? In fact, it has a relatively mundane function. In simple terms, ... Continue reading

SMPC take poll on Bank rate raise in May

Ending six months of unanimity for rate hikes, the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) voted at its April meeting to raise Bank rate in May by eight votes to one. Six of the nine wanted to see a rise of ¼%, two an increase of ½% and one a hold. Seven members had a bias ... Continue reading

SMPC votes to raise Bank Rate in March

An email poll of the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) in March produced a vote to raise interest rates by nine to nil. All nine members voted for ¼% increase to a Bank rate of 0.75%. The bias of eight members was for further tightening and one for a neutral stance. All members saw the ... Continue reading
Research

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

SMPC votes unanimously to raise bank rate this month

For a second consecutive meeting (16th January), the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) voted unanimously to raise Bank rate in February. Six of the nine wanted to see a rise of ¼% and three an increase of ½%. Furthermore, there was a unanimous bias to tighten. One wanted to see QE reversed, worried about the ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
There is much talk of a "Bitcoin bubble." However, it is not clear that the idea of digital currencies is widely understood. What are they? And why might their prices vary? How should a person of faith look at the moral issues Bitcoin raises? Ethical questions might be raised about the soaring price of something ... Continue reading