Research

and can they pass the Covid-19 stress test?

Summary The Bank of England maintains that UK banks are strongly capitalised. The evidence from banks’ share prices and market values contradicts this claim. Banks are more fragile now than they were going into the last crisis. The Bank of England’s failure to ensure the resilience of the banking system suggests a need for radical ... Continue reading
Research

No 1: The Information Commissioner's Office

Summary The Information Commissioner has wide ranging functions and powers. They are not always parameterised clearly in the relevant legislation. The Information Commissioner’s reporting shows little evidence that objectives are being met, or even measured. The Parliamentary Committee responsible has not performed its scrutiny function of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) well and a forum ... Continue reading
Research
Summary Laws passed in late March 2020 to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic are the greatest restrictions on liberty in modern British history. Any benefits that have emerged as a side effect of the restrictions have been far exceeded by the costs to the economy and to civil liberties. Civil society and the media should ... Continue reading
Research

Analysing Britain's regulatory burden

In our political discourse there is much discussion of red tape, frequently phrased in terms of ‘challenges’ and ‘bonfires’ to reduce and cut it. Supporters of free markets often have a general feeling that there is too much regulation or that it is too intrusive, badly formulated and ineffective. However, proponents of these positions are ... Continue reading
Research

The example of financial services

There are frequent calls for financial markets to be more actively regulated. In nearly all cases it is assumed that regulation must come from state agencies such as the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. This analysis arises from neo-classical, market-failure approaches to economics which suggest that the market does not maximise welfare ... Continue reading
Research

IEA Financial Services unit releases report outlining the unintended consequences of MifID II regulations

MiFID II, together with MiFIR (Regulation (EU) No 600/2014), was intended to create a more transparent, competitive and integrated financial market in the EU by reducing trading outside regulated markets, increasing protection for investors and consumers, and improving financial stability. The Directive harmonises the EU regulatory regime with respect to organisational requirements for investment firms, ... Continue reading
Research

The benefits of unprotected capitalism and unruly shareholders

Summary Free-market capitalism requires creative destruction. It is important that poorly performing companies are allowed to go out of business or allowed to be taken over, and it is equally important that new companies are able to replace them. If company management is not maximising shareholder value, then the shareholders should be entitled to act. ... Continue reading
Research

Gender pay gap reporting produces another round of misleading statistics

Summary Now into the second year of mandated gender pay gap reporting for large organisations, it has become increasingly clear that the influx of data - ranging from negative gaps, to gaps exceeding 50% - fails to provide any meaningful insight into equal or fair pay for men and women in the workplace. The requirement ... Continue reading
Research

IEA's International Trade and Competition Unit releases briefing on the Backstop

Summary:  The provisions of the Protocol deliver what has become known as the ‘backstop’ for the Irish border. They come into effect if no other agreement that addresses the issues in connection with the Irish border has been reached by the end of the Transition Period on 31 December 2020, or any extension of that ... Continue reading
Research

UK must embrace innovation to make farming economically & environmentally viable, says new IEA report

Innovation in farming has led to higher crop yields which, in turn, have allowed more land to be spared from farming than would otherwise have been the case. Raising yields further to feed a growing global population will require new technologies to be embraced, including genetic modification, gene silencing and editing, as well as developments ... Continue reading