Research

Reshaping the UK's Higher Education for the post-pandemic world

Summary Covid-19 is bursting the bubble in universities and higher education (HE), exposing the fundamentally unsound nature of the policy of successive governments and of the entire array of HE institutions. Many institutions were in a weak financial position prior to the pandemic. They are now facing a massive cash-flow crisis. The present difficulties could ... Continue reading
Research
Summary Covid–19 is provoking a major reorientation of the foreign policy of the US and Europe. At the heart of this is their changing relationship with China. Before the Coronavirus there were concerns over the actions of the Chinese government, but the pandemic has given rise to fears of a new Cold War. These fears ... Continue reading
In its meeting of 14th July 2020, held by video-conference due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) elected, by a vote of nine to zero, to hold rates in August. Five members favoured holding Quantitative Easing (QE) at its current level. Two favoured reducing QE. Three expressed a bias to raise ... Continue reading
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
Summary Health systems in Western countries are plagued by inefficiency and low productivity growth. Without reform, their funding is likely to require a substantial increase in the tax burden as populations age. Patients may also face a gradual decrease in the quality and scope of services. The organisational changes needed to drive costs down and ... 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

Post-pandemic prospects for global trade

Summary The World Trade Organization has predicted that global trade in goods will drop by between 13 and 32 per cent in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. The last time trade volumes dropped substantially, during the financial crisis of 2008, they recovered – but not at pre-crisis rates of growth. Before the current ... Continue reading
Research
Summary The Covid-19 crisis has provided many grim examples of some familiar problems in health economics and cost-benefit analysis, and of the ‘tragic choices’ that sometimes need to be made. Policymakers frequently have to put a monetary value on a human life when deciding how to use limited resources in the fairest way. This value ... Continue reading
Research
Summary The policy reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic will increase budget deficits massively in all the world’s leading countries. The deficits will to a significant extent be monetised, with heavy state borrowing from both national central banks and commercial banks. The monetisation of budget deficits, combined with official support for emergency bank lending to cash-strained ... Continue reading
Research

How the UK economy can recover from coronavirus

Summary The uncertainty created by the Covid-19 crisis has reinvigorated many old debates about the role of the state. Some argue that it has demonstrated the need for a permanent increase in government intervention and public spending. The evidence does not support this view. This crisis has highlighted the flexibility of private businesses and civil ... Continue reading