Our latest articles are listed below. For earlier articles, navigate our Articles Archive via the Categories list on the right. The Archive contains all articles published since 2002.
Among the many changes the pandemic has wrought on society, one very clear one is a hastening of the demise of cash. Notes and coin are used far less than 2 years ago, and the trend to a cashless society will only continue, with a range of electronic and technology-based payment methods jostling for space in consumers’ wallets. What does this plethora of payment options imply, and does it pose any threat to central banks and their role in the payment system?
The evidence is growing that inflation in western economies is going to be both higher than was at first predicted, and last for longer than was hoped. Yet central banks continue to claim that it is transitory, and seem very reluctant to do very much to counter it. Given that previous generations of central bankers were determined to act early and aggressively against threatened inflation, this needs some explaining.
The news from Afghanistan has dominated the media for well over a fortnight now, and not surprisingly the press has concentrated mostly on the Taliban’s lightning-fast triumph and the unfolding human drama of the evacuation. Tempting though it is to focus on current events and the chaotic pictures at Kabul airport, we prefer to offer some more forward-looking thoughts and observations for what the Taliban’s return will mean.
My essay two weeks ago on the challenge of preserving the UK produced a bigger postbag than any of my articles for at least the last five years. And strikingly, they were almost all on the theme not so much of “What will it take to keep the Union together?”, as I had positioned my essay a fortnight ago, as “What is the reason for trying to preserve the Union at all?” It is a question that needs to be answered.