“But there may be a silver lining here. This may be a wake-up call that populist policies need to pass the credibility test when it comes to foreign exchange and bond markets,” writes economist and university principal Anton Muscatelli on how the markets reined back an imploding UK government.
Fantasy economics: alive and well on both sides of the border
“Where Scotland differs (from the UK) the most is in its lack of engagement on economic issues. If this continues then the £1.5 billion (fiscal) shortfall will continue to grow and taxes will continue to rise to compensate. Surely no-one wants this but then why does no one take it seriously?” asks John McLaren in his latest acute commentary on the state of the Scottish economy.
Going for growth – or broke?
The new UK Chancellor has set out his radical fiscal plans – and prompted a sterling crisis. The situation is so grave, not least for Scotland, it merits a return from us in the interests of a wider public policy debate. Here we republish commentary from the FAI – and expect to run further contributions this autumn.
Strategy for going everywhere and nowhere
“The report, the launch, the minutes of the Advisory Council meetings – all point to a ‘just get it done and get it out’ approach. And as with previous, failed, economic strategies it will go through various hoops of progress reports and ‘accountability’ that are underplayed and soon forgotten. But without anyone taking real ownership, without a genuine attempt to identify and plan a way forward, little will change.”
Why ejecting Russia from Swift is largely symbolic
‘It is conceivable that all this could lead to a rapid collapse of the Putin autocracy, but we should not engage in wishful thinking. Wide-ranging economic sanctions on Russia may be needed for a lengthy period of time. Ejection from Swift is a symbol of these efforts, not a powerful economic tool that can constrain Russia’s actions in Ukraine at little cost to ourselves.’
What are Scotland’s real choices?
‘Clearly the political and institutional landscape has changed dramatically since 2014. One inescapable fact about any future debate on the economic case for Scottish independence is that the terrain – by which we mean the political, economic, social and cultural context – has shifted significantly.’
From Big Oil to Big Wind
“Challenges lie ahead. But one major difference between Big Oil and Big Wind is that the latter has the potential to help rescue the planet from the climate emergency.”
A brief note on wind and hot air
“So while the first steps towards mass exploitation of the North Sea offshore wind power at industrial scale have been taken, the socioeconomic wrangling as to who will actually benefit from this mass infrastructure is likely only just beginning.”
Time to shake up Scotland
“…now would be a good time to shake things up even further. Who will make that happen? I expect little from the Government or the Parliament, it’ll be for others to push for change..”
Year of the Squeeze
“For all the talk of the pandemic (somehow) boosting worker power, it looks more likely to deliver the third real wage squeeze in a decade, and to leave workers substantially worse off than they would have been otherwise. By the end of 2024, average earnings are set to be £740 a year lower than they would have been if even the sluggish wage growth prior to the pandemic had continued.”