Angus Armstrong's picture
Affiliation: 
National Institute of Economic and Social Research
Credentials: 
Director of Macroeconomic Research
Visiting Professor, Imperial College London

Voting history

Transparency and the Effectiveness of Monetary Policy following the Warsh Review at the Bank of England

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Question 2: Do you agree that the Bank's proposal to release the policy decision, MPC minutes and (once a quarter) the Inflation Report all at the same time justifies a change in the structure of MPC meetings from two consecutive days to a process in which in the MPC meetings are spread out over seven days?
 
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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The Bank uses the simultaneous release and the need to safeguard the integrity of the decision making process and of the (to be enhanced) minutes to justify the changes in the meeting schedule. I can see that producing enhanced minutes takes more than one evening which would be required under the current meeting and proposed publication schedule. So I accept that a change to the timetable is required. Official (and enhanced) minutes take time, but I struggle to see how they justify going to such a long schedule. The longer the gap between deliberations and decision, the less useful the minutes are likely to be.
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Question 1: Do you agree that the simultaneous release of the policy decision, the enhanced minutes (including the voting record) of the MPC meeting and (in the relevant months) the release of the Inflation Report will facilitate inference on the likely stance of monetary policy?
 
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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I welcome with the changes for the announcement and enhanced minutes. I can also see the benefits to simultaneously releasing the Inflation Report in reducing the number of news events. But assuming that the Report cannot be finished and published overnight, then the Report may not have the full information available to the MPC when it made its decision. The announcement and enhanced minutes are likely to overshadow the Report possibly resulting in less analysis and discussion (and feedback to the Bank). So I do not believe simultaneous publication of the Inflation Report will facilitate inference.

Greece’s elections and the future of the Eurozone

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Question 2: Do you agree that refusal of the core EU countries to a renegotiation of the Greek bailout agreements would carry serious risks for the economic well-being of the Eurozone?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I do not beleive Greece can meet all of its commitments. Therefore, a refusal to re-negotiate will increase the size of the problem and the risk of real political unrest. I think a fair assessment of the other countries is possible and whether or not they can adjust. Of course there is moral hazard all over this. However, after a certain point the trade-off is likely to show that the cost of the moral hazard is less than the consequences of denying the size of the problem.

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Question 1: Do you agree that a Syriza victory on 25 January would lead to a significant or sustained escalation in spreads for other peripheral Eurozone countries?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The Greek elections must be discounted already.

2014 Autumn Statement

 

Question 2: Do you agree that the underperformance of tax receipts in recent years, provides a strong case for higher taxes?

Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I don't think there is enough evidence yet to fully understand what is behind the underperformance of receipts yet (maybe this will change with the self-assessment results). Until we understand more fully the reasoning, I don't think it follows that this would justify higher taxes. Whether taxes should be higher or not, regardless of the reasons of the under-performance, is another question.

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