David Cobham's picture
Affiliation: 
Heriot Watt University
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

Brexit and financial market volatility

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Question 2: Do you agree that the possibility of Brexit significantly increases uncertainty and volatility in financial markets and the economy in general?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident

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Question 1: The value of the pound fell sharply this week. Do you agree that the public debate on Brexit can be expected to (continue to) lead to a substantially higher level of exchange rate volatility in the upcoming months?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident

Market Turbulence and Growth Prospects

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Question 2: Do you agree that the falls in share prices, low oil prices and the slowdown in some emerging market economies will have a significant negative impact on the UK’s economic recovery?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
It's clear that there will be a 'significant negative impact', but the nature of the risk to the UK's recovery is less clear, because that depends on how strong it is assumed that that recovery would have been otherwise. If the recovery is thought of as weak and anaemic (see wage levels and growth, GDP per capita, investment, exports, household debt, etc), then these factors may be responsible only for a limited further weakening.

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Question 1: Do you agree that economic growth prospects for the global economy have seriously deteriorated?

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Answer:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
They have certainly deteriorated, and much of that represents the failure of economic policies in different countries since 2008. But the extent of the deterioration is not clear: the world is not going to end just yet.

Autumn Statement & Charter for Budgetary Responsibility

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Question 2: Do you agree that the Charter for Budgetary Responsibility is helpful in underpinning the credibility of fiscal policy?

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Answer:
Strongly Disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
At the end of the day the Charter will weaken credibility, because the strains it imposes on public expenditure (now becoming more and more visible) will make reneging on the Charter come to seem more and more likely (cf Argentina's currency board in the 2000s).

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