Jonathan Portes's picture
Affiliation: 
KIng's College, London
Credentials: 
Professor of Econoics and Public Policy

Voting history

ECB's quantitative easing

======================================================================

Question 2:

Do you agree that the structure of the ECB's QE programme makes the Eurozone more fragile and increases the risk of one country leaving the euro?

======================================================================

Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The issue is less about the direct impact (which in current circumstances is likely to be marginal) than the signalling effect: the structuring, and the internal debate and compromise within the ECB it reveals, clearly implies that there are possible circumstances in which monetary union could be reversed.

Deal or no deal: The Greece standoff

=======================================

Question 1:  

Do you agree that, on balance, the implementation of the agreement as outlined in media reports will have a non-trivial negative effect on Greek GDP?

=======================================

Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
It depends on counterfactual. Relative to disorderly default and political crisis, deal is preferable.However a much more comprehensive deal with less contractionary fiscal policy, substantial debt write off, and more product market and public administration reform would be greatly preferable

Monetary policy and the zero lower bound (ZLB)

============================================================

Question 2: Do you agree that the benefits of reforming the monetary system to allow materially negative policy interest rates outweigh the possible costs?

============================================================

Answer:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
The risk of another financial crisis in the reasonably near future (say 10 years) are not quantifiable, but seem to me significant. While other policy tools are available (fiscal stimulus, quantitative easing, helicopter money) unfortunately governments seem unwilling to make use of them to the extent most economists would recommend. Given these unfortunate political or political economy constraints, there may well be circumstances in which negative interest rates might be a useful policy tool. While there would no doubt be costs in planning now for possible implementation, the very large costs that have resulted from the inadequate/misguided policy response to the last crisis suggest that from an insurance perspective they would be good value for money.

============================================================

Question 1: Do you agree that it is feasible for the UK authorities to change the monetary system so that materially negative policy interest rates could be safely implemented? (In answering, you may wish to explain your reasons and define your view of 'material')

============================================================

Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
I think the options described above, as well as the practical examples of Denmark and Switzerland, suggest that (modestly) negative interest rates could be implemented in practice. The objections seem to me to about the potential impact (for example the distributional consequences) rather than the practicalities.

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

=====================================================================
 
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?
 
=====================================================================

 

Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I think it unlikely that these changes will in themselves have a material impact on the information transmission mechanism.

Pages