Richard Portes's picture
Affiliation: 
London Business School and CEPR

Voting history

Monetary policy and the zero lower bound (ZLB)

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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')

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Answer:
Strongly Disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
All monetary policy has distributional consequences, so that is not an issue. Effects on DB pensions and on existing nominal contracts, including those at Libor + spread, are significant. But the main point is that this proposal is politically not feasible, at least for many years to come. Don't muck about with my money!

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

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident

The Importance of Elections for UK Economic Activity

Question 2: Do you agree that the outcome of the general election will have non-trivial consequences for aggregate economic activity (employment and GDP)?

Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident at all
Comment:
This is not a well-specified question. It requires the respondent to forecast the outcome of the general election. Some outcomes would be unlikely to have non-trivial consequences for aggregate economic activity, others very likely. But as of writing (24 March) this is the most uncertain and indeed complex election in living memory - and perhaps much further back.

Question 1: Do you agree that the austerity policies of the coalition government have had a positive effect on aggregate economic activity (employment and GDP) in the UK?

Answer:
Strongly Disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
The data are clear. The recovery is aborted immediately after austerity begins, then revival when it is (semi-covertly) relaxed.

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:
Not confident

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