Wouter Den Haan's picture
Affiliation: 
London School of Economics
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

Bitcoin and the City

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Question 2: Do you agree that the regulatory oversight of cryptocurrencies needs to be increased?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
All assets which are not backed by anything real or central backing should be regulated when they become sufficiently important. Not sure whether we have reached this point, but it is better to be too early than too late.

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Question 1: Do you agree that cryptocurrencies are currently a threat to the stability of the financial system, or can be expected to become a threat in the next couple of years?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
The LTCM crisis has taught us that it takes just one key financial institution taking on large risky positions to put the system at risk. Given that cryptocurrences are not backed by anything, they are potentially an extremely risky investment.

House Prices and the UK economy

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Question 2: Do you agree that a more widespread weakening of the UK housing market will slow UK GDP growth significantly?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident at all
Comment:
Since I don't expect house prices to drop a lot if they will fall, I also do not expect a big impact on the UK economy. But combined with Brexit uncertainty, falling house prices may negatively affect confidence substantially and then effects could be bigger. But I do not see this as a major risk factor.

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Question 1: Do you agree that the phenomenon of declining house prices will ripple out from the London property market leading more UK regions to experience falling prices?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Not confident at all
Comment:
Predicting what is going to happen with house prices is very difficult. But with growth slowing down and the BoE beginning to start raising interest rates because of inflation it seems likely that house prices will stop increasing an falling prices seem more likely than increasing prices. I would be surprised though if they would fall a lot.

Global risks from rising debt and asset prices

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Question 2: Is the loose monetary policy of major central banks responsible for the recent increase in global leverage or asset values?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Yes, but has been a side product of the stimulative monetary policy. And although there is definitely some risk associated with the remaining high leverage a more restrictive monetary policy would have been much worse in terms of its negative impact on economic activity.

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