The Great Debate UK

Thank you, Gordon Brown

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BRITAIN-INFLATION/–Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School. The opinions expressed are his own.–

If the economics profession has sunk in public estimation in the last two or three years, it would hardly be surprising. Our failure to predict the crisis is something which cannot be simply brushed aside lightly, as some of my colleagues would love to do.

To ordinary folk, claiming to be quite good at explaining and even forecasting events in normal conditions, but admitting we simply can’t handle crises makes us about as much use as a doctor who knows how to treat ingrowing toenails and flatulence, but hasn’t a clue about how to deal with heart attacks or cancer.

Nor is that the only charge which could be levelled at the British profession. One could forgive any politician who felt bewildered by the sheer fluidity of the positions taken by the hordes of macro-economists offering advice, solicited and unsolicited, on the direction policy should take. After all, the overwhelming majority of the profession appears to be in favour of expansionary monetary policy (aka QE2) with an eye on keeping sterling weak against the euro and, if possible, the dollar (hence also against the yuan). Yet most of the same people were enthusiastic advocates of Britain joining the euro zone, in spite of the fact that the option of driving down our exchange rate in the way they advise is only open to us because we have stayed out of the single currency.

Why I have to sleep with the enemy

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-Laurence Copeland is professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School. The opinions expressed are his own. -

A week or two ago, I posted a blog bemoaning the size of Britain’s public sector and expressing the fervent hope that the ill wind of the financial crisis would blow much of it away, leaving room for private industry to expand in its place.

Coalition government alarms British Muslims

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-Javaid Rehman is a professor of law at Brunel University. The opinions expressed are his own.-

For British Muslims, the new coalition government of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats represents an alliance of strange and awkward bedfellows.

A dangerous indulgence in post-electoral optimism

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-Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

It really is hard to resist the temptation to take a hopeful view of Britain’s new government.

Gordon Brown: flawed saviour of financial system

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– Hugo Dixon is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Gordon Brown may go down in history as the flawed saviour of the global financial system. Brown had many faults including overseeing a public spending splurge in his decade as the nation’s finance minister. But he did make one big contribution. He galvanised other leaders to save the bank system during the post-Lehman <LEHMQ.PK> meltdown.

Cliff-hanged

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- Professor Christopher Harvie is a historian, teacher, political writer and SNP MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife. He is the author of “Broonland: The Last Days of Gordon Brown.” The opinions expressed are his own. -

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Outside 10 Downing Street at 7.29 on Tuesday evening, Gordon Brown announced his resignation as UK premier. Off to the Palace, where he would ask Her Majesty to send for David Cameron, ending five cliff-hanging days – or inaugurating many, many more?

Tory-LibDem pact looks good for UK, but is unlikely

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-Ian Campbell is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.-

The UK’s third political party faces an ugly dilemma. Which way it turns will be critical for the British economy.

Breaking up banks is no silver bullet

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– Hugo Dixon is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Breaking up the banks is no silver bullet. Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic — including two of the party leaders fighting the UK election — want to separate so-called casino investment banks from utility lenders. But such simple rules would create arbitrage opportunities and rigidities without curbing excess risk-taking.

Oratorical skills proxy for leadership skills in debates

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- Timothy Clark and David Greatbatch are professors at Durham Business School. The opinions expressed are their own.-

The three televised party leader debates in the UK show that live oratory is still a powerful tool and remains an important source of the public’s perception of a politician’s image and abilities.

Such stuff as political careers are made on

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- Mark Kobayashi-Hillary is the author of several books, including ‘Who Moved my Job?’ and ‘Global Services: Moving to a Level Playing Field’. He is participating in the Reuters Election 2010 politics live blog during the leaders’ debates and on election night. The opinions expressed are his own. -

The veteran Channel 4 presenter, Jon Snow, lamented to the Guardian on Wednesday that the fire has gone out of the election campaign because of the televised leader debates.

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