The main takeaway from Mark Carney’s speech last week on Britain’s European Union membership was that it is good for economic dynamism but creates challenges for financial stability.
Hugo Dixon is Editor-at-Large, Reuters News. The opinions expressed are his own.
The Greeks have to choose between the bad and the truly ugly in Sunday’s referendum. If I was Greek – and I’m not, although I speak the language and had a Greek great-grandmother – I would plump for the bad option, voting “Yes”.
Finance has rightly been in the sin bin for the last six years. And the cleanup job isn’t finished. But Mark Carney, the new Bank of England governor, is correct to stress how a large and expanding City of London is good for Britain, Europe and the world – provided it is properly organised.
Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy five years ago crushed the global economy, turfed millions of people out of their jobs and left governments groaning under hefty debt burdens. Since then, policymakers have been beavering away to make sure that a similar calamity never happens again. Measures to address many of the key problems have been taken or are in the works. But if a Lehman went bust today, there would still be havoc.
It is becoming increasingly likely that the UK will have a referendum on whether to stay in the European Union. It’s not just that David Cameron, the prime minister, has promised to hold such a vote by 2017 assuming he is re-elected. The drumbeats from the opposition Labour Party that it too would hold a plebiscite are becoming louder. Opinion polls show that Britons would currently vote to quit.