speri.comment: the political economy blog

Will Frankfurt become Europe’s leading financial centre after Brexit?

Frankfurt views its ‘stability’ as a key advantage in the battle for jobs and investment with other European financial centres after Brexit When the UK leaves the European Single Market, financial firms domiciled within the City of London will lose their ‘passporting rights’. This means that many UK-based banks and other financial institutions will need to relocate a significant portion … Continue reading

16 January 2018 by
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Fat Cats in paradise: Why private wealth is a political issue

Jacqueline Best

The future of liberal democracy is threatened unless growing inequality and the culture of wealthy entitlement it creates are effectively tackled This year’s Fat Cat Thursday arrived on January 4 in the UK, reminding us that it just took three days for the CEOs of Britain’s big companies to earn more than an average worker will gain from an entire … Continue reading

15 January 2018 by
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The political economy of forced labour

Genevieve LeBaron

‘Confronting Root Causes: Forced Labour in Global Supply Chains’, a new report that call for innovative approaches to tackle forced labour in global supply chains is published today. The first chapter of the report is republished here. It is by now widely recognised that effectively tackling forced labour in the global economy means addressing its ‘root causes’. Policymakers, business leaders … Continue reading

10 January 2018 by
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Young people and the normalisation of economic crisis in the UK

Our new research considers the perspectives of today’s young people on the economy, crisis and labour market change – and how they view the prospect of transforming their circumstances through politics It is now widely accepted that young people are among the groups that have been most effected by the financial crisis and its aftermath. Indeed, many of the alarming … Continue reading

8 January 2018 by
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The hard and soft powers of England’s new metro-mayors

Transport and homelessness show how Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram are using their formal and informal powers in Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region Eight months into their role as metro-mayors of Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region respectively, the policy priorities of Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram are beginning to be more clearly defined. Any reservations about the metro-mayoral … Continue reading

3 January 2018 by
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The next Brexit

The path to ‘soft Brexit’ has now been firmly established. But the real disjuncture between the UK and the EU may be yet to come The divorce deal between the UK and the European Union (EU) agreed earlier this month has effectively averted the immediate prospect of a ‘hard Brexit’. After the UK’s capitulation on a range of key sticking … Continue reading

19 December 2017 by
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The making of a movement: who’s shaping Corbynism?

No leader, no ideology can come to power — and stay in power — alone. Who are the key thinkers, organisers and behind-the-scenes players shaping Corbynism, what does its future hold, and what does this mean for civil society? Thinking too hard about British politics at the moment is liable to induce a serious case of political whiplash. After Jeremy … Continue reading

18 December 2017 by
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The geopolitics of African urban transformation

Thomas Goodfellow

Africa is undergoing an urban revolution which is taking place in the context of a sea change in global geopolitics Cities are now firmly on the international development agenda. They have a dedicated Sustainable Development Goal – number 11 – as well as UN-HABITAT’s New Urban Agenda, both the product of years of work. Among many other recent programmes of urban research, … Continue reading

15 December 2017 by
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Budget 2017: Facilitating Homeownership to build political support

James Wood

The recent Budget showed the Conservatives following Thatcher’s example of facilitating homeownership as a means to build political support The 2017 Budget introduced a series of policy measures aimed at tackling Britain’s growing owner-occupied housing crisis, which, at its core, is a crisis of affordability. Since the 1980s, house prices have increased in Britain at a faster rate than in … Continue reading

11 December 2017 by
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Capital controls are back on the agenda – but why did Britain scrap them in the 1970s?

Labour and Conservative governments in the 1970s abolished exchange controls and the reasons don’t just lie in free market ideology. Unhindered capital mobility – once understood as an unassailable feature of the modern global economy – has recently been called into question. While The Telegraph’s scare headlines may exaggerate things (‘How to protect your money from Corbyn’s threatened capital controls…’), … Continue reading

7 December 2017 by
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Can the Eurozone resolve its macroeconomic imbalances before the next crisis?

The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure attempts to prevent future economic crises within the Eurozone by remedying emerging imbalances. Precisely how to achieve this, however, has opened a struggle for the very direction of European governance November kicked off the European Semester, the EU’s annual policy coordination cycle. With the EU economy gathering momentum, but with disparities in living standards among member … Continue reading

6 December 2017 by
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The Taylor Review and pensions: bad news for precarious workers

In order to prevent future pension crises, under-pensioned and precarious workers in the modern economy need a long term and sustainable vehicle for retirement saving, but the Taylor Review missed an opportunity to address this Precarious workers – those in low paid and insecure work, some self-employed, temporary contracts, agency work and zero hours contracts (ZHCs)– have rapidly increased in … Continue reading

5 December 2017 by
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Capitalism doesn’t work? That’s fake news

Sir Keith Burnett

University of Sheffield President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett urges policymakers to stop pretending broken markets can be fixed with more regulation Tory slogans are a gift to those who want to see everything nationalised. They had been ranting about wanting a capitalism ‘that works for all’, now it’s an economy that is ‘fit for the future’. What does … Continue reading

1 December 2017 by
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The Finance Curse research agenda: what we learned

Andrew Baker

A finance curse research agenda involves forensic dissection of financial dysfunction and pathology, helping to illuminate what needs to be put right Earlier this month scholars from seven countries and seven disciplines, representatives from four NGOs, journalists from the Financial Times and Le Monde, and a Bank of England official met in Sheffield to scrutinise and dissect the concept of … Continue reading

27 November 2017 by
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George Osborne’s legacy lives on in Philip Hammond’s latest budget

The Chancellor glossed over terrible forecasts, delivered more hype than substance on industrial strategy, and succumbed to another housing market stimulus. But the Osbornomics bag of budget tricks is delivering diminishing returns for the British economy Philip Hammond lacks the showmanship of George Osborne, but his latest budget taught us, if nothing else, that he is a great deal funnier. … Continue reading

23 November 2017 by
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A critique of proposed solutions to the German trade surplus

Germany’s large trade surplus, especially with the US, has become a significant political issue, but remedying the situation is not straightforward Large trade imbalances have political implications and are very often exploited for political gains. This is certainly true of Germany’s gigantic, and controversial, trade surplus, which in 2016 was around €270 billion ($297 billion) or 8.6% of Germany’s annual … Continue reading

22 November 2017 by
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Revisiting the developmental state 9: Conclusion

The East Asian developmental state was a phenomenon of its time that hasn’t been precisely replicated, but state developmentalism as a strategy for national insertion into the global order remains necessary Well, it turned out to be worthwhile revisiting the concept of the developmental state, didn’t it?  Our contributors have performed splendidly in providing a succession of incisive yet pithy … Continue reading

21 November 2017 by
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From Berlusconi to Weinstein to Westminster: Why we need a feminist political economy

Feminist political economy can help to reveal subordination in a labour market built on gendered economic relations Hollywood is being rocked by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. Almost every day new people are coming forward to tell their stories of harassment and violence. And, as many filmmakers and actors have made clear, everyone knew what was going on, but no-one … Continue reading

20 November 2017 by
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Don’t depoliticise inclusive growth!

Tony Payne

The endeavour to set out and implement a new vision for more inclusive growth will fail if it is not treated fundamentally as a matter of political economy, rather than an aspect of social policy The inclusive growth agenda is undoubtedly being talked about in a more mainstream way than was the case even a few years ago when the … Continue reading

16 November 2017 by
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Public aid is driving financial innovation to support international development

Gail Hurley

International development is increasingly being financed in innovative new ways. Public aid money is critical and its role should be celebrated more I was delighted to read that Professor Mariana Mazzucato has recently launched a new Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) at University College London. The Institute describes its mission as to ‘rethink how public value is created, … Continue reading

15 November 2017 by
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