CPS Event: Lessons for the Bank of England from the ERM, the banking crash and Brexit

I recently published a study of the damage done to the UK economy by the boom and bust policies of past decades. It was part of a series of papers commissioned by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) and published on Capx. I posted the study on the website earlier today.

The CPS webinar event with will be held over Zoom on Wednesday 29th April at 17:00. The link to register is: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_9_SvbNUhSGGmUje7SJWBow

Participants will need to have a Zoom account to join the meeting, which is free, and at the time of the event, they will be able to put questions directly to me.


  1. Martin in Cardiff
    April 24, 2020

    Damage caused by boom and bust is almost trivial, compared with that done by global epidemics, it would appear, wouldn’t it, John?

    The conditions for boom and bust would appear as luxury to many now.

    Incidentally, I think that we should drop this silly, quasi-portmanteau word “pandemic”, with its connotations of pandemonium, panic, etc.

    It’s not quite as laboured as “brexit”, mind you.

    1. Fred H
      April 24, 2020

      it might be just a Chinese practice run – so let’s call it tedium.
      Pandemonium might come later.

    2. Ian Wragg
      April 24, 2020

      I think pan demic means an epidemic covering the globe. Nothing to do with pandemonium
      eg pan African etc.
      I see the EU has learrnt nothing from the collapse of the May government and is still trying to tie us into their regulatory orbit and retain control over fishing.
      Watching their useless actions during the pandemic they must be very worried about their future as borders have closed and the nation state had resumed its rightful place.

    3. M Brandreth- Jones
      April 24, 2020

      Pan is a widely used prefix in medicine with its’ meaning 🙁 more or less) everywhere .
      I find it difficult not to accept it .
      Some of the words used in medicine I find unacceptable, the most poignant is the phrase Persistent Vegetative State..the connotations are deplorable.. and further more vegetation is usually alive and growing.

    4. Anonymous
      April 24, 2020

      Seeing as China started it couldn’t they show some contrition and a bit of Marshall Aid starting with lots and lots of PPE for free ?

  2. M Brandreth- Jones
    April 24, 2020

    John .. too long to concentrate . please just summarise.. I will believe you. It is difficult concentrating on ‘The billion dollar brain’ and learning Spanish.
    Many are adversely criticising Trump for his latest comments.In the 70’s we used to practise something called bronchial lavage. This involved injecting a mild antiseptic alomg with water into the bronchial tubes and suctioning to aid antisepsis in chronic respiratory infections!

    1. Cheshire Girl
      April 24, 2020

      Nice to hear that President Trump is not always wrong.

      We must make sure that Channel 4 News hears this.

    2. jerry
      April 24, 2020

      @MB-J; Bronchial lavage is a diagnostic method for taking samples via suction, not a treatment, and it uses a sterile saline source not bleach!

      1. Everhopeful
        April 24, 2020

        I think it is both actually. It was used to diagnose the first cases of cv in Woohan and it can treat PAP ( pulmonary alveolar proteinosis).

      2. M Brandreth- Jones
        April 24, 2020

        We used Bronchial lavage in the 70’s as a treatment also for chronic infection , but it was also useful for obtaining secretions for pathological analysis e, Acid fast bacilli. We often use the disinfectant Na chloride 00.9% , but other disinfectants can be used. You are probably reading the internet . I have been there. Remember something which dis infects does not have to be bleach from your bottom kitchen cupboard.Hydrogen peroxide can also be used ,TCP orally an option . lavage is a washout only and can be used anywhere there is access BUT in a controlled environment.
        Sodium hypochlorite can be used in a very mild solution ….. etc however what strikes me is the irony and ridicule of something we have already done and then clumsy Trump needing to make excuses .

        1. Everhopeful
          April 25, 2020

          So Trump was absolutely correct…and should have stuck to his guns!

    3. Lifelogic
      April 24, 2020

      Trump merely posed a question (all be it rather clumsily). Neadless to say the BBC and the lefties made the most of it. He was not (blindingly obviously) suggesting people should drink (or inject) dettol or bleach.

      1. Caterpillar
        April 24, 2020


        You are correct. I saw the media headlines and couldn’t believe it, so I then had to go and find the original. The media are irresponsibly dangerous in how they report and portray the POTUS. On the other hand he should know by now that the media will seek to misrepresent him, so he has to be absolutely careful.

        1. a-tracy
          April 25, 2020

          Absolutely agree Caterpillar, people say they want politicians to be straight, give their own answers to difficult questions rather than obfuscate and prevaricate BUT any well established political operator knows ‘do not shoot from the hip and say what you’re thinking’ misinterpretation is a powerful tool and selecting small sections of a quote like Thatchers ‘there’s no such thing as society…..’without the end of the full quotation

      2. jerry
        April 25, 2020

        @LL; As usual the alt-right supporters think everyone needs to be told what to think just like they do, what the POTUS said is in the public domain, it doesn’t need interpretation -by anyone.

        Now he compounds his error by suggesting he was merely being “sarcastic”, no, he at best posed a question and at worst made a crass and highly dangerous suggestion that some may well self medicate on.

        Why even make such a suggestion in public, is that not what time spent behind closed doors with your medical experts is for. But no, some have to grandstand…

      3. margaret howard
        April 25, 2020


        “He was not (blindingly obviously) suggesting people should drink (or inject) dettol or bleach”

        Wasn’t he?

        His quote in full:

        “I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs.”

        Clumsy as usual but still very clear to everyone who wants to see.

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          April 25, 2020

          But you definitely DON’T want to see Margaret. In fact he was right and used layman’s language. The population at large should understand that they should NEVER ingest chemicals or drugs or ingest or ‘sniff’ substances not prescribed by the medical professionals.

        2. a-tracy
          April 25, 2020

          It’s not surprising you ended the quote early MH here is the full transcript
          “So I asked Bill a question some of you are thinking of if you’re into that world, which I find to be pretty interesting. So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether its ultraviolet or just very powerful light, and I think you said, that hasn’t been checked but you’re gonna test it. And then I said, supposing it brought the light inside the body, which you can either do either through the skin or some other way, and I think you said you’re gonna test that too, sounds interesting. And I then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute, and is there a way you can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it’d be interesting to check that. So you’re going to have to use medical doctors, but it sounds interesting to me, so we’ll see. But the whole concept of the light, the way it goes in one minute, that’s pretty powerful.”


          If anyone is guilty of misrepresenting this to the public it is people like you and the media – leading people to think he said to ingest bleach or cleaning products which he didn’t do.

          1. Fred H
            April 25, 2020

            but will mid-Americans understand that he didn’t mean inject it, swallow it, have a bath in it….we’re talking hillbillies here.

          2. a-tracy
            April 28, 2020

            FredH, interesting youtube videos coming out right now that Trump was actually responding to a science briefing about these topics and the bbc cut great sections out of the speech to distort Trumps conversation with the professionals next to him. They showed the female scientists face but that was 25 minutes after the actual conversation. What the hell is going on with this media circus as we becoming like the USA and not able to trust what we are being told? And why distort it like this. If anyone ingests bleach or cleaning products it is securely at the feet of the medical reporters that distorted what was said. I cannot stand unfairness and this isn’t right.

          3. a-tracy
            April 28, 2020

            Sorry, media reporters not ‘medical’.

            Also why is no-one calling the media out about this propaganda?

            Piers Morgan once again today is celebrating him taking out another inexperienced Tory MP who couldn’t answer his questions, I could have answered those questions, I would have firmly put to Mr Morgan that he brought in the Company that stored the PPE, the NHS England organisations that told them what stock to hold, the NHS purchasing managers and perhaps the Health Minister if he wanted an accurate response to his question but today I’m here to discuss…..

  3. ChrisS
    April 24, 2020

    I’ve registered to join your event on the 29th and would like to give advance notice of a question :

    “You rightly refer to the problems faced by the Eurozone where vast trade surpluses built up by the successful, Northern States, leave ClubMed countries with a shortage of Euros and demanding the mutualisation of debt. Given the situation between Scotland and England, one can see why Germany and her neighbours are resisting this at all costs :

    The SNP have led the Scottish economy into a situation where it is wholly dependent on a capital injection of at least £10bn pa from English taxpayers, while English politicians, frightened of the Scottish Independence movement, make no effort to get to grips with this drain on the English economy and see it reduced.

    As a result, we have the ridiculous situation of the Scottish SNP regional government being able to legislate to provide generous benefits not available to English residents but which we have to pay for.

    It seems inexplicable that we hear no criticism of Hollyrood fiscal policy from the Office of Budget Responsibility or the UK Central Bank.

    What should be done about this ?”

    1. ukretired123
      April 25, 2020

      Excellent question to First Minister Noisy Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon and the voluminous Ian Blackford as they see it as their entitlement.
      The SNP track record of achievements after a decade in power is waste and incompetence!

  4. Lynn Atkinson
    April 24, 2020

    This webinar is at capacity already.

  5. Javelin
    April 24, 2020

    The whole lockdown shambles can be best understood as being driven by lawyers

    As I have pointed out

    – First the Government were reluctant to shut businesses down.

    – Then the Government said some business should shut down but wouldn’t say which ones.

    – Then the Government said you should stay at home unless you had to go to work

    – Then the Government said the only businesses that should be open are ones that should not be shut down.

    – Now the Government “welcomes return to work and says businesses that are reopening never needed to close:“

    NHS management drag GDP down by 35% because they failed to implement a plan for a controlled shutdown to protect vunerable people. The biggest civil service failure in the history of the UK by an order of magnitude.

    Shakes head in disbelief.

    1. a-tracy
      April 25, 2020

      Javelin, the government did say which businesses should shut down, my understanding is that they said restaurants, cafes, theatres, areas where larger groups congregate or people couldn’t keep 1.6m gaps, they later extended this to 2m and suggested that if companies could get their staff to work from,home they should take this option over people having to use public transport which also had close contact problems.

  6. TIMH
    April 24, 2020

    This webinar is already at capacity…

    1. Richard1
      April 24, 2020

      Yes unfortunately

  7. ian
    April 24, 2020

    The only mandate the CB have is to target inflation and full employment, that it and they do that on behalf of governments and to shield them from blame along with Quangos and other institution so they can point the finger of blame away from themselves at cost of billions to the person in the street who pay for them if I said to you that between the CB and treasury carry 6500 economists to work on what the future will look like and as John rightly says they alright ways get it wrong, that’s where the blame game come in which makes the Gov look good.
    The top jobs as John say go to family members and people in the know or who been recommend by unis the days of coming out of the slum and getting a top job are nearly gone, being smart counts for nothing now and banks work the same way of who gets money and what interest rate they will pay, at the top one per cent over the base rate at the bottom 40% to 1000% they pick the winners and loses, the best time to be poor and young was after the two world wars where people had turned to slums to find the brightest and smartest to run there companies and institutions and banking with opportunity for most people because of there families and friends had been depleted by two world wars but these same people who out the slums are now the new Robber barons working with the old Robber barons and like to keep things in the family as was the case before two world wars.

    Back to the Question of CB mandate from Gov, full in employment at the top when money printing permits where the Gov has control and pays the whole bill like new institutions, organisations and Quangos and Gov itself, nobody who paid by Gov pays any employment taxes they get gross pay but do take some money away from them for there pensions, the other reason for full employment mandate is to stop people sitting thinking about what is going on but they have nearly conquered that now with video game and online steaming to keep the thick busy instead of sitting in there homes making pitchforks.
    The other mandate of CB of inflation, the reason for this one is to keep people in their positions of wealth and to fight wars of countries who disagree with them on how the world should work and of crouse when oil and minerals are mentioned no expense is spared, most of the debt that countries Gov and CB have accumulated over the years has been spent on defeating deflation so that assets of the Robber barons and friends and politicians do not fall off the back of the lorry as it goes uphill, Gov is now busy buying up companies debt and picking winners and looses, that means if your sitting in a board room or just below you are alright anybody else in the company is expendable.
    I cannot see the Gov sliming down the Gov itself or institutions or quangos for the reason of support coming from theses people for the Gov and might even grow to get more people on their side besides they may be sacking a friend of a friend of a friend and that will not do. Unless deflation is allowed in to do the job it is meant to do at the end every circle which has not happened for years because of a friend of a friend of a friend won’t let it happen, the outlook is very dark indeed, it’s communism at the top not much at the bottom.

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