SEJ Blogs

Our blogs are short commentaries on current affairs issues.

Scotland: The Morning After The Night Before

Henning Meyer

So, the decision is taken! After a frantic final period of campaigning Scottish voters eventually declined the offer of independence and opted to stay part of the United Kingdom. In the end, the result was not as close as the polls leading up to yesterday’s ballot suggested. The Guardian has now published the final result: But […]

David Cameron’s Failures And The Great Shrinking

Steven Hill

In Prime Minister David Cameron’s desperate entreaties towards his fellow countrymen in the North, one can hear the resounding bleat of his own policy failures. The theme of Cameron’s tenure has become one of “The Great Shrinking”:  close to losing Scotland and its 5.3 million people, and also retreating influence within the European Union and […]

Stop Structural Reforms And Start Public Investment In Europe

Paul De Grauwe

Slow growth in the Eurozone has become endemic since the start of the sovereign debt crisis in 2010. This is made very clear in Figure 1, which contrasts the growth experience of the Eurozone with the non-Eurozone EU-member countries since the start of the financial crisis in 2007.  What is striking is that up to […]

The European School-to-work Transition And The Crisis

Luca Giuliani

The school-to-work transition is a long, dark tunnel for many young people around the world. However, the problem is not the same everywhere; in Germany, for example, young people have almost the same probability of working as adults, while in the Eastern and Mediterranean EU countries the employment chances of young people are likely to […]

David Cameron (From Wikipedia 2100)

Simon Wren-Lewis

Prime Minister of UK (including Scotland until 2014) from 2010 to 2017. Widely seen as the catalyst behind the renewed decline of the UK, after a brief respite in the 30 years previously (see entries for Margaret Thatcher and Gordon Brown). On becoming Prime Minister in 2010, embarked on a fiscal austerity programme which delayed […]

Lessons From 15 Years Of Japanese Deflation

Ronald Janssen

While Mario Draghi has stolen the show with his speech at Jackson Hole, another speech by Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan, is actually even more interesting. Kuroda’s introductory remarks are short and simple and they concern the 15 years of deflation Japan has experienced since the mid-nineties. The key lesson is that a […]

Tricky Questions For Scots Lucky Enough To Have A Vote

John Kay

The first 150 years of union with England were a time of extraordinary economic and intellectual development in Scotland, which thrived on access to free trade across the British empire. Even during its 20th-century revival – and despite relatively poor economic performance as heavy industry in the west of the country collapsed – romantic nationalism […]

Is The Eurozone Turning Into Germany?

Jörg Bibow

It has been pretty clear since at least the spring of this year that the ECB was keen to see the euro weakening. At the time the euro stood near to $1.40. Policymakers in a number of euro area member states issued calls for a more competitive exchange rate, directing barely hidden criticisms in this […]

Quantitative Easing Or Business Easing In Europe?

Ronald Janssen

A political “consensus” is at this moment being forged in the Euro Area around a policy mix where the ECB would go for some form of, yet undefined, quantitative easing and this in exchange for radical structural reforms. To push this view through, it seems as if anything is allowed. A rather hallucinating illustration of […]

French Socialists On Mission Impossible

Denis McShane

The French Socialist Party’s summer conference is known as France as l’université d’été – the summer university.  This odd title disguises a major political event that – short of a full blown congress – sets the political direction of travel for the next twelve months. This year hundreds of activists, MPs and ministers and a press corp […]

Nigel Farage Gambles On Labour Win In The UK

Peter Kellner

Douglas Carswell’s defection signals that Nigel Farage is playing the long game for his party’s future. Some political mysteries are solved by logic rather than leaks. The latest mystery: what is Nigel Farage really up to? If Douglas Carswell wins the coming by-election in Clacton, this could set off a chain of events that leads […]

Why Mario Draghi’s Policy Ideas Won’t Work

Ronald Janssen

Mario Draghi’s speech at the annual symposium of central bankers in Jackson Hole is causing a bit of a stir. It is seen by many as admitting that the economy is entering dangerous territory in the form of weak economic performance, too low inflation and unstable inflation expectations. Moreover, by openly calling for action to […]