Simon Wren-Lewis

Simon Wren-Lewis is an emeritus professor of economics at Oxford. He writes a blog called ‘Mainly Macro’.

Short Cuts: Above Public Opinion

Simon Wren-Lewis, 2 February 2023

The​ UK is experiencing levels of strike action not seen in decades. Postal workers, train drivers and guards, nurses and ambulance workers are contemplating their second, third or fourth round of strikes this winter. Court officials, teachers, NHS physiotherapists, civil servants and university staff have balloted to walk out in the coming weeks. The simple explanation for many of the...

Bait and Switch: The Global Financial Crisis

Simon Wren-Lewis, 25 October 2018

In​ 2007, Alan Greenspan, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, was asked by a Swiss newspaper which presidential candidate he was supporting. He said it didn’t matter: ‘We are fortunate that, thanks to globalisation, policy decisions in the US have been largely replaced by global market forces. National security aside, it hardly makes any difference who will be the next...

Short Cuts: Magic Money Trees

Simon Wren-Lewis, 13 July 2017

‘There is no​ magic money tree,’ Theresa May said during the election campaign when confronted by a nurse complaining about low pay. Yet now that the Conservatives need the support of the DUP to give them a working majority, suddenly the magic money tree appears: £1 billion of additional spending has been promised to Northern Ireland. Can austerity survive such hypocrisy?


The Austerity Con

Simon Wren-Lewis, 19 February 2015

‘The government cannot go on living beyond its means.’ This seems common sense, so when someone puts forward the view that just now austerity is harmful, and should wait until times are better, it appears fanciful and too good to be true. Why would the government be putting us through all this if it didn’t have to? By insisting on cuts in government spending and higher taxes that could easily have been postponed until the recovery from recession was assured, the government delayed the recovery by two years.

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