Yes but, yes but

Ten of the world’s leading economists have issued a warning about the consequences of the UK leaving the EU as the City prepares for the pound to plunge and shares to fall in the event of a Brexit vote in Thursday’s referendum.

They look purely at the next few years. They are not actually doing economics in fact, they need to be looking for the unseen.

Which is, of course, that we don’t face a choice between the EU today and not-the EU today. We face a choice between the EU of the future and the not-the EU of the future.

One way to think of it is this – so, we’ve people who were told the euro would be an economic disaster of major proportions. They went ahead and did it. When it turns out to be an economic disaster of major proportions they double down and insist that it must continue, the beatings will continue until morale improves.

Who, on economic grounds, would want to join such a bunch of idiots in a system of such lunacy? And that is what they’re promising ever more of, more integration, more Europe, ever closer union with Brussels handling ever more of the cash. They are already, and will keep doing so, pushing for fiscal union. Who wants to be tethered to such stupidity?

Given that our Nobel Laureates don’t actually consider the true alternatives on offer our Nobel Laureates, however distinguished, simply are not doing economics.

29 thoughts on “Yes but, yes but”

  1. This sounds an awful lot like post-truth anti-politics Tim. Listen to the experts and your Lords and masters, they are infallible.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    I remember 364 economists signing a letter rejecting Thatcher’s economic policies and promising disaster would follow.

    Whatever happened to those nice people I wonder?

    Magical thinking doesn’t end because you have a Ph.D.

  3. “Who, on economic grounds, would want to join such a bunch of idiots in a system of such lunacy? “

    Baroness Warsi, who declared today she was leaving the Brexit campaign and joining the Remainers.

    She’s also pulling out of her starring role in ‘Game of Thrones’ and the next Rolling Stones world tour.

  4. It in the Plan, Julia. The bitch was going to do it all along–at the last minute. Hell it wouldn’t surprise me if Johnson did a last-minute switcheroo on Wednesday.

    It was on the cards from the start. She should never have been allowed in the Leave campaign in the first place.

  5. But it’s not about economics, is it?
    Had this weird conversation with one of the local Dagos at the weekend. Apparently, 4 months after a brexit vote the UK’ll be begging to rejoin the EU. Pointing out in 2 years, let alone 4 months, we’d still be in the bloody thing didn’t figure.
    Then it’s how the UK would lose out, not being able to export to Spain. UK runs a big deficit with Spain, doesn’t it? What with all the agricultural imports & tourism. Plus the ex-pat spending. UK money goes away & this entire coast’ll be an economic wasteland.
    The EU seems to be more of an emotional issue than anything else.

  6. What’s the average age of these Nobel Laureates? Need they worry about anything more than the next few years? Perhaps they are being perfectly rational and self-interested.

  7. Was it a commenter on your blog or Guido’s who said “Economists were put on Earth in order to make Astrologers look good”..? Either way, largely spot on! 🙂

  8. magnusw,

    “We have not overthrown the divine right of Kings to fall down for the divine right of experts.” – Harold MacMillan.

    We are living in Peter Mandelson’s ‘post democratic age’.

  9. So, an amazing new campaign tactic from Remain.

    Remain have at least boosted R4’s comedy output, and we can all be grateful for that.

  10. The pound is going to plunge…but against what? The Euro? I can’t see the Euro looking too strong if a precedent is set whereby one of the largest countries in the bloc votes to leave. The dollar is rallying in the run-up to Brexit, but I don’t see much sign of the Euro doing so.

  11. What amazes me is how economists have the arrogance and temerity to describe their subject as a science – and they do this with seriousness, even when someone like Murphy becomes a professor of it.

  12. If the pound falls and stays low after Brexit, it means it was too high before and UK goods were wrongly priced on the world market.

    If it falls then recovers, there’s a nice opportunity there to make a profit by buying sterling cheap then flogging it later. I understand that the City has one or two people who are quite good at doing that kind of thing.

  13. If economists were good at forecasting, they wouldn’t be forecasting. They’d be relaxing on their yachts.

  14. yeah, I think you’re really over reaching with this one, “the unseen” you think this lot are missing is not necessarily everything turning out peachy like you envisage. I do have much confidence we can unilaterally put ourselves in a better place, trade wise, than we are now, with the EU. I don’t know why you are accusing them of making a mistake, as opposed to having a different view on the likely outcomes to you.

    Plus any “real economist” would be doing something like a discounted forward-looking welfare analysis and those short-term transaction costs involved in Brexit should weight pretty large there.

  15. Like any market, the likeliest outcome will already be discounted in the price.So, looking at £/€ rates over the past few months, about 5 cents.

  16. @TimN “I can’t see the Euro looking too strong if a precedent is set whereby one of the largest countries in the bloc votes to leave”
    That’d be my take. And the more vindictive the EU is, after a Brexit, the more it’ll suffer.

  17. I’ll qualify my comment at 2:55.
    Depends how spineless our political class is. There’s very little the EU could do to the UK, appropriate retaliation would not see the EU as the net losers. But I’ve a nasty suspicion our politicians will gulp down the medicine whilst saying to the public “We told you so!”.

  18. That’s why if we get the Leave vote we need Camerosborne out and John Redwood as Chancellor of the Exchequer as fast as possible. I’d like to see a cross-party cabinet to be honest. Field, Hoey, Stuart. We need a government who want this thing to work, not the angry losers clinging on.

  19. Polls now tilt Remain because of you-know-what:
    “The surge for Remain comes in the wake of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox on Thursday last week.”

    And given the history of referundums shifting to the status quo in the last few days things now look bad.

  20. Tel

    I’m not sure to what extent I believe these polls, simply that all my anecdata at the moment is conflicting with this, and quite materially?

    I am finding it confusing, as in I’m simply not sure I believe the polls?


    Timothy – you’re a fucking genius…:) We have preview back…….. Yay..:)

  21. Had the government been campaigning for Leave, what would the ‘experts’ have been saying, do we think?

  22. “I’m not sure to what extent I believe these polls, simply that all my anecdata at the moment is conflicting with this, and quite materially?”

    Depends where you are. In some circles that I move it’s overwhelmingly Remain. Other overwhelmingly Leave.

    And Ian, yes, I don’t think there is much of a shy Leaver effect, not to the extent there is a shy Tory effect. But possibly a little bit.

  23. ‘Ten of the world’s leading economists have issued a warning’

    Remember their names. If Brexit, and the pound doesn’t plunge and shares don’t fall significantly, their names should be on a sticky at the top of every blog. Their reputations should be on the line.

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