James Carrick

Global economist

James is a techno-optimist and an early adopter. When not 'eating' soylent, he is cycling on his electric bike or building robot lego with his son. Don't give him chocolate after midnight.

Posts by James Carrick

Economics

Goldilocks - will the porridge ever overheat?

We're currently in a Goldilocks environment - not too hot, not too cold. How long can this last? Structural forces are depressing inflation but cyclical pressures are intensifying. Even if the microwave is less powerful than before, if you keep zapping the porridge for long enough, surely it will eventually overheat?

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Economics

Mario's Marvellous Medicine

With the Fed and ECB unwinding QE, what happens when we come off the meds? There are signs that the patient (the economy) has healed, suggesting limited withdrawal effects. While addiction and placebo effects could still increase risk premia, low inflation reduces the risk of going ‘cold turkey’.

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Economics

Why did the BoE just hike? What happens next?

The BoE is in a difficult spot. Lower trend growth and a weaker pound mean that if it doesn't hike rates, inflation could remain above target. But if it raises rates too fast, the economy could be hurt should downside risks materialise.

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Economics

Why is US wage inflation still subdued?

US wage inflation remains subdued. Many believe this is due to workers' fears about automation and offshoring. Yet US consumers believe jobs are 'easy to get' and companies struggle to find labour. This contrasts with Germany in 2004 when the EU expanded eastwards. So second-round effects from low oil prices and ageing demographics appear more plausible explanations.

 

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Economics

Car-ry on spending?

Just like cars, it costs more to maintain an older person than a younger one. Government borrowing could rise by 3% of GDP over the next 20 years as a result of ageing. To offset this, the UK government has squeezed the rest of the public sector in an attempt to balance the books. This seems politically unsustainable. Is the government about to reverse course by ending public sector pay caps?

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Economics

Keeping an eye on lithium battery prices

Recently on CNBC, I discussed technological disruption in the auto industry from car sharing, autonomy and electric vehicles. I argued that batteries were likely to be similar to microchips – falling 20% in price every year – and could therefore disrupt the internal combustion engine.

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Economics

Champions League clique

The rise of Chelsea and Man City shows that it takes a lot of money to break into the Champions League elite, but once you're there, it creates a virtuous circle. The same is true for inflation. There is a self-reinforcing loop of high inflation expectations, wages and prices. But the 2014 oil shock looks to have knocked the US and Japan out. Consumers' inflation expectations remain stubbornly low.

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