Jim O’Neill, the former Goldman Sachs chief economist who coined the term “Brics” to describe leading emerging markets, has been appointed Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, with special responsibility for city devolution and delivery of public sector infrastructure projects.
Jim, who will be made a peer, chaired the Cities Growth Commission until October 2014. Many of the commission’s ideas underpinned George Osborne’s northern powerhouse strategy to boost economic development in the north of England. Jim argued that devolving power to Britain’s 15 biggest urban areas was also vital to curbing the budget deficit and national debt. It could boost the national economy by £79bn a year by 2030, adding 5 per cent to its size, the report said.
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