Currently browsing - Economic Growth

“Europe must embrace free enterprise” argues prize-winning journalist Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley speakerWriting for The Times, prize-winning journalist Matt Ridley argues that “Europe must embrace free enterprise”, as European economic growth rates continue to stagnate.

Describing the eurozone as “flat and teetering on the brink of debilitating deflation”, Matt demonstrates that public spending and dirigisme to stimulate growth does not work, while the “Anglo-Saxon” model of economic management – through open markets and deregulation – has proven to unleash growth.

Matt explains that “as figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development confirm, a 10 per cent increase in public spending produces a 0.5-1 per cent decrease in growth rates. The encouragement of free enterprise is what has always brought growth, from ancient Phoenicia to modern Mauritius, from Renaissance Italy to Silicon Valley.”

He goes on to say that “Entire continents teach the same lesson. South America and now Africa have both confirmed the hypothesis that state-directed commerce leads to stagnation while free enterprise causes rapid growth.”

Click here to read the full article.

For more information, or to book Matt Ridley as a speaker for your conference or event, please contact Alex Hickman at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8004.

Beware of “growthspeak” warns Steven Poole, an expert on the manipulative power of language

Steven Poole, a frequent cultural commentator and critically acclaimed author of “Unspeak” (2006), has warned that as the UK election draws near, it is going to be difficult to avoid an avalanche of Growthspeak. He notes that the term economic “growth” is so familiar we can easily forget that it’s a metaphor, and is quick to point out that nothing is actually growing.

Economic growth, Steven explains, means that some number representing GDP is higher than a previous such number. He goes on to say that there are well-known problems with taking GDP as a measure of how excellent everything is; for example, the economy might be “growing” even as income inequality goes up at the same time.

Because we associate growth with positive things, Steven demonstrates that the economic metaphor of “growth” helps persuade us that policies leading to such growth are always good. However, he argues that “growth is good when it is ‘steady’ or ‘strong’, but bad when it is ‘unsustainable’…[therefore] growth might be cancerous rather than nutritious.”

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For more information on how to book Steven Poole as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

BRICS economist Jim O’Neill outlines three good reasons to be bullish on China in 2015

Jim O'Neill speakerWriting for Bloomberg View, Jim O’Neill, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management International, has argued that it is “ridiculous” to be bearish on China in 2015, commenting that there is a big year ahead for the economy.

In comparison to his earlier predictions of the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – it is the latter economy that has met Jim’s expectations five years on. He explains that “assuming that China’s soon-to-be-published fourth-quarter gross domestic product number will come in at or close to 7.3 percent, as many experts assume, then from 2011 to 2014, China will have averaged real GDP growth of just less than 8 percent.”

Jim offers three basic reasons to be bullish on China:

  1. First, the collapse of crude oil prices will boost consumers’ real incomes, helping them play a larger role in the economy.
  2. Second, even though property prices have recently stalled and begun to fall, China will probably avoid a serious credit crunch, partly because Chinese policy makers have been more serious about restraining prices before they can collapse.
  3. A third reason to be optimistic is the subdued nature of inflation in China. This allows for more accommodative monetary policy going forward.

Jim notes that taken together, “these factors will make it easier for China to rebalance its economy — by raising wages, increasing property-ownership rights for urban migrants and reforming pension systems.”

Click here to read the full article, or watch this interview on Bloomberg for more.

For more information, or to book Jim O’Neill as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Alex Hickman at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8004.

Emerging markets are entering “a slow growth era” warns James Kynge

James Kynge speakerOn the front cover of today’s Financial Times (FT), James Kynge, the FT’s Emerging Markets Editor, and Chris Giles, the FT’s Economics Editor, warned that global growth is being threatened by “a slow growth era” in emerging markets (EM), its lowest ebb since the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Data from 19 large emerging economies collated by research firm Capital Economics show that industrial output in August and consumer spending in the second quarter fell to their lowest levels since 2009. Export growth in August also plunged. James commented that such concerns were “due to a combination of China’s fading dynamism, a sputtering performance in eastern Europe and Latin America’s slowdown.”

Whilst emerging Asia remains the most resilient of the large EM areas, George Magnus, senior adviser to UBS and former chief economist, said: “It is now clear that the exceptional acceleration in emerging market growth between 2006 and 2012 is over,” noting that the IMF has revised downward its forecasts for EM growth on six occasions since late 2011.

Click here to read the full story.

To find out more about these speakers, or to book either James Kynge or George Magnus as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

“This is not the end of BRIC growth” contends economist Jim O’Neill

Writing in the Telegraph, Jim O’Neill suggests the growing fears of dark future for BRIC economies might be overplayed. Whilst a change in US monetary policy might create tension in the short term, the long view is still good for emerging economies.

“Ultimately, their growth will depend on what they do in terms of their demographics and productivity; the Fed’s monetary policy will have very little impact.”

A fresh perspective as the situation unfolds. Click here to read on.

For more information, or to book Jim O’Neill as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Alex Hickman at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8004.

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