UK drug policy is decades out of date – Charlotte Bowyer writes for CityAM

Head of Digital Policy for the Adam Smith Institute, Charlotte Bowyer, explains how UK drug policy has failed in CityAM.

After months of delays and political squabbles, the Home Office yesterday released its survey of international approaches to drug control. Examining the policies of 13 countries around the world, it failed to find “any obvious relationship between the toughness of a country’s enforcement against drug possession, and levels of drug use in that country”.

The report’s conclusions are at odds with 40 years of government policy, which centres upon the belief that harsh criminal penalties deter the (mis)use of drugs. It must have made for uncomfortable reading.

Read the full article here.

Inequality Is Not the Fed’s Priority – ASI Senior Fellow writes for the New York Times

Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute, Tim Worstall, contributes to the Room for Debate, NYTimes Opinion Pages.

There’s very little in the monetary toolbox of a central banker that can affect inequality. True, quantitative easing and low interest rates are great for those who own assets, as they can soar in value. But the Fed is doing that to try to stop the economy from worsening, which would be bad for rich and poor alike. The impact on inequality is a very second, even third, order effect. Other than that, there’s not really a great deal that the Fed can do about it.

Read the full article here.

ASI report “The Trading Dead” is featured in Fox Business news article

The Adam Smith Institute’s report “The Trading Dead: The zombie firms plaguing Britain’s economy, and what to do about them” was featured in a Fox Business news article.

The corporate zombie debate is on fire in the U.K., with 108,000 bankrupt firms still operating in Great Britain due to easy money, barely earning enough to pay the carrying costs on their loans, estimates the Adam Smith Institute, a free-market research shop.

It argues banks should quit giving money to the corporate undead, because it distracts funding away from healthier companies that can create jobs. Instead, it says these companies should be put to rest or restructured, to clear the way for more innovative companies.

“Low interest rates and bank forbearance represent a vast and badly targeted attempt to avoid dealing with the recession,” said Tom Papworth, senior fellow of the institute. “Rather than solving our current crisis, they risk dooming the U.K. to a decade of stagnation.”

Papworth added: “We tend to see zombies as slow-moving and faintly laughable works of fiction. Economically, zombies are quite real and hugely damaging, and governments and entrepreneurs cannot simply walk away.”

Read the full article here.