In this response to the Vickers report, financial experts Tim Ambler and Miles Saltiel argue that the report's findings fail to address the root causes of the financial crisis and would create another layer of bureaucracy. Instead, the government should allow the creation of new "Trust Banks" that would be safely run, reduce arguments for protection of riskier banks, and introduce new competition to the high street.
In a follow up his last report on the Tobin Tax, Adam Baldwin assesses the impact of the European Commission's Financial Transaction Tax on Britain. He draws on the EC's impact assessment and independent research and concludes that it would wipe out derivatives trading in the City, hurt economic growth and increase market volatility.
High Speed 2 will be enormously expensive if the government proceeds with it. But is it worth the money? In this report, Nigel Hawkins examines the arguments for HS2, particularly the "non-economic" benefits of the project, and argues that HS2 is a white elephant that the government should scrap.
The government is tilting at windmills with its plans to finance long-term care, says Terry Arthur. Normal market mechanisms could provide everything that people want, if the government would only allow the market to be free and remove the welfare state from people's lives.
The old balance struck between rich and poor in a democracy has been circumvented, says Madsen Pirie. A third option, to borrow from the voters of tomorrow, has given politicians around the world a blank cheque to spend their way into oblivion.
Competition for highly-skilled migrants is more intense than ever. In this policy paper, Alexander Ulrich assesses the importance of highly skilled migrants to the British economy and the factors that migrants consider when deciding where to move. He finds that, of the five biggest factors, the only significant one that government can influence in the short term is income tax levels. If Britain is to attract the best workers from around the world, it has to offer a competitive tax system.
The Vickers Commission got it wrong, says Miles Saltiel. By focusing on linkages between retail and investment banks, it missed the real causes of the 2008 financial crisis and an opportunity to fix the problems in the financial sector. Rather than giving increased competition the lowest priority, as the Commission has, increasing competition in the banking sector should be the main goal in the government's banking policy.
An article claiming that libertarians support autocracy has made ripples online. In this article, Sam Bowman rebuts that article and argues that its author fundamentally misunderstands – and misrepresents – his topic.
A Tobin tax is a proportional tax on all spot conversions from one currency to another. There are now growing calls for a Tobin tax to be introduced into the UK, both to raise revenues and to reduce market volatility. In this policy paper, Adam Baldwin examines the case for the Tobin tax and the associated "Robin Hood Tax" that was inspired by the Tobin tax. Looking at the underlying economics and the international experiences with Tobin taxes, he argues that such a policy would at best be ineffective, and at worst hugely counterproductive and harmful to the UK's financial sector and wider economy.
With so much bad news coming from the financial markets, it is becoming difficult to see the wood for the trees. In this think piece, ASI executive director Tom Clougherty identifies the main problems we face, explores their policy implications, and examines the bigger economic picture.