What is helicopter money?

The possibility that central banks might resort to extreme monetary measures, including helicopter money, is much debated in monetary policy circles. But what is “helicopter money”? * In normal times, central banks in developed countries try to control inflation and the level of economic activity by controlling the short term interest rate. But since the… Continue Reading

Classifying funds: the type of contract – is it equity or debt?

Another way to classify funds that are provided by a saver to an investor is whether they are in the form of debt or equity. These are the two main forms of contract through which one person or company can provide funding to another. Note that governments, which are very important actors in the financial system, can only… Continue Reading

Key financial concepts: securities

Securities are a very important and useful piece of financial technology, including bank notes, shares and bonds. They make possible a wide range of financial transactions and provide competition to the other main source of funding, banks. * A security is a certificate representing a contract between two or more people which promises to pay… Continue Reading

New article in the Chatham House journal “The World Today”

https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/twt/august-27-1956-all-systems-glow August 27, 1956: All systems glow –  Simon Taylor on the opening of Britain’s Calder Hall nuclear power station It’s nearly 60 years since the UK switched on the first full scale nuclear power station in the world, Calder Hall, in the north west of England. My article explains how it came about. Continue Reading

Key finance concepts: exchange rates

Exchange rates are among the most important macrofinancial prices, influencing many aspects of an economy. This post introduces exchange rates and their importance for macroeconomic adjustment * What is an exchange rate? An exchange rate is a ratio, the price of one currency relative to another. All prices are ratios, but normally they’re expressed in… Continue Reading

Letter from Guangxi

The second week of my recent China trip was spent in the hot, green and rapidly developing southern province of Guangxi. * My trips to China are usually to the Tier 1 cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and more rarely to Guangzhou. In these places you see the full achievement of the country’s remarkable economic development.… Continue Reading

Letter from Dublin

The last time I was in Dublin, a few years ago, it was in the company of a woman I was in love with, the sun was shining (at least in my memory) and we were on holiday. My latest trip, to give a talk to the annual Energy Ireland conference, where the delegates’ suits were… Continue Reading