By Christopher Dow, Christopher Taylor, Graham Hacche
Christopher Dow was once essentially the most complete British economists of the post-war iteration. His impression - and relative anonymity - got here from devoting his extraordinary skills to public carrier for many of his profession, particularly within the financial institution of britain.
The memoirs that he wrote in the course of his time on the financial institution shed an awfully revealing gentle on what's generally recognized to were probably the most tricky occasions for the united kingdom financial system because the Thirties, and plenty of of those coverage debates are re-emerging this day within the wake of the 2007 recession. those memoirs should not simply informative and topical for present financial coverage, but in addition discover the character of lifestyles on the most sensible of the financial institution in the course of these occasions, portray exact pix of key protagonists on the head of government.
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Additional resources for Inside the Bank of England: Memoirs of Christopher Dow, Chief Economist 1973-84
His periodic soul-searching about his role in the Bank, anxiety about financial security after retirement, and disappointment at not getting due public recognition, surface from time to time in the memoirs, and in a moment of depression he regrets leaving the OECD and not going to Oxford. But on the whole, the memoirs reflect considerable job satisfaction and enjoyment of life at the Bank. Being par excellence a conscientious public servant with an enquiring mind and supreme confidence (despite his diffidence) in his own professional beliefs and methods of working, perhaps only a spell as chief economist at the Treasury could have satisfied him more.
The chorus of complaint was delayed till the autumn, as though only when people came back from their summer holidays did firms begin to notice what was happening to them. Management had certainly been preoccupied with even more desperate matters earlier. The response of the government was the granting of stock relief: it was announced in the autumn budget that firms would be excused from tax on the greater part of income devoted to building up the value of stocks. This was a rough and ready method of excluding stock appreciation from taxation – all that could be done quickly.
If we tried to get the rate down, we were likely to be seen doing it. For the dealers, 46 Inside the Bank of England to accept a fall brought about by events was one thing, but deliberately to worsen one’s own rate went right against the grain. To the Governor and others in the Bank, whose duty it was to be nice to the Arabs, it also seemed close to a breach of faith – though perhaps we felt more guilt at letting the rate down, than the Arabs (who were well advised) felt surprise when it happened.