Sunday 25 September 2016

The Punt: Corbyn versus The Governor

Published 18/09/2015 | 02:30

New Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
New Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

It's not surprising, perhaps, but it looks like Jeremy Corbyn and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney aren't going to be too close.

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Mr Carney hit out at Mr Corbyn's proposal for quantitative easing for the people, essentially a policy of funding infrastructure investment with printed money, as hurting the poor the most.

And the Bank of England governor also signalled he wouldn't serve under a government that removed the Bank's independence, as suggested by Labour's newly appointed Shadow Treasury Spokesman, John McDonnell.

Mr Carney told a parliamentary committee that a peoples QE would potentially harm price stability, and lead to inflation, with the poor and the elderly possibly the worst affected.

He also emphasised the need for a strongly independent central bank.

But, as the London Times reported yesterday, Mr Carney may not have the luxury of deciding whether or not he will serve in a possible Corbyn government. Mr Carney's term in office expires in 2018, two years before the next election is due to take place.

Etihad raises more cash

Abu Dhabi airline Etihad this week boosted the amount it raised in financing from $500m to $700m following what it said was a surge in interest from international institutions.

Etihad had closed its financing scheme earlier this week. But it then re-opened it, raising the additional $200m.

The money is going to be used for both capital expenditure and investment in Etihad's fleet, as well as refinancing. It's going to be split across the airlines it owns or has stakes in, including Air Berlin, Air Seychelles, Alitalia and Jet Airways.

Of course, Aer Lingus, in which Etihad owned a near 5pc stake, no longer features on the Gulf carrier's catwalk. The Abu Dhabi airline sold out as part of IAG's €1.36bn takeover of the Irish airline.

Etihad boss, Australian James Hogan (pictured below), has previously mused about how he hoped Aer Lingus and the Middle East airline might have deepened their relationship beyond the level it reached. But he said that Aer Lingus management didn't ultimately have the same vision.

If they didn't then, they certainly don't now, as IAG preps Aer Lingus to provide a boost to its transatlantic services.

Universities fail to make grade

Researchers from Thomson Reuters have ranked the world's most innovate universities. 

To some extent it's just another university ranking, but, as the researchers point out, innovation is a buzzword in not only academia but for policy makers.

The wider economic benefits of being home to a cutting edge university have been well aired. As the reserachers point out, its part of the reason we fund them.

"Since World War II, universities around the world have been relied on to convert public funding into knowledge and products that help drive the global economy. So how can potential partners, investors, faculty and students know if an institution is really transforming science and technology and impacting the global economy?"

How indeed? Well, the criteria for the new ranking focused on publication of academic papers, a measure of the research being done within a university, and patent filings - a marker or it interest in protecting and commercialising discoveries.

Alas, no Irish university makes the top 100, of which US accounts for half, including top ranked Standford, MIT and Harvard. Japan, France and Germany all do OK. But unlike other small open economies - Denmark , Israel and Singapore - we just dont even make the grade.

Irish Independent

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