Monetary policy under the Coalition

In this piece David Cobham assesses the contribution of monetary policy to the economic recovery. He argues that once the basic choice of fiscal austerity had been made the authorities searched, largely in vain, for ways to make monetary policy boost demand in compensation. No doubt the recession would have been even worse without the monetary expansion that was implemented, but there is no sense in which normal operations have been restored.

Cobham’s paper on monetary policy under the last Labour government is free to view until the election, via the Labour government page. See also this short piece on common misconceptions about the crisis:

The role of monetary policy over this period was determined from the start by the government’s basic choice of ‘austerity’ in the sense of fiscal consolidation: with the economy in a deep recession (though it had been recovering before the election) and fiscal policy affecting aggregate demand negatively, monetary policy needed to be made more expansionary even though the policy interest rate was already (since March 2009) at its effective lower bound of 0.5%.

The government therefore sought a significant increase in ‘monetary policy activism’. In the short term the Bank of England embarked on further rounds of quantitative easing, while the Treasury offered credit subsidies in the form of Funding for Lending and Help to Buy, and the government appointed a new governor from June 2013 who was known to support ‘forward guidance’ and duly introduced it in the UK.

1.  Quantitative easing (QE) and monetary growth

When interest rates cannot be reduced further, monetary expansion can be delivered most obviously by expanding the money supply through the process called quantitative easing. In the first round of QE before the election, between March 2009 and January 2010, the Bank of England had bought £200 bn of financial assets (mostly UK government bonds). Two further rounds of QE, referred to as QE2 and QE3, involved another £175 bn of asset purchases between October 2011 and November 2012.

Such purchases lead to increases in the bank deposits of the non-bank private sector (initially the deposits of the non-bank financial institutions that sell their gilts to the Bank of England, mainly pension funds and life assurance companies). These deposits are part of the broad money supply. At the same time the asset purchases bring about increases in the deposits of the banks at the Bank of England.

Figure 1 shows the four-quarter growth of the Bank of England’s preferred measure of broad money, M4ex, and its two principal ‘credit counterparts’, bank lending to the non-bank private sector and the public sector’s contribution to monetary growth (the budget deficit minus borrowing from the non-bank private sector), in each case as a percentage of the outstanding stock of M4ex.

Three things stand out from this graph. First, in the period before the crisis the growth of M4ex closely reflected the growth of M4ex lending (bank lending to non-banks), but that collapsed in the crisis. Second, the public sector’s contribution, which had been minimal before the crisis, became very large in 2009-10 and large again in 2012 (as the result of QE), offsetting the negative or very low levels of bank lending and ensuring that the money supply did not fall. And third, bank lending has still not returned to anywhere near the level it maintained throughout the pre-crisis ‘Great Moderation’ period.

There is considerable agreement that QE1 had a positive effect on GDP growth. Initial studies from within the Bank identified significant effects of QE on long-term bond yields, but the Bank’s later studies of the wider macro effects estimated that QE raised GDP, relative to what it would otherwise have been, by 1½ to 2% and inflation by ¾ to 1½% (Joyce et al., 2011). Some other studies found larger effects: Cobham and Kang (2012) estimated that in the absence of QE nominal GDP in 2010 Q1 might have been between 3% and 11% lower, while Baumeister and Benati (2013) thought that without QE inflation could have fallen to minus 4% and real GDP growth to minus 12% at an annual rate.

However, non-Bank of England observers were less convinced of the effectiveness of the asset purchases in QE2 and QE3 (Goodhart and Ashworth, 2012; Martin and Milas, 2012): yields seemed less affected, the rise in corporate issuance of equity and bonds during QE1 was not repeated, and the international climate (the eurozone crisis) made it harder to isolate the effects of UK QE. In addition, while the large depreciation of sterling in 2007-8 may have contributed to the higher growth ascribed to QE1, it did not recur in a way that would have affected the outcome for QE2 and QE3.

At intervals from late 2012 there was speculation about a further round of QE, and three of the nine members of the MPC voted for (smallish) additional asset purchases in each of the meetings between February and June 2013. But there was never a majority for this, and after June 2013 the issue was dropped. On the other hand, there has been little discussion so far of unwinding the asset purchases, that is, selling off the gilts the Bank had acquired. It is generally understood that interest rates would be raised first, and assets resold only later, in a controlled and orderly process.

2. Funding for Lending and Help to Buy

In July 2012 the Bank of England and the Treasury launched the new Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) which provides banks with a source of funds other than that obtained from retail deposits or wholesale markets. These funds would be made available more cheaply, and in larger amounts, to banks which increased their lending to households for mortgages, to companies and to buy-to-let landlords: banks were given an incentive to lend more. The scheme was extended in 2013 and again in 2014.

The Help to Buy (HB) scheme was started in April 2013 (in England but later schemes covered the rest of the UK too). At that time it offered equity loans of up to 20% to first-time buyers and people buying new-build homes, but the scheme was extended to provide mortgage guarantees of up to 15% to lenders where buyers put down deposits of 5%, so that lenders could offer better terms.

Both these schemes are essentially subsidies to particular types of credit, and their likely effect on house prices – if borrowers can borrow more easily, then they can bid more for the properties they seek to buy – was widely criticised. While it is not possible to be sure of the causes, house prices began to rise more strongly in 2013 and especially 2014, with a peak in 12-month growth of 12.1% in September 2014 (UK, all dwellings, ONS data).

House price growth was higher in London, the East and the South East of England, but much lower in Wales and the North West, with other regions in between. Concerns about a fresh house price bubble led to mortgage lending being made no longer eligible under the FLS in the autumn of 2014.

Bank lending, on the other hand, remained (in total) well below the period before the crisis, as is clear from Figure 1: as a percentage of M4ex, bank lending to the non-bank private sector (four quarter change), which had fluctuated around 15% between 2000 and 2007 and collapsed in 2009-10, became positive again in late 2011 and 2012 (with a peak of only 1.7%), but went negative again in 2013 before returning to the positive in the second half of 2014. While we cannot be sure how much banks would have lent in the absence of FLS and HB, it is clear that there has not been a significant revival of lending.

Figure 1: Growth of money supply and its main credit counterparts (growth since four quarters earlier, %)

cobhamfig1Source: Bank of England statistics

3. Forward Guidance

Mervyn (now Lord) King’s second term of office as governor of the Bank of England came to an end in June 2013, and he was succeeded by Mark Carney, who was appointed in November 2012 while he was still governor of the Bank of Canada. Carney was known for pioneering ‘forward guidance’ at the Bank of Canada and for his position as chair of the international Financial Stability Board, and from his appointment it was expected that he would introduce some forward guidance in the UK. The MPC unveiled its forward guidance policy in August 2013.

The MPC said that interest rates would not be raised until the unemployment rate came down to 7%, unless (a) its inflation forecast for 18-24 months ahead was 0.5 or more above its 2% target, and/or (b) inflation expectations were no longer ‘well anchored’, and/or (c) the Financial Policy Committee decided that the current interest rate level was posing a threat to financial stability which could not be dealt with by other (macroprudential) means.

Technically this is a ‘state-contingent’ rather than open-ended or time-contingent type of forward guidance, that is one where a rise in interest rates would depend on the state of the economy. The policy was justified by the MPC in three ways: (1) it would give greater clarity about the trade-off between the speed at which inflation should be returned to target and the speed with which economic growth recovered, (ii) it would reduce uncertainty about the future path of monetary policy, and (iii) it would allow the MPC to explore the scope for expansion without jeopardising price and financial stability.

However, it should be noted that the 7% was a threshold not an automatic trigger, that inflation expectations would be monitored via a range of indicators (survey data, extrapolations from financial market data), and that MPC members would make up their own minds as to whether the ‘knockout clauses’ had been breached. Thus the information conveyed in the guidance was hardly clear-cut or precise, in which case its contributions to controlling inflation expectations and reducing uncertainty could be expected to be limited. [I have suggested elsewhere that the initial guidance was so opaque because it emerged from a policy disagreement between a Treasury pushing for the Bank to introduce the policy and MPC members trying to formulate an intellectually respectable version of it. See Cobham (2013).]

In the event the unemployment rate fell more quickly than expected, going below the 7% threshold in the period December 2013-February 2014, but by then the MPC had issued fresh guidance which emphasised the continuing spare capacity in the economy, to be assessed by a range of indicators including the growth of wages. As of March 2015, the unemployment rate was well below 6% and expectations were for interest rates to rise only some time in 2016. However, the initial confusion over the meaning of the guidance and the subsequent changes to that guidance make it difficult to regard the policy as coherent or, given the speed and quality of the recovery, successful.

4. Alternatives and debates

The crisis and the difficulties of the recovery period have stimulated debate on possible alternative frameworks for monetary policy, other than the inflation targeting which the UK has pursued since the 1990s. There has been discussion of price-level targeting and nominal income targeting (growth and level), but these alternatives each have their disadvantages (Goodhart et al., 2013) and no consensus has developed.

A general problem with each of these is that a higher rate of monetary expansion might be required in order to attain the new targets, but – with the effects of QE waning, credit subsidies having failed to revive bank lending and forward guidance largely incoherent – the monetary authorities lack adequate instruments to bring that about. There have also been calls for modifications of current arrangements in the form of a rise in the inflation target (Ball, 2014), the continued use of the central bank balance sheet as an extra instrument (Friedman, 2015) and the formal adoption by the Bank of England of a secondary concern with asset prices (e.g. Cobham, 2015).

The only area on which the Bank of England has concurred and progress has been made is in the introduction of new ‘macroprudential’ instruments by which the new Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England might try to head off various possible sources of financial instability. These instruments include the ability to vary the amounts of own capital the banks are required to have relative to their outstanding loans, and the ability to limit loan to value and debt to income ratios in the mortgage market.

While such measures seem eminently desirable, there are open questions about how the Financial Policy Committee will interact with the Monetary Policy Committee (Shakir and Tong, 2014), and since the effects of these instruments are likely to vary with the state of the economy (Harlmohan and Nelson, 2014) it is arguable that monetary policy will need to be kept as a backstop policy for financial stability (in addition to its role as principal instrument for price stability).

5. Outcomes

Figures 2 and 3 show the outcomes for the level of GDP and the rate of inflation in the UK, the Eurozone and the US. Figure 2 makes clear that the UK had a much deeper fall in GDP from the crisis than the Eurozone (as a whole – individual countries had different trajectories) or the US, which moved remarkably closely together until the end of 2011 when the US began to recover strongly while the Eurozone stagnated. The UK recovered somewhat in 2010 but between late 2010 and late 2012 its recovery was meagre, and it was only in 2013 that a more substantial recovery got under way.

This pattern is consistent with the view that the Coalition’s choice of austerity in the early years reduced UK growth in 2010-11 and 2011-12 (see Simon Wren-Lewis’s piece in this collection), while the resumption of growth from 2013 is consistent with the view that austerity had been quietly put on hold from 2012, together with the slow and partial bounce-back that can be expected of squeezed market economies.

Figure 2: GDP levels, UK, US and Eurozone


Source: International Financial Statistics (IMF)

Figure 3 shows that the UK experienced much the worst inflation over these years of the three currency areas shown, with a sharp peak in late 2008 and a more long-lasting rise in late 2011, which may have reflected the sterling depreciation of late 2007 and 2008 as well as fluctuations in world commodity prices (and the January 2011 rise in VAT). The recent further sharp fall in UK inflation, which has enabled a limited recovery in living standards after years of decline, is also heavily international in origin.

Figure 3: Consumer price inflation UK, US and Eurozone


Source: International Financial Statistics (IMF)

6. Conclusions

The monetary history of this period is a history of a search for ways to make monetary policy more expansionary, to overcome the drag on growth due to fiscal austerity measures which, as Wren-Lewis points out, were not required by the Coalition government’s new fiscal rules and are hard to explain. The search included further quantitative easing, the credit subsidies of FLS and HB, and forward guidance (facilitated by the appointment of a new governor), but there remains a shortage of effective monetary instruments.

The overall framework for monetary and financial policy was changed by the establishment of the Financial Policy Committee at the Bank, whose new macroprudential focus had its first test in trying to head off a nascent house price bubble caused, at least in part, by the credit subsidies. The monetary policy developments were mostly responses to short term problems, and not very successful ones at that, but the changes to the framework are likely to outlast the Coalition.



  • Ball, L. (2014), ‘The Case for a Long-Run Inflation Target of Four Percent’, IMF Working Papers 14/92
  • Baumeister, C., and Benati, L. (2013), ‘Unconventional Monetary Policy and the Great Recession: Estimating the Macroeconomic Effects of a Spread Compression at the Zero Lower Bound’, International Journal of Central Banking, 9(2), 165-212
  • Cobham, D. (2013), ‘Forward guidance in the UK: holding rates down till something happens’, in W. Den Haan (ed.), Forward Guidance, VoxEU ebook
  • Cobham, D. (2015), ‘Multiple objectives in monetary policy: a de facto analysis for ‘advanced’ countries’, forthcoming in Manchester School
  • Cobham, D., and Kang, Y. (2012), ‘Financial crisis and quantitative easing: can broad money tell us anything?’  Manchester School, 80 (s1), 54-76
  • Friedman, B. (2015), ‘Has the financial crisis permanently changed the practice of monetary policy? Has it changed the theory of monetary policy?’, forthcoming, Manchester School
  • Goodhart, C., and Ashworth, J. (2012), ‘QE: a successful start may be running into diminishing returns’, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 28(4), 640-70
  • Goodhart, C., Baker, M., and Ashworth, J. (2013), ‘Monetary targetry: possible changes under Carney’, Morgan Stanley Research Europe
  • Harlmohan, R., and Nelson, B. (2014), ‘How might macroprudential capital policy affect credit conditions?’, Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Q3, 287-303
  • Martin, C., and Milas, C. (2012), ‘Quantitative easing: a sceptical survey’, Oxford Review of Economic Policy,28(4), 750-64
  • Shakir, T., and Tong, M. (2014), ‘The interaction of the FPC and the MPC’, Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Q4, 396-408

Aggregate fiscal policy under the Coalition

In this article Simon Wren-Lewis considers the fiscal policy innovations under the Coalition before discussing the choice of austerity. He argues that that choice was a policy mistake which is difficult to explain and has had significant costs for the UK. [A link to Wren-Lewis’s earlier paper on the fiscal policy of the last Labour government, free to view until the election, can be found on the Labour government page .]

When the Labour government came to power in 1997, it made the Bank of England independent, and introduced a new framework for aggregate fiscal policy. Most academic macroeconomists would view both changes as progressive, and in Wren-Lewis (2013) I argue that Labour’s fiscal rules and the transparency that went with them came close to best practice at the time. When the Coalition government came to power in 2010, it also introduced an important institutional reform: creating the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR). It too introduced a new framework for aggregate fiscal policy: their primary and secondary ‘fiscal mandates’. I would argue that, as with Labour, both changes can be seen as largely progressive.

There is a third similarity between 1997 and 2010. Both governments started with a tight fiscal policy. Labour promised to be more prudent than its predecessor, and the Coalition promised to reduce the deficit faster than Labour. However there was a key difference in the environment in which these pledges were made. In 1997 the economy was growing reasonably well, and interest rates were above 6%. In 2010 the recovery from the largest recession since WWII had only just begun, and interest rates were at their ‘Zero Lower Bound’ (ZLB): 0.5%.

This difference was crucial. The Coalition government’s policy of sharp fiscal consolidation reduced demand at a time when monetary policy could not reliably counteract this deflationary force, and as a result the recovery was delayed. Although fiscal austerity was to some extent put on hold in 2012, the damage had been done. A conservative estimate is that around 5% of GDP was lost forever as a result of this mistake, and it produced the slowest UK recovery on record. It is difficult to understand why this mistake was made and even more perplexing why the major party in the coalition is planning to make the same mistake again after 2015.

  1. The Office of Budget Responsibility

In my study of the Labour government’s fiscal policy record (Wren-Lewis, 2013), I noted that the years before the recession were characterised by over-optimistic fiscal forecasts. This, combined with fiscal rules that with hindsight were not ambitious enough, led to fiscal policy being a little too lax before the recession, although the impact on the deficit was dwarfed by the consequences of the subsequent recession . This over-optimism was an important motivation behind the Conservative plan to create a fiscal council for the UK: the OBR. Under the Coalition, fiscal forecasts were contracted out to the OBR, which would be independent of any political pressure to be over-optimistic.

Fiscal councils have become increasingly popular over the last ten years, but their role and form differ substantially from country to country (Calmfors and Wren-Lewis, 2011). A key question in setting up the OBR was whether it could be independent of government, even though it relied to a considerable extent on government departments for parts of its forecast. The OBR has inevitably made forecasting errors – all macro forecasters do – but there is no evidence that these errors have resulted from manipulation or pressure by government. In that sense the OBR has provided proof of concept.

In political terms the OBR also appears to have been a success, as both parties are talking about the possibility of extending its role. The opposition Labour Party wanted it to cost its post-election plans, and although the government has refused this particular request it has not ruled out this possibility for the future. George Osborne’s long term plans for fiscal policy also hint at a stronger role for the OBR. 

  1. Fiscal rules

The Coalition government introduced two fiscal rules to govern its decisions about aggregate fiscal policy. The primary fiscal mandate aimed to achieve cyclically adjusted current balance within five years, but where that target was rolling (i.e. the next year the target was still 5 years ahead). The secondary mandate was to have debt to GDP falling in 2015. This secondary mandate makes little sense in either theoretical or practical terms, and was abandoned. The primary mandate is more interesting.

Portes and Wren-Lewis (2014) argue that for a country like the UK where deficit bias is not endemic, and where there is an independent fiscal institution like the OBR, a rolling target for some measure of the deficit represents a good compromise between flexibility and effectiveness. It is flexible because it allows fiscal policy to respond gradually to shocks, but it is effective in achieving longer term goals for the debt to GDP ratio and allowing scrutiny by independent organisations. So the principles behind the Coalition’s primary fiscal mandate would have been sound if it had been implemented in normal times. The tragedy for the Coalition, and the UK economy, was that it was applied at the one time it should not have been: when interest rates were stuck at their ZLB.

Before discussing that point, we should make two additional points about the Coalition’s primary fiscal mandate. First, it targeted the current balance rather than the deficit, so it excluded public investment. (This may have been one of the reasons for the addition of a secondary mandate.) This gave the Coalition the option of keeping public investment high to support the recovery, an option which they did not take up: instead public investment was cut quite sharply. Second, the target was for the cyclically adjusted current balance 5 years ahead. While the 5 year period makes sense, it would be normal over such a long time horizon to assume that monetary policy would have returned the output gap to zero, making cyclical adjustment unnecessary.

  1. Austerity

In a speech delivered to the RSA in April 2009, George Osborne gave a short account of some history of macroeconomic thought, in which he said that the New Keynesian (NK) model underpinned his whole macroeconomic policy framework. In the basic NK model, monetary policy loses effectiveness when nominal interest rates hit zero, because nominal rates cannot fall further. In the UK they hit the ZLB at about the time he made that speech. In addition the same model says that if interest rates have hit their ZLB, a decrease in government spending will reduce demand and output with a multiplier greater than one.

Thus according to the model that underpinned George Osborne’s policy, fiscal austerity when interest rates are at their ZLB will substantially reduce output. So the Coalition, by introducing a more ambitious fiscal retrenchment than had been planned, was knowingly taking a large risk with the recovery. If the forecast outlined by the OBR in June 2010 proved too optimistic (and all macro forecasts are always subject to wide margins of error), then monetary policy would have to rely on the unconventional and untested tool of Quantitative Easing (QE) to put the recovery back on track.

As we now know, those downside risks came to pass. The OBR estimate that fiscal austerity reduced GDP growth by 1% in both 2010-11 and 2011-12. That means that by 2012 GDP was 2% lower than it could have been. Even if we make the extremely optimistic assumption that all of that lost growth was recovered in 2013, this means that during the first three years of the Coalition government 5% of GDP, or nearly £1,500 for each adult and child, was lost forever as a result of the austerity programme.

A counterargument sometimes made is that without austerity, any positive impact on GDP would have been offset by the MPC raising interest rates, because inflation rose sharply in 2011. This point does not excuse the policy mistake – high inflation was not anticipated in 2010 – but it could influence estimates of the cost of that mistake. I argue in Wren-Lewis (2015) that interest rates were unlikely to have been raised in 2010-11, and in addition that the OBR numbers already incorporate some monetary policy offset.

A cumulated GDP loss of 5% is probably a lower bound for the amount of resources wasted as a result of austerity. The OBR estimates assume multipliers that are based on past evidence, which includes periods where monetary policy was able to offset the impact of any fiscal change. Over this period interest rates were stuck at their lower bound, so monetary policy had to rely on the much more uncertain tool of QE. In this situation, multipliers are likely to be higher than any historic average, and for changes in public consumption and investment could easily exceed one.

If we apply a multiplier of 1.5 to the deviation from longer term trends in public consumption and investment over the first two years of the Coalition, the impact on GDP by the beginning of 2012 could be nearer 4% rather than the 2% estimated by the OBR. If we make the further assumption that this output loss has not been recouped subsequently (which at the ZLB also makes sense), then the cumulated output cost of austerity by the beginning of 2014 could be closer to 14% rather than 5% of GDP (Wren-Lewis, 2015b).

It is tempting to ascribe this policy mistake to a misreading of the Eurozone crisis of 2010, and the view of some at the time that austerity was required to avoid suffering the fate of the Eurozone periphery. (Subsequent events, and particularly the end of the crisis following the ECB’s introduction of OMT in September 2012, suggest the source of the crisis was the failure of the ECB to act as a sovereign lender of last resort.) A recent IMF evaluation (IMF, 2014) reaches exactly that conclusion about its own policy recommendations. However this view appears not to apply to George Osborne for three reasons.

First, unlike the IMF in 2009, he opposed fiscal stimulus when it was undertaken under the previous government. Second, public investment was cut back sharply in the first two years of the Coalition government, even though there was no requirement to do so coming from the Coalition’s own fiscal rules. Third, the Chancellor is proposing a further period of fiscal austerity after 2015, even though interest rates are still at the ZLB.

While it is difficult to find any economic rationale for why the fiscal austerity mistake was made, the consequences for the UK economy are not difficult to discern. In the 13 years of the Labour administration, GDP per head grew at an average rate of over 1.6%: the red line in the chart below. This was below the longer term average growth rate of 2.25% simply because this period includes the Great Recession. In the four years under the Coalition, growth in GDP per head has averaged just less than 1%. As the earlier calculations suggest, this exceptionally slow recovery is at least in part a result of fiscal austerity.

Chart 1 Growth in GDP per head (quarter on previous year’s quarter)

wrenlewiscoal1The original fiscal plan outlined in 2010 was to achieve cyclically adjusted current balance by 2015. No doubt as a response to the faltering recovery, this plan was abandoned in 2012, when the pace of deficit reduction slowed substantially. That the Chancellor was able to do this while still observing his primary mandate illustrates the flexibility of that mandate. 2012 and 2013 also saw the introduction of two schemes designed to stimulate the economy which are at the interface between monetary and fiscal policy: the Funding for Lending scheme, and the Help to Buy scheme. These may have contributed to a sustained recovery in GDP that began in 2013, such that GDP per head in 2014 probably grew at a rate close to its historic average.

  1. Conclusion

The Coalition government introduced two important fiscal policy innovations in 2010 that should be viewed as progressive: establishing the OBR, and adopting a primary fiscal mandate which would have been a good framework in normal times.

The tragedy for the Coalition, and the UK economy, was that the mandate was applied to implement a sharp fiscal contraction at the one time it should not have been, when interest rates were stuck at their ZLB. This was a decision that appeared to fly in the face of mainstream macroeconomic analysis, and – for the majority party in the Coalition at least – does not seem to be explained by unwarranted panic following the Eurozone crisis.

Unfortunately the impact of this mistake on the UK economy has been quite predictable, and helped create an unprecedentedly slow recovery from the Great Recession.


Calmfors, L and Wren‐Lewis, S (2011) ‘What should fiscal councils do?’, Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 26(68), pages 649-695, October.

IMF (2014) ‘IMF response to the financial and economic crisis’, Independent Evaluation Office, International Monetary Fund, Washington DC.

Portes, J and Wren-Lewis, S (2014)Issues in the Design of Fiscal Policy Rules’, Economics Series Working Papers 704, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

Wren-Lewis (2013) ‘Aggregate fiscal policy under the Labour government, 1997–2010’, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(1), pages 25-46, SPRING.

Wren-Lewis (2015) ‘The Macroeconomic Record of the Coalition Government’, National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 231(1), pages R5-R16, February.

Wren-Lewis (2015b) ‘The size of the recent macro policy failure’, Mainly macro blog post , 15th February: