Introduction and discussion at the Academy of Ideas Economy Forum ‘Globalisation in retreat?‘ held over Zoom on 4 April 2022.
Will the post-pandemic recovery continue? Why has the UK economy experienced such a long period of relative stagnation, with productivity barely growing for years? What, if anything, can be done to change this dynamic? How can living standards be boosted in more deprived areas? The Covid-related economic crisis is itself unlikely to ‘change everything’, but to what extent could it be the catalyst for accelerating economic changes already underway?
A recording of the online launch of Phil Mullan’s new book Beyond Confrontation: Globalists, Nationalists and Their Discontents.
Hosted by the Academy of Ideas Economy Forum on Wednesday 9 September 2020, chaired by Rob Lyons.
A short video from the author introducing Beyond Confrontation: Globalists, Nationalists and Their Discontents
Phil’s latest book Beyond Confrontation: Globalists, Nationalists and Their Discontents addresses the escalation of international rivalries – West-East, US-China and intra-Western – all of which have been amplified by the impact of the pandemic. In this short video posted on LinkedIn the author explains more about the book.
on SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2019, 10:00—11:30
With rising tensions between America, China and the EU – not to mention the reemergence of Russia on the international stage – many argue that the old, post-1945 world order is breaking down. Changes in international relations mean that the old rules and conventions no longer work. Some thinkers today anticipate a ‘Thucydides moment’. The great ancient historian wrote that the Peloponnesian war was inevitable because of the growth of Athenian power and the fear this caused in Sparta. Today, we could be on the same path as the old and new powers clash. How can we stop these tensions getting out of control? Is a peaceful transition to a new international settlement possible? Are the dominant Western responses helpful or inflammatory?
Phil spoke alongside Dr Philip Cunliffe, senior lecturer in politics and international relations, University of Kent; co-founder, The Full Brexit; author, Lenin Lives! Reimagining the Russian Revolution; Mary Dejevsky, former foreign correspondent in Moscow, Paris and Washington; special correspondent in China; writer and broadcaster; and Humphrey Hawksley, journalist; author, Man on Ice, Asian Waters and The Third World War; Asia specialist.
on SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2019, 12:00—13:00,
After the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, Western governments sanctioned emergency action to support their economies. As the president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, famously said in 2012, international institutions would do ‘whatever it takes’ to prevent financial meltdown. Central banks greatly eased monetary policy by cutting interest rates and launched emergency quantitative-easing programmes. This pumping of money into the economy succeeded in stabilising economic conditions and prevented the crisis deepening.
But critics argue that relatively little has been done since then to fix the underlying problems that precipitated the financial crisis in the first place. Have we failed to take the old advice, often ascribed to Winston Churchill, to ‘never waste a good crisis’?
Larry Elliott, economics editor of the Guardian talked to Phil about what we should do about the future of the UK economy.
Phil also chaired the session:
Angela Francis, chief advisor of economics and economic development, WWF; former chief economist, Green Alliance
Daniel Ben-Ami, journalist; author, Ferraris for All: in defence of economic progressand Cowardly Capitalism
Phil Mullan introduced the Battle of Ideas Salon on Monday 24 June 2019 at The Building Centre, 26 Store St, London.
With rising tensions between America, China and the EU – not to mention the reemergence of Russia on the international stage – many argue that the old, post-1945 world order is breaking down. The US and EU have major differences on issues as disparate as the Iran nuclear deal and whether to use Huawei’s equipment to build 5G networks. The EU is also split within, not just over migration and the fallout from the eurozone crisis, but over how to deal with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. There is nothing natural to the persistence of the existing international order. Just as Sparta felt threatened by rising Athenian power, so America, and the West in general, cannot expect to always be the dominant powers. But with tense relationships and bombastic populists, does that mean that a world war is on the horizon?
This Salon took a deeper look at what is driving the trade wars, the fears around China, the prevalence of Trump and the decline of Western dominance. Is a peaceful transition to a new international settlement possible? Can appeals to respecting the rules-based international order help, or is the existing international institutional setup inconsistent with a changed world?
8 February 2019, Spiked Podcast
The Guardian’s Larry Elliott and spiked’s Phil Mullan on Project Fear II.
Will a No Deal Brexit wreck Britain’s economy? Will it spark food and medicine shortages and civil unrest? Phil Mullan and Larry Elliott – two Brexit-backing economists – think not. They join Fraser Myers for this special edition of the spiked podcast, to take apart the elite scare stories and look to the bright economic and democratic future that is in reach.
A lecture at The Academy, 22 July 2018, a residential weekend produced by the Academy of Ideas.
Globalists see themselves as the peacekeepers through their advocacy of the values of liberalism, free trade, democracy and internationalism. Yet the actions of the institutions over which they preside seem to bring the opposite. They generate division and conflict both within nations and also between them.
So we have heightened polarisation within Brexit Britain, as well as within other leading European countries. Within the European Union, tensions have escalated both between north and south, and between west and east. And despite the claimed Macron-Trump bromance, trans-Atlantic conflicts are mounting too. Is all this an inevitable outcome of the globalist perspective that denies the effectiveness of national state policies?
Link to video here
The Carillion collapse
20 January 2018, Spiked Podcast
Phil Mullan on what the collapse of the Carillion company tells us about the state of zombie capitalism.
Link to podcast here (from 13 min 20 sec)
Phil Mullan delivers the Battle 2017 Lecture which explores the sluggish state of the Western economies and how we can create a better future. Low interest rates, corporate welfare and current regulatory practices foster corporate dependency and prolong economic stagnation. Unproductive, unprofitable firms are kept on life support when they need to make way for more productive, innovative ones. He argues that we need a great political and cultural change to deliver the radical economic restructuring that could lay the foundations for the next industrial revolution. The chair is Angus Kennedy.
Link to video here
Thursday 11 May 2017, at The Leeds Salon
Link to video here
‘Brexit Isn’t A Threat To The Economy, Doom-Mongering Is’
28 July 2017, Spiked Podcast
Phil Mullan on how Brexit could spark an economic renaissance.
Link to podcast here
Book launch: Creative destruction – How to start an economic renaissance, London
3 April 2017, The Building Centre, Store Street, London WC1
Link to audio recording here
In this special Bookshop Barnie, Phil Mullan discuss his latest book, Creative Destruction: How to Start an Economic Renaissance, with Austin Williams, director of the Future Cities Project.
“While governments talk of rebalancing the economy, Mullan talks about a fourth industrial revolution; but a revolution that doesn’t prioritise holding onto jobs, but “lets the low-productivity parts of the economy go”. Discuss.
As Mullan puts it, we have “a zombie economy that is being propped up to ensure the semblance of life.” So is it time to turn off the life support, or continue CPR?”
Organised in association with The Building Centre and the IoI Economy Forum.
What’s next for the economy post-Brexit?
1 November 2016
British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) Annual Business Insight Day panel
Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOCW18GZh4o
Andrew Smith, Chief Economic Adviser for the Industry Forum, author and economist Phil Mullan, Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute Sam Bowman and Rosa Wilkinson, a director at the Department for International Trade discuss what’s next for the economy post-Brexit. Chaired by BESA director Patrick Hayes.
‘8 years after 2008’
24 February 2016
Lord Meghnad Desai and Phil Mullan – Brighton Salon debate
Link to video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC4ercVJIa0
8 Years after the Great Recession are we any closer to an economic recovery? This was the question debated by the Brighton Salon on the 24th of February at the Friends Meeting house.
The UK economy after Brexit: sink or swim?
23 October 2016
Institute of Ideas festival, Barbican
The vote to leave the European Union stunned the world’s economic experts, politicians and economic officials. Voters were told that leaving the EU would hit the UK economy hard, with the only question being over what future trade arrangements might be made with the EU. But when it comes to future prosperity, is there too much focus on trade relationships? Should we really be worrying about problems closer to home? In this incredibly engaging debate filmed at the Battle of Ideas, speakers and audience share vital insights. A rare chance to hear the serious discussion politicians have avoided.
The speakers include: Daniel Moylan, former deputy chairman of Transport for London, Conservative Councillor, co-chairman, Urban Design London; Phil Mullan, economist and business manager, author, Creative Destruction: How to start an economic renaissance; Merryn Somerset Webb, Editor in Chief, MoneyWeek; Andreas Wesemann, partner, Ashcombe Advisers LLP, author, The Abolition of Deposit Insurance. The chair is Rob Lyons, science and technology director, Institute of Ideas, convenor, IoI Economy Forum.
Can we manufacture a new economy?
17 October 2015
Institute of Ideas festival, Barbican
While the UK economy has recovered from the economic crisis, few would argue that the recovery is built on strong foundations. Wages are only just starting to rise in real terms after a number of years of decline. Economic output remains weak compared to previous recoveries, and the state is still spending almost £90 billion a year more than it receives in tax. A particular concern for economists is low productivity – the amount of wealth produced by each worker – which is well below that of other countries and 15 per cent below where it would have been if pre-crisis trends had continued.
Yet across the main political parties there seems little vision of how the UK economy could look different in five, 10 or 20 years’ time. The chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, has made much play about the creation of a ‘northern powerhouse’. The HS2 railway has cross-party support, but many are sceptical about its economic potential. Beyond this, there seems little sense of how the economy could be transformed. Indeed, many new industries with the potential to revolutionise the UK economy – like fracking, nuclear power and biotech – have faced considerable resistance.
In 2014, the Wright Report, an independent report commissioned by the Labour Party, called for ‘a modern, active industrial policy’ that was not about ‘government “picking winners”, investing in large companies, or trying to plan the economy’ but focused on ‘improving the environment in which companies operate, recognising the positive influence that government can have, and working together to tackle the challenges’. These included barriers to investment, the overall load of taxation and the lack of skilled workers, all still serious problems. That said, there are causes for optimism. In certain sectors, productivity has risen sharply in recent years. Productivity in car manufacturing is high, while in aircraft engine manufacturing and financial services, the UK is a world leader. Moreover, the UK’s universities offer excellent capacity for research and development.
If UK businesses can be excellent in some arenas, why is the UK apparently so unproductive overall? What are the barriers to a new and innovative economy? Why is new business investment so low? Do we need a bout of creative destruction, making painful choices about leaving some areas of economic activity behind, in order to allow new sources of wealth creation to flourish?
Frances Coppola, associate editor, Pieria, contributor to Nesta’s Our Work Here is Done, exploring the frontiers of robot technology
Katie Evans, economist, Social Market Foundation
Phil Mullan, economist; director, Epping Consulting business advice; author, The Imaginary Time Bomb
Bauke Schram, business reporter, International Business Times UK
Mike Wright, executive director, Jaguar Land Rover
Chair Rob Lyons, science and technology director, Institute of Ideas