The Business On... Adam Posen, Monetary Policy Committee member

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A lone voice no more?

Quite so. Adam Posen has voted for a return to the Bank of England's programme of quantitative easing since last November. He finally won the day last week when the Bank announced a £75bn cash injection and yesterday was over in the US enjoying a victory lap (or a speaking engagement as he would describe it).

Was he always so radical?

Steady now. Economists tend to shy away from labels like that. But it's true, the 45-year-old Harvard-educated professor was busy ruffling feathers almost as soon as he pitched up at the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street. In the midst of the banking crisis in 2009 he called for new taxes to curb future property booms.

What does the Bank think?

Well, some of his colleagues might be more comfortable with a more nuanced approach. Not that they're likely to get one from the American. Mr Posen was hired in part because of his extensive research into Japan's "lost decade" of economic malaise. He says what's needed to stave off a similarly gloomy outcome here is either monetary or fiscal stimulus (or both).

But what about inflation?

Don't be a doom-monger. When people like nobel laureate Paul Krugman opine that "people should be reading Adam Posen" during the crisis, it pays to listen.

Any other interests?

Well, the Massachusetts-born economist is married with no children. He's keen on cooking and eating out – on moving to the UK he developed a fondness for his local gastropub. He's also a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington DC.