The Business On... Martin Weale, Member of Bank of England's MPC
So, hawk or dove?
Surprisingly hawkish, as we see in the latest minutes of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). He has joined the perma-hawk Andrew Sentance in calling for a 0.25 percentage point rise in the bank rate immediately, which is rather against form. He is relatively new to the committee, appointed in July, but of strong and independent mind, as we see.
Why so unexpected, though?
Mr Weale used to run the respected National Institute for Economic and Social Research, the nation's oldest economic research body (founded in 1938) and, were such things to be viewed with any affection, its best loved. In his time there, he appeared to take the view that the economy had far too much spare capacity for inflation to pose much of a danger, and thus conformed to the Bank's conventional wisdom, as expounded by Mervyn King. Booming global commodity prices seem to have tipped the balance of his opinion, although one suspects that it was a marginal judgement.
Does he know what he's on about?
Yes, as much as any economist does. Mr Weale has an extremely distinguished track record as an academic, as a forecaster and researcher and as an adviser to Government, having served as one of Chancellor Ken Clarke's "wise men" back in the 1990s. Even by Bank standards, he has an unusually firm grip on economic history.
He's had a few, then again too few to mention. The biggest was calling the end of the recession too early.
What about Dr Banda?
In his youth Mr Weale did his bit for the developing world by serving as an economic adviser to the government of Malawi, then ruled by the unsavoury dictator Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, a man who used to feed his enemies to the crocodiles and pioneered the use of sheer boredom as a torture for political prisoners. Happily, Mr Weale survived his time in Africa. Threadneedle Street may be more treacherous.
From the blogs
A slight deviation from style this week and admittedly a bit weird, but at least I can finally say I...
Owen Howells is a DJ/producer who grew up in Australia but was born in the UK. He came back to the U...
Justice, the bedrock of our society is for sale under the Government’s latest plan to sell legal aid...
Take inspiration from the green-fingered brigade who have been showing off their creativity at the R...
Emergency landing at Heathrow sparks further controversy over London airport capacity
Unrest may spread across Europe, warns Red Cross chief
French government seeks to ban extreme right-wing group
BNP and EDL accused of attempt to fuel racial hatred after Woolwich terror attack
You want to get an Eton scholarship? All you need to do is answer four (not so simple) questions
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 3 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 4 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 5 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.