Edward Hadas is Economics Editor at Reuters Breakingviews. He joined Breakingviews in both 2004 and 2011, with a year in between at the Financial Times as Assistant Editor of the Lex column. Before becoming a journalist, he worked for 23 years as an equity analyst in Europe and the US. He has written a book, Human Good, Economic Evils: A Moral Approach to the Dismal Science (ISI Books, 2007), and a course-book about political philosophy for the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham. Edward has degrees from Columbia University, Wadham College, Oxford and the State University of New York at Binghamton. He has a website, edwardhadas.com. Follow Edward on Twitter @edwardhadas
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When they talk in Jackson Hole, central bankers will undoubtedly fret about prices. It’s a waste of time. Inflation and deflation rates are too low and stable to be a threat. The monetary authorities have more important worries: debt, reserves and managing rate rises.
Two of the nine members of the UK central bank’s rate-setting committee voted to increase rates. There is good evidence of job market tightening. But inflation is still falling. Markets don’t know which way to turn. Neither, it seems, does the BoE.
The world’s central bankers are discussing “labour market dynamics” at this week’s annual Jackson Hole conference. A good place to start is with the most widely-used monitor, the unemployment rate. It is well past its sell-by date. A “bad job index” would serve a better purpose.
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