Visiting speaker: Gertjan Vlieghe, on highs and lows for a Bank of England economist

Senior School

Dr Gertjan Vlieghe gave a talk to Economics students from JAGS, the Charter School and Alleyn’s on 6 December. He combined the story of his own career, coming from Belgium, where he took his undergraduate degree, to go to the LSE and to then work as an economist in the Bank of England for 7 years between 1998 and 2005, and then move into the private sector. His main motivation is to think about the whole economy, and not just one part of it, which led him to be appointed in 2015 to the Monetary Policy Committee.

He talked about how the credit crunch had changed his perspective. He made a spirited defence of very low interest rates, saying that only 2% of the population really suffer from them. He was concerned about the implications of the ageing population for the UK population, showing a long term perspective beyond this month’s interest rate decision. He said that his job was to communicate the reasons for the interest rate decisions of the Bank, as well as to make them, and he certainly did just that.

Mr Tom Hamilton-Jones

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