The International Monetary Fund says Brexit would either be pretty bad or very bad. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development warns that there would be dire consequences not just for Britain, but for the rest of the world. The Bank of England says output would go down and inflation would go up. As far as George Osborne and David Cameron are concerned, the evidence could not be clearer. A vote to leave in the referendum would be a self-inflicted wound. They think they have won the economic argument, which is why the Brexiters are now focusing on immigration. … [Read more...] about Brexit forecasters miss everything that matters to real voters
“The problem for policymakers is that ex ante it is difficult to know where the inflection point is, and that strengthens the case for erring on the side of caution. That’s why the last government set a debt rule of 40% of GDP and the current one is seeking to get debt on a downward path.” … [Read more...] about Labour overspending did not trigger financial crash, says senior civil servant
"Those nations who trade in raw materials are the ones that are poor. Those that actually trade in value-added products are the ones that are rich," Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, explained. But as African economies will be able to cooperate more closely, he hopes companies will create more elaborate value chains to produce higher-quality goods. … [Read more...] about Davos: Africa boosts free trade while global barriers go up
First, the good. Quinoa is the grain-like seed of a plant in the goosefoot family (other members include spinach, chard, and the wonderful edible weed lambs quarters), and its appeal is immense. Twenty years ago, NASA researchers sung its praises as potential astronaut chow, mainly for its superior nutrient density. No less an authority than the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization hails it as "the only plant food that contains all the essential amino acids, trace elements and vitamins and contains no gluten." The FAO is almost breathlessly enthusiastic about quinoa—it has declared 2013 the International Year of Quinoa and even runs a Facebook fan page for it. … [Read more...] about Quinoa: good, evil, or just really complicated?
Sport British athletics is in its worst state for 60 years having largely squandered the golden legacy of London 2012, one of the sport’s most decorated coaches has warned. World Athletics will not be imposing a blanket ban on the controversial hi-tech Nike Vaporflys that have transformed athletics when it announces its long-awaited decision on shoe technology on Friday. Aston Villa’s Trézéguet scored a stoppage-time winner to beat Leicester 2-1 on the night and win the Carabao Cup semi-final 3-2 on aggregate. The home of Ed Woodward was attacked on Tuesday night in a sickening escalation in the tensions between the Manchester United executive vice-chairman and supporters. United are close to agreeing a deal for Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes that will cost a basic €55m (£46.5m) fee plus €25m more in add-ons. … [Read more...] about Wednesday briefing: Escape from Wuhan