Aldenham School, Founded 1597

Chief Economist of the Bank of England speaks to Business Society

The Aldenham Business Society was delighted to welcome as their guest speaker, Mr Andy Haldane, the Chief Economist from the Bank of England. Mr Haldane, voted TIME magazine Top 100 most influential people in the world, is one of the nine members who works with the Governor of the Bank to decide what the base rate of interest should be. As a result, this makes Mr Haldane one of the most important and influential people in the United Kingdom.

With those studying economics and business along with members of staff and selected members of Les Philosophes present, Mr Haldane spoke of the history of the bank and its monetary policy operations to the present day. He started by explaining how lucky the students are to be studying Economics in the current climate when the biggest opportunity to re-think the economy is right now. We are living in a time of unprecedented global economic turmoil with interest rates in the UK at their lowest for at least 5,000 years. He covered the financial crisis of 2008 and how economics and macroeconomic policy is currently in unchartered territory. The Chief Economist went on to explain that this recession will almost certainly be harder to recover from than the Great Depression of the 1930s which had hitherto been considered to be the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialised world. The challenge now is to find ways of stabilising the economy. “It is a time for changing rules and changing policy too,” he said.

Speaking to an attentive audience of Sixth Form students Mr Haldane touched on the difficulties of predicting the peaks and troughs of the housing market, pensions, the next interest rate moves and the likely effects of Brexit on the economy. It must be remembered that since the mid-1940s the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased 2% p.a; each generation has therefore been one third better off than the previous. He then fielded questions from an inquisitive audience for over half an hour.

It was a fascinating talk and we are immensely grateful to Mr Haldane for giving up his time to visit us. The legacy of his lecture will continue in our classrooms for many weeks to come.

Interesting note: Aldenham School had already been around for almost 100 years when the Bank of England was founded back in 1694.

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