Hi, everybody, and welcome to another small talk, and this is the second time we've talked about Coronaviruses, the impact on the UK economy, I'm delighted to be able to welcome Professor Baback Yazdani, Dean of Nottingham Business School and from your team, Trent University back. To join me again. We let us discuss this. When we were 50 days into lockdown, I hate to tell you but when our 100 days into lockdown, he knew, hey, so, and there's been an awful lot happened since then so we get to catch up on where things have got T and but we have a new guest with us today as well, which I'm delighted about, which is Professor ..., who is the dean of Lauren in London and also an expert in economics. So, we're in very good hands today and we'll, we'll also share thoughts as we go along about where we're up to. And, it's probably worth pointing out, however, because things are changing very, very quickly, that we're recording this on Monday, the 29th of June.
We obviously had some update from the government over the weekend giving us a bit of a teaser, I suppose, about the fact they intend to use infrastructure investments to help the UK economy out of the recession or potential depression that we're going into. And, of course, there is a big announcement from the government in the Commons tomorrow on Tuesday, and we won't have heard that by the time we're at the time we're recording this. So, let us safer if our crystals or any good? Well, it may or may not happen. So I'm sorry if I can just start firstly with you back if you wouldn't mind just doing a quick introduction And also if you could give us just a bit of an insight about how the University is doing at the moment.
Great thanks very much and Sarah I'm really happy to be back on your talk.
I really enjoyed the first one, so great to see you again. As you mentioned, Professor Rebecca is the theme of nothing on business school at nottingham trent University, which is famous for its connectivity to business. And particularly for being leaders, an experiential learning and personalization with an outstanding record for all our 6.5 thousand students who become really employable in the labor market for what they've studied.
Lockdown has been strange, But all of our colleagues have really reacted, and I've done a remarkable transformation to high quality learning teaching in the crisis stage and I can report that we've worked very hard to help our students achieve the best results that they can, and as we speak now, we are going through the final stages of their undergraduate degrees at the moment.
And I think they are doing extremely well. I feel really lucky that our team has shown such resilience and grit. Our research has also done extremely well. We've had some of the first corvids related SRC related grants, for example, on the impacts of the charity. and the third sector.
As well as the stuff that we've talked about in the previous one that we do impact of coal with, on the economy of the Netherlands engineer area.
Which you can find on the website if you search for Midlands' Energy.
So to that, yeah, it'd be really get to talk to you in a second, how are things going with you? Obviously in London with the ... connection as well.
So yeah, so I'm a Professor of Economics at the University of Zurich.
And last four years being developing works activity in London, around a range of disciplines.
But just to put your question in context, the University in connecting with WebEx comments about Nottingham Trent, has done really well over the last few months in terms of putting a lot of teaching online. A lot of assessment online, Well, everything online I'm really proud of how the University of Warwick. And I know this is the case for all. Our universities have come through this to make sure that our students still get what they need to get into the teaching and assessment.
And, of course, and graduating in London, we had a little bit of activity, we had to cancel some of the short courses that we ran, But we still ran some courses online over this period. So I would say that while the University at work has really done well, given these horrible conditions that not just work but the whole country, the whole world is facing and depressing news that we've been seeing day in and day out of. So many deaths, not just in the UK, again, across across the world.
So, yes, that's the summary, Sarah on on how Oregon has been key, and, and I know people would have heard me talk about this before.
But, I remain incredibly impressed about human resilience and what people have had to deal with and how well, people have had to deal with things into pressure and move mountains and make changes that they perhaps never thought they could make. And it doesn't surprise me at all that T T. Fantastic Midlands universities, like, like the to the representative, managed to rise to that challenge, as well. So, that you referenced the Midlands Engine report. I know you've been doing this research alongside Birmingham, which is obviously another one of our great Midlands universities. Now onto your fifth report, obviously several months into Lockdown. one of the last things we talked about was the fact that the prediction was for the maintenance to be hit by about 40%, which was slightly higher than the national average, which is not great. What are you finding now that you've done? I think when we spoke, you've probably done your first piece of research. What are the current findings of the headlines that we're hearing about the region at the moment? I think it's on the whole similar, because we are slightly behind the rest of England.
I think most of the measures, you talking about it a bit harder. I say particularly with the manufacturing sector, the major parts of our manufacturing capabilities such as Rolls Royce and Jaguar Land Jewel, of course there's immediate supply chains are based in the middle.
Of course, they've been in a shutdown. They've just recently started to run the NGA again. So, they are just getting going. And on the whole, the manufacturing sector has been a bit, hit, a bit harder. So, the employment picture, and all the other economic indicators, as a result of that are also a little bit behind the rest of England, and of course, about a month ago, and this data came, but the April and showed, the UK economy. I'm just on a steep decline, of course, we knew this because major parts of the economy had been closed.
So, the data really confirm what we knew is going to happen, if we just didn't know the exact size of what does happen. And so I think that will continue. And last time we spoke, we spoke about a V shape, or a U shape, or no shape, potential the recovery. I think the V shape is now. People are thinking that the bishop is not going to happen. It's going to be a much slower rate of recovery. And when I talk to a lot of businesses, again, the reflection of that is in that report.
Because that report is compiled to discussions and measurements of what is happening in businesses.
So the sentiment of purchasing directors, sentiments of other indicators show that commitment slightly behind an employment picture is further behind, and employment will be six to 10% lower by the end of this year, That's the prediction that is happening.
Of course, these are all a little bit finger in the air for addictions because we don't really know how people will behave when, things open up, when you look at what's happened in bournemouth, for example.
You think, OK. Now, this is not what we thought will happen is rubbish at the moment. So that's not how People will behave like a pent up demand that actually spikes, but on the whole I think there will be a slightly more flattened recover it.
And, of course, then we have these other complications of the potential regional shut down. Suddenly, as we speak, Lester is on the question.
And that may have parts of listed all of Leicester. You don't exactly know what's going to happen. It, contact tracing.
Hopefully, if there are things, flare and Go, they'll be controlled more locally, rather than regionally or nationally.
Say, I don't know if you've got any context or comments you want to add about the Midlands, but sitting in your university, obviously, in the discipline and function that you sitting in the University, What what types of research or collaborations have you seen that starts to give us further insights into what the economic predictions could be?
This is a great question across the world, at war canals were trying to address that question about what policies to deploy.
And so on, I mean, one thing that I will say is, this, is that the, whether it's a V shaped, or W shaped, or U shaped recovery will depend on a number of factors, in particular, as I think, it pointed out, on how we come out of this health crisis.
So, for example, if there's a second wave and its huge, it'll have adverse impact on any kind of economic recovery. So, everything is subject to a second wave. And how we come out, we're not out completely yet, Of course. We're not, We're just beginning to come out.
What is important is that the economy is opened up, which, across the world, economies are being opened up.
Um, the, what is good to see right from the beginning is the government, recognizing these are unprecedented times in terms of everything, not just economies for people's lives.
You know, the fact that we had a contraction in UK GDP by 20% in April, is crazy stuff. That's never happened in living memory, but, Yeah, I mean, in the context, women, at the moment, was that a surprise? It wasn't a surprise, but, the point is that it is a huge number that we didn't expect that too much. We expected a huge amount, maybe 15 40 percent, as Bob pointed out of, a calming activity was closed down.
But given the context of unprecedented times, these are lots of governments, including this government, are basically pumping in resources.
The policy response has to be unprecedented. I say, unprecedented times call for unprecedented policy responses and in particular, it means governments need to spend. In terms of economic Sarah, I would say the parameters have shifted up. So that's not worrying, for example, about inflation inflation is 1%.
Right now let the target go to 4% over the next 12 months.
That might be a cost worth paying.
In order to, for example, finance the spending that the prime minister is going to announce on Tuesday by even if it comes to print money, we're not there yet in the Autumn in the spring. They need to print money. I would be one of the Economist, say, do it, within reason, within the credibility. But I think these are unprecedented time, and that's happening.
I see, as well as you mentioned earlier, you know, on Sunday, he announced he's going to house on Tuesday, that he's going to double down, Prime Minister leveling up spending on schools like infrastructure on building a you name it. And I would be one of those economists saying, great, go ahead.
Do not worry about the fact, for example, the debt to GDP ratio is going to go to 120% doesn't bother all. Those kind of roles. Those fiscal rules need to be parked.
So that's what I think the government is doing. The US. Is doing that to some extent, and the world as a whole needs to come together is really crucial.
The wires. The wires ends up in Africa, which does right now and we'd get rid of any in England.
We need to worry about the rest of the world needs to be eradicated from the whole globe for us to feel safe and that'll take five years. Yeah, and I couldn't agree more with a sense of collaboration. I was dismayed and to be fair, I think we've got better. But I was dismayed in the early days when I was having countries talking about the race, to find a vaccine in order for that country to be the ones you'd get the accolade of. You know, this is short sighted, isn't it, Absolutely right. If we don't work collaboratively to crush this and also to reset the global economy, then we will suffer, albeit, maybe it's slightly different times. Of course, this all becomes incredibly political, and I don't want to go down that route. But, you know, I also think it's a time to put politics to one side and to get a new level of co-operation to help this happen anyway. You touched on something, which, which I mentioned about that briefly. Last time we talked, and I just By sheer coincidence. And so, I'm a little bit of an economics geek, but when you and I know about 2%. So, There was something starting to bother me.
A few months ago that traditional, if there is any such thing as traditional icon omics, may need to rewrite a complete rewrite. It just feels like the rules of the game a bit like leadership at the moment. The rules of the game. I think we have almost making some of the stuff as we go along, because there is no blueprint here. There's nothing we can go back to history and say this is exactly like this are exactly like this and I came across a professor from Oxford type More with he'd written a book called Doughnut Economics and she was to certain extent. I think ahead of her time with that I don't know if you've come across it But she was saying we far better now needs to look at economics within the confines of the limited resources we have on the planet. So, she was starting to go down that route. Of course, What you've just said, and I agree with it for what it's worth, which, we need to throw out all of those rules. The problem is, How does this resolve itself long-term? How do we, you know, everything we need to do? now? Short-term. Just want to say a few words about.
I've spent hours talking about these sort of issues.
First point, at the beginning, you made the point about the world. We're not there yet. The world is still fighting and people are not co-operating, and there's a reason for that. There's no institutions, you know, leadership, you know, the US and so on.
So we are still not at that point whereby the world is coming together to solve these problems, and their own countries are still inward looking, and dealing with an internal problems. So one big question to think about how do we get international co-operation going soon, and we need new institutions for that. So Park, that point aside. You know, Boris wants to be a cop 26, the Climate Change Summit in Delayed now back. We honor the opportunity to think, in a collaborative way. We're not there, Just look around what's happening in the world. It's horrible.
In terms of economics, your point about economics is different.
When the crisis happened in 7, 8, people talk about economics will change, fundamentally.
It hasn't across all major universities. The mainstream is still the mainstream.
However, what is also true?
Lots of top departments in bring work, We have the kinds of topics and thinking that talks about in behavioral economics is much more part of the mainstream now than it was 10 years ago.
And what I want to say, what I haven't met, Kate, I know of her work, what I would want to say, Sarah, is, we need to not throw the baby with the bathwater. Millimeter, hmm.
There are lots of people, mainly on the left, want to do that. There are lots of people on the policy, right? Or let's say on the mainstream who want to not go anywhere. No, where these people are talking about.
I think we need to be pragmatic, but it's true that covert 19 has accelerated a new paradigm. We need a New, May, not, May not chains invented macro after World War II. Yeah. The world is waiting for a paradigm shift. Then, you have change. The way the disciplines and research, and Department of Economics across all departments work, the more change incrementally.
So, since, oh, seven, last 10 years, things have changed incrementally to a big ship. We need a new way to think about the world. By the one good thing you like, is that the way economics and social sciences are changing, is by connecting with each other.
So as you bring other disciplines together to solve problems, the health crisis requires a multi-disciplinary approach.
With a lot of research councils, you know the ref, ref is called the research assessment exercise of older. You know, that needs to focus more on impact.
It's still the case. The Riff that's going to take place is still disciplinary focus.
but change is happening in the right direction.
I'm hoping that cope with 19 would accelerated in the way you're thinking about.
Some new way to think about the economy more holistically, more systems oriented approach, which is not the mainstream, Yeah. And it is, And forgive me, this is, this is, again, a lay person talking here, but it strikes me that there's something forgive me. This is an obvious thing to say really between macro and micro economics. I think there's so many variations across so many different sectors in so many different reasons to try and Malcolm enter into a single macro and say it's a V or A W or something like it's almost irrelevant. It's almost irrelevant. I just think there's something that we can't quite get our arms around yet, which is somewhere in the middle, but that's right, There's variation.
So moving on, We've also got the threat shifting, No deal. Brexit that is not getting anything like the level of our time. Of course, it would be getting if, if, you know, I saw a cartoon at one stage saying that initial guy sitting in front of a TV saying, goodness, I miss Brexit, I'm watching the coronavirus use. If we didn't have coronavirus, I suspect all of our time or TVs are commentators would be all over the No deal. Brexit imputation. It's hardly getting and looking what, what is your view on that at the moment, and what is your advice to businesses who are not only facing the ... crisis, but the threat of that, The real threat of that as well. Yeah, and I think the code with crisis will have masked the effects of Brexit to an extent, and massive government intervention that is in flow today, was also forced by Kuwait and we never really know what would have been happening otherwise.
And in the long run, we will also see the less connectivity with the Europe because I think the way the government is speaking or the things developing with the deadline looming is that we are going to end up in what is termed as a hard Brexit or no deal Brexit which proved to have quite a serious impact on the flow of goods.
And the flow of goods is important to all of our sectors, but particularly the manufacturing sector. And that is one big dimension, then, it's the flow of people and talent.
That's another quite important, particularly for universities, by the way, that exchange it with talent across the academy, but also talent across the student body. So the universities of just been told that the European students will no longer be treated as home students from a couple of years time. And the OK, we have time to adjust.
But actually that deprives our own students here from interacting with the great minds of Europe, in more close proximity. So these things are barriers. They're not insurmountable. None of these are going to stop us doing what we are doing. They just make it a little bit more difficult. Yeah, every sector facing, a little more difficulty getting effectively in economic terms, it increases the cost of doing that work and it reduces effectively our productivity.
But, you know, the people are, as you mentioned earlier, are very resilient and very clever. Therefore, we will find ways of doing things even more imaginatively. And when crises does happen, everything accelerates. And, you know, their economic theories about Schumpeter and all of this talk about these accelerations. And it is true to a certain extent.
When you have a crises, lot of people are putting lots of mind to solving similar problems. And you are talking about, for example, international collaborations. I read in the FT this morning that China has given approval for a vaccine to be used in its military.
I think it's an early stages of that, but they may be ahead of us in terms of the new vaccine. At, imagine if there's an effective vaccine developed in China. Are we going to sit here and say, Oh, we don't want that because it's Chinese, or are we going to say, Let's collaborate and get it to all over the world?
So that is absolutely important.
Of course, the vice versa should also apply. So we did our Oxford colleagues or Imperial colleagues are going to come up with an effective tool. We need that science and business to work together to make this globally available.
As we can see, we have just past the very large number of people in the world being affected by this.
And, previously, we used to say, in economic terms, as, if the US cuffs, everybody catches a cold, now, China has called them. They've cultivated. Because what's happening is this massive interconnectivity, no matter how many nationalistic forces are at play?
This is a force that is not going to go away. So, this is really interesting, isn't it? And you read some of the commentators talking about whether this is the end of globalization. I mean, obviously, I'm talking now both in the context of the virus, but also if, as you put it, the barriers that are being put up between us and our European colleagues, do you think there will be a shift to local supply chains? Or do you think the global forces will still went through?
So they'll slow down. So the globalization will slow down, but globalization has always be there throughout human history. Yeah.
And, therefore, it will continue.
It may slow down or the next few years. And certain supply chains like, on MOS will produce locally, to be safe. On most goods, it will be where things are cheap. And one thing that we haven't mentioned in this conversation is technological change. We're going through the fourth industrial revolution. Yes, that is the key driver that no one can stop and that's going to drive everything along, including globalization.
Um, the point about Brexit, by the way, you know, I know this is a great interest and importance to us all in the UK.
There's something called, I don't know whether you in law firms know about deadline affect in negotiations.
So one of the deadline and negotiations, you probably know, Sarah, is, that basically deals are made, at the 11th hour, absolutely.
one of my areas of interest, I'm confident, and I was confident last time, that deal will be made, and it was made at the 11th hour. It happens in a courtroom negotiations. It happens to labor negotiations. It happens in all sorts of negotiations. Now, does that mean that I'm putting 100% probability? The deal is going to be reached on the end of November early December, with a small probability will get a No deal, and therefore, I would be advising.
Firms across the country, prepare now, for a no deal scenario.
But, But, but with the expectation, that, That Investment in a no deal may not need, to be no waste, but you can't not expand it to be prepared. And that is the unfortunate thing, going to put money, or something that hopefully will not happen. But the world, on the, the, the, the, the final point on the, on the on the Brexit thing is that, it goes back up.
Box point is not cope with 19 crisis, Is interesting, in the, in that, it has got the government spending more mm. And therefore, the masking of the adverse effects of Brexit might be, might be happening.
But still, A lot of uncertainty for businesses in the UK people.
So linked to that, if I may, just just to check another, another idea into the debate here, and business confidence. Now this is very nebulous thing, isn't it? And we can we can either decide to adopt a confident mindset or decide to adopt a very negative mindset. I'm a big believer that if we, as businesses try to be sensible, obviously pragmatic, but keep investing, we will talk the economy yet, we will talk confidence up, and it will become a. virtuous circle, How much do you think business confidence can help with this?
This is Cain's's main idea.
Yeah, this gives me an idea and government are meant to pump money and the Keynesian spending is all about in a way propping up confidence.
And it has business.
Confidence is a key parameter, an economic recovery, and a current performance. So you hit the nail head.
And the question is, therefore the hard question is how do you get business confidence coming up. That's the hard question. But the mechanics of certainty isn't it Certainty. And it's very difficult for anybody to give any certainty other than, I guess as you said before, with some of the response that the Government is trying to pump in at the moment to help people, even just, for example, the extension of the scheme, three to October gave further certainty, and I think that's hugely important to stay stay. But I was talking about Cubic Tuesday statement about Boris is all about business confidence.
But there's, obviously business governance matters a lot, and business wants to do business. So it will find a way of doing its work, despite all the conditions that are there.
And that is about not being in sort of mode of risk analysis, book mode of resilience. I guess what we can actually do. So for example, just take our own case, we are now, we have more unknowns than we used to have before. So for example, what are the students are going to do after they get the results? How many of them, or what percentage of them may want to defer to the following? Rather than now what our international students are going to do, these are going to impact our business directly. So what do we do as universities, which are in the business of education, OK? We are not private businesses, but we are businesses.
So what we are doing, we are taking measures today, to sort of prove that we can withstand the different pressures that may prevail at the time that it all learns.
So, we've cut our costs a little bit at the moment. We are holding to our investments a little bit, what are we going to do?
If scenario A happen, then, what are we going to do if scenario be happen? So we are holding investments.
I know the point you made, at least have been a point you made the point about. I think it was Donald Rumsfeld who made this point about known unknowns. That is that's the point you made and that's fine.
We can manage known, unknown problem is as he pointed out the unknown. Unknowns. So we can't manage, I think in the we're still.
so I think right now, we're still in a world where there are some unknown unknowns OK, I think until we come out to a Phase in a few months time. Where all the unknowns are known. So you can put risks so you can put probabilities the expectations.
And then I think we will come out of what's, you know, there's a, there's a new book by the Governor of Bank of England and John K ex governor called Radical Uncertainty.
Should come out of it and again, it's about it's in the spirit of unknown unknowns.
That is where we were in April, May for sure, we don't know what's going to happen.
I think once we move into the unknown unknowns will be, it will still be lots of nodes, but basically, and it will be difficult to estimate. The probabilities of the store numbers still be a World we can manage. Yeah. Yeah, I think that's why we want to come to Just want to pick on your point. That's the approach exactly this approach we are taking. So, for example, we can plot about 100 different scenarios of what percentage of students might do X, Y, or Z, Or businesses may do, what customers are. Internal features won't know which ones you want to apply or not. What we do know, going from risk analysis to resilience, is that what we will take the worst possible case and see what we have to do to withstand that.
And then respond accordingly to whatever lands.
And that's what we've been doing, and businesses will do the same because they asked, I, I feel very strongly. And as, you know, ... about the collaboration between business and between business and academia and the public sector, and the fact that we will need to collaborate our way through this, not just as businesses together, again, not to think of ourselves puting competition with each other, but make the cake Baker said that will benefit. So, that will come out of this, and this is a very strong time to that. And I did write an article recently called The New Abnormal where I said we must aspire to going backwards at all, we must take all the things we want to improve and be better about it and see if we can bring them into the new the new abnormal. I also just about the Publisher subsequent article talking about being a pebble. So, I'm going to invite you to be pebbles in a second gentlemen. And what I mean by that is, we, we all need to, we could spend a huge amount of time with a very big bureaucratic process at that moment. Trying to join everybody up, arguing about words, arguing about who's playing, which row, or we can all broadly meeting the same direction sewing or pebbles in the pond.
If you go is mine ... and the Ripple will become big, and we're back into that virtuous circle again. So, I guess I've got two questions for you. The first one is, if I was asking you, let's, let's just say, you can pick whether you want to be the Governor of the Bank of England or the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This is my gift fee for the next year.
So if you are either a, what would be the pebble that you would throw at the moment, into the palms, to create the biggest vehicles to try and try and take us out of this. Well, if you had to do one big thing, what would it be? So, I won't pebble. I would want to be talking regularly with Babak, the Bank of England co-ordination.
And I want to spend like, no tomorrow.
And I want babak to help me do that by printing some money.
So my plan for the next 12 to 24 months of this country is to spend like no tomorrow, and be quite relaxed about financing it by printing money, but all within broader parameters. So there's credibility is maintained with the market's. Absolutely critical for me. I want to stretch it. It's the pebble I would throw. would be that. And then I expect the state supporting the businesses, the people.
The way it ought to do it ought to be doing.
Don't go along with that, though, I agree.
I think you what's important at this moment is overwhelming intervention.
So it has to be overwhelming. So half-hearted stuff will freak them out Arkansas.
And, therefore, it needs to be. So when we had the 78 crises, if you look at what was the phrase used in the phrase by ABC and the Bank of England, and all the rest of them, was, we will do whatever it takes.
IE, we are going to back this, we're going to print money, we're going to quantitative easing, or whatever the terminology is to make sure that the economy doesn't seize up. And the same applies today. It has to be that the government will do whatever it takes. And Look, Bank of England, for example, is an independent agency, and does its own decision making, but it is in the same pump, then it needs, And for anybody, he says, well, that's all well and good, but we're going to get ourselves into an enormous amounts of debt, what would you, what would your response be to that? There are techniques, and of course, actually, Bank of England can do this, you can spread, which amazing, many, many, many years, and therefore is the thing.
So we've all going to end up on the other side of this in a different state and the strongest state. I think the interest rates are low. Interest rates are low. Servicing the debt is pretty cheap.
Of the key point is this: This country is the fifth largest economy in the world which tools are this economy strong for the future income flow of this economy or the next 20 years? A solid it can borrow against that 20 to 50 year?
Yeah, GDP? That's the point if you're a poor country.
I would not say what I did set in terms of policy was asked to keep one lakh answers your question about we will borrow to the extent that our future, next 50 years will allow us. So, there is a limit. I've got one more question that I need to ask both of you now. Bob, I ask you the same question last time, I don't know if you remember your response. But I said one word. describes how you're feeling right now about the crisis and how you'd like to fill in 12 months time. So, I'm going to put you on the spot first, which gives a little bit longer to think about what his words, all, how you feel about it, now how you hope to fill in 12 months. Time, I said last time was being calm because we calmly manage the crisis with and today we are still calm. But now we are in the more trips to the stage, to a new word would be transformation.
So what we're going to do anyway, in the long term, we have accelerated. So we are now entering the transformation, if the state. So transformation is my new world.
Excellent, Thank you.
I think we're at a point where I want to be able to say hopeful hope. That's what I am right now. I'm hopeful.
But future, thank you. Say, I can't thank you enough, genuinely. I could see here chatting for another half an hour property, to be honest, 2 or 3 hours if we all have the time, but thank you so much. It's an absolute pleasure to talk to both of you. I really hope that anybody listening to this will share the same sense of hope, and transformation and business confidence that I'm starting to feel, and it will be what we make of it. We adopt the mindset, and certainly I think the three of us sounds like we're going to adopt the optimistic mindset and make it so, So thank you very much.