Howard Davies: The government ought to focus on productivity

NatWest Group's chairman ponders productivity, unemployment and income inequality.

by Howard Davies

I haven’t done most of the things I promised myself I would do during the lockdown. I haven’t even made the model battleship I bought last year to while away the hours. I may have written a book, or most of one, but no-one else has seen it yet so that could be an illusory achievement.

But I have read quite a lot more than usual. We haven’t switched on the TV since last March (though I have watched every Manchester City game on my iPad). That has left me quite a lot of time for reading modern novels, a habit that hangs over me after my time chairing the Booker Prize judges 15 years ago. I don’t much recommend it as a hobby. Maybe I have been choosing badly, but it is quite surprising how dull most of them are.

More constructively, I have also read more of the research reports on finance and the economy, where I usually just skim the headlines. That has led me to some slightly surprising conclusions. 

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