Public Sector Performance: Catch 22 type Dilemmas – Best Blogs Series

Upside/Downside Leverage

Upside/Downside Leverage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Protestors in Brighton on June 30 ove...

English: Protestors in Brighton on June 30 over pension changes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Protestors gather in Sheffield to dem...

English: Protestors gather in Sheffield to demonstrate against government plans to change public sector pensions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Teachers at New College Nottingham pr...

English: Teachers at New College Nottingham protesting against government pension plans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: NUT ATL UCU PCS strike rally outside ...

English: NUT ATL UCU PCS strike rally outside the Forum in Norwich against draconian government cuts in their pension conditions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is one of my all time best blogs. Although first published in 2011, austerity has failed and radical reform in the public sector will again need addressing. My colleague & fellow blogger, John Gelmini and I were right in 2011 and we’re still right. Since 2011 there’s more downside risk; (1) austerity has failed; (2) there’s a risk of a neo-Marxist government in the UK; (3) Brexit costs will be high to enormous; (4) Conservative government is ‘weak and wobbly’; (5) in North America, the Chair of the Federal Reserve is warning that labor productivity is increasingly being impacted by the epidemic of drug abuse, especially opioids, now the biggest cause of death for the under fifties.

The original article was based on the UK’s unreformed public sector but in Trump’s America, there’s an enormous ‘Catch 22 challenge’ too, as Macron’s France.

Whilst the ‘Catch 22 Challenge’ was originally pitched at the public sector, it also applies to the private sector where productivity is declining apart from the impact of new technology.

So how should the UK and other advanced countries, like France, the US, Canada & Australia face the latest ‘Catch 22 challenge’ in light of new downside risks?


Open this link for original 2011 blog


Dr Alf's Blog

English: Example of a balanced scorecard strat... English: Example of a balanced scorecard strategy map for a public-sector organization (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article was first published on this blog March 11, 2011.

It’s interesting to see what’s changed in nearly five years – not too much I fear.


Last week’s blog entitled “Local Authorities & Shared Services: Cost-Cutting, Myth or Reality?” generated some lively debate. Reflecting on recent political and media attention the UK Public sector, it occurred to me that perhaps there has been just a bit too much simplification, glossing over complexity and context,  just to score political points.

With over twenty years experience in major multi-nationals, and over five years in the Public Sector, including Central and Local Government, plus International Agencies, I thought that it would be helpful to dispel a few myths. This week, I am going to embellish the content with my own experience. As I introduce new…

View original post 1,567 more words

Opinion – Mere criticism of the ECB is no solution | Bruegel

Euro ECB

Euro ECB (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister (CD...

Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister (CDU) on March 9th 2011, during a pre-election party in Bensheim (Hesse). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an outstanding must-read article by think-tank Bruegel. The seven authors are leading economists, many based in Germany. The article explores two fundamental questions. Firstly, what would happen if the ECB failed to respond to the excessively low inflation and the weak economy? Secondly, what economic policy would be suitable under the current circumstances, if not monetary policy?

Source: Mere criticism of the ECB is no solution | Bruegel

Well written and carefully argued, the authors make a powerful case. But fundamentally, there is nothing new here.

The crux of the crisis emanates from the conservative economic policy of the German government. Germany has lectured Southern Europe endlessly about living within their means. The Fiscal Compact to support the Euro has not caused the expected convergence. Germany has consistently refused to reflate her economy and encourage infrastructure investment. Meanwhile, France has flouted the rules of the Fiscal Compact year after year. Radical policy from the ECB has stopped the Eurozone from spiralling downwards into a deep depression. But German has consistently been putting road-blocks in front of ECB policy.

It’s not new but what is required is a belt and braces approach, loosening both monetary and fiscal policy across the Eurozone. Monetary policy is the preserve of the ECB and it has already been bold, so perhaps now it needs to be radical? As for fiscal policy, this has been trapped by the Fiscal Constraint, ruthlessly applied to smaller countries Southern European countries by both the ECB and Germany.

The other important factor is to consider the wider political context and its likely direction over time. Everywhere right wing populists, like Le Pen, are on the rise. If the UK votes for Brexit, the coming elections in France and Germany could be pivotal to radical change. Rather than increased centralization of power, we could quickly witness the risk of accelerated dismantling of EU institutions.