We enclose contrasting articles on the fate of our current Chancellor and possible future Prime Minister.
The first, a personal/political profile by Will Lloyd is a paean of praise for a man who appears to walk on water and whose reputation remains unblemished in spite of the financial fall-out from the Covid pandemic.
Ominously for his rivals, the optics also work - his smooth, gleaming profile outshining them all in front of camera:
"Solely standing near them in photographs, Sunak makes his boss and his colleagues look, to varying degrees, stupid, crass, cadaverous, and morally dubious. Is all this calculated? Perhaps at first these contrasts were an accident of juxtaposition. Now they look like the willed creation of many hands."
The second article by contrast, which we also include in our Economics section, is not so sanguine. How the economy performs may ultimately determine this Chancellor’s fate according to Philip Pilkington, macroeconomist and guest writer for Unherd.
Part of the trouble he says is that policymakers have often misdiagnosed the country’s economic problems in the past and Rishi Sunak’s budget is a classic in the genre:
"Take perhaps the most extreme example: Weimar Germany. In the first half of the Twenties, the young republic was seeing its economy collapse due to hyperinflation caused by the punitive repayments imposed by the victors in the First World War. By lending in American capital markets and buttressing the currency, the hyperinflation cooled. But in 1929, as Wall Street went into meltdown, American capital markets seized up and Germany started to slide into a deflationary depression.
But German policymakers remained fixated by the prospect of hyperinflation. So when they saw turbulence ahead, their default position was to assume that trouble was inflationary, not deflationary. As a result, they slammed the brakes on government spending and led their country into a punishing depression. And we all know what happened next.
Sunak’s budget suffers the opposite problem. Since 2008, we have been experiencing a world of economic stagnation and low interests. Keynesian policy proposals — spending more money — have been in circulation in policy circles all throughout this period. I should know, I was one of the people circulating them. They are perfectly suited to an economy with relatively high unemployment and low inflation.”
Both articles can be read in full below with links to the originals beneath them: