Along with Christopher Coyle and Gareth Campbell, I've recently had a paper published in the Journal of Financial Stability entitled This Time is Different: Causes and Consequences of British Banking Instability over the Long Run. In this paper, we use bank share prices to measure British banking stability over two centuries. We find that over the long run interest rates, inflation, lending growth and equity prices are leading indicators of instability and that there is a long-run relationship between UK bank instability and the credit-risk premium. This paper is an extension of my Banking in Crisis book, where I look at the institutional and political causes of banking instability rather than their macroeconomic causes and consequences.
The Berkeley Earth Project , an independent study of global warming, has found that the earth has become a degree warmer over the past half century. However, the statistical uncertainty surrounding pre-1920 estimates makes it very hard to say much about long-term trends - click here for graph . This is one of my concerns with the global warming debate - we simply don't have trustworthy long-run data which looks at temperature changes over the last millennium (or two). My second concern with the global warming debate is that it is very hard to prove any sort of casual link between global warming and human activity. The scientists may be able to show correlation between global warming and our production of carbon dioxides etc., but correlation is not causation. My third concern with the debate is that those who are sceptical or agnostic are stereotyped as flat-earthers or intellectually-challenged crackpots. This only stifles debate and the progress of science itself.