Currency threat ‘dangerous game’ that could harm pound warns expert

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  The threat by the three London based parties that they would block a currency union with an independent Scotland is a “dangerous game” an academic expert has warned.

Dr Jim Walker has said the stance adopted by Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems could result in Sterling’s reputation being damaged.

Asianomics Limited, an economic research and consultancy company, has produced a report which also outlines economic reasons for a Yes vote on 18th September and highlights ‘misinformation’ in the debate about Scotland’s economy.

The report’s author, Dr Jim Walker, states that if Scotland is denied the use of sterling, such a policy would undermine sterling’s position as an internationally-traded, fully-convertible currency and it would be a ‘dangerous game’ for UK politicians to play.

The academic said he felt compelled to write the report as a result of “misinformation” relating to Scottish independence.

He said: “Over the last few months I have been asked repeatedly about the referendum on Scottish independence. Two things have struck me: first, the level of interest in the United States in particular and, secondly, the level of misinformation about the economics and politics of independence,”

Dr Walker’s report was welcomed by SNP Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP who said:

“This is a welcome report, from a highly respected economist.

“As the author points out, the UK politicians are playing a dangerous game on currency. It is a shared asset, and a currency union is the best option for an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK, as set out by the independent Fiscal Commission.

“As the Scottish Government’s White paper makes clear, a currency union will make it easier for people and companies to go about their business across the two countries.

“An overwhelming majority of people north and south of the border agree that keeping the pound makes sense – with a recent poll showing 71% of people in the rest of the UK want to share the pound with an independent Scotland, and the Social Attitudes Survey showing that 79% of people in Scotland back it.”

 

The report is available via the Asianomics website: http://www.asianomicsgroup.com/

Asianomics Limited is an economic research and consultancy company formed in late 2007 and serving the fund management industry. Founded by Dr Walker, he is also the owner of Forensic Asia, a bottom-up corporate research company which concentrates on financial stress and balance sheet health, and Chart Asia, a technical analysis unit which primarily focuses on trends in Asian stocks and markets. Prior to establishing Asianomics in December 2007 he was the chief economist at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets. He joined CLSA in late 1991.

Over the years Dr Walker achieved numerous ‘best economist’ rankings in the Asiamoney, Institutional Investor and Greenwich surveys of fund managers. Before coming to Asia, he worked in his native Scotland as a research fellow at the Fraser of Allander Institute for Research on the Scottish Economy, and then at The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Edinburgh headquarters.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree and a doctorate in economics from the University of Strathclyde.