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#Higher Prices


In conversation with Jack Monroe

Monroe rose to prominence writing about their struggles to feed their young son with a food budget of £10 a week on their blog ‘Cooking on a Bootstrap’. Since then, Monroe has published cookbooks filled with “austerity recipes” and has given evidence in Parliament highlighting the impact of the rising cost of basic food items on people living in poverty.In response to George Eustice’s suggestion that shoppers could “manage their household budget” by changing the brands they buy, they responded that “somebody who claims £196,000 in expenses in a single year is in no position to tell other people to get cheaper biscuits”.Join us for a very special ThinkIn with Jack, where we’ll be talking all about food poverty campaigning, the cost of living crisis, and the inflation of a bag of pasta with their trademark wit and cutting commentary. editor and invited experts David TaylorEditor Jack MonroeCampaigner, Author and Blogger — ‘Cooking on a Bootstrap’


Inflation: what’s really going on?

This is a digital-only ThinkIn.With fragile consumer confidence and arguably even more fragile consumers, the last thing the Government needs right now is a persistently high inflation. Despite the bruises it picked up with multiple accusations of sleaze and cronyism, it’s very possible that soaring inflation and the cost of living crisis will be the undoing of Johnson’s government. The latest Consumer Price Index inflation figures have hit a decade high of 4.2% – and if that wasn’t bad enough, an interest rate hike is almost certainly lurking around the corner. The Chancellor’s messaging on this is to reframe it as a global problem of volatile energy prices and supply chain issues, but that doesn’t help families and individuals who, according to figures from Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves, will be £1,111 worse off over next year. Inflation is going to stick around for a while, and if Rishi Sunak is right and we can’t do anything about energy prices and supply chains, what’s the political response we need right now? editor and invited experts James HardingCo-founder and Editor Jack LeslieSenior Economist, Resolution Foundation Liam Byrne MPFormer Chief Secretary to the Treasury (2009-10) Vicky PryceEconomist and Business Consultant, Former Joint Head of the United Kingdom’s Government Economic Service


High taxes, high wages, high prices: what does the Budget mean?

This is a digital-only ThinkIn.The day after Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, announces what some people have called his “nightmare budget”, Tortoise members, editors and expert analysts will get together to figure out what it means for households, for business and the wider economy – and what clues it holds about strategic divisions between No 10 and No 11, and for government strategy overall. Please bring your questions and observations as we spend an hour making sense of it all together. editor and invited experts Ceri ThomasEditor and Partner Anne LongfieldChair, Commission on Young Lives Dr Gemma TetlowChief Economist at the Institute for Government James SmithResearch Director, Resolution Foundation Molly Scott CatoGreen politician, economist and activist. Previously a Professor of Economics at Roehampton University


A ThinkIn with Mark Carney on Value(s)

Joe Biden isn’t shy about lending his name to his economic strategy. In fact his re-election campaign is based on it. This week he delivered the latest in a series of set-piece speeches on “Bidenomics”, which makes bold use of tax dollars for  investment and subsidies for clean energy, semiconductors and infrastructure;supply chain onshoring and manufacturing revival;reigning in corporate power and breaking up monopolies; andempowering trade unions. So what? Bidenomics appears to be working. It just isn’t popular. Most indicators are flashing green on the US economy and a much-feared recession hasn’t materialised, but 64 per cent of Americans still have little or no confidence in Biden on the economy. More worryingly for the White House, only 27 per cent of his own party strongly approve of his economic performance.  In a Labor Day speech to union workers this week Biden talked up his record on jobs, claiming his administration has created nearly 13.5 million while unemployment has been below 4 per cent for the longest stretch in 50 years;wages, which are are on the up; andinflation, near its lowest point in more than two years. But Americans still aren’t buying it. Polls consistently put Biden and Trump neck and neck in a hypothetical rematch for 2024, and a new CNN poll shows that nearly half of registered voters say any Republican candidate would be preferable to Biden. That’s because: Many of the job gains under Biden have been in industries impacted by the pandemic – a lot of that job “creation” is actually “restoration”. Low unemployment rates are also buoyed by low resignation rates, which suggests a lack of confidence in the job market. The increase in wages since 2021 have been on top of pre-Covid wages which were already stagnant. And throughout Biden’s presidency those wages have been eroded by record inflation, high debt and high rent, leaving only a third of American workers satisfied with their pay. This summer has seen one major change: wages are now rising faster than inflation (although a corresponding uptick in Biden’s polling hasn’t materialised yet). Here for a long time, not a good time White House allies say anyone expecting a quick political turnaround is missing the point. Bidenomics is “more of a long-run strategy to advance a variety of goals including not just economic growth but also climate change and national security,” says Jason Furman, ex- chair of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. Which is all very well if you have time on your side, but it’s not clear Biden does.  Trump rode to the White House in 2016 on a wave of discontent among mainly midwestern voters, promising to bring back manufacturing jobs taken by globalisation. Traditional Democrats in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin who lent Trump their vote in 2016 before withdrawing it in 2020 are those Biden needs to retain next year.  Bidenomics is his way of parking his tanks on Maga lawns. 800,000 manufacturing jobs have been created since January 2021, and of the ten states with the largest increase, eight voted for Trump in 2020. According to the FT, 80 per cent of the IRA’s clean energy projects are in Republican congressional districts. Beyond the battle for blue-collar workers, low inflation coupled with higher wages and employment will be Biden’s best chance of a ticket back to the Oval Office. And the president has been lucky so far in being spared a recession most of his predecessors weren’t. “If inflation continues to come under control while unemployment stays low I suspect voters will credit President Biden more than he deserves,” Furman says. “Conversely, if inflation is persistent or the economy is in recession then they would blame him more than he deserves.” Research shows voters’ views on the economy are baked in by June of the election year. That gives Biden nine months. Also, in the nibs G20 + X minus Y H2 flight Autism detection Offshore flop Potus or officer? Thanks for reading. Please tell your friends to sign up, send us ideas and tell us what you think. Email sensemaker@tortoisemedia.com. Photograph Vuk Valcic/SOPA/LightRocket via Getty Images Choose which Tortoise newsletters you receive NEW from tortoise


A Digital ThinkIn with Lord Mervyn King, former Bank of England governor

Former Bank of England governor talks about the economy, recessions and decision-making for an unknowable future. Our daily digital ThinkIns are exclusively for Tortoise members and their guests.Try Tortoise free for four weeks to unlock your complimentary tickets to all our digital ThinkIns.If you’re already a member and looking for your ThinkIn access code you can find it in the My Tortoise > My Membership section of the app next to ‘ThinkIn access code’.We’d love you to join us.Mervyn King served ten years as governor of the Bank of England, a decade that spanned the global financial crisis. The British economist joins us to talk about the economy, managing a recession and his recent book Radical Uncertainty – Decision Making for an Unknowable Future.Chair: James Harding, Editor and Co-founder, Tortoise How does a digital ThinkIn work?A digital ThinkIn is like a video conference, hosted by a Tortoise editor, that takes place at the advertised time of the event. Digital ThinkIns are new to Tortoise. Now that our newsroom has closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, we feel it’s more important than ever that we ‘get together’ to talk about the world and what’s going on.The link to join the conversation will be emailed to you after you have registered for your ticket to attend. When you click the link, you enter the digital ThinkIn and can join a live conversation from wherever you are in the world. Members can enter their unique members’ access code to book tickets. Find yours in My Tortoise > My Membership in the Tortoise app.If you have any questions or get stuck, please read our FAQs, or get in touch with us at memberhelp@tortoisemedia.comWhat is a Tortoise ThinkIn?A ThinkIn is not another panel discussion. It is a forum for civilised disagreement. It is a place where everyone has a seat at the (virtual) table. It’s where we get to hear what you think, drawn from your experience, energy and expertise. It is the heart of what we do at Tortoise.