Bank of England ‘dangerously ill-equipped’ for next recession, says IPPR

Thinktank warns of a ‘car crash’ as low interest rates mean further cuts to stimulate demand would not be an option

The Bank of England is “dangerously ill-equipped” to avert the next recession and remains mired fighting the last downturn, according to a report calling for the introduction of radical new policy tools.

According to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), the odds of a recession once every 10 to 15 years mean Threadneedle Street needs additional firepower for when the economy next begins to falter.

Related: Bank of England gives mixed signals on rate rise, Trump slams Opec on oil prices – as it happened

We are heading for a car crash if nothing is changed

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Head of EBRD hopes to expand into sub-Saharan Africa

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development keen to work with countries committed to market economics

A bank originally set up to help countries of the former Soviet bloc is poised to extend its operations into sub-Saharan Africa in order to speed up progress in meeting ambitious development goals set by the United Nations.

Sir Suma Chakrabarti, the president of the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, said his organisation had the money and the expertise to stimulate the growth of strong private sectors in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Related: Global debt now worse than before financial crisis, says IMF

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City faces corruption crackdown as IMF investigates wealthy countries

G7 nations plus Austria and the Czech Republic face tests of their mechanisms to prevent bribery and money laundering

The City of London will come under the spotlight of the International Monetary Fund as part of a new crackdown on corruption that will investigate whether Britain and other rich countries are taking tough enough action against bribery and money laundering.

In a hardening of its approach, the IMF said it needed to look at those giving bribes and financial centres that laundered dirty money as well as improving the existing clamp down on wrongdoing in poor countries.

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Japan ambassador’s Brexit warning: there won’t be a deal better than the single market

Koji Tsuruoka expected a quiet posting in a stable country. Then Brexit happened. He tells the Observer of his fears and hopes for manufacturing, trade and investment

Koji Tsuruoka is sipping green tea in Japan’s splendid embassy in Mayfair, recalling how his first two years as Japan’s ambassador to the UK have not gone quite according to plan. At least, they haven’t turned out how his predecessors assured him they would. One after another, ex-ambassadors advised him, before he took up the position on 6 June 2016, that he would find the UK very “stable”, and its politics “very predictable”.

The attractions of London’s ballet scene, opera and art galleries quickly lured him into thinking it would be “an excellent place to conclude my 40-plus years of diplomatic service in a very comfortable and quiet environment”. British politicians and civil servants he met early on were almost all sure the EU referendum would pass peacefully by. “Almost 99% said that you don’t have to worry because the British people don’t make adventurous decisions. They said it was irrational to leave because of the economic conditions… And you know what happened.”

Related: Brexit could cut manufacturing exports by a third, experts warn

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Shakespeare’s sceptr’d isle has always been a part of Europe | William Keegan

The inspiration the bard drew from the continent emphasises, whatever Brexiters might say, the inseparability of our history

We know that the Brexiters want to recapture a lost Britain; and few Britons can rival William Shakespeare in the patriotism stakes.

It intrigued me, therefore, to hear the following from a Shakespearean scholar who recently delivered a Bardic talk in – where else? – Stratford-upon-Avon. Stratford-upon-Avon is as near to Middle England as any Brexiter could wish.

There is much talk of ‘globalisation’, but the key economic development of the British economy has been Europeanisation

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Hammond: Brexit transition deal has averted City job losses

Chancellor gives upbeat assessment of state of UK economy at IMF meeting

A damaging haemorrhage of jobs from the City has been averted by the signing of a Brexit transition agreement between the UK and the EU, according to an upbeat assessment of the economy’s prospects from Philip Hammond.

Speaking in Washington, the chancellor said the mood among big American-owned financial institutions was much more positive than it had been before London and Brussels agreed to a 21-month implementation period after the UK officially leaves the EU next March.

Related: It’s time to stop believing in these ‘magic’ Brexit solutions

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UK interest rates rise not a foregone conclusion, says Bank

Biggest decisions in next few years will be in response to Brexit negotiations, says Carney

Expectations that UK interest rates will rise in May could be overblown, the governor of the Bank of England has indicated.

Mark Carney said that while more rate increases would be coming over the next few years, some of the recent economic data had been softer and inflation had fallen faster than the Bank’s policymakers were predicting in February.

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Market power wielded by US tech giants concerns IMF chief

Christine Lagarde feels ‘too much concentration in hands of the few’ does not help economy

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has expressed concern about the market power wielded by the US technology giants and called for more competition to protect economies and individuals.

Speaking at a press conference to mark the start of the IMF’s spring meeting in Washington, Lagarde said breaking up companies was not the solution, but added that her organisation was monitoring their impact on prosperity, financial stability and the workplace.

Related: Bitcoin tools could make finance system safer, says IMF boss

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