The things that you can’t touch
Afew of you will be reading this online. Others will be reading on good-old-fashioned paper. The Jewish Chronicle economy also underlines the need for improved ways to measure intangibles. Measuring the value of a brand, say, is much trickier than measuring the value of a factory. Yet unless the state can quantify the intangible sector it’s hard for it to know how to regulate and support it.
The rapid growth in the intangible economy also suggests that the risks to Britain post-Brexit may be even greater than the doomsters have forecast. The Single Market was conceived in the tangible world, but the benefits of a single market— especially for one of Jonathan Haskell’s four S’s, scalability —have shot up in the intangible world.
And for Professor Haskel, postBrexit realities are not merely of academic interest. Until recently he was a full-time academic economist at Imperial College, London University. But last year he was appointed an external member of the monetary policy committee of the Bank of England— the body that sets our interest rates.
If you want to harangue him about your mortgage repayments, then you can find him at Alyth Synagogue in Hampstead Garden Suburb where he and his wife and two daughters are stalwarts.
Although the family is now settled in North London, Jonathan’s mother was raised in New York, arriving in the UK only in the 1960s.
His father was born in Lithuania and moved to Manchester with his parents in the mid-1930s. None of the siblings of Jonathan’s paternal grandparents survived the Holocaust. Simon Haskel, his father, was a successful businessman in the schmutter trade and a committed supporter of the Labour Party, staying loyal to the party in the 1970s and 1980s when other business backers abandoned it. A close confidant of former Labour leader John Smith, Simon Haskel was appointed to the House of Lords in 1993, where he continues to sit today — completing a family journey from worsted to ermine.
Bill Gates called his book ‘eyeopening’