The things that you can’t touch

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

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’

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