Economists are Banking on a Win
Budding economists are preparing to battle it out in a prestigious competition run annually by the Bank of England. A team from Richmond School and Sixth Form College will take part in the regional heats of the 16th annual Bank of England and The Times Interest Rate Challenge.A five-strong team, comprising Jack Vernon, Tom Moody, Christopher Gill, Elliot Warren and Michael Jordan, have been preparing for weeks for a gruelling presentation at the Marriott Hotel in York. They will have to convince a panel of expert judges they understand the complexities of global economics and how these affect interest and inflation rates in the UK. They will also have to suggest ways to achieve the Bank of England’s target inflation rate of two per cent. Four members of the team and a reserve will have to deliver a presentation for 15 minutes followed by 15 minutes of detailed questioning by the panel members.Richmond School and Sixth Form College lead teacher of business economics Barry Guy said: “The judges will be looking for a deep understanding of the economy, the students’ abilities to talk freely and knowledgeably rather than from a script and how they all perform as a team.” For Tom and Jack the event will have particular resonance as they plan to study economics and accounts and finance, respectively, at university before pursuing financial careers. Jack has already received offers from several universities including one that is unconditional. Elliot said: “We have spent a lot of time looking into interest rates and quantitative easing, including the effects on the economy of consumption, Government spending and investment. We think stability is crucial to the economy so will be arguing for no change to interest rates or QE to promote confidence in the economy. We think we have some powerful arguments so are feeling confident.” Nationally, more than 1,000 students are taking part in the challenge’s regional heats.The contest recreates the monthly role of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, which considers the many conflicting indicators used to set monetary policy and meet the inflation target. By taking part students are expected to develop both teamwork and presentational skills. The winning team from each heat will then update their presentations ahead of competing in one of six area finals held around the UK in February 2016.The six winning teams will then compete in the national final, to be held in March 2016, at the Bank of England’s head office in Threadneedle Street, with the Challenge Trophy and a cheque for £5,000 up for grabs.