The extent to which the UK and most of the rest of the Western world are currently mismanaging our economies clearly has a huge financial cost. In the longer term, however, the political cost will be even greater than the economic price - unless we see radical changes in policy. The failure of the West to deliver a reasonable economic performance - combined with the related problem of widespread inability to get difficult decisions taken - has led an increasingly large number of people across the world to consider whether more authoritarian of running modern diversified economies might work better than those based on liberal democracy.
As soon as anyone suggests that the UK exchange rate is too high and that the pound is overvalued, there's an immediate reaction - and not usually a good one! But the problem is that the high pound is causing us all sorts of difficulties and it's affecting every man, woman and child in the UK right now, today.
With the large increases in employment seen over the last couple of years now starting to create shortages of workers in some areas, there has also been an increase in the growth rate of average earnings in recent months. The result is that earnings in real terms - that is after adjusting for inflation - are no longer falling.
Economists need to pay more attention to resources as there is a clear and pressing need to develop greater resilience to commodity price shocks. While this will not solve all our economic problems, it can make an important contribution to many of them. For this reason, the careful management of resources should be right at the heart of economic policy.
Average euro zone inflation was a provisional 0.7% in October, much weaker than the ECB's official target of "close to but below 2%". It is not just the low level of inflation that has been a concern for the Bank, but the rapid decline in recent months: between July and October the rate fell by 0.9 percentage points, from 1.6% to 0.7%.