Boys Win Regional Bank of England Challenge
Monday, 29 November 2010
A team of Bolton School Sixth Form Boys has won the regional heat of the eleventh annual Target Two Point Zero - The Bank of England and The Times Interest Rate Challenge.
Year 13 pupils Pranjal Arya (captain), Tom Cowling, Tom Curtin and Oliver Dowie took part in Target Two Point Zero, which gives teams of students aged 16-18 the chance to take on the role of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
Teams of four students from each competing school or college had to analyse UK and global economic data and their possible impact on inflation and the economic outlook for the UK - just as the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee does each month. The teams then had to decide if current monetary policy is appropriate or needs to be adjusted, to meet the 2.0 per cent inflation target set by the Government.
The Bolton School team recommended an interest rate of 0.5% compared with the Bank of England's official rate of 0.5%, and also recommended a total of £200bn of asset purchases under the Asset Purchase Facility, compared with the £200bn agreed by the MPC. Once they had made their decision the boys had to prepare and give a short presentation, arguing a convincing case for their conclusion, to a panel of Bank of England judges. Following the presentation, the judges asked the team a series of questions to test their understanding and knowledge, and to see how they justify their policy decision, and how they think on their feet.
Some 300 teams across the United Kingdom are competing for the Challenge Trophy and £10,000 for their school or college. The boys beat teams from Ashton-Under-Lyne Sixth Form College, Stockport Grammar School, Bury Grammar School for Girls, The King's School Macclesfield and Withington Girls' School in their heat at the Regus in Manchester. They will now go on to the area final to be held in February/March 2011, with the national final to be held on 18 March at the Bank of England in London.