johnny9fingers: (Sri Yantra)

This should have been written and gone viral months ago. But now it doesn't matter as we still have the party of fiscal responsibility in charge, doing the right thing.

Oh well. We have the government we voted for. Ain't life grand?
johnny9fingers: (Sri Yantra)

From the Business Insider, a short piece by joe-weisenthal.
Where he quotes Paul Krugman

"As Paul Krugman states in one of his (several) posts on the Reinhart/Rogoff issue: "the larger story is the evident urge of Very Serious People to find excuses for inflicting pain."

This impulse, to show your seriousness by promoting pain, is the real overriding drive behind austerity, not an academic study.

For example after Obama publicly embraced a "chained CPI" (a form of Social Security cut). Economist Dean Baker told Business Insider: "You piss on the people who care about Social Security, then you're serious."

Read more:
johnny9fingers: (Sri Yantra)
We have the ex-Keynesian but now neo-Monetarist IMF World Economic Outlook report Chapters 1 and 2 here:

And even it is advising George Osborne to relax his austerity programme.

I wonder, could some of the IMF bods actually be beginning to remember what the IMF was formed to do? That would be a turn-up, now wouldn't it?

Nevertheless, I can't see it happening: our present government has too much riding on it never being wrong. The loss of face would be so tremendous as to call into question its competence.

Not that any of us could ever be accused of calling George incompetent. Much. 
johnny9fingers: (Sri Yantra)
Both articles are ostensibly book reviews. The first:

Wherein Gordon Brown's reputation is analysed in relation to his actions during and after the financial crisis. And which rather rubbishes Cameron and Osborne's "it's all Gordon's fault" mantra.

Secondly this:

In which the Observer reviews Robert Peston's book for the second time: the first time being some seven months ago.

Both reviews, and the books being reviewed, should be required reading: especially for folk in the banking and financial industries. Nevertheless, I don't suppose that sort of person will read them. They tend to have too much riding on the present view promulgated by the propaganda dept of Osborne and Cameron's party of kitchen sink economics.

I mean, as a thought experiment, just imagine that some unnamed country was going through severe austerity measures because of a financial crisis brought about by its financial institutions. And even with the stringent austerity measures, and severe cuts in public spending, somehow or other the budget projections for borrowing for the last quarter made by the Finance Minister - let's call him John Butler - had been exceeded by some 13.8 Billion Groats. (Mr Butler said this had been unavoidable, and all the fault of the previous administration, of course.) What Mr Butler neglects to mention is that if he had cut his budget by 13.8 Billion Groats less, his borrowing would have remained the same, the economy would have been larger by 13.8B Groats, and he would also have had a significant tax take on the part of that 13.8B Groats that went on wages, salaries, goods and services, and the like. So for that quarter the economy would have been effectively 13.8B Groats + the taxes thereon larger than it is under his present (mis)management. And furthermore, that this austerity package masquerading as economic management had increased Mundania's (dammit, I said this country was going to be unnamed) national debt from 770B Groats, when Mr Butler took over from the previous administration, to the current amount of over 1 trillion Groats: and all the while claiming economic competence in comparison to the previous administration, which was obviously the cause of all our problems. And the population believed him, because…they know how household budgets work. And a country is only a household writ larger, after all, isn't it?

It's a good job it's only a thought experiment, hey children? I mean, it could never happen in real life. 
johnny9fingers: (Default)

I quote:

It is increasingly accepted that these policies are not working in the current environment. But less widespread is the recognition that there is also plenty of historical evidence showing that they have never worked. The same happened during the 1982 developing world debt crisis, the1994 Mexican crisis, the 1997 Asian crisis, the Brazilian and the Russian crises in 1998, and the Argentinian crisis of 2002. All the crisis-stricken countries were forced (usually by the IMF) to cut spending and run budget surpluses, only to see their economies sink deeper into recession. Going back a bit further, the Great Depression also showed that cutting budget deficits too far and too quickly in the middle of a recession only makes things worse.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
Well, it's impressive when the Office of Budget Responsibility comes out and says this sort of thing.

Robert Chote gave an interview in the Guardian which stated, amongst other things that:

He [Chote] also challenged another government nostrum by saying the OBR did not accept government claims that public sector pensions as currently paid were unsustainable.Although the public finances as a whole would come under pressure in years to come, the current public sector pension regime was "not where the problem is coming from", he said. That was because OBR figures show spending on public sector pensions – even without reform – falling as a proportion of GDP.


And I thought Gideon and the crew said it was all Gordon's fault. That and a bloated Health Service, and pensions, and too many policemen.

Bah fucking humbug.

johnny9fingers: (Default)

Gotta admire Dagenham Dave and Little Gideon over this. One step closer to being able to knout a few peasants and force the unwashed up chimneys.

We used to look after our village idiots in Merrie Englande: now those we don't elect to parliament get turfed off the dole pretty damn quick. I do love our nation's take on Christian Charity. Oh well, we're all going to hell anyway.

Go well and do good things, for no other purpose than the good thing in itself and of itself.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
Caught Jacob Rees-Mogg on Newsnight last night, with of all people Will Self.

Rees-Mogg made a number of uncontested claims during the interview, at which Self was the other guest. At one point Rees-Mogg suggested that the UK's 'Structural Deficit', at some seven-point-mumble percent, which he claimed to be "almost eight" is amongst the highest in the world. Neither the interviewer, nor Self questioned Rees-Mogg on which countries had a greater structural debt. Sloppy interviewing, or giving Rees-Mogg an easy time? Who knows?

As it happens, the countries with higher 'Structural Deficits' than the UK are (figures for 2004 alas):

USA -25.56%
Japan -24.86%
China -9.75%
Germany -8.33%
France -7.46%

And the UK -7.43%

So all the countries with larger structural debts have larger economies. And as the 5th or sixth largest economy in the world we have the sixth largest 'Structural Debt'.

I mean, I don't think that Will Self should necessarily have all this stuff at his fingertips....but the journalist interviewing Self and Rees-Mogg should have at least a grasp of the questions at hand. Shoddy, Newsnight, shoddy.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
Perusing my morning paper over a cup of the brew that cheers these two stories leapt off the front page:

Just a couple of signposts on the road to let us all know where we're heading.

But but but we can't tax boardrooms and we can't subsidise the poor. However we can subsidise the wealthy and give them assistance in whatever moves they make to exploit, reap profit, or sequestrate monies, goods, property and rights from those with very little to start with.

I reckon I'll be a screaming communist by the end of this and Boris too, probably.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
Given Boris Johnson's recent statements

Has the time come for Boris to leave the Tory party and either stand as an independent or actually join the Labour party?
johnny9fingers: (Default)
Sometimes the coalition can get things right. 

Not breaking up or selling off the BBC is one way of putting the coalition in my good books: not that such would worry 'em, though it might just irritate Roops and his attack dogs.

And if, as it seems, they are going to fine-tune the child allowance cap, then there will be two things on which I can agree with 'em.... and counting?

Giving Little Gideon a quick read of Stiglitz-Greenwald, Sappington-Stiglitz, and Shapiro-Stiglitz may just make me even happier.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
More data comparing Ireland, Spain, the UK etc... 

Well, there you go.

There is one anomaly, as mentioned in the comments section: and that is Poland, which didn't have a housing bubble.

And just for the record, people should know that I understand that cuts have to be made: but it is the timing and nature of the managed (or otherwise) implementation of such cuts I think the coalition is in danger of getting catastrophically wrong. And though in many ways unfit to govern, Gordon Brown at least seemed to have the right policy about this particular crisis.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
Over the last couple of weeks there have been a few comments on the possibilities of 'Double Dips' in various economies around the world.

Nevertheless amongst many folk who follow economics in some casual fashion there was no agreement as to which countries' economies were liable to this second and difficult economic crisis. Some have argued that strict monetarist doctrine would enable whichever economy to right itself, others that Keynesian solutions were the only way to get economies back on track for growth.

We now have some more data and projections.

This is interesting to the UK because many of the Coalition's politicians have used the Irish example as the way forward for the UK. But this 'Double Dip' has inherent problems of its own. I quote from the article:

Investors warned that fears about Ireland's ability to generate growth would push up the interest rates on its debt.

"Does the panel think" (to use the old phrase beloved of the BBC) that if the UK does 'Double Dip' that interest rates on the UK's debt will necessarily increase?

Would this affect the recovery even more?

If the dreaded 'Double Dip' does happen, will the electorate even know whom to blame? After all, it's all Gordon's fault, isn't it?

x-posted to [ profile] talk_politics 
johnny9fingers: (Default)
Yesterday that class-traitor Mervyn King addressed the TUC: 

But as he admits, though the current mess is the fault of the Banks, the Legislators, and those whose duty was the oversight of policy, it is the state sector that will have to pay for all this by being cut to the bone.

So there are at least two of us that think it wasn't the public sector's fault: but why do I still feel that opinion is, for the educated upper-middle class, a minority one?

Sometimes I feel some folk today have a stupid sense of entitlement similar to the Aristos of yore, but without the sense of duty that meant those Aristos weren't totally without some redeeming qualities. The bourgeois middle classes never really got noblesse oblige.

johnny9fingers: (Default)
You know, I could warm to this man, Tory or not....

Unlike the LibDems, who bought the Tory strategy hook, line and sinker, Boris has shown he's his own person. He did read Greats, so one does expect some sense from him, from time to time. He also seems to have an interest in Economic History too. Perhaps Dagenham Dave and Nicey Nick will bend an ear and listen to him. They could do themselves a favour if they did.
johnny9fingers: (Default) 

Well, if we double dip I wonder whose fault it will be? As ye vote, so shall ye receive. Got to admire David, Gideon, and Clegg's lads.

Perhaps when property prices come down enough I'll buy up a few more houses and turn myself into a seedy Rachman-like landlord, predating on the poor folk. Profit first, hey? It's how the big folk earn their money, after all: so it must be all right.

Pass the sickbag please, even I couldn't quite stomach my last paragraph.
It appears that a company beholden to shareholders has little or no honour: about some things some people do, though.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
Me, and many other folk interested in economics and the UK's new government. 

And when Francis Maude comes out with this sort of stuff:

Then you just know where it's all going.

The Tories have always had an agenda. They may have been selective about sharing it with their coalition colleagues, but the agenda is obvious to anyone who can read, really.

Not my problem, as I'm all right, Jack. But the voters will get what they deserve.

I had hopes that Cameron and Clegg would have provided a new form of one-Nation Toryism, but instead they seem shackled by the old Tory shibboleths of bowing to the markets, and immediately reducing the size of government at the expense of the overall economy, and paving the way for a return to the sort of Victorian society that Dickens described so vividly.

Maybe a spell in service might do some of the ne'er-do-wells (like the coalition government, or the hoodies from the estates) in our society some good, but I doubt it: I mean, would you really trust either of these examples to clean your silver properly? And most of the children of both these groups are too fat to fit up our chimneys.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
I post a quote from 'Unman, Wittering, and Zigo'.

"Authority is a necessary evil, and every bit as evil as it is necessary."

This is because folk, en masse, are pretty damn stupid: however clever they appear to be as individuals.

Anyway, back to the real world and the budget.

Richard Koo, chief economist at the Nomura Research Institute, said on last night's 'Newsnight' that the Coalition budget was "poorly timed, given our own experience in Japan....You never want to cut the budget deficit when the private sector is de-leveraging." 
28:10 mins into Wednesday's programme. There's more if you want to view it.

George Osborne, possibly one of the great geniuses of our time....but probably not really. First we bail out the financial sector, because the whole edifice of capitalism looks to be crumbling. Then we bend over to let them fuck us in the ass by paying for their bailout with our social services, because the markets won't stand our levels of debt: debt that we got into by bailing them out. It may just be time to line these wankers bankers up against  a wall and shoot them.

If we 'double-dip' it will be the Coalition's fault.
And we will blame them.
For a long time.


johnny9fingers: (Default)

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