Category Archives: Economics

It’s Not Interest Rates

IMF warns period of ultra-low interest rates poses fresh financial crisis threat. Source: The Guardian.

I suspect low interest rates are’t the actual problem, the problem remains the rewards paid to bankers regardless of the risks of speculation. Bankers get paid regardless whilst investors, shareholders and taxpayers are still liable for the losses.

How Much are FTSE100 CEOs Really Giving Up When They Turn Down Their Bonuses?

How Much are FTSE100 CEOs Really Giving Up When They Turn Down Their Bonuses?

Source: For Fact’s Sake.

Austerity It’s Bollocks

A contemporary art sale at Christie’s in New York has made $495m (£325m), the highest total in auction history.

The sale included works by Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The sale established 16 new world auction records, with nine works selling for more than $10m (£6.6m) and 23 for more than $5m (£3.2m). BBC

Am I not the only one thinking austerity is bollocks! There’s plenty of money, it’s just in the hands of far too few people who’ve nothing better to do with it than squander it on expensive pieces of art!

Two Faced Merkel

When it’s Cyprus going down the toilet Merkel decides that foreign investors should pay in the namely Russians However when Ireland was at risk Merkel thought it better the Irish that pay by being forced to taken out loans exceeding tens of thousands for every citizen because god forbid that Irelands major investors the Germans should pay!

With thanks to The Third Estate for pointing this very point out.

Isn’t it about time someone stood up to Merkel’s bullying tactics and called the German Chancellor’s bluff?

Sleepwalking Into a Nightmare!

Here’s a startling fact

The richest 1,000 people in Britain have seen their wealth increase by £155bn since the crisis began – more than enough to pay off the whole government deficit of £119bn at a stroke. The Guardian.

Well I say fact but as far as economics goes, there is no such thing. All the paragraph contains is two estimates. The news media is all too keen to treat economic estimates as facts unless they are inconvenient, like these, which generally means they are only going to appear in The Guardian.

The only reference that is going to be made of these figures by the other heavy weight newspapers is if they feel the need to rubbish the calculations.

As for the tabloids, they rarely mention economics they have long worked out their readers are more concerned with celebrity gossip, reality TV shows, and other fatuous trash.

So, what do I make of it The Guardian’s claims? In the end, it comes down to morals. My morals believe that there is far more to life than material wealth, there is a responsibility to ones fellows, there is a right to a decent life regardless of the mistakes one has made.

Those moral are all too rare in today’s media or government.

This coalition government, with the collusion of the press, is busy turning the country into an Adam Smith Institute fantasy, where the market is unregulated, employees have no rights and there is no welfare state, the antithesis of my every belief.

I ask the question, are we really going to let them turn back the clock so far that we will have to fight for a “new” NHS when we realise what we have allowed? The answer to that question, brutally, seems to be yes. How quickly have people forgotten what life was like without access to affordable medical care.

If the populace does not wean itself off the catnip of puerile, passive entertainment and stop slumbering in front of their TVs then the future is bleak.

Just a look at youth employment surely makes sobering reading we are condemning many to a life of dull drudgery.

I would like to think this is a call to arms, but it is nothing more than shouting into the empty night, few are listening and even fewer care! Future generations will not forgive us.

Does Merkel Want The Euro to Survive?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will pit herself against France and Italy on Thursday at an EU summit that could shape the euro zone’s future, insisting they must put the bloc’s fundamental problems ahead of pleas for emergency action. Source: Reuters.

Well that’s one way of solving the Euro’s long term problems – ignore the short term problems and it’s difficult to see the Euro surviving!

There’s Money for Bankers But None for Us!

So the Royal Bank of Scotland has paid back £163bn emergency loans from UK and US taxpayers. So the UK government has received £111.6bn. Also Lloyds has also said it will have repaid all its emergency borrowing from UK taxpayers by the end of the year.

Added together that makes almost £270bn, so if we can find the money for the banks why can’t we find the money to do something better than give it to bankers?

We’re Back in Recession!

Here’s the figures from The Guardian:

The Office for National Statistics published GDP figures today showing that the UK is officially back in recession with negative growth of 0.2%. These are their top lines:

• GDP decreased by 0.2% in Q1 2012
• Output of the production industries decreased by 0.4% in Q1 2012, following a decrease of 1.3% in the previous quarter
• Construction sector output decreased by 3% in Q1 2012, following a decrease of 0.2% in the previous quarter
• Output of the service industries increased by 0.1% in Q1 2012, following a decrease of 0.1% in the previous quarter
• GDP in volume terms is flat in Q1 2012, when compared with Q1 2011.

What stands out is the 3% decline in construction! As Jonathan Portes of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research points out:

Figures yesterday showed a 25% decrease in public sector net investment last year – a lot of that would have been in building new schools and hospitals. It reflects the slowing down of public sector investment, for example after the scrapping of Labour school building programme.

So why George Osborn should find it a surprise that construction has taken a hammering surely shows a lack of basic economics, then again the Tories cling to the fantasy that private sector is going to take up the slack! But as these figures show that isn’t happening and it isn’t going to!

Investment is the way out and the first place to start is tax and making sure we’ve the resources to collect what is owed, clamping down on tax avoiders, this is a no-brainer, how I hate that word, but it fits the bill, I can’t remember the figures but tax inspectors make money for government any cuts here are shear madness! Well unless you’re a posh boy like Osborne! The government loses an estimated £25 billion a year in revenue to tax dodgers that’s the deficit paid off in no time, if you so wish!

Slaves to the Economy

Youth unemployment hits 50% in Spain with worse to come as the Spanish government implements greater spending cuts in a vain attempt to please the international stock markets. Spain isn’t the only European country with an unacceptable disregard for its citizens, particularly the young, just the worst. Most other countries will hit equally unacceptable figures in the not too distant future, if they haven’t already!

Shouldn’t the economy serve its citizens not enslave them? Things are very wrong!

European Unemployment Hits New Highs

Across the European Union unemployment has hit new highs with Spain reporting an eye watering 23.6% in February, according to EU figures released Monday, that’s 4.75 million people! Youth unemployment is running at 50% this is a disaster and one that’s being ignored across the continent, whilst Spain’s figures are the highest the picture is little different elsewhere across the continent.

Capitalism is broke when are we going to wake up to that fact that there just isn’t enough work to go round! Well not when work is only considered meaningful if it provides shareholder profit and the only alternative to that view is to work in the public sector. A public sector that is bearing the brunt of the bankers mistakes with savage spending cuts.

We need to realise that not all worthwhile jobs are going to provide a profit in fact most worthwhile jobs don’t provide a profit. We need to find alternatives to working for profit it isn’t going to sustain us in the 21st century, or any other century come to that. Until then unemployment will remain unacceptably high.