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Margaret Thatcher nationalised regulation of the City

For City AM, Prof Philip Booth writes, Thatcher changed the City forever but Big Bang isn’t the whole story: Let’s be absolutely clear: in general, the 1980s was not a period of financial deregulation. Insider trading was made illegal in 1980. The life insurance industry, which had been almost free of regulation for over 100 years from 1870, was re-regulated from 1980 to 1982. Bank deposit insurance was introduced in 1979. The sale of investment and insurance products came under […]

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Presentation to Windsor Conservatives

After this morning’s advice bureau, I had the pleasure of visiting Windsor Conservative Association Women’s Group, where I explained what I think are the long term causes of this crisis and what we should do about it. Here are the slides: I was delighted students from a local school joined us and were able to take away copies of Dr Nigel Ashford’s Principles for a Free Society, commissioned by the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation. As we were mostly discussing the problems of state-direction in […]

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Ouch! Ignorance is Bliss, Except when It Hurts – What You Don’t Know About Money and Why It Matters (More Than You Think)

Ouch! — a new book recommended by one of my academic colleagues as widely accessible and very engaging. I understand it “puts most of the books on the crisis churned out by journalists and professionals to shame.” From the jacket: It’s time to wake up or get wiped out. We live in a world dominated by a system that most of us aren’t aware of, never mind understand. When it comes to money and how it really works, most of […]

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The awful unspoken truth about QE

Via Conservative Home’s blog The Deep End, an interesting question about QE: If the Government is just going to print money, why can’t we have some? Of course, if you started to give the cash directly to the people, then they might finally understand that our entire economic system runs on funny money. And who knows what would happen then? Henry Ford is supposed to have answered their question: It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand […]

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Documentary on the financial crisis: The End of the Road

I have just watched a fascinating documentary about the financial crisis by Austrian School thinkers including Peter Schiff, author of the superb book How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy: The End of the Road. It was interesting and easy to follow. It was also pretty accurate apart from some simplifications about the money creation process. Here’s the trailer: The full film is available online for $5. You might also want to look out […]

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The UK faces a €149.2 billion liability to the EU

The Bruges Group’s latest report has exposed that the UK is facing a maximum potential loss of €149.2 billion on its financial commitments to the EU and the Euro. The report reveals the full extent of our obligations in respect of the present and future debts of EU institutions including: How the Government’s defined position is questionable in law and therefore has led it to underestimate its full potential exposure to EU debt; and That the true extent of the […]

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The transformation of our society: the Labour vote and state spending

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Two charts show how our society has been transformed in the last century or so: the party share of the UK popular vote and UK state spending as a proportion of GDP. Via Wikipedia, the parties’ vote shares since about 1830: And via 2020tax.org, an updated chart I have used before: David B Smith’s historic look at the growth of state spending since 1870: Anyone who thinks this is a crisis of freedom is at best ill-informed. This is a […]

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A massive failure of journalism is being corrected

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Via It’s austerity all right – but not of the kind we actually need, City A.M.’s Allister Heath makes his case: It has long been a theme of this column that the government and its critics alike have exaggerated the extent of the government’s belt-tightening. The coalition is doing this to try and reassure the bond markets while seeking to minimise the hit to the public sector; the opposition because it wants to blame the recession on “the cuts.” But […]

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On double-dip recession, Tullett Prebon rightly ask “What’s the big idea?”

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The latest strategy note from Tullet Prebon asks, “What’s the big idea?” with the subtitle “the imperative need for a new ideology”, writing: Effective government is not simply a matter of management. Even in good times, competence is barely enough. In bad times, ideological clarity is imperative, and the lack of a clear, ideas-based strategy is the black hole at the heart of the coalition administration. This chart is particularly informative: They comment, “The centre-right is in desperate need of a […]

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Philipp Bagus explains how to overcome obstacles to Euro exit

Via Is there no escape from the euro? Intellectual honesty requires us to admit that there are important costs to exiting the euro, such as legal problems or the disentangling of the ECB. However, these costs can be mitigated by reforms or clever handling. Some of the alleged costs are actually benefits from the point of liberty, such as political costs or liberating capital flows. Indeed, other costs may be seen as an opportunity, such as a banking crisis that […]

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