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What kind of government? Looking forward to the budget


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Via the TaxPayers’ Alliance, this video explains vividly that the Government is spending £22,218 every second. In this week’s MoneyWeek, Merryn Somerset Webb’s editorial is titled “Slash spending and taxes”. She refers to Dr Tim Morgan’s work which explains that the economy has for too long been dependent on private borrowing and public spending and that, now these are “dead in the water”, 70% of the economy is incapable of growth. I have previously explained that this Government will be […]

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Banks: gaming the rules to generate illusory profits


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As I prepared an article on how banks generate illusory profits and artificial levels of capital by gaming the rules, I rediscovered this limerick in Gordon Kerr’s related paper, The Law of Opposites: There was a young man from Darjeeling Who got on a bus marked “To Ealing” The sign on the door Said “Don’t spit on the Floor” So he lay back and spat on the ceiling Here’s a great metaphor from the book, which explains how the rules […]

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Speech on the Financial Institutions (Reform) Bill


I was delighted today that my ten-minute rule Bill was introduced without opposition. This late in the Parliament, the Bill itself is extremely unlikely to make further progress but I was glad to put the following on the record (these are my notes – Hansard is here: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that leave be given to bring in a Bill to enforce strict liability on directors of financial institutions; to require directors of financial institutions to post personal […]

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Financial Institutions (Reform) Bill – Other measures


In previous articles, I set out why it’s necessary to address risk-taking incentives in banks and how losses would be covered from the bonus pool and director’s personal bonds before hitting equity. This article sets out other necessary provisions. 5. Accounting standards 5.1 For the purposes of the Bill, all relevant figures (measures of profit, loss, capital, bonuses, personal bonds posted, etc.) would be obtained using parallel prudent accounting rules i.e. UK GAAP under Companies Act legislation. This was proposed in […]

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Financial Institutions (Reform) Bill – Use of personal bonds and bonus pool to make good bank losses


Yesterday, I began to set out how my proposed Financial Institutions (Reform) Bill would meet the need for a vibrant, reliable and robust banking system by adjusting bank directors’ and employees’ exposure to commercial risk. That article described changes to bank directors’ liability and the treatment of bonuses. This article explains how losses would be made good and defines core capital. 3. Use of personal bonds and bonus pool to make good bank losses 3.1 Should a bank report losses […]

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