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Monetary activism must end in a slump

On Friday, I spoke against monetary activism once again, complaining about the use of expectation management and new monetary instruments in an attempt to defibrillate the economy. It’s a mistake, not least because a failure to contain inflationary expectations could be catastrophic, as I set out last year. Mark Carney understands the argument that monetary activism will cause a damaging “intertemporal misallocation of capital” but he chooses to believe wise intervention elsewhere can compensate. I am sure this is wrong. […]

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The madness of contemporary economists

The Bank of England is considering negative interest rates to “stimulate” the economy, together with more QE. It’s one thing to pay a bank for safe-keeping and other services, another for the central bank to manipulate the credit markets as a whole. It is explicitly a policy of expropriating savers, of which there is much to be said on another occasion. Allister Heath provides sensible comment here. What the Bank of England is trying to do is restart the money creation process […]

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More unexpected borrowing?

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Yesterday, we learned “public sector net borrowing was £0.6 billion in July 2012; this is £3.4 billion higher net borrowing than in July 2011, when net borrowing was -£2.8 billion (a repayment)”. Compared to say May, when we borrowed £17.9 billion, £600 million seems relatively modest. It’s still the gross annual earnings at the national average wage of over 23,000 people. Apparently, it was a surprise to economists (again). They expected the usual July surplus. As far as I recall, […]

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Inflation jumps unexpectedly? Surprise?

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Via the Telegraph: The Office for National Statistics said its consumer prices index (CPI) measure of inflation rose to 2.6pc in July from 2.4pc in June, driven by a 21.7pc rise in the cost of flights which saw overall transport prices rise by 1pc. And via ToryOutcast: “UK inflation jumps unexpectedly in July”. Oh yes, completely unexpected that…http://bit.ly/Pgdp1H  (@SteveBakerMP) Good to know that my reader isn’t surprised by inflation. A pity that the people who manage the money supply are.

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Two videos celebrating 15 years of the Monetary Policy Committee

SaveOurSavers are celebrating 15 years of the Monetary Policy Committee with the following video. It’s rather too harsh on the Governor: effective central planning of the price of money is just as impossible as the planning of other prices and surely more counterproductive. That is, the Monetary Policy Committee are trying to do something which cannot be done. The video below from Dominic Frisby goes to the heart of the matter: our system of inflationary money which is loaned into […]

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Expect the Bank of England to be surprised by inflation in the next couple of months

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The Bank of England’s latest Inflation Report forecasts falling inflation: However, my preferred measure of the money supply, MA from Kaleidic Economics, is now rising at 6% year on year, in contrast to the Bank’s measures of broad money: There are other factors at work too but there’s a certain inevitability about headlines like “Bank surprised by shock inflation data” before the summer is out.

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The injustice and error of a “Mansion Tax”

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A so-called “mansion tax” may appear to embody a particular notion of fairness. One would think from the rhetoric that high-value homes all belonged to wicked billionaires, oligarchs and non-doms. One would think that owning such a home were inherently unjust. Far from it. Many valuable homes will have been bought by hard-working individuals and families using mortgages paid over many years. They will have paid tax on their incomes and capital gains. Hitting them again in this way would be […]

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Presentation on the financial crisis

This evening, I made the following presentation on the Government’s financial position and intentions and on the genesis of this crisis. The PDF is here: How to create a crisis.

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The inflation or deflation song

Via “Merle Hazard”: I’m reminded of economist James Buchanan’s words: The market will not work effectively with monetary anarchy. Politicization is not an effective alternative. We must commence meaningful dialogue with acceptance of these elementary verities. Far too much has been said and written in elaboration of the first statement, which too often is taken to be equivalent to the assertion that “capitalism” or “the market” has failed. Admittedly claims for market efficacy without qualifiers can be found. But economists […]

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Autumn Statement chart of the day: tax and spending

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The economic facts behind the Autumn Statement, in as far as they are known or forecast, are available in the Economic and Fiscal Outlook from the Office for Budget Responsibility. Table 4.7 provides forecast current receipts. Table 4.18 provides total managed expenditure. So, here’s a chart of current receipts (i.e. tax) and total managed expenditure (i.e. spending) for the next few years: The reality is that the Government intend to increase spending every year of the forecast period and to meet […]

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