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Book review: On God’s Side, Jim Wallis


I enjoyed meeting Jim Wallis in Parliament through The Bible Society. He’s undoubtedly a great orator with a huge heart for service to other people in fulfilment of the Christian faith we share. I mostly delighted in his book, On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good. The book’s key inspiration is a saying of Abraham Lincoln, My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be […]

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The central banks have backed their economies into a corner


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Yesterday, the US Federal Reserve decided not to reduce its money creation programme of $85 billion a month. The Cobden Centre publishes a response, No tapering, no surprise: It was not too surprising that there is going to be no tapering for some very good reasons. The commencement of tapering would have led deliberately to bond yields rising, triggered by an increase in sales of government bonds to the public and at the same time escalating sales by foreign governments as […]

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House price inflation and the madness of monetary socialism


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Via House price inflation should be capped at 5pc, RICS says – Telegraph, House prices should be prevented from rising by more than 5pc a year to stop another bubble destabilising the economy, a top property institute has urged. For comparison, the UK inflation target is 2%. The RICS story is here. With excessive price growth and high mortgage lending having led to a vulnerable banking sector, specific policy on limiting growth is needed. Such a policy could be implemented […]

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The injustice of easy money is going mainstream


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The Daily Mail reports Interest rates: How keeping them at a record low is a deliberate government ploy to pay off its debts: A stealth raid by the Bank of England has stripped savers of more than £170billion, a Money Mail investigation can reveal. By slashing the base rate to a record low of 0.5?per cent and allowing the cost of living to soar for more than four years, the Bank has whittled away the value of cash sitting in High […]

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Mark Carney’s grand experiment began today » The Cobden Centre


An article for The Cobden Centre following my World at One appearance: The essence of what the Bank has announced is well known: they have begun using forward guidance to anchor both inflation and interest rate expectations as a cover for more active monetary policy. This will usher in a new age of monetary Kremlinology. Read more via Mark Carney’s grand experiment began today » The Cobden Centre.

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How conscientious consumers can combat global poverty with a cup of coffee


Via LearnLiberty: See also Fair Trade Without the Froth: When it comes to the purchase of everyday goods such as coffee, tea and sugar, most consumers believe that sellers of Fair Trade products occupy the high moral ground. Despite its strong statements, however, the claims of the Fair Trade movement have not been tested properly. This important study, whilst not doubting the position that Fair Trade is part and parcel of a market economy, does question the claims made by […]

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Unemployment down nationally, regionally, and locally


Unemployment in the UK is down by 57,000. It is lower than in May 2010. Unemployment in Buckinghamshire is down – falling by 404 in June to stand at 5,437. It’s now at its lowest level since December 2008. Unemployment in Wycombe is down by 194 from June 2012 and stands at 2,268, which almost a 10% annual decrease. The number of people claiming out of work benefits is lower than at the general election and there are over half a […]

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Bank reform demands monetary reform – an essay for Banking 2020


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Today sees the return of the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill to Parliament. It does not do enough. In the book Banking 2020: A vision for the future, my essay summarises the institutional problems with our monetary and banking orthodoxy: The features of today’s banking system As Governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King told us in 2010: ‘Of all the many ways of organising banking, the worst is the one we have today.’ Notes and coins are irredeemable: the promise […]

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HS2 – a study in why politicians make bad choices


Yesterday, a number of us voted against the preparatory bill for High Speed 2. I remain opposed for the reasons I have given. As if the economic case were not weak enough already, yesterday another £10 billion was added to the cost: Patrick McLoughlin said that the projected cost has risen from £33billion to £42.6billion because of a significant “contingency” fund to cover the cost of potential problems with the programme. This excludes the cost of the rolling stock, billions […]

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Haldane: Bond bubble is the biggest threat to financial stability


Via City A.M., Bank official: Bond bubble is the biggest threat to financial stability | City A.M.. OUTSPOKEN Bank of England official Andrew Haldane warned yesterday that the bursting of a bond bubble is the biggest threat to the world’s financial stability. Haldane, the Bank’s executive director of financial stability, told the Treasury Select Committee that central banks’ massive asset-buying programmes have created significant risks. “If I were to single out what for me would be the biggest risk to global […]

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