Monday, 22 April 2013

A sitter for Miliband, but he still can’t score

"An Ipsos Mori poll in Thursday’s London Evening Standard found that an overwhelming majority of voters, 66 per cent, do not think the Labour leader is ready to become PM. Only one in four believes he is up to the job. What is his problem? Why can’t he smash the ball into the net? The answer, perhaps, was delivered 24 hours later in the Independent newspaper, which reported: “Labour bets the house with pledge to outspend Tories”. That is, of course, a legitimate policy, but it will gain little traction until the party tells us by how much and on what. ..... Between 2003 and 2007, in what we mistook for boom years, Labour borrowed £160 billion. Its leaders were reckless in a time of plenty. If it is to be given a second chance, we need to see the small print. Is it higher taxes to fund more spending? Or will it be even more borrowing? And if there are to be cuts, whose heads are on the chopping block? We know that what Mr Brown called “Labour investment” was, in part, “Labour consumption”."

Monday, 15 April 2013

Business news and markets: live

"Breaking news from the business world as China's economic growth slows to 7.7pc in the first quarter of 2013 and gold falls to its lowest level in two years."

Thursday, 11 April 2013

EMU plot curdles as creditors seize Cyprus gold reserves

"First they purloin the savings and bank deposits in Laiki and the Bank of Cyprus, including the working funds of the University of Cyprus, and thousands of small firms hanging on by their fingertips. Then they seize three quarters of the country’s gold reserves, making it ever harder for Cyprus to extricate itself from EMU at a later date. The people of Cyprus first learned about this from a Reuters leak of the working documents for the Eurogroup meeting on Friday. It is tucked away in clause 29. "Sale of excess gold reserves: The Cypriot authorities have committed to sell the excess amount of gold reserves owned by the Republic. This is estimated to generate one-off revenues to the state of €400m via an extraordinary payout of central bank profits." This seemed to catch the central bank by surprise. Officials said they knew nothing about it. So who in fact made this decision?"

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Margaret Thatcher Was Freakishly Correct About Why The Euro Would Be Such A Big Disaster

Business Insider
"Margaret Thatcher was an incredibly polarizing figure, but everyone should be able to agree that she was absolutely spot on about why the Euro would be such a disaster. As Peter Oborne reported in the Telegraph In 2010, Thatcher's two autobiographies, "The Downing Street Years" (1993) and "The Path To Power" (1995) discussed the tactics she would use to argue against the EMU (Economic and Monetary Union), which she wanted no part of. Basically, she outlined the problems with the euro perfectly, that Germany would chafe at the inevitable need for greater inflation, and that the poorer countries would inevitably be uncompetitive and need bailouts that would not easily be forthcoming. This paragraph is from "The Path To Power," where she discusses conversations with John Major (her successor) about negotiating with the rest of Europe. She just totally nails the inflation and competitiveness angles."

Lest we forget how terrible things were: The woman who saved Britain - the verdict of three historians

Daily Mail
"Britain was on its knees on May 3, 1979 when Margaret Thatcher was elected prime minister. Ever since World War II, politicians had made it their priority to manage what they considered to be its inevitable decline. Mrs Thatcher was having none of that. Her priority was to make Britain powerful again, economically, if not strategically. And by 1983 — the end of her first term — it was clear she had succeeded. It is hard to exaggerate the pitiful state of Britain in the Seventies. The reckless economic policy of Mrs Thatcher’s predecessor as Tory leader, Ted Heath, who between 1970 and 1974 printed money as though it were going out of fashion, had left a legacy of high inflation, peaking at 27 per cent in 1975."

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Helicopter QE will never be reversed

"Readers of the Daily Telegraph were right all along. Quantitative easing will never be reversed. It is not liquidity management as claimed so vehemently at the outset. It really is the same as printing money."

No, comrades. Welfare reform isn't about hurting poor people. It's about trying to make them richer

Daily Mail
"The Left’s language is now so twisted that words have lost their ordinary meanings. The ‘bedroom tax’ is in fact a re-allocation of housing benefit away from people with spare rooms towards people without. Whatever else we call it, it’s not a tax. Yet the reduction in top-rate tax — which really is a tax — is called ‘writing a cheque to millionaires’.Liam Byrne, the former Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury, even has the gall to describe the 45p top rate of tax as ‘a bonanza for the rich’. But what was the rate during all but the final month of Labour’s 13 years in office? Forty per cent."
Labour's addiction to welfare hurts us all

Monday, 1 April 2013

DAVID STOCKMAN: We've Been Lied To, Robbed, And Misled

"Then, when the Fed’s fire hoses started spraying an elephant soup of liquidity injections in every direction and its balance sheet grew by $1.3 trillion in just thirteen weeks compared to $850 billion during its first ninety-four years, I became convinced that the Fed was flying by the seat of its pants, making it up as it went along. It was evident that its aim was to stop the hissy fit on Wall Street and that the thread of a Great Depression 2.0 was just a cover story for a panicked spree of money printing that exceeded any other episode in recorded human history."

Shock News : Bank Bailout Was A Fraud

Real Science
"Of course, history shows that our markets and economy would have been better off had the system been allowed to correct. Most of the “too big to fail” institutions would have survived or been broken into smaller, more resilient, entities. For those that would have failed, smaller, more responsible banks would have stepped up to replace them – as happens as part of the natural course of a free market system:..."