It’s astonishing that this bloke is employed to write about economics

For he seems not to grasp the very basics of the subject, looking for the unseen:

Nonetheless, the message was clear. No one should despair about quitting the EU; an investment boom that consigns the standstill of the last 10 years to history is still possible.

However, the evidence for this assertion is alarmingly thin. Most companies with spare cash have preferred to milk their customers, sweat their assets and pass on the proceeds to investors through share buybacks and dividends.

That’s not just a UK trend. It can be seen in the US, where large corporations are trumpeting how much of Donald Trump’s tax cuts are being spent on wage rises and investment, although these sums are likely to be dwarfed by the amounts passed back to shareholders.

And what happens next? Shareholders can either spend or invest, it is not possible to do anything else.

This idea that investment must, can only, happen inside extant companies is just nonsense.

7 comments on “It’s astonishing that this bloke is employed to write about economics

  1. Inman isn’t employed by the Groan to write about economics.

    What would be the point? No Groan reader understands economics, otherwise they wouldn’t be Groan readers.

    He may fool some people by using some of the words that economists use, like ‘invest’, but they don’t mean what he thinks they mean.

  2. It is mildly interesting to see he has such a problem with giving money back to shareholders. Nor can he see a link between investment and giving money to shareholders.

    So ignorant enough for City University? I think so.

  3. First of all, he’s a journalist. And not an economist. At best this fool has read Marx For Beginners.

    Second of all, we’re talking about the managing editors of The Guardian hiring a journalist to cover economics. They wouldn’t know a qualified economist if one hit them in the face.

    Finally, we’re talking about the readership of The Guardian. You know, the sort of folks who think Jeremy Corbyn is The Future, Laurie Penny is profound, and can listen to a lecture by Richard Murphy without laughing out loud.

  4. Richard Murphy reference went whoosh over their heads here

    For educational purposes, suggestions for RM’s most lunatic article or blog thread to link to welcome.

  5. Tax cuts being “passed back” to shareholders. Translation: investors getting to keep more of their own money.

  6. Larry Elliott (Guardian econ editor) is their single real economist.
    Coincidentally (!) he supported Leave…

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