Charles Adams says:
November 10 2019 at 3:43 pm
Wow I was shocked by those wealth numbers and went away to read the ONS report which shocked me even more.

Private pensions must be the biggest financial deceit ever inflicted on the majority of citizens without them realising the injustice.

Over 5 trillion in private pension wealth with 50% owned by the top 10% of households. The bottom 40% with nothing. And those top 10% got their 2.5 trillion tax free! And there it sits invested in fossil fuel companies that spew carbon carbon that is increasingly disrupt the lives of those 40%.

I am sure you have called for this Richard but we really need to make sure that no pension funds can invest in direct polluters or at least to remove their tax break and fast.

Longer term we really need to look at a fair and ethical way to redress the inequality in private pension provision. For example, is there any good reason why the private pension gini should be allowed to be higher than the income gini? Tax policy could be used to engineer a democratically agreed distribution.

Richard Murphy says:
November 10 2019 at 5:43 pm

I see this as a big direction fo travel for my work – and am having meetings on possible academic tie-ups for it this week

Generally, I am moving away from tax. I will still use it but the research focus is moving to green / accounting / investment / capital allocation / decision criteria

After 7 academic papers this year (six approved, one in resubmission), five chapters and four working papers I seem popular as a research partner

Dop you ant to join in Charles? That Gini thinking is neat and could be developed into something quite neat

A social policy journal might like it. I have some stuff heading in tat direction right now

That last typo is just lovely.

But what’s truly gorgeous is how neither of them have woken up to lifecycle effects. Pensions wealth will be greatest at the moment of retirement. The young generally have saved little toward one, the old are spending it down.

So, what concentration of pensions wealth would we actually expect? That is, because people both age and save, what should the gini of the pensions distribution be?

This one is easy

From romcoms to Marvel blockbusters, east Asian actors are enjoying unprecedented success. What’s taken the film industry so long?

It’s a business. They’ve been waiting for East Asians to have enough money to make it worthwhile having actors for the audience – paying audience – to identify with.

If China were still poor then it would be back to Fu Manchu.

So tigers aren’t endangered then?

An oft-quoted statistic is that there are more tigers in American back yards than there are left in the wild. According to the US Fish & Wildlife Service, there are between 3,200 and 3,500 tigers remaining in the wild globally. By some estimates there are 5,000 in captivity in the US, though there might be more. The truth is we have little idea how many there are in American ranches, unlicensed zoos, apartments, truck stops and private breeding facilities, due to a mishmash of state, federal and county laws governing their ownership.

Thank God for private property, eh? Or thank Gaia, eh?

A very clever piece of reasoning


Umm… Nowadays cornflakes *shouldn’t* react to magnets, “fortified” or not.
Anything sufficient to react to a magnet would (should) not pass the detection gates they use in production to prevent stuff like that getting out of the factory.
Something about (micro)swarf + intestines = Bad PR..

Feminism again

Sex can and should be amazingly fun, not something to fear. Of course parents should warn young people that sex can end in pregnancy, unwanted infections, heartbreak and emotional pain.

That’s a pretty good reverse ferret, the very next sentence.

Feminism and fertility

Given the general feminist insistence about fertility – the insistence on discussing it for a start, then the control of it by none other and no other than the woman concerned – we’ve something of a right to expect feminists to acknowledge fertility in all areas of life. Yet, as we know, that’s exactly what they don’t do:

At least this (smallish age gap) counts as a novelty. Usually, we nosy types find the larger age gaps intriguing. Some such relationships defy the odds and work. Others look unhealthy, especially if one party is not just younger, but also young, period – too young for them to have much hope of real agency in their relationship. Then there’s that other kind of age gap, with the freaky gendered socioeconomic dimension – where snagging a much younger woman becomes as much a signifier of male success as a mansion or a Porsche. Here, the younger woman is less a human being than a male acquisition or achievement. I always wondered why some men were forever moaning nastily about gold-diggers.

It finally dawned that perhaps it’s because they are intoxicated with this idea of womankind confirming their financial success. “Look, everybody, I’m so successful, I’m being played by gold-diggers!” There lies the essential tragedy of the money-obsessed – it even contaminates their sexual and emotional life.

You know, fertility? That thing that women lose in their 40s?

No, there’s no justice or righteousness here, just experience. We’re descended from people who found fertile women shaggable. Those who didn’t didn’t leave descendants. And thus it’s rather built into us to prefer fertile women as shags.

Which does leave us still with the question. Given all that feminist attention paid to fertility why is it they fail to understand it?

What a fascinating idea

The theory is most fun:

Deadly conditions like leukaemia, sepsis and malaria could be drawn from the body using magnets, after a British engineer designed a blood filtering system which sieves away disease.

Dr George Frodsham, came up with the idea while studying how magnetic nanoparticles can be made to bind to cells in the body, to allow, for example those cells to show up on scanners.

But he realised that if it was possible to magnetise cells for imaging, it should also be possible to then suck them out of the blood.

In theory, any bacterial infection, blood cancer, or virus that could be grabbed by a tiny magnetic particle could be removed from the body without the need for lengthy treatments with harsh drugs.

If you can preferentially mark or magnetise the bad stuff then yes, you’ve just created a method of being able to filter by magnetism.

Now, whether it actually works usefully is another matter and it’s going to be fun to find out.

Obviously, they already know about the levitating frog and are aware that the red blood cells contain that iron which is affected by magnets….

And even at Ampleforth

Children in care who are given boarding school places are three times more likely to go to university, the first major study has shown.

Sending vulnerable youngsters to boarding schools also makes them six times more likely to achieve at least two A-levels, according to a new report by the Royal National Children’s SpringBoard Foundation.

The charity works with local authorities to place disadvantaged children in some of the country’s most prestigious institutions including Eton College, Harrow School, Radley College and Wellington College.

And even at Ampleforth they’d be less likely to be fiddled with too.

No political bias at HuffPo, no sirree

The church is facing serious questions about some of its pastors allegedly pressuring young people into taking out loans of up to £5,000 or giving thousands of pounds in “seed offerings” and failing to act on these allegations, as exposed by HuffPost UK on Friday.

HuffPost UK found SPAC Nation’s leader was at the Conservative Party Conference this year seated behind cabinet ministers, such as Home Secretary Priti Patel and Chancellor Sajid Javid, for the prime minister’s speech. He has also met ministers at Downing Street and won a peace award sponsored by the Mayor of London’s office.

The Mayor of London of which political party?

Ritchie wants pensioners to lose money on the Green New Deal

Since incentives are already provided by the government, simple rule changes could encourage savers towards Green New Deal bonds. For example, if an interest rate of 1.5 per cent or more was paid on such bonds with a government guarantee being provided, then the £70bn that goes into Isas each year could be directed towards the Green New Deal.

1.5% interest rate.

The current inflation rate is 1.7%.

Ritchie wants people to lose money on their pension investments.

What’s the price for a men’s game at Wembley?

The projected record-breaking attendance for a women’s football match in ­Britain should inspire fans to come regularly and encourage girls to believe they can play at international level, the England manager Phil Neville said on Friday.

More than 86,500 tickets have been sold for England’s showpiece friendly against Germany at Wembley on Saturday, close to the stadium’s 90,000 ­capacity.

OK, great. Tickets are £10 and £1 for kiddies.

What’s the price for a men’s game at the same stadium?

Actually, an interesting question here. What’s the cost of using the stadium for a day? Does the ticket income here even cover that? If it’s all kiddies’ tickets probably not, if all adult then maybe…..

Dear Lord, the idiocy here

First things first: virginity doesn’t exist

Well, actually, it does. It’s the state of not having had penetrative vaginal sex as yet.

Whether it’s important or not is entirely another matter. But it does exist.

and there’s no way to test it. Hymens can be broken by things other than penises. Some girls are born without hymens. Many women and girls who have never had penetrative vaginal sex nonetheless lack an intact hymen; some women who have had penetrative vaginal sex see their hymens remain intact.

All of that’s true. And yet none of it changes the falsity of the first assertion.

Of course, the entire concept of virginity is misogynistic: men aren’t valued for their sexual inexperience, there’s no male virginity test, and male sexual desire and experience are considered both normal and appropriate. It’s also just plain stupid, logically and conceptually. If a woman has sex exclusively with women and has 500 partners in her life, is she still a virgin? Why is a woman who has anal but not vaginal sex a technical virgin, but a man who has only had anal sex with men not one? A woman could ostensibly have a long and active career as a porn star and still be a virgin, so long as the vaginal sex was the one act she would not engage in. Is a woman still a virgin if she’s penetrated with a sex toy but not a human penis?

What fun with the hypotheticals.

And yet it has been something our forbears placed great importance upon. Why so for all those thousands and thousands of years? The absence of contraception of course.

A bloke is going to spend the majority of his life’s work in supporting his family. The aim and purpose of the entire idea of life itself is to be raising part copies of one’s own DNA. Thus the treasure of his labour should be spent upon his children, not those of the bloke next door or the wife’s first boyfriend.

Thus the importance placed upon the woman’s chastity. One useful signifier of which is her virginity.

This isn’t complicated and it may not be all that relevant these days. But knowing how we got to where we are is useful.

But then that’s asking a woman to be logical, isn’t it?

Here’s my bet about slang

There will be just as much of it, just as much variation, but it will be different:

Are you terrified by “harvest men” or “long-legged tailors”? Do you have “ferntickles” or “brunny-spots” on your face? If someone called you “gibble-fisted” would you be affronted or amused?

The words for daddy long-legs, freckles and left-handed are all examples of English regional dialect discovered in the 1950s by a team of fieldworkers in what was the most comprehensive survey of its kind ever undertaken.

On Saturday, the University of Leeds announced plans to update the survey by recruiting volunteers to be modern-day dialect researchers, thanks to more than £500,000 of national lottery funding.

The original surveyors set out from Leeds 70 years ago, targeting “old men with good teeth” for two reasons: they were a more likely to be a bridge to the past, and they could be understood.

Slang is, in one way of looking at it, the signifier of ingroup and outgroup. We still have such. How we do has changed for sure. For example, we have our own little bits of slang around here. The Eksian Solution, pendantry, Snippa is not the polite Swedish word for something gynecological but the recent Senior Lecturer and so on. In this reading slang simply arises from the shared experience of the community. As communities still exist as do shared experiences we still have divergent slang. It’s just not quite as related to geography as it used to be. Or, if you prefer, it is to the new geography of shared experiences and community, not to the old based on mere accidents of land.

ARRSE has a subtly different language to Reddit for example. Both to Mumsnet.

Have to admit I do like “gibble-fisted” but I would use it to refer to Snippa’s typing style.

Goddamit, don’t these people think?

What is currently taught?

Economics textbooks across the world, some of them first published in the 1960s, continue to teach students a model of the monetary system in which commercial banks act as intermediaries, that only move existing money around the system, like lubricant in a machine. Many economics courses rely on the models in these textbooks, without recognising the empirical evidence that undermines them. This gives an unbalanced view of the way the monetary system functions and of the role of banks in the economy.

How is money created?

As research from the Bank of England, Bundesbank and numerous academics has shown, banks are not intermediaries channelling pre-existing funds from savers to borrowers. Commercial banks create the vast majority of money in circulation. Unlike other financial institutions, they create money when they extend loans to borrowers. In the process of extending a loan, banks do not move pre-existing funds from any other account but newly ‘invent’ the money by crediting the borrower’s account. Therefore, banks’ lending is constrained by borrowers’ demand, profitability considerations and financial regulations, not by pre-existing funds (i.e people’s savings) nor by central bank reserves. This reality is in line with the credit creation or endogenous money theory, which is absent from most current economics textbooks and teaching.

Banks create credit, or wide money, they do not create money, or base money. M4 that is, not M0.

But apart from that here’s an A level revision text:

How Modern Commercial Banks Create Credit

Banks create credit by extending loans to businesses and households – pure and simple!
They do not need to attract deposits from savers to do this
When a bank makes a loan, for example to someone taking out a mortgage to buy a house, or a business taking out a loan to finance their expansion it credits their bank account with a bank deposit of the size of the loan/mortgage.
At that moment, new money is created!

“Banks making loans and consumers repaying them are the most significant ways in which bank deposits are created and destroyed in the modern economy.”

If it’s in the A level syllabus then I think we can assume that it is being taught, no?