Wonder how this one will play out?

Consuming twice the maximum daily salt recommended by the NHS may be safe, a controversial new study has claimed.

A major review published in the Lancet suggests that salt is not as damaging to health as previously thought and that official campaigns should focus only on those consuming the most.

The NHS and World Health Organization say adults should not have more than a teaspoon of salt a day, because of the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

But the new study indicates that up to two and a half teaspoons of salt may be safe, and that more than this may still be acceptable as part of a broader healthy diet comprising lots of fruit and vegetables.

Given that the body normally self-regulates salt levels, that all sounds reasonable enough. But how are the prodnoses going to take it? And when will they reverse the insistence that everything must below salt?

So, they are doing the obvious thing then

A judge on Friday refused to block Nebraska from carrying out the state’s first-ever lethal injection despite a pharmaceutical company’s claims that the state illicitly obtained its drugs, clearing the way for the country’s first execution with fentanyl.

Not as if there’s a shortage of it about now, is it?

But it is a policy you damn fool!

Saying average bank base rates are going to be below 5% in the future looks like one of the most reliable forecasts anyone can make, based on the long term trend data.

Saying rates may not be far from zero may be almost as reliable now.

But McCafferty did not, of course, draw the obvious conclusion. The first is that in that case monetary policy has little or no roll to play in the economy.

Why will interest rates be low? Because given the economic conditions it will be our policy that interest rates will be low.

Low interest rates are not a proof that monetary policy has no role, it is a bloody monetary policy.

And, second, that in that case giving any significant role in the management of the economy to a supposedly independent central bank makes no sense at all, because the only instrument they have to use is the interest rate and for all practical purposes it will have no impact on economic management in the foreseeable future.

Would having high interest rates change the economic outcome? Then someone still has to decide what monetary policy is going to be, don’t they?

Downside and Ampleforth

The report on kiddie fiddling.

Time and again within the public hearing, the most senior clergymen in the EBC
and in the two abbeys, including past presidents of the EBC Dom Richard Yeo
and Dom Charles Fitzgerald‑Lombard, admitted wrong-headed judgements, and
expressed regret at past failures to protect children. This was necessary but not
sufficient. It was not accompanied by full acknowledgement of the tolerance of
serious criminal activity, or the recognition that previous ‘misjudgements’ had
devastating consequences for the lives of the young people involved.

How Catholic the modern state can be. Only full confession and repentance can lead to the sin being purged.

As to the rest of the report I read it really to confirm that I wasn’t my usual unobservant self when I was at Downside. The allegations there are outside my time entirely, as I rather thought they were. I’ve mentioned this over the years of inquiries and have had emails from various other pupils and all say much the same thing. Contrary to the Ampleforth experience it all started in the mid-80s at Downside.

There was a 1969/70 incident and that was much more about someone homosexual being interested in strapping youths. Leaving aside today’s rules about teacher pupil relationships – you know, the position of care and power thing – it’s something which, if consensual, would be entirely legal at today’s age of consent. This might be many things whether we apply today’s or yesterday’s rules but it’s not paedophilia.

The mid-80’s incidents and on were.

I left in ’81, as did one other regular commenter here.

The thing is, boys do gossip. If “something was going on” I tend to think that it would have been known. Perhaps not among the adults, but definitely among whatever the target grouping was. It wasn’t, which is why there wasn’t the gossip.

Think it’s probably gone

House of Fraser has admitted to having just 11 days to save 17,000 jobs as the retailer scrambles to secure a lifeline before its cash runs dry.

The stricken department store chain must pull in fresh funding by August 20 or risk collapse through a failure to pay its bills.

The deadline outlined by the retailer is when a number of suppliers must be paid, including a raft of in-store concessions.

It was revealed in a statement to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, where its bonds are listed, underscoring how little time bosses have left to save the business.

It’s the credit insurers that matter. If they’ll not insure suppliers then they’ll need cash before delivery. Not that that’s a bad thing. It’s just that moving from – say and for example – 120 days payment terms to cash before delivery swallows vast amounts of working capital.

Which is, of course, the very thing HoF ain’t got.

This isn’t to insist upon a 100% track record but often enough it’s those credit insurers who pull the plug on retail.

As to whether HoF should go. Well, department stores? Mixed retail in expensive and premium High Street locations? Entirely possible that this business idea itself is just dead.

Is he really this stupid?

One is to pretend that there is any future for monetary policy in the timescale Labour now need to be concerned about. There isn’t. Carney says he can see three interest rate rises in the next three years. I would call that optimistic. But at best that means rates will reach 1.5% before, inevitably, crashing to zero again. In other words, any policy (including putting the central bank at the core of economic policy) based on neoclassical thinking which, as Michell confirms, puts monetary concerns at its core is simply irrelevant.

What are low interest rates if they’re not monetary policy?

Err, yes, didn’t we all know this?

Men who want to boost their sperm counts may want to swap their tight-fitting underpants for more roomy boxers which are better suited to keeping testicles cool, scientists say.

A major study into the impact of underwear on sperm quality found that men who favoured airy boxer shorts made significantly more sperm than those who tucked themselves into more restrictive items of underwear.

The reason something as sensitive and important to the very purpose of life as testicles are outside the body is?

Quite, that they work better at slightly lower than body temperature.

If they worked better at it then we’d be descended from those whose remained safely tucked away up where the ovaries sit and where they themselves start out. We’re not and they don’t.


The gravity of a black woman deciding to cut her hair off and go “natural” in a white supremacist society (yes, ours) should not be underestimated.

No one gives a shit honey. The ship of worries about other peoples’ hair styles sailed long, long, ago. Now we’ve even got Swampies in Bob Marley’s dreadlocks. We’re going to be worried about a mere Afro?

Oh Aye?

Tesla shares climbed as much as 13pc on Tuesday night after its mercurial co-founder Elon Musk announced he was considering taking the electric car maker private.

In a series of tweets Mr Musk, who has repeatedly complained about Tesla’s treatment on the public market and clashed with analysts, said he had already secured funding for the plan.

The company later released a statement, in which it said a final decision had not yet been made on whether to take Tesla private.

Well, that’s one way to boost the share price ahead of a capital raising. You know, say you’re going private, but haven’t quite decided, stock price jumps, have a rights issue instead claiming circumstances have changed.

What would be interesting to know is what the bond covenants say. Do holders have a change of control put on them? That would mean they’ve got to refinance all the debt at the same time. No, I don’t know. But it would, to me at least, indicate that the going private is less likely than the public capital raise.

And onto entire speculation. I don’t think – not that I’ve particularly studied it – that Tesla can get to mass market without more capital. But I also think that it’s only one more decent slug and they could. Thus it’s actually worth, for the long term perspective, destroying the current share price with a screw the fanbois massive rights issue. One that’s fully underwritten of course so they’re guaranteed the money.

But then there is a reason why I didn’t become a banker…..

Civilisations die without trade

The last Viking settlements may have vanished after walruses moved to safer shores to avoid being hunted for their ivory, a new study suggests.

Norse communities founded by Erik the Red flourished in Greenland for 500 years but then disappeared suddenly in the late 15th century leaving towns and villages abandoned.

Now scientists at Cambridge University think they have solved the mystery. The Norse economy relied so heavily on the ivory trade that when supply and demand slumped they had no other way to make a living and were forced to leave.

Useful news from history, no? The importance of trade?

How stories change, eh?

There is no surprise here: the reason why I refused the job of being McDonnell’s chief economic adviser in 2015 (Meadway was to be my deputy) was because McDonnell was adamant that he had to sign up to Osborne’s fiscal charter that required balanced budgets.

Stories do change over time, isn’t that nice? Because the old one was that he’d take the peerage but wanted a decent salary on top of the Lords Allowances to do the job.

Ritchie cannot even read a set of accounts these days

There has been much anguish expressed about the latest Amazon accounts for its UK operating company. This is unsurprising. Those accounts suggest that Amazon has increased its UK activity from £1.45bn of sales in 2016 to £1.99bn of sales in 2017, with its profits increasing threefold from £24m to £72m. Yet its overall apparent tax charge was still a minuscule £1.7m.

However, all is not as it seems. Once the tax effect of payments made to staff using share option schemes is taken out of account, this company looks as if it paid £4.7m in tax in 2017, compared with £3.7m the year before. That’s actual cash paid, and it suggests a tax rate of approximately 6.4% in 2017 compared with 15.5% in 2016. Given that the expected tax rate for the 2017 accounts was 19.25%, Amazon appeared to pay only a third of what might have been due.

Amazon explains the fuss by referring to the effect of those share payments. But that’s a sideshow, in my opinion.

Well, it would help if the accountant writing this article were able to do the most basic reading of accounts. Share options, awards, they’re part of paying the staff. They’re an expense, which is why they’re not part of the profits which make up the bit taxed.

So, what were the profits after we take off the cost of those share awards? And what is the percentage of those post all costs of business then paid in tax?

No, not what is he tax paid as a percentage of profits before all costs, but what is the percentage of profits paid as tax as a percentage of taxable profits?

Do note that The G isn’t allowing comments on Spudder’s piece.

This is such a horror

The green belt is disappearing at an “alarming rate” with the equivalent of 5,000 football pitches lost because of a relaxation of planning laws, a report warns today.

Developers are being allowed to “gobble up” green belt land as local authorities release it for house building to meet Government targets for new homes, the report says.

The situation is set to get worse, according to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) with 460,000 homes currently planned for land which will be released from the green belt.

5,000 football fields is usually said to be 10,000 acres.

Green belt is 1.6 million hectares, some 3.8 million acres. A while 0.25% ha been gobbled up.

Tragedy, eh?

As opposed to the idea that people now get to build homes where people would like to live……