It’s almost like Spud doesn’t know the GDP equation

The easiest way to create growth in the UK is to redistribute wealth to those in need

Umm, yeah.

GDP = private consumption + gross private investment + government investment + government spending + (exports – imports).

The cash being invested creates growth just as much as the spending does.

We can also go further. Spud’s own analysis is that we’ve an excess of demand over supply – that’s the inflation. So, he recommends taking the money off those who might expend supply and using it to expand demand.

Erm, right.

Spudnomics

Just under £300bn has been wiped off the value of UK corporate bonds since the start of this year following a major sell-off in the bond market in what is considered the biggest collapse in two decades.

In the first six months of this year, the total outstanding value of UK corporate bonds has fallen by 13.3% from £2.237 trillion to £1.940 trillion, a fall of £297.5 billion.

Aren’t we all just so grateful that Spudnomics was instituted. So all our pensions are invested in high interest bonds at 1%?

Rather revealing

Biden can still stop Trump, and Trumpism – if he can find a bold plan and moral vision
Robert Reich

That assumption that it’s the right person but the plan needs work. Rather than, say, here’s the plan for the country, now who’s the right person?

The other way of putting this being that there seems to be a certain tribalism supplanting policy in Me. Reich’s world view.

Yes you are, Love, yes you are

Since having my son, I have thought often about single-parent families. “I don’t know how you cope” is a common refrain that you hear from coupled-up parents, but I’m not about to patronise any of you.

See?

You cope because you have to, because you love your child or children and they need you. I understand that. I saw my mother do it, and have single parents in my extended family and friendship groups.

Some of my best friends are single parents…..

The real argument

But advocates of the licence fee refer to it as a “democracy levy” and say that it acts as a bulwark against polarisation and fake news.

“Bild is now beating the drum for a world without public broadcasters where it can spread its Right-wing infotainment. We can look to the US to see where that ends,” wrote Sebastian Schöbel, an ARD journalist, on Twitter.

That’s the nub of it. No one would voluntarily pay for the sort of centre left dreck we push out and if that became true then how could we propagandise the population?

Apparently…….

If convicted of this he’d be barred from running for Federal office.

The FBI raided Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and broke into his safe in a stunning escalation of the legal scrutiny faced by the former US President.

Agents executed a search warrant, authorised by a judge, which appeared to be to do with boxes of documents containing classified information that Mr Trump brought with him to Florida when he left the White House.

It’s just so damn difficult to believe that that’s the reason for the raid, isn’t it? Just too, too, hard.

Possibly it’s the definition that’s wrong?

Fuel poverty has traditionally been defined as when energy costs exceed 10% of a household’s net income. In the financial year 2019-20, just under 20% of UK households were in that category, according to recent research by the University of York’s Jonathan Bradshaw and Antonia Keung, and published by the Child Poverty Action Group. But their projection suggests that, without further measures – and even factoring in the universal £400 rebate – this figure is set to jump to well over 50% by the start of next year. In Northern Ireland, they reckon, 70% of households will be in fuel poverty; in Scotland, Wales and the north-west of England it will be about 60%. Fuel poverty, the research projects, will soon affect nearly 90% of single parents with two or more children.

But how warm? This poverty includes keeping a house much, much, warmer than the middle classes would have kept a house as late as the 1970s. Mass central heating really is a very modern phenomenon.

Perhaps not

‘There are no safe levels of pollution’: an interview with wildfire researcher Sam Heft-Neal

But there are levels that we’ll willingly put up with. Simply because we desire the things that require pollution to create. Like, you know, plentiful food, warmth, all that.

Just one of those lovely little things

It’s hard to know what access to nature minister Richard Benyon normally finds in his gigantic Berkshire estate when he strolls out on a Sunday afternoon. It is unlikely, however, to be a loudly singing group of activist trespassers, dressed up as psychedelic animals and accompanied by an all-female morris-dancing troupe.

But that’s what wandered up his drive on Sunday, when protesters visited the Englefield estate, calling on Benyon to open it up to the public and extend access for everyone to green space across England.

The Guardian witnessed about 150 people strolling into the estate, including the morris dancers (who came in peace, leaving their traditional sticks at home), and Nadia Shaikh, a nature conservationist and one of the organisers of the event.

The right to roam, common land, power to the people etc etc. The thing I just love about this story is that the founding event is the Mass Trespass at Kinder Scout. The Kinder Scout where access is now limited by the National Trust in order to stop the place eroding away from an excess of visitors. Garrett Hardin was right, Marxian access simply does not work when demand is greater than capacity.

Not really, no

BP is on course to pay a lower tax rate this year than before the onset of Covid, despite a raid on energy companies’ profits during the cost of living crisis.

The FTSE 100 oil behemoth said it expects its global underlying effective tax rate this year to be around 35pc, which compares to 36pc in 2019 and 38pc in 2017 and 2018.

Murray Auchincloss, finance chief, told analysts last week the rate had been helped during the first half of the year by strong results from its refineries and traders.

He said he expected the company’s overall effective tax rate to be around 30pc during the first half of the year, rising to 40pc in the second half, averaging at 35pc for the full-year.

Mr Auchincloss added: “I suppose what we didn’t plan for at the beginning of the year was a much stronger refining market, nor did we plan for exceptional trading results. So, if you take account of those things, that’s what drives the effective rate lower.”

BP said it typically pays tax on products sold as they leave its refineries. These facilities are typically located in lower-tax countries than the wells where it extracts oil and gas from the ground.

The explanation isn’t right. It’s actually that oil wells pay ihgher tax – righteously – than refining. Look at the UK tax system. Refining pays normal corporation tax. Wells pay the special regime for oil wells at much higher rates.

This looks like fun

Given my entire lack of engineering nous I’ve no idea whether it’s useful, or even sensible, but it is fun:

Water activated disposable paper
battery
Alexandre Poulin1
, XavierAeby1 & Gustav Nyström1,2*
We developed a disposable paper battery aiming to reduce the environmental impact of single-use
electronics for applications such as point of care diagnosis, smart packaging and environmental
sensing. The battery uses Zinc as a biodegradable metal anode, graphite as a nontoxic cathode
material and paper as a biodegradable substrate. To facilitate additive manufacturing, we developed
electrodes and current collector inks that can be stencil printed on paper to create water-activated
batteries of arbitrary shape and size. The battery remains inactive until water is provided and absorbed
by the paper substrate, taking advantage of its natural wicking behavior. Once activated, a single cell
provides an open circuit potential of 1.2V and a peak power density of 150 µW/cm2
at 0.5 mA. As a
proof of concept, we fabricated a two cell battery and used it to power an alarm clock and its liquid
crystal display

Via Mr Katz

Ah, re first comment, this might work better.
s41598-022-15900-5 (1)

Don’t tell me this is actually true…..

Martyn Cooper, commercial manager at the UK’s Federation of Environmental Trade Associations, which represents heating and cooling companies, including the heat-pump industry, said: “The bottom line is there wouldn’t be enough f-gases to service existing equipment in the market, be they heat pumps or not.

“It would potentially impact on the rollout of heat pumps because there wouldn’t be enough f-gases to go in them now.

“Potentially you have one environmental regulation, f-gas regulation, impinging on the move to net zero.

“The UK government’s target is 600,000 heat pumps installed by 2030.

“There are other factors that affect the heat-pump market, one of which is the need for more trained engineers to install.

“But that aside, you’d still potentially not have enough heat pumps available to meet the government’s net zero targets.”

Earlier this year, the European Heat Pump Federation warned that the proposed stricter limits would “necessarily slow down the speed at which heat-pump equipment will be deployed”.

Really? They’re banning the very gas that makes heat pumps work? At the same time as we’ve all got to have heat pumps?

Not so much of a surprise

We know that social mobility does happen, but not all that much:

Children in England who receive free school meals go on to earn less than their peers, even when they achieve the same qualifications, with half of them earning £17,000 or less at the age of 30, according to research.

So, folk who are defined as poor at one stage of life are likely to be so at another. We might even wish this to be different. But it is, and it’s largely the same everywhere too.

Possibly, possibly

The biggest civil unrest in decades is likely this autumn. Not all angry people are not going to sit quietly at home, fretting in silence when they realise what is happening to them is being done deliberately. They are going to take to the streets.

But who are they going to hang, Spuddo?

There is, though, the risk of moral hazard in this. That risk is that everyone might decide not to pay, whether they can or not. That cannot happen, so whilst Universal Basic Services must exist, those wanting to use them must be required to prove their need to use this service.

The idea should be open to all though, although those on benefits should not need to give further data on income based on the fact that they incomes will already be known. For everyone else, this data will be required, as will details of outgoings be needed for everyone involved.

Once this data is established (and this must be done as simply as possible) then an agreed maximum payment per month must be fixed, and be fairly and appropriately split between all those due to be paid.

The government could and should administer that payment scheme. So, the person in the scheme should make one payment to the government and the government should then pay those they owe for them. In effect, this is a creditor’s voluntary insolvency arrangement on a massive scale.

Importantly, this scheme has to be mandatory. In other words, anyone owed money by those in this scheme will have no choice but accept the payment that they as all that will ever be paid. It will not be an option for them.

And just to be clear, the amounts not paid will have to be written off: there will be be accumulating debt left behind which landlords and others might then use to evict tenants once this crisis is over. The payments made will cancel the full liabilities owing.

What about the companies owed money? They will say this is grossly unfair. But, let’s be honest, nothing about what is happening here is fair. War is not fair. The actions of the Bank of England are not fair. The UN Secretary General says that the energy companies are screwing us.

And let’s give a mention to the banks, who are going to profit massively from the additional interest payments due to them as a result of the increase on the interest rate on the funds they have technically deposited with the BoE as a result of the operation of QE.

To put that extra bank profit in context: they cannot make less than £14 billion extra profit next year as a result of the gains handed to them directly by the BoE. That’s not fair. So let’s not shed too many tears for them.

But, some companies will still complain and want support. And I think if they can make a case for it – on a case by case basis for companies of this size – they should get it. But the price should be that they hand over a share of their business for all the support they get.

There should be no handouts, grants or loans. If these businesses are under-capitalised to manage the losses which all large companies should be robust enough to withstand then they must pay the price for wanting the additional capital that they will demand from the government.

Great, innit? Bankrupt all the companies by letting folk off their bills. Then nationalise all the companies as they go bust.

What a plan!

A Petropavlovsk detail I’d not known

As well as have having mines in Russia’s far east, one of the company’s prized assets is its ownership of one of only two factories in the country that extract gold and metals from ore, a difficult process.

That’s normally called a refinery but no matter. What does is that bars from that refinery are no, or no longer, good delivery into the London and Chicago bullion markets. That rather crimps refinery margins. It’s entirely possible to sell the stuff but at a discount. Either in other markets, or to another refiner who then recasts it.

Something of a detail of course……

That being the whole point of it

Schumer has said he hopes the Senate can begin voting on the bill – known as the Inflation Reduction Act – on Saturday. Passage by the House, which Democrats control narrowly, could come next week.

Final congressional approval of the election-year measure would be a marquee achievement for Joe Biden and his party, notching an accomplishment they could tout to voters as November approaches.

It’s not, to be honest, a good bill. But it is something that can be waved at the hustings. And therefore…..

All of which proves that politics isn’t a great way to run things really……

That left wing rathole

An insidious “far-left ecosystem” is targeting children in an attempt to radicalise them online, with experts warning that progressively younger school pupils are becoming ensnared in extremist ideologies, a Daily Mail investigation has found.

Teachers, police officers, academics and community leaders said there was evidence that long periods of unsupervised online access, compounded during Covid lockdowns, were resulting in children and young people across the UK encountering far-left groups in greater numbers than before.

Gaming forums, private chatrooms and slickly produced online leaflets or “study guides” are among the platforms and tactics used to introduce young teenagers to socialist, critical race theory, neo-Soviet and involuntary celibate (“trans”) ideas.

Grace Blakely was unavailable for comment.

So we don’t have to use Venezuela then

We’ve another example of how modern monetary theory works. Turkey.

Turkey’s runaway inflation has hit close to 80 per cent on the back of a collapsing currency, falling interest rates and a slowing economy.

Consumer prices rose to 79.6 per cent in July compared to the same period last year, marking the 14th consecutive jump in inflation to its highest rate since 1998. It rose 2.4 per cent between June and July.

Amazing how this works out, isn’t it? Give the politicians control over taxes, spending, money creation and interest rates, all four together, and disaster follows. Maybe we shouldn’t give politicians that control over all four then?

Not quite, no

I read — Lord forgive my search history — that testicle size corresponds with animal fertility.

It’s more closely related to the female propensity to shag around in that species. Being able to drown out the sperm of male rivals works. Of course, this is also relative to body size, but gorillas have smaller than bonobos, with humans in between.

The classic case of this being Soay sheep. Similar, at one point, to mainland cousins, they’ve been wild for centuries now. Which means that the rams haven’t been culled as wethers etc. The competition for access to ewes has meant the rams that do successfully procreate are those with the Buster Gonads…….an inheritable condition.

Oh, and it’s also possible to run this back the other way. Testicle size is a good guide to the long run female propensity to shag around in that species…..

That didn’t take long

This comes in the wake of new analysis last week that calculated $2.8bn a day in pure profit for the oil and gas industry for the last 50 years.

No, actually, it didn’t. It said there was that much in economic rents and profits. And the vast majority of that was rents, most of which are captured by governments. Oil royalties are a thing, after all.

Tzeporah Berman is either stupid or lying, your pick.