September 2012

And again, we find morons in the newspapers

It is a bold philosophy but a mistaken one. For a start, this new dash for gas is predicated on the notion that gas prices will be maintained at their current modest level or possibly even an cheaper one for decades. The notion is fallacious. In fact, most financial forecasts indicate that the price of gas from suppliers such as Qatar will rise in coming years as global demand outstrips planetary supplies.

We\’re at the very beginning of the shale gas revolution. And people are clinging to forecasts which ignore that very revolution. Tossers.

Thus the chancellor, in his desire to provide cheap power in the short term, threatens to shackle the nation to an extremely expensive power source in the long term. By contrast, reliance on renewable power offers us independence on the issue of energy.

What fucking independence you ignorant, ignorant, morons?

The UK has just closed the last two aluminium refineries as a result of trying to cut back on carbon emissions. You need aluminium refineries to make the blades for those sodding windmills. What independence? Or solar cells: there is not one single factory in the UK that makes the silicon to make solar cells. The nearest one that I know of is in Freiberg in Saxony. What fucking independence? There is precisely none, not a scrap, a tit, jottle or iota, of production of the indium, germanium or gallium necessary to dope those solar cells with anywhere in the UK. There aren\’t any plants that actually produce them either, even from imported components. We don\’t mine the copper to connect them to the grid (nor even the aluminium, see above, for long distance power lines)….what friggin\’ independence is this that you speak of?

A market in renewable technologies is developing across the globe as China, India and many other nations attempt to build low-carbon economies and look to the west to buy infrastructure. Britain is well placed to create the necessary industries that can provide the world with wave and tide power plants and carbon storage technology. There is money in clean energy, in short, and the government urgently needs to accept this fact.

And while you celebrate this phantasmal idea of economic independence you\’re basing it on the idea that every other fucker in the world won\’t be independent but will buy the kit from us? The kit that we don\’t, and in fact cannot, make?

Seriously, who let these morons near a keyboard?

And more idiots at The Observer

Markets and morals: hurrah for the man who says there are things you can\’t buy

Michael J Sandel\’s argument that the degradation of values is flourishing to our cost should be heeded

Dear Lord.

The man\’s argument is that there are things that you can buy but which you should not. He doesn\’t even say that purchasing such things should be made illegal: he says that you just shouldn\’t buy them.

Entirely opposite to The Observer\’s formulation that there are things which you cannot buy.

Willy fucking Hutton again

Over the last decade, a fifth of quoted companies have evaporated from the London Stock Exchange, the largest cull in our history. Virtually no new risk capital is sought from the stock market or being offered across the spectrum of companies.

Fool. Rick capital is being raised galore on AIM. Which is, err, the market for raising risk capital.

The company is conceived as nothing more than a network of short-term contracts.

And now the man\’s being seriously ignorant. He\’s a (or at least has been) a Governor of the LSE. One of the proudest products of that august institution is the Nobel received by Ronald Coase. Largely for a paper he wrote pointing out that the very point of companies, the reason for their existence, is that they are more than a network of contracts. For where such a network is sufficient there will be just the network and the company therefore will not exist. Companies are not conceived of as networks of contracts for if they were there would be no companies. Tosser.

But companies and wealth generation, as Professor Colin Mayer argues in his important forthcoming book Firm Commitment, are about co-creation, sharing risk and long-term trust relationships:

Long term, eh?

Limited liability should not be a charter to do what you like. It must be conditional on a core business purpose, along with the creation of trustees to guard it. Directors\’ obligations should be legally redefined to deliver on this purpose.

Morons. The long term is a very long time you know. Circumstances change. You can\’t set as a precise goal now whatever it is that a company should or will be doing in 50 years time.

Think about it. Rolls Royce the company predates the invention of the fucking jet engine. How could you write corporate trusts and guidelines back then for a company which now provides one third of the world\’s production of something that didn\’t sodding exist? Apple\’s trust documents would say something about computers: not the iPhone. IBM made cash registers. Goodbye a business in mainframes.

Ignorant sodding wowsers.

To solve the problem that individual shareholders – even savings institutions – do not have sufficient muscle nor sufficient incentive to engage with managements, voting rights could be aggregated and given to new mutuals.

To solve the principal agent problem we should have another layer of agents between principals and management? Can these cunts actually think?

Why yes, we are ruled by idiots, why do you ask?

In 2010, George Osborne announced his intention to impose, from April 2013, a “carbon floor price” of £16 on every tonne of CO2 emitted by British industry, rising to £30 a tonne by 2020 and £70 a tonne by 2030.

They\’ve managed to get confused between a cap and trade system and a carbon tax.

Under a carbon tax it is the tax itself that provides the incentive to reduce emissions. Thus a higher price does indeed tend to reduce emissions and can arguably be a good thing.

Under cap and trade it is the limit on the number of emissions permits that provides the quantity limitation. The price of such permits is not the incentive: it is rather telling us how expensive it is to meet that target.

You really do have to be morons of the highest grade to get confused between the two. A low permit price is just absolutely wonderful. For it shows that the cost of meeting the emissions targets is very low. Hurrah!

Then the idiots decide that solving a problem at low cost is a bad idea. We must raise that cost because, well, because what, other than that they are fools?

This is going to cause an interesting problem, isn\’t it?

Mr Miliband is proposing a sweeping new legal duty on any financial service which manages savings, including pension funds and banks, to maximise the saver’s returns. Failure to do so would mean them breaking the law.

That\’s entirely the end of the corporate social responsibility movement then. Entirely screws over the ethical pension and investment funds. All those plans for Green Bonds go up in smoke.

For he\’s imposing a strict version of fiduciary duty on the pension funds. You are not allowed to consider anything else at all except the financial return to investors. If fags n\’booze provide the best returns, arms, raping Gaia through mining, then that\’s where you\’ve got to invest.

Bugger what anyone thinks about anything else: financial return is the only valid metric.

It\’s going to be very interesting indeed seeing what happens when people, including the Milipede, realise what\’s he\’s actually advocating.

I do wish people would get this right

Given these recent changes in the IMF, it is ironic to see the European governments inflicting an old-IMF-style programme on their own populations. It is one thing to tell the citizens of some faraway country to go to hell but it is another to do the same to your own citizens, who are supposedly your ultimate sovereigns. Indeed, the European governments are out-IMF-ing the IMF in its austerity drive so much that now the fund itself frequently issues the warning that Europe is going too far, too fast.

The IMF always, but always, insisted upon currency devaluation as a solution.

What\’s the one thing that the EU won\’t allow? The one thing that is making it all so damned painful?

Quite.

And in The Guardian Too!

\”Never again should you have to show a Socialist party membership card to access a social programme,\” Capriles says in his stump speech, invariably bringing the house down. The line hits home because every person in the audience knows someone who has been shut out of access to the latest oil bonanza for ideological deviance.

Not the way to consolidate political power of course but what\’s remarkable is that this is published in The Guardian.

Good news for feminists!

Divorce rates are far higher among “modern” couples who share the housework than in those where the woman does the lion’s share of the chores, a Norwegian study has found.

There we have it, if you want the bloke to bugger off get him mopping.

The actual report posits that it\’s a little different. Those couples who do share the chores tend to be those who view marriage in a less traditional manner: traditional here including the idea that it\’s for life. Further, chores tend to be shared in two career families, two careers being what gives the financial ability to divorce without too, too much financial pain.

Sadly, they haven\’t tested the most obvious of theses. That wifey sweating away in a maid\’s outfit increases the connubial bliss of the partnership. Perhaps a research grant could be obtained to explore this?

Is this actually what happened?

Inflation of 5 per cent per annum would more than halve the real value of the existing stock of debt in less than 10 years, all other things being equal. This is essentially what happened in post-war America, where repeated bursts of inflation, manufactured through ultra-loose monetary policy and the “financial repression” of bond yields legally capped at 2.5 per cent, helped quite rapidly to reduce public debt to manageable levels.

I hadn\’t heard that they had capped bond yields.

Anyone got more details on that?

On the subject of Odey\’s chicken coop

These people at The Guardian really are stupid.

The hedge fund manager\’s plans to house his hens in a galline Parthenon are not just tasteless – they\’re clucking offensive

Sigh.

Planning laws for non-agricultural buildings and for agricultural buildings are very different.

Effectively you\’re allowed to throw up an ag building as long as the council passes the design. You have to ask permission to throw up a non-ag building, one that is often denied.

So, if you wished to build a folly in the grounds of your home, would you go to the council and ask for permission to build a folly? Or would you call your folly a chicken coop and ask the council to approve the design?

Quite.

Completely nonsensical economic argument spotted

This:

the government should subsidize left-handed cat-loving guitar-playing economists.

And then this:

Clearly this is rubbish, there is absolutely no justification for such a subsidy. A correct and proper subsidy would go to right-handed cat-loving nonguitar-playing economists!

Entirely nonsense. The only valid subsidy would be to cat loving non-guitar playing politically partisan hacks posing as economists on the internet.

As long as they\’re not retired accountants from Wandsworth.