Ritchie again

As an economist let me assure you


I am very careful indeed to point out that as a holder of a similar degree to Ritchie (accounting with economics and or finance) I am not an economist. He claims to be so.


To suggest that the driver of the train who brought me up the East Coast route yesterday did not a couple of weeks ago add value to the UK economy but that he or she now does so simply because they’re now working for Richard Branson is, to be candid, not just economically absurd, but patronising and rude.

Ignorant twat. The way that GDP accounting works is that that train driver, while a state employee, will have his added value to GDP determined as being equal to the wages that he is paid. When he is a private sector employee his value added will be measured as the value he has added.

To think otherwise is economically absurd. You twat.

And third, it confirms what the pre-eminent US economist of the 20th century, John Kenneth Galbraith,

Great writer, no doubt about it. But great economist? Better than Samuelson, Krugman, Friedman? Sirsly?

But I tell you, I can name many more directors of some very large banks that were most definitely unfit for the tasks they were given. Let’s start with Fred Goodwin and move swiftly on to Lord Stephen Green of HSBC whose reward for his incompetence was to become a government trade Minister with a life peerage.

And Lord Glassman was such a good idea. But that’s what is being aimed for.

18 thoughts on “Ritchie again”

  1. I think it comes down to the dim thing again. Ritchie doesn’t understand what value is in economics. And has never tried to learn since his decision during his first term of economics that it was all wrong, and learning it beneath a man of his superior insight and intellect.

  2. J K Galbraith was from, IIRC, Saskatchewan which, last time I looked, is in Canada, not the US.

    I liked him a lot as a writer and presenter, but I don’t think many would regard him as even the pre-eminent Canadian economist of the 20th century.

  3. When Ritchie says something is black and then the next day says its white, that is normal. So its perfectly normal to say that he is not an economist and didn’t finish the course one day and then the next day to say that he is an economist.

  4. Did he mention Flowers as one of the directors of a bank who was unfit for the task given? I’m sure Ritchie has previously said that Flowers was the best person to do the job as he didn’t have banking experience.

  5. Murphy hates Revd Green because the CoE quotes Jesus who said that remarriage after divorce (except for the innocent partner of an adulterous ex-spouse) is adultery. Murphy does not like to be told that he is wrong.

  6. So Much for Subtlety

    Just in passing, Terry Pratchett has died. This is one of those occasions where the cliches about being a big loss to the world of letters is actually true.

    I only mention it because Ritchie always seemed such a Pratchett-like character. Except not done all that well.

    ‘Making money isn’t something to be ashamed of. There’s a feeling now that if you have money you must have got it by some kind of shady dealing or being an MP’ – Sir Terry in May 2010.

  7. “The way that GDP accounting works is that that train driver, while a state employee, will have his added value to GDP determined as being equal to the wages that he is paid.”

    How does it work if the state employee works for a company which is 50% owned by the state? Or 80% owned by the state?

  8. Surreptitious Evil

    Frankly, Even Goodwin wasn’t incompetent. He made some apparently insane decisions but the reasoning behind them was, from a certain PoV surprisingly sound.

    Then he got caught out with the ego war with Barclays over ABN and then the fact that FM (became GBM?) had been telling Group fibs about their risk exposure since before he scuttled over from Glasgow.

    There are a myriad of things you can criticise the prat for – but if I had to choose between him and the LHTD to organise a piss-up in a brewery, I’d hope my budget stretched to whatever not-Sir Fred charges nowadays.

  9. What did Stephen Green do wrong? HSBC didn’t get bailed out. OK, there’s the money laundering thing in the USA and the Swiss bank thing, but those are tiny issues that are always going to happen in huge organisations.

    Look at parliament – they criticise everyone, but every party is full of criminals, incompetents and people fucking the staff and to a level of dysfunctionality that would be obvious in any company.

  10. @ SE
    I am talking about a self-important little clerk – neither of those is as petty as Murphy.
    Wolfgang could, at a vast stretch, be compared with Brown in 2005 (with acolytes hunting down anyone non-supporters), but not with Murphy: if Carrot walked onto a bridge/into Downham Marktet can you imagine Murphy knocking him down? I cannot.

  11. @ The Stigler
    “What did Stephen Green do wrong?” He took Holy Orders and upholds moral standards that show how grubby Murphy’s are. What more does anyone need to do to justify the ire of the LHTD?

  12. So Much for Subtlety

    john77 – “Lupine Wonse is a better analogy for Murphy”

    Every time I read about those people summoning dragons, I can’t but help but think of Ritchie.

    Although they did have a very sensible point about brothers-in-law.

  13. @SE

    Almost right. GBM weren’t fibbing about their risk exposure though. Their systems were so bad they just had no idea what it really was.

  14. Galbraith became a US citizen. In my amateur view he was a dismal economist but an excellent economics journalist. I can’t read his The Great Crash 1929 without laughing again and again.

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