Ritchie’s little trick

Like PFI People’s Quantitative Easing funds essential public investment. Like PFI it does so without increasing the deficit. Like PFI it does so without increasing government debt.

And then there’s the key difference. It’s at least ten times cheaper than PFI. And it’s wholly under state control. And not a single banker gets richer as a result of it.

Some people have said People’s Quantitative Easing is just a trick. Maybe it is. But it’s a vastly better trick than the PFI one that’s been used by Conservative and Labour governments for the last twenty years. What I’ve done is improve the trick. Now it works. Now it’s affordable. And this time there is no rich banker in the middle of.

It’s not actually the bankers that get rich off PFI. It’s the holders of the equity slice that do, assuming they deliver on time and to budget (and they lose everything if they don’t, as with the Channel Tunnel).

And that’s Ritchie’s trick. He’s eliminated the equity slice, meaning that there’s no one to benefit from it. And there’s also no one worrying about coming in on time and to budget either. You know, the reason there are equity slices in the first place?

It’s not all that great a trick to be honest.

27 thoughts on “Ritchie’s little trick”

  1. He’s confused about the point of PFI, isn’t he? He thinks it’s to get someone else to provide the capital investment, not providing expertise.

  2. “And this time there is no rich banker in the middle of.”

    I also get the feeling that that was the point of his trick.

  3. And this time there is no rich banker in the middle of

    No, just a load of engineering and construction contractors who will be lining up their new Porsches. I would dearly, dearly love there to be a whole tranche of infrastructure projects kicked off in the UK with no oversight and paid for by the government running the printing presses. I’d come back for a year, make out like a bandit, and scarper back across the channel and do FA for the next couple of years.

  4. Actually, it always amuses me that when lefties and greenies talk about infrastructure projects, and huge power generation projects, they seem to think that those who will be employed will be right-on lefties like themselves. Whereas in actual fact it will be ruthless, unethical, and downright dishonest construction companies stuffed full of independent contracted engineers on ludicrous day-rates and managers who couldn’t give a shit about the budget or anything else other than their per diem and their next holiday, most of whom are already pretty well off.

  5. @Tim Newman

    And that’s the point of a lot of left-wing economic theory.

    Much of it depends on a world full of cuddly teddy bears and sweet fluffy lambs all working together for the common good and without a single thought of either enriching themselves or skiving.

    The rest of left-wing economic theory wouldn’t work even if such a world existed.

  6. “Much of it depends on a world full of cuddly teddy bears and sweet fluffy lambs all working together for the common good and without a single thought of either enriching themselves or skiving.”

    And it struck me that the middle-class lefty “it’s moral and altruistic to vote Lab” thing is all good and well. But the bulk of Lab’s core vote aren’t voting Lab to be altruistic, they’re voting for free stuff. Other people’s free stuff.

    But the latter are just the former’s political pets, so I guess their selfishness is different because reasons.

  7. How radical is this? Let me put it like this. It’s the equivalent of the much-hated public finance initiative. That might dismay you until I remind you of the similarities and differences.
    I think he means private finance initiative.

  8. @Andrew K

    But everything belongs to the state. So private IS public.

    But you do not answer that.

    I wonder why.

  9. Well Crapita, and every supplier of a failed gov IT project seem to have made out like bandits. Because the gov’s negotiators can’t see when a contract is being set up to pay out for failure, or set up to provide not enough service so change orders are needed when you are in too deep to change supplier.

    Happening with the interminable new “not particularly near Berlin” Berlin airport. Every supplier just bills what they want, when they want, and apparently 99% of it (literally) gets paid no questions asked. Some are seeing conspiracy, backhanders and fraud, but being a gov run project, by people who believe money is limitless, it’s more likely just simple old-fashioned incompetence. Given the idiots paying the bills probably didn’t even occur to them to ask for a cut of an overinflated bill.

  10. “it always amuses me that when lefties and greenies talk about infrastructure projects, and huge power generation projects, they seem to think that those who will be employed will be right-on lefties like themselves. ”

    actually I think the imagine unemployed working class people getting the jobs

    [btw I come from a family of civil engineers, I hadn’t realise what a bunch of utter bastards they are Tim]

  11. @Rolo, that really is the crux of all Dick’s fantasies.

    I have an argument going on in the DT with a Murphman, who appears to be saying that banks can create money out of thin air, because he doesn’t have a clue as to what the double entry is in the banks balance sheet. It doesn’t help het he gets his debits and credits the wrong way round.

    When Clinton, Blair and Obama gained power by promising people free money, I thought three times was probably the limit.

    It appears not…

    Sad that a large proportion of the public are as thick as a brick.

  12. The rich bankers won’t see a dime because all of this free money will get swallowed up by environmental audits and planning disputes and the rest. I.e. the profits will be made by nice well-meaning lefty consultants and lawyers, not nasty evil Tory bankers.

    That being so, the only inflation caused by this massive money-printing effort will be in the prices of organic fair-trade quinoa and Co-op investment funds.

  13. @Blue Eyes,

    but Big Green are part of civil society, so are deserving of their cut of the proceeds of PQE.

    Yet you choose to ignore that. I wonder why?

  14. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I think it’s because people like Murphy don’t really have any core skills (in the Gladwell 10,000 hours sense) that they think dams and hospitals and IT systems arise out of some bureaucrat’s auto-da-fé. This came up in the context of there not being enough brickies, chippies, sparkies etc. to build the massive new estates of Murphymansions he envisages, but it goes double for anything really large-scale. Soft-as-shite pen pushers must see Bob the Builder and assume that’s how the world works. Can we build it? Yes, we can! Whereas those of us with a clue know e.g. welders and lathe operators are not fungible.

  15. abacab: it goes without saying that four lefty middlepersons: good; two righty misogynistic bankerMEN: bad.

    :))

    Bloke in CR, I think Murphy’s policy flaws will solve themselves fairly shortly after a Corbyn victory in a general election: due to a sharp fall in the population.

  16. “Like PFI People’s Quantitative Easing funds essential public investment. Like PFI it does so without increasing the deficit.” Except that it does. PFI requires capital and interest payments are required just the same. It’s just that it mysteriously doesn’t appear on the government’s balance sheet.

    “Like PFI it does so without increasing government debt.” That is only true if no further payments are due under PFI. Which isn’t true at all.

    “And then there’s the key difference. It’s at least ten times cheaper than PFI. ” As, under Magic Murphy Money there is seemingly no cost at all, it is not ten times cheaper, but infinitely cheaper!

    “And it’s wholly under state control. ” And that’s a good thing?

    “And not a single banker gets richer as a result of it.” Envy seldom results in the best solutions, as the wrong questions are being asked.

  17. Followed the link above, first time I’ve been to Ritchie’s blog.
    Without doubt the comments section has to be the most self promotional, suck up, smug, patronising, self congratulory, delusional, up its own arse piece of drivel I’ve ever come across. Definitely need a drink after that.

  18. “comments section has to be the most self promotional, suck up, smug, patronising, self congratulory, delusional, up its own arse piece of drivel I’ve ever come across”

    there’s always money to be maid lying to the terminally dumb who are desperate to believe fairy tales. Ask Krugman and Piketty – that’s why Piketty’s book sells well but is never read.

  19. Paul

    “that’s why Piketty’s book sells well but is never read.”

    Based on what evidence?

    You maid that up.

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