What fun

Letter to The Guardian:

Professor Richard Murphy says the government would be doing large companies a favour by issuing more debt that they can place their enormous cash piles into. Such a hunger for secure savings opportunities would be evident, if it were there, in current purchases of gilts by said large companies. The government’s Debt Management Office regularly publishes the data on who owns gilts. Once we strip out local authorities, pension and insurance companies, banks, the Bank of England, foreigners and households we’re left with those “private non-financial companies” owning some £1.5bn or so of government bonds – under 0.1% of total issuance. This is not evidence of a craving for a secure savings opportunity.

Tim Worstall
Senior fellow, Adam Smith Institute

Martin Wheatcroft’s letter is also fun even if I’m not sure I understand it.

15 thoughts on “What fun”

  1. Amazing it got published but it is at the bottom. Given the other letters are slightly more leftward leaning, including taxation according to the ability to pay for which I read “taking money from those who have it until everyone has the same”. And the argument that higher taxes make for a more prosperous country espoused by the first letter on the page.

    Or what about the “buying things I don’t need so take more money from to spend on others” proposal? But I need ALL of my money and I choose to spend it wisely so why should I be taxed more because the author of the letter is a moron with more money than sense?

  2. There are many people, like me, who are comfortably off, taking holidays (even two a year?), buying things we do not really need, decorating our homes, improving our kitchen equipment etc, and could quite well afford to pay more towards the general good of our society.

    And there is NOTHING WHATSOEVER stopping you donating that money to local charities instead, or even writing a cheque to HMRC if you’d rather see it wasted instead.

    What the writer actually wants, and is always the motivation behind all such statements, is for OTHER PEOPLE to pay.

  3. Martin Wheatcroft’s letter is an attempt to put into words understandable by a Guardianista a mathematical proof of just one of Murphy’s errors.

  4. @ Rob
    Many of us *do* donate money to local charities instead of taking multiple holidays. Murphy has denounced me as “hating mankind” because I choose to do that rather than demanding that the state does everything. So Susan Reynolds is hardly the extreme end of spoilt-brat Guardianistas.

  5. “As a chartered accountant, he should know better”

    …and still ICAEW sit on their arses and do nothing to rein him in. They’re as big a disgrace as he is.

  6. @ Rob,

    That letter annoyed me as well, and is the perfect illustration of revealed preferences: she could well afford it, but doesn’t do it willingly. Virtue signalling at its best.

    That woman probably says the same sort of things about immigrants, but I’m willing to bet there are none to be found in her home.

    Maybe it’s me getting old but I’m sick to the back teeth of those people.

  7. Nice work Tim,

    Am I right in assuming that the Graundian editors added the word ‘Professor’ (or omitted the words ‘of Practice’) in the first line of both yours and Mr Wheatcroft’s letters?

  8. > Martin Wheatcroft’s letter is also fun even if I’m not sure I understand it.

    He’s pointing to interest on reserves. At present the BoE are giving interest at the bank rate (currently 0.25%) on reserves. Reserves are deposits at the BoE which is how he describes them.

  9. Don’t worry, Snippa is thumping out his responses with grim determination. Once he is in a hole, he never stops digging

  10. This letter is brilliant:

    Philip Hammond must be as blind as he is bland if he really believes that “ordinary working people will end up footing the bill” for Labour’s economic policies (Corbyn warns Tories: shape up or ship out, 27 September). We know from the 2017 manifesto that Labour will seek to spread taxation according to ability to pay and that this approach attracted far more widespread support than anyone expected. If scaremongering is all the Tories can offer, bring on the next election.

  11. You’re right, Jack, but the trouble is there are thousands of Guardian readers nodding their heads in sage agreement.

  12. Murphy has responded to the Wheatcroft letter, not the TW letter.

    from TRUK comments:

    September 28 2017 at 10:50 am

    A letter is on its way to the Guardian

    If they do not publish it then it will appear here

    I can say he’s wrong for three reasons though

  13. Chris Miller,
    That letter is either humour at it’s absolute driest, or just cult-mental.

    Either way, I suspect you’re right sadly.

  14. “I can say he’s wrong for three reasons though”

    Firstly, I am right
    Secondly he is wrong
    thirdly, I am right again.

    (outwitting Murphy is like taking candidly from a baby)

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