Veeeermiiiine!

As a Council Member of the Progressive Economy Forum I was involved In drafting this letter to the FT, published this morning

OK, not quite, but isn’t that just rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty?

The OBR’s focus is on how the government might pay for the consequences of the coronavirus crisis. We do not think that this is appropriate. That is because this approach is essentially microeconomic, and assumes the government is an entity independent of the economy as a whole. The implication is that the government is an agent too small to influence the direction and level of activity in the economy.

We do not agree with this view. In the macroeconomy the government shapes the direction and size of the economy through its regulations and decisions on spending, taxing and borrowing.

OK, so how about loosen the strictures of regulation so as to increase the size of the economy?

Patrick Allen (Chair),
Ha-Joon Chang,
Stephany Griffith-Jones,
Will Hutton,
Robert Skidelsky,
John Weeks*
Carolina Alves,
Danny Dorling,
Daniela Gabor,
Will Hutton,
Sue Konzelmann,
Johnna Montgomerie,
Richard Murphy,
Natalya Naqvi,
Ann Pettifor,
Guy Standing,
Geoff Tily

Ain’t that a set of people you don’t want to be agreeing with? And look at Will Hutton, so important he has to sign twice.

25 thoughts on “Veeeermiiiine!”

  1. Dennis, This Week's Watford Manager

    The “Let’s make England Venezuela again!” crowd takes pause of shuffleboard at the rest home to write a note of great import. A fair whack of that crowd is now it their 70s. Evidently it’s time to put in the false teeth and get out there to save the British from themselves (they’re such children!).

    The fact that Spud managed to sign simply shows just how desperate they were for signatures.

  2. I would think signing twice was an indication of being only half as good as the rest of the signers.

  3. Isn’t Skidelsky well-regarded*? That, at least, was my impression. His name did seem to jut out among the assorted muppetry listed above …

    * In the sense that you might not agree with him, but he does at least know his onions.

  4. Dennis, Tiresome Denizen of Central Ohio

    Isn’t Skidelsky well-regarded?

    As a biographer and historian, yes. He isn’t an economist and shouldn’t be regarded as such.

  5. These people want to be in control of the economy but they even fuck up writing and signing a letter.

  6. Dennis, Author of the Tay Bridge Tax Return

    These people want to be in control of the economy but they even fuck up writing and signing a letter.

    Maybe Will Hutton wanted twice as much control of the economy than the rest. Did you ever think of that?

  7. In other news, the Chair (sic) of the National Trust declares

    we had to close houses, gardens, car parks, shops, cafés, holidays and stop so many events; resulting in losses of tens of millions of pounds for our charity.

    To which you can only say that you did not need to close all car parks, gardens and shops, even open air events. They went woke and are going broke.

  8. It sits on an investment pool which, at 28 February 2019 stood at £1.3 billion of which £308 million was marked as completely unrestricted, i.e. it could be used for anything. Given movements in equity markets since then it is probably at round about that level now. Surely given the paltry returns most bonds and equities now yield, dipping into that pool to pay wages would be an option? But empire building McGrady appears not to consider that. It is better to sling hard working staff out on their ear.

    The 2019 annual report says that income from legacies was £66.5 million, just over 10% of total income. If one looks back to the 2012/13 annual report the income from legacies was £67.7 million. In other words, in seven years when an asset bubble has created a massive increase in the value of estates left in folks’ wills, the National Trust has actually managed to shrink its income from this source.

    The Trust has MADE major efforts to promote the LGBT agenda and to fight man made global warming. But in spending cash on matters other than old houses and aggressively promoting a political agenda the Trust alienates folks my age and older who may have money, certainly do make wills and who are far less likely to buy into an aggressive woke agenda than poorer young folks who may not care about old buildings at all.

  9. “Isn’t Skidelsky well-regarded?”

    The first time I met him we chatted about Keynes and his economics.
    He knew far more about the first than the second.

  10. The Meissen Bison

    Yes, good and acurate analysis from Diogenes. The RNLI has gone the same way on a smaller scale by allowing a desk-bound land-lubber(desk-lubber?)to fire volunteer lifeboat-men for having ‘girly’ coffee mugs at their station. I think this was on the IoW but BiND and other sailors here will know.

    So those folk who were likely to stump up cash for the charity lose interest and those who applaud such measures take their leisure with Netflix and keep their purses closed.

  11. “In other words, in seven years when an asset bubble has created a massive increase in the value of estates left in folks’ wills, the National Trust has actually managed to shrink its income from this source.”

    Our household is pestered by nine different educational institutions asking for gifts. One has, separately, explained how it is going to rearrange decision-making so that the chance of a grandson of mine being admitted will be artificially depressed. He will, that is to say, be deliberately discriminated against.

    No more gifts from us, then. Given how bleak the financial future of Higher Education looks, this sort of woke nonsense could cost them their existence. Their choice.

  12. OK all the STEM types will say that accountancy is easy because it’s just about adding up numbers. But the pressure of balancing conflicting and ambiguous laws and accounting standards, plus metric fucktons of tax law, makes it a complex matter of balancing judgements. Prem Sikka has never done any real accountancy, which shows up in every piece of twaddle with his name on it. Spud just doesn’t understand. I cannot imagine why anyone would put their financial affairs in his hands. Come on guys rince me, but don’t ask for my help with contesting a tax assessment

  13. @diogenes

    I think militant STEM types ridicule accountancy because it seems to be all about numbers yet the maths is mostly the basic arithmetic of addition, subtraction and percentages therefore eeeeeasy. A “clever” accountant would have become an actuary instead. And so on. I’ve heard it before, clearly you have too, and I think you’ve got the right to be annoyed not just by the arrogance but the failure to actually engage with the subject on its own terms before dismissing it.

    Far as I can see, accountancy is probably intellectually closer to Law than Mathematics, taking the very particular circumstances of a real-world situation and trying to fit them into boxes defined by (often unclear or somewhat contradictory) laws and regulations. It just happens to have enough numbers in it to be hazardous to the utterly innumerate, and it certainly helps things along if you understand basic concepts like a double negative making a positive, but being a world expert in quantum field theory or algebraic topology gives you no special advantage in understanding a complex tax or reporting situation.

  14. Speaking as a lapsed actuary, I can confirm that the maths involved is only a little more sophisticated than that needed for accountancy.

    When I was taking the exams, I invested in a textbook for the section on compound interest. I used to joke that, having just finished a maths degree, I was used to impenetrable textbooks, but to take a subject that can be (and was) easily taught to intelligent 10-year-olds and produce an impenetrable textbook is quite an achievement. I ignored the textbook and passed the exam.

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