Ragging on Ritchie


Once upon a time the country was obsessed with the balance of payments and now we’re not.

No, peeps used to be obsessed with the balance of trade. The BoP always balances because it’s you know, something that balances?

As to why we’re not obsessed with the BoT these days it’s because we have a floating currency.

Accountant can’t count

The UK is a rich country. It has national wealth of at least £12 trillion.

That’s including the value of housing.

And our wealth should support this. Just offer decent interest rates on National Savings and the money would pour in.

We’re going to put our houses in the Green New Deal now?

Who has he pissed off now?

Simon says:
May 6 2021 at 10:58 am
I’ve given some thought to our post-independence defence policy here in Scotland. I’m of the view that a healthy chunk of the money we save on Trident should be spent on Defence Against the Dark Arts, specifically UK psy ops units like 77th Brigade. I think it’s very likely that Scotland would be the target of considerable UK chicanery.

Richard Murphy says:
May 6 2021 at 11:47 am
I am sure that is true

And deliberately subversive placing of staff to underline the effectiveness of as many organisations as possible – a technique I am becoming increasingly familiar with

From which we can assume that someone at some place he’s involved with is a spy? Or done something he doesn’t like? Or just the paranoia is kicking in?

Well, no, not really and wholly

The IFRS Foundation fails to rise to the challenge of sustainability reporting

What he means is that they’ve ignored his most strange, even silly, ideas.

Sixteen per cent of all submissions to the IFRS referred to sustainable cost accounting, or to putting the liability for climate change in the accounts.

Well, yes, we can explain that, can’t we?

Some readers of this blog will recall that last December I invited those with concern about environmental change to comment to the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation

So, they figured out that some bloke with a blog had got his readers to write in. Then paid the appropriate amount of attention to those blog readers…..

Worth the money to be paid for it

That book for free thing contains this:

The type of economics that I address in this thread and
chapter is what is described as macroeconomics. This is
that part of economics that deals with the economies of
countries and governments. It also addresses issues such
as government income and spending, and so tax, as well as
the national debt, the role of central banks, inflation and
the balance of trade.
It is an aspect of economics that, despite its importance,
engages only a very small part of the economics profession.
The vast majority of economists deal with microeconomics.
That part of economics deals with the behaviour of
individuals, companies and markets.
Economists like microeconomics because it can be used to
construct deeply theoretical, largely mathematical, models
of behaviour that, if truth be told, tell us very little at all
about how real people, companies or markets behave. That
is because of the simplifying assumptions that too many
economists use in the course of their work.

The usual criticism is that macroeconomics is plagued with vast mathematical models which assume much and explain little while microeconomics is at least rooted in a certain observation of actual human behaviour.

As the best waiter might say, ‘Enjoy’.

Well, yes, the book therefore being about as useful as the average waiter’s ruminations upon economics.

Well, no, not really

The second issue relates to the first. I said ‘almost out of ideas’ deliberately. That is because there is one idea still left in use, and that is rentierism, asset stripping, or turning a fast buck, whichever you wish to call it. The idea behind a SPAC is that a new owner in a quoted entity can both buy a private company and strip value out of it before then selling it on. Much of the gain will simply come from being quoted. The rest will be old style asset stripping. Sales and leasebacks will be in vogue. Leverage will be increased to fund dividend stripping of retained reserves, whilst accounting tricks will be used to push profit upwards. Hollowed out firm creation, I call it. The result is quick bucks from financial engineering with no net gain to society.

The aim is to put investment into a currently private form by taking it public. Without having to pay the 7% tax to the bankers for an IPO. We can tell this is so because cash goes in and doesn’t come out again. You know, investment?


And if football cannot survive without the money from oligarchs / big business subsidy then it should not exist

If the Green New Deal cannot exist without the money from investors then it should not exist?

Aren’t TV and match day revenues enough? Isn’t this what fair competition is about?

Or don’t you like fair competition?

And maybe you don’t like democracy much either?

Aren’t revenues from windmills enough?

Richard Murphy says:
May 3 2021 at 9:46 pm
I have never come up with a good idea that has taken less than ten years to deliver

They laughed at Bozo the Clown too……

About them football clubs

I think local authorities might have a large part to play as the custodian of golden shares that protect the community and fan base of football clubs against commercial predation.

Yes, why not, let’s make Liverpool, Everton, Bootle, City of Liverpool, AFC Liverpool, South Liverpool, Marine and Waterloo Dock all subject to the local council that we’ve just had to fire for rampant corruption over property development.

That’s a good idea, isn’t it?

In fact, it’s such a good idea that the local council should have the management share in every club, those that charge a fiver a game to play on the public grounds. Why not 5 a side?

This though needs planning.

Or shooting of course.

As in all companies, stakeholders need to be at the heart of football. A serious plan to make that possible is required, that fans can really subscribe to. I hope someone can deliver on this. And tat some big names – I am looking at you Gary Lineker – can get behind it.

Charles Pooter is alive and well.

Oh, rightieho then

The Right do not like it because it taxes wealth, and that in their view is wrong, although there is no evidence to suggest that the levels of tax on wealth do impact real levels of actual investment.

We’ve just refuted the main insight of economics – incentives matter.

We’ve also made it something of a puzzle why Stalin bothered to tax profits at 120% at the end of the New Economic Policy. In fact, to bring the NEP to and end.

There’s a certain truth to this, yes

On the other hand, many liberals just want to tax rich people a lot. Not for any logical economic reason, just because they want to tax rich people a lot. This is something we might describe as a prejudice, a preconceived reason that is not based upon logic or evidence. The science tells us not to, but then it’s amazing how little attention is insisted upon how we must “follow the science” when this conflicts with progressive prejudice.

It’s almost like we keep being given excuses for bad taxes rather than serious rationales, isn’t it?

Oh, right

Prioritising need did not necessitate the dropping of any standards.

Even in an emergency we must use the same procurement rules – 28 days for bids for example – that we use in more normal times? We should take an extra two months to test vaccines because only then will we know that 12 weeks between doses is OK?

Herr Dowding, those Spitfires are just wondrous. Your paperwork on their purchase is a masterpiece. Pity they didn’t actually arrive, the aircraft, until 1941 but then that does mean you are now part of the Greater Reich and ready to invade Russia with us.

Good grief

So, public policy has been that the banks should be shovelling money out the door. Jeez lads, just lend to anyone. Please. Puhleeze!

So, they do.

The result has been a bonanza for banks as they boom at public expense, yet again.

The idea that we might need a new tax on banks -as was appropriate after 2009 – seems to be made by this simple fact that banks are capturing public money for private gain, yet again.

A booming bank tax, anyone?

Because they’ve done what we asked we should now tax them?

Given that this is Wednesday the Tuesday argument that there’s no inflation so there should be no rise in taxes doesn’t apply. We’ll wait until Thursday for MMT to be true again.

Well, it could be just because you don’t know

That’s important in what follows. That’s because YouGov has reported that:

A survey of senior decision-makers at British businesses shows that a third (32%) say their company will have to let workers go before the end of the year, including 12% who plan to shed a fifth or more of their staff.

The message is loud and clear. It is that far from the economic crisis being over, once government support ends there is going to be a significant increase in unemployment in the UK. That is something I have predicted for a long time.

And I, and YouGov, and all those companies, could be wrong of course. But in the meantime the data findings are worrying. That’s not least because large companies are planning the largest redundancies, with half expecting to lay people off and a sixth expecting to make more than 20% of their staff redundant.

Smaller companies are more optimistic. Only a fifth expect to make redundancies with only 9% thinking more than 20% of their staff will be sacked.

Myself I’d go with basic ignorance as the problem here.

These are the numbers for job turnover. Not for unemployment, but for the flow through that state. Can’t be bothered to find the UK numbers but for the US – 5 to 6 million people leave jobs each month – some 3% of the 160 million workforce. About half that is quits, people leaving voluntarily for a new job. Half redundancies, firings, as companies change plans, downsize and all that. Some 5 to 6 million people get hired each month too. Which is why unemployment doesn’t rise by 6 million a month.

Further, among economists at least, it is well known that large companies tend to shed labour over time. Jobs growth comes from smaller companies on their way to becoming larger companies.

No, I’m not going to do the work to recast 32% saying they’ll fire a few workers into monthly numbers for firings. But you do see the problem here, don’t you?

The economy is always firing workers, larger companies more than smaller. Thus opinion poll evidence that workers will get fired, larger companies doing more of this than smaller, is not in fact a grand revelation. It’s normality. It’s also not proof that unemployment is going to rise – to determine the stock of unemployed we have to consider the flow out of that state as well as the one into it.

The reason the P³ doesn’t know all of this is simply that the P³ is ignorant upon the subject. But then it’s economics so we already knew that, right?

Say hello to today’s idiocy

There is no reason on earth why income from work should be taxed more heavily than unearned income.

Optimal tax theory. Nobels have been awarded for it. Tony Atkinson and Joe Stiglitz proved – in a major, major, paper – that the correct taxation rate for capital income among the very rich could in fact be negative. Optimal tax theory generally doesn’t go that far but does insist that yes, there is good reason why capital taxation should be lower than income – deadweight.

In the UK tax rates between income and gains need to be aligned.

And income tax rates, including national insurance, on work and wealth need to be aligned.

At which point we are descending into outright twattery.

The P³ will insist – he did last week – that corporate taxation falls upon the shoulders of shareholders. OK, so, dividends pay corporate income tax before they are distributed. Therefore in order to gain the same – note, the same – income tax rate upon dividends as upon labour income we need to have lower dividend tax rates than upon labour income.

So, both the economics and the maths are wrong here. But then it’s the P³