No, the government still hasn’t found a ‘magic money tree’!

Who’d have thought the Treasury’s ‘Ways and Means’ facility at the Bank of England could cause so much excitement? The two parties have agreed a temporary extension of what is, in effect, the government’s overdraft account with the central bank. Cue great delight from advocates of printing money to pay for higher public spending, such … Continue reading No, the government still hasn’t found a ‘magic money tree’!

Why bans on ‘short selling’ are a bad idea

It is understandable that some people are on the lookout for villains to blame in this time of national crisis – and who better than City ‘fat cats’ who are ‘profiting from the misery of others’? But it usually only takes a moment of serious thought to realise that these attacks are well wide of … Continue reading Why bans on ‘short selling’ are a bad idea

‘Disaster capitalism’ revisited – the case of Somerset Capital

"I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that an emerging markets fund co-founded by Jacob Rees-Mogg is taking advantage of lower equity prices to buy shares in, er, Brazilian healthcare companies and South African chemist chains. This SICKENING behaviour, er, (cont. p94)..." (with apologies to the Private Eye’s Dave Spart) I’ve written before about the lazy narrative of ‘disaster … Continue reading ‘Disaster capitalism’ revisited – the case of Somerset Capital

Don’t shoot the rating agencies!

On Friday (27th March), the credit rating agency Fitch downgraded the UK’s sovereign credit rating by one notch, from AA to AA-, citing worries about the economy and a jump in government debt. Bond investors at least are shrugging this off. But the announcement has revived long-standing concerns about the role of rating agencies during … Continue reading Don’t shoot the rating agencies!

Coronavirus crisis doesn’t mean Corbyn was right

Given how trendy it is to blame ‘capitalism’ for all the world’s other ills, from wars to climate change, it’s no surprise that some have been quick to pin the current crisis on the failures of free markets too. Many have also used the need for unprecedented government intervention as evidence that the state should … Continue reading Coronavirus crisis doesn’t mean Corbyn was right