The Great Debate UK

The Budget: What’s it got to do with economics?

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Laurence_Copeland- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. He might participate in a Reuters Budget live blog at noon GMT on Wednesday, March 24, 2010. Please tune in and join the discussion.-

The UK media have a long-established tradition of investing Budgets with a theatrical level of tension far in excess of their economic importance. It remains to be seen whether they will consider next week’s budget worth the effort of building up, because it is likely to be a complete non-event.

In fact, it ought to prompt the question: why on earth do we need a budget only six weeks before a general election has to be held? Why could it not be postponed? After all, barring a cataclysmic event in the security domain, the new government will immediately set about preparing its own budget, making next week’s farce totally and instantly irrelevant.

The answer, of course, is that this will be a Budget for the benefit of the Government, not for the UK, and as such it will have nothing whatever to do with economics and everything to do with politics. In this most cynical of exercises, every penny will have been calculated to ingratiate the current administration with one or other sector of the electorate while catching the Tories off balance – not very hard to do, given the slow-witted reactions we have seen from the Cameron-Osborne team so far.

Is Hyde Park for sale?

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Laurence_Copeland- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

So Bundestag members have been suggesting Greece sell an island or two, or maybe even the Acropolis, in order to pay off its mountainous debts?

Will the Tories come clean on public sector cuts?

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LaurenceCopeland

- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

In the movie “The Untouchables”, the cop played by Sean Connery brushes aside his sidekick’s assertion that he really does want to nail Al Capone with the response: “Yes, but what are you prepared to do?”

Will they have the nerve to call the next phase QE2?

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Laurence_Copeland- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

It is hard to be too pessimistic about the economic outlook for the rich countries, and impossible as far as the UK is concerned. With every day that passes, it becomes clearer that, far from being out of the woods, we are once again plunging into recession and possibly crisis.

Bankers’ bonuses: the fish stinks from the head

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copelandl- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

The awful thing about lynch mobs is they so often hang an innocent man, leaving the guilty totally untouched.  In the case of the banks, the danger is acute.  As I have already argued, hedge funds and private equity are being unfairly targeted, especially in Europe. But there is another, even less popular class which is likely to end up in the firing line, for no good reason and with consequences which could be damaging for all of us.

Is a queue forming at the EU’s fiscal soup kitchen?

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copelandl- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Back in the prehistory of the euro zone, I wrote an article in the Times trying to work out how the game currently being played out in Europe would end.

Glass-Steagall Lite, brewed by Volcker, served by Obama

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Laurence Copeland

- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Let me say at the outset that I am far from enthusiastic about either of President Barack Obama’s major policy initiatives: healthcare reform and the banking reform plan announced on Thursday.

Why we need a bond market crisis

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copelandLaurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

The spirit of Britain’s Christmas is looking disconsolate this morning. Santa Claus has failed to deliver what our democracy most needed. No, not a deal to let the French have the 2012 Olympics in exchange for a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau.  Nor the nomination of Tony Blair for the Nobel Peace Prize. Number one on this year’s wish list was something more realistic, and maybe far closer:  a gilt market crisis.

2010: Another year, another crisis

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copeland1- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

If the financial crisis were a theatre production of Hamlet, we would now be at the end of Act III.

Why Baroness Scotland has to go

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Laurence Copeland- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

“Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds” Shakespeare, Sonnet No. 94

The Bard’s words sum up one of two reasons why the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, ought to resign in response to being fined 5000 pounds for employing an illegal immigrant in her home. We have a right to expect nothing but the highest standards from any government officer, especially the country’s top legal officer.

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