The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

Cross-dressing in fiscal, monetary policy

"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Matthew 16:26)

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King and his colleagues on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) might be tempted to ask the same question.

For the governor has seized control of fiscal policy, only to lose control of monetary policy.

In the run-up to and the aftermath of the UK general election in May, King has acquired unprecedented sway over the broad outlines of the budget through his influence over the policies of the Conservative-Liberal Democratic coalition, and especially "Iron Chancellor" George Osborne.

from MacroScope:

How uncertain exactly is the uncertain BoE?

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king-inflation.jpgFor a central bank that looks certain to bust its 2 percent inflation target for most of the time between now and the London 2012 Olympics, there is still a lot of uncertainty out there.

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King referred to "uncertain" or "uncertainty" about the outlook five times at the May quarterly Inflation Report press conference according to the bank's transcript, and the latest one didn't seem much more confident in tone.

Rubbish rates – what is a saver to do?

-Rachel Mason is PR manager at Fair Investment Company. The opinions expressed are her own.-

The base rate is going to be stuck at 0.5 percent for years to come, according to experts, so where does that leave savers?

Post stress tests: lending conditions likely to remain tough

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SnipImage-Jane Foley is research director at Forex.com. The opinions expressed are her own.-

The financial markets have been pre-occupied with all aspects of the EU bank stress tests over the past few weeks.
For the man on the street, however, the debate boils down to just one question: when will credit become cheaper and more readily available?

Friendly Cameron and King get mix right for now

By Ian Campbell

–  The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are their own –

Just in government and David Cameron’s relationships are in question. Eyebrows have been raised about the prime minister’s friendship with an Old Lady, sometimes known as the Bank of England. The affection appears reciprocated by Mervyn King, the Bank’s governor. But to think the Old Lady’s independence is compromised is probably to take things too far. The bank’s current low interest rate policy looks more than just a political favour.

Breaking up banks is not so hard to do

-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. -

As far as I am aware, you cannot buy insurance against speeding tickets (please, someone let me know if I am wrong!).

Sovereign default risk, fact or fiction?

-Jane Foley is research director at Forex.com. The opinions expressed are her own.-

If a gauge is needed to measure how concerned investors are at about sovereign default risk, we need look no further than the price of gold which has made fresh all time highs this week.

New UK coalition deserves 7 out of 10

– Hugo Dixon is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

The new UK coalition deserves 7 out of 10. The pact between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, led by David Cameron as the new prime minister, seems determined to address the country’s most important problem — the deficit. This is vital given that the euro zone debt crisis could still prove contagious. It should also be positive for sterling.

Gordon Brown: flawed saviour of financial system

– Hugo Dixon is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Gordon Brown may go down in history as the flawed saviour of the global financial system. Brown had many faults including overseeing a public spending splurge in his decade as the nation’s finance minister. But he did make one big contribution. He galvanised other leaders to save the bank system during the post-Lehman <LEHMQ.PK> meltdown.

Inflation impoverishes Britons the easy way

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– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –
campbell
Critics might say the UK’s inflation target is just for fun. Consumer prices were 3.4 percent higher in March than in the previous year, well above the 2 percent target rate, but the Bank of England will do nothing at all.

If the central bank were serious, shouldn’t it raise interest rates and crush every bit of life out of the UK economy? Not really. The UK has above target inflation because world oil prices are high, the pound is low and VAT is up. But it has inflation for poorer and richer.

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