The Great Debate UK

The QE billions should go direct to consumers

October 12, 2011

By Mark Hillary. The opinions expressed are his own.

In 1998, the Japanese government was ridiculed for giving away almost $6bn (at 1998 value) of shopping vouchers. The plan was that consumers would spend more of this ‘free money’ and help lift Japan out of the seemingly endless malaise it suffered in the nineties – as many other developed economies were enjoying a roaring decade.

Osborne’s “difficult” Conference Speech

October 4, 2011

By Kathleen Brooks. The opinions expressed are her own.

Chancellor George Osborne has weathered criticism of his economic policies from both sides of the political isle in recent months, so it was no surprise that the buzz word from his Conservative Party Conference speech was “difficult”. Life at Westminster is difficult for Osborne at the moment and it’s unlikely to get any easier.

No excuse for inaction – BoE’s Adam Posen

August 31, 2011

By Adam Posen. The opinions expressed are his own.

It is past time for monetary policy to be doing more to support recovery. The Jackson Hole conference has come and gone, and no shortage of excuses was provided for central banks to hold their fire — even though most economists acknowledged the grim outlook for the advanced economies.

from The Great Debate:

Rioters without a cause

August 10, 2011

By John Lloyd
All opinions expressed are his own.

On Sunday evening, a middle aged woman waded into a crowd of rioters in Hackney and shouted that she was ashamed to be black, ashamed to be a Hackney woman – because of the destruction and fear the rioters were spreading about them. But she went further. She said - Get real black people! I am ashamed to be a Hackney person! If you want a cause, get a cause! (See video below; contains graphic language.)

Why is the West bankrupt?

August 8, 2011

By Laurence Copeland. The opinions expressed are his own.

The UK, USA, the PIIGS (Ireland and Italy are together in the same stye), France is in poor fiscal shape  – OK, Germany is ostensibly living within its means, but it looks a lot less solvent when you remember that it has underwritten the rest of the euro zone (in large part, to protect its own irresponsible banks). In any case, as I have argued in previous blogs, this or a future German Government is likely to cave in to the pressure from its own electorate and from inflationist economists at home and abroad to join the party and spend, spend, spend. Only Australia and Canada, riding high on the commodities price boom, and a handful of small countries, look stable.

from Africa News blog:

Is Africa drought a chance to enact new UK policy?

July 18, 2011

New ways of managing aid are being debated in Britain as global concerns mount over a hunger crisis devastating the drought-affected Horn of Africa.

What can the U.S. learn from the Spending Review?

October 25, 2010

Watching George Osborne present the results of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review last week, two thoughts went through my mind.

from Breakingviews:

Britain’s unkind cuts may help growth sprout

October 20, 2010

It was billed as a bloodbath, and it is. By slashing public spending by 81 billion pounds over five years, Britain's coalition government is reversing the big increases of previous years. The plan is billed as necessary pain to secure the country's financial future, but it is also ideological. The aim is to move from unaffordable levels of public employment and welfare to private employment and a balanced budget. The danger, however, is that the economy stalls.

from Reuters Investigates:

Morbid money-spinners

September 28, 2010

If the life settlements market seems ghoulish, here’s a British scandal which isn’t doing the image of the business any favours. It’s one of the worst the country’s seen.

from Breakingviews:

Barclays’ Diamond choice spices up strategy debate

September 7, 2010

Bob Diamond's promotion to chief executive of Barclays is no surprise. The driving force behind the UK bank's investment banking arm was a candidate for the top job back in 2004, and Barclays Capital's rise since then -- it contributed over 80 percent of the group's pre-tax profit in the first half of 2010 -- made him a shoo-in.