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Economy

Your enemy’s enemy is not your friend

There is an Arabian saying that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend.”  It is a saying that was put into practice in the sixteenth century, and inadvertently created the USA.  The thanksgiving story about how the Native Americans gave food to European settlers who would otherwise have starved, is a …

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Inflation on Wall Street; deflation on Main Street

Chances are that when you visited your local Tesco Express to buy a sandwich and a soft drink for lunch, the queues were pretty much the same as they always are.  That, however, was not enough to prevent Tesco – the UK’s largest supermarket chain – announcing another big round …

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Toxic medicine

Introducing the reforms that were to come to be known as “neoliberalism,” British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously explained: “Yes, the medicine is harsh, but the patient requires it in order to live. Should we withhold the medicine? No. We are not wrong. We did not seek election and win …

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Reliving old glories

It is not often that you get to feel sympathy for a Tory minister.  This morning was one of those few occasions (a little bit at least).  The latest, hapless, British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab – who apparently only a few weeks ago discovered that the English Channel is a …

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The art of painting lipstick on a pig

Financial journalists are engaged in a form of psychological warfare with the wider public today.  With a few notable exceptions, the aim is to paint as rosy a picture as possible to the unwashed masses whose pension contributions and continued borrowing are the only things keeping the bubble inflated.  Unfortunately, …

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That ‘Great Moderation’ moment again

In 2004, when then Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke popularised the term “The Great Moderation,” it seemed to almost all concerned that humankind had finally conquered the vagaries of the free market.  Both inflation and unemployment were low and the stock markets were booming.  Monetary policy, independent of government interference and …

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An abundance of flattery

Among the most grating habits of government ministers is the tendency to answer a slightly different question to the one which was asked.  For example, in response to a question about how the government is going to respond to the recent report that more than 14 million Britons are living …

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Glimpsing the world beyond Brexit

Among the more foolish Tory delusions around Brexit was the belief that securing a trade deal with the EU27 would be simple.  As International trade secretary Liam Fox told BBC’s Today Programme two years ago: “The free trade agreement that we will have to do with the European Union should …

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The fourth industrial revolution in practice

Smart Meter display

Among the more comical ingredients of the various forms of proposed green new deals, the high-tech “fourth industrial revolution” ranks highly.  Central to this techno-utopian vision is the electrification of the economy and a switch from a manufacturing to a service economy.  And key to this is the comprehensive installation …

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Divided down under

Coal mine in Queensland

Australia is the latest democracy to discover that climate emergencies are incompatible with neoliberal inequality.  In a repeat of the 2016 Brexit and Trump votes, all of the polling for last week’s general election predicted that a strong environmental platform would propel the Australian Labor Party into government.  Instead, in …

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