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The three vortices of doom

Three vortices of doom

Despite the cheerleading efforts of the legacy media, the economic storm clouds are growing on the horizon.  Oil – the economic “master resource” – passed $80 per barrel yesterday.  Meanwhile, central banks around the world have begun to unwind the stimulus packages used to bail out the economy in the …

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Lies, damned lies and media economic reporting

Lies, damned lies an BBC economics

Forget Brexit, never mind the retail apocalypse, the UK economy has finally delivered the positive news that everyone has been waiting for.  That, at least, is the message from a legacy media largely reduced to rewriting corporate press releases…  In this case, the headline release from the Office for National …

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Economic fake news

Economic fake news

In the modern world, mainstream economic journalists have just two roles to perform – to convince the public that they have some clue about what is going on; and to maintain public confidence at all costs.  So it was, for example, that even as Lehman Brothers was collapsing a decade …

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Money trees are magical; energy trees are not

The magic money tree depends on oil

Equating money with wealth is among the most dangerous delusions currently afflicting humanity. This is, perhaps, understandable given that so few people now have access to money in the quantities needed to improve their lives. Government, meanwhile, effectively lies when it points to the various pots of money that it …

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It’s time to nail these neoliberal lies

Job Centre closed

Have you noticed that children are looking scruffier these days?  You may, perhaps, have kept this observation to yourself.  After all, kids are supposed to run around getting dirty, right? But your first impression turns out to be correct.  Children are a lot dirtier and a lot smellier than they …

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Another one bites the dust

Gaucho restaurant closure

Upmarket restaurant chains Gaucho and Cau have become the latest victims of Britain’s retail apocalypse after their management was unable to find a way out from under a mountain of debt and complex legal structures, according to the BBC.  What is notable about the failure of these restaurants is that …

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When Scientists do economics

Science does economics

Volume one of Das Kapital was the final work produced by Karl Marx.  Volumes two and three were completed by Friedrich Engels from Marx’s notes.  According to the Grundrisse – literally the “blueprint” – Marx had intended to produce ten volumes that would describe how the industrial economy worked. The …

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What productivity “puzzle?”

UK labour productivity

Despite its usual economic cheer-leading, even the BBC is forced to lament that: “UK productivity shrank in the first quarter of the year and continues to lag rates achieved before the financial crisis in 2008… The Office for National Statistics said productivity fell by 0.4% compared to the final quarter …

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How gas (and wind power) spoiled your beer

Beer CO2

It is something of a truism that rising energy prices cause inflation throughout the economy.  This is because while this is correct at the macro level, it tells us very little about the details.  Exactly who will shoulder the costs?  Which countries and which sectors of the economy will be …

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Universal Credit: more crackpot realism

Tory Foodbank

It surely cannot be long before the UK government’s hated Universal Credit reforms are put on hold.  The reform, which attempts to roll six existing benefits into one, has been blamed for increases in suicide, homelessness and use of foodbanks.  To add to the government’s problems a new report from …

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