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Dr Madsen Pirie's comments on Royal Mail sale featured in the IBTimes

2 April 2014

Dr Madsen Pirie's comments on the sale of Royal Mail were featured in the International Business Times.

Read the article here

"The sale of Royal Mail was well handled," said Dr Masden Pirie, president of pro-free market thinktank the Adam Smith Institute (ASI).

"It was the first major privatisation in two decades, and the aim was not to raise the greatest possible sum for the government, but to turn a state-run corporation into a successful and flourishing private business."

When the government set the 330p offer price for Royal Mail shares it was following advice from investment banks Goldman Sachs and UBS.

Since the October 2013 flotation onto the London Stock Exchange, the shares have settled at around 565p – a 71% increase. Some banks have issued research notes putting the target price much higher.

Interestingly, Goldman Sachs analysts – who banking regulations dictate must be separated from the advisory division by a 'Chinese Wall' – put their target price at 610p. UBS analysts opted for a much lower 450p.

"No-one knew what the 'correct' price was for Royal Mail, any more than they did for BT, British Gas and the dozens of others," said ASI's Pirie.

"Since they had not traded in the private sector, or had to attract private investment, no-one knew how they would be valued.

"Government took expert advice knowing that it would be, at best, an estimate."

Pirie noted that the government "covered itself" by retaining a 30% stake in Royal Mail."

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Sam Bowman appears on BBC Radio Wales to discuss payday lenders

1 April 2014

The Adam Smith Institute's Research Director, Sam Bowman, appeared on BBC Radio Wales to discuss the benefits of payday loan companies. 

Listen to the debate here. (02:08:25)

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Ben Southwood's Comments on housing prices featured in dozens of publications

1 April 2014

The Adam Smith Institute's Head of Policy, Ben Southwood, was featured in dozens of publications, including the Independent, on housing prices in the UK.

"Ben Southwood, head of policy for think tank the Adam Smith Institute, said rising house prices reflect "a dysfunctional planning system that doesn't provide the housing people want, where people want it."

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Ben Southwood Writes for City AM

1 April 2014

The Adam Smith Institute's Head of Policy, Ben Southwood, argues that there is reason to doubt UK housing will be involved in a future financial crisis. 

Read the full article here.

"On one level, it is impossible to predict which sectors will be connected to future financial crises. But I think there is one reason to doubt UK housing will be involved in a future financial crisis: government policy. UK planning regulations are extremely tight. This is why London rents are so high; this is why British houses are the smallest in Europe; this is why getting planning permission makes a plot of land many multiples more valuable. Simply put, too few houses are built because builders are not allowed to build them. On top of that, the government has introduced Help to Buy, which appears to be driving house prices up rapidly with little boost to supply. Altogether, this suggests house prices are very unlikely to fall enough to generate a financial crisis like we saw in 2007-08. And if they looked like doing so, the government would be likely to stop them. Ben Southwood is head of macro policy at the Adam Smith Institute."

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The Entrepreneur's Network is featured in The Telegraph

1 April 2014

The Telegraph profiles TEN as a start-up think tank aimed at pursuing the entrepreneur's agenda.

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"...The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN), which is supported by the Adam Smith Institute, calls itself “a new think tank devoted to backing Britain’s entrepreneurs”.

TEN says it’s “filling a noticeable gap in the market"

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ASI comments on Royal Mail sale featured in the Huffington Post

1 April 2014

Comments from the Adam Smith Institute's President, Dr Madsen Pirie, was featured in the Huffington Post regarding the privatisation of Royal Mail services. 

Read the article here

"Others defended the government's handling of the Royal Mail sale. Dr Madsen Pirie, president of the free market think-tank the Adam Smith Institute, said: "It was the first major privatization in two decades, and the aim was not to raise the greatest possible sum for the government, but to turn a state-run corporation into a successful and flourishing private business. 

"The pricing was cautious, as it was in the earlier privatizations, because government wanted a successful launch into the private sector more than it wanted the highest possible price." 

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Philip Salter Writes for City AM

24 March 2014

Director of The Entrepreneur's Network (TEN), Philip Salter, writes for City AM, arguing that while the Budget showed promise, it lacked innovative reforms that would benefit entrepreneurs. 

Read the article here

Eamonn Butler Features in Huffington Post UK

21 March 2014

Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Eamonn Butler, was featured in the Huffington Post UK. 

Read the article here

Eamonn said:

"I am always very suspicious when officials take power to remove people's assets. There are already perfectly good laws obliging people to pay their bills, including their tax bills. And there are punishments if they don't – but those punishments only come after the sentence of a court.

"If we allow the authorities to take cash from our accounts for any amount they think we owe them, then none of us is safe. They become a law unto themselves. This is a very worrying threat to civil liberties. And just because it is done by other countries, that do not have our common-law safeguards, is no reason for us to do it."

Eamonn Butler Features in the Daily Express

21 March 2014

Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Eamonn Butler, is featured in a comment article from the Daily Express.

Read the article here

Eamonn said:

"Tax reduces people’s ability to act morally.

They might prefer to spend their money on helping their children become good citizens, caring for their elderly relatives or supporting good causes.

Instead they see it taken and going on bank bailouts or expensive prestige projects.”

ASI Post-Budget Comments Featured on ConHome

20 March 2014

The Adam Smith Institute's Director, Eamonn Butler, and Research Director, Sam Bowman, were quoted in Conservative Home in thier post-budget analysis.

Read the article here

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