Think Pieces

When Will the Eurozone Collapse?

Written by | Thursday 27 May 2010

As a long-standing critic of the concept of a single European currency, I have not rejoiced at the current problems in the eurozone that threaten the very survival of the euro. Before discussing the events surrounding the Greek debt crisis further, I must provide at least a working definition of what the word "collapse" means. In the context of the euro, there are at least two interpretations that come to mind.

A law to stop the splurge

Written by | Sunday 16 May 2010

Our new prime minister and his deputy agree: our government has been spending and borrowing too much. Good, as Alcoholics Anonymous might say — admitting your problem is the first step towards dealing with it.

The new Treasury team might actually manage to re-cork the bottle. George Osborne, the chancellor, is blunt about wanting to balance the budget and David Laws, his Liberal Democrat deputy, is also known to be a hawk on economic matters. It bodes well, too, that Iain Duncan Smith, who knows how to get people off welfare and into work, is now installed at work and pensions.

Reflections on the coalition agreement

Written by | Wednesday 12 May 2010

An emergency budget will be held within 50 days, and will announce £6bn of cuts in the current financial year, and outline a deliverable long-term plan for “significantly accelerated reduction in the structural deficit”, mainly through spending cuts. A full spending review will be initiated, and will report in the autumn. Full strategic and defence reviews will be held at the same time.

Gordon Brown’s Economic Record

Written by | Tuesday 27 April 2010

Gordon Brown has claimed his management of the economy is the main reason why his Government should be re-elected. In view of his responsibility for the recession and the wreckage of the public finances, this is a breathtaking claim. For Mr Brown to claim credit for managing the economy during the recession is rather like a driver responsible for a major road crash claiming credit for taking the survivors to hospital.

Wealth inequality and the Hills Report: a critical assessment

Written by | Monday 12 April 2010

Synopsis

The National Equality Panel recently released it inaugural report. Called the Hills Report after the panel’s chairman, it manages to specifically and directly ignore strictures offered by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on how to measure the gender pay gap, overstates income inequality and wildly and grossly overstates wealth inequality. They have also ignored all of the things that we already do to try and narrow the wealth gap.

A timely way to dismantle the pensions pyramid

Written by | Friday 19 February 2010

An obvious choice, denied to voters

Imagine you were forced to pick between two options: Option one – you give me £10 today for me to safeguard for you, but there is a very high likelihood that tomorrow, when you wish to claim, I will default. Option two – you give me £5 today, and can invest your remaining £5 on your own, again with the assumption being that I will likely default tomorrow.

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