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What went wrong? An Agenda for the G20

Type: ReportsWritten by Miles Saltiel | Monday 30 March 2009

In What Went Wrong? An Agenda for the G20, leading financial analyst Miles Saltiel, argues that many common explanations for the economic crisis are wrong, stemming from prejudice rather than evidence. He identifies five key culprits that the G20 should focus on instead: (1) loose monetary policy; (2) hubristic social engineering in housing policy; (3) the failure of the Basel protocols on core capital; (4) banks that were 'too big to fail'; and (5) the effects of oligopoly on auditors and ratings agencies.

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The Turner Review: a case of poacher turned gamekeeper?

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Keith Boyfield | Wednesday 25 March 2009

Adair Turner, the former McKinsey consultant who now heads the FSA, published his much-heralded regulatory response to the global banking crisis last week.  By all accounts, Gordon Brown will use the report as the basis for his initiative to re-regulate the world’s banking markets at the G20 Summit due to be held in London next week. While the report includes some telling insights into the current credit crisis, described in the opening paragraph as “arguably the greatest crisis in the history of finance capitalism” it is fundamentally flawed in its approach to the daunting task ahead. The report sets out a raft of new initiatives: higher capital adequacy margins; closely monitored liquidity regulation; greater oversight of hedge funds; curbs on bankers’ bonuses; rating agency oversight; and what is referred to as “intrusive and systemic supervision”. Yet in truth what is needed is not so much a stack of new regulation, but a regulatory regime that enforces the existing rulebook while eliminating regulations that are either unnecessary or unenforceable. [Cont'd]

A short history of the social rights myth

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Rachel Patterson | Wednesday 25 March 2009

Today, many industrialized nations have developed a multitude of social programmes, and these have become so entrenched that theorists, and politicians alike, claim the 'right' of citizens to their services. We are told we have a right to health care, education, unemployment insurance, and so on. Indeed, Jack Straw, the UK Justice Minister, recently proposed to codify these entitlements in a new British Bill of Rights. But do we, as citizens of developed nations, actually have these rights?

Tories must face the taxing realities

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Wednesday 25 March 2009

Where do the Conservatives stand on the issue of tax? With the increased possibility of a Conservative Government in power by next June, Dr Eamonn Butler looks at how Cameron could deal with the mess we find ourselves in.

Nanny state’ Britain is killing common sense

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Monday 16 March 2009

Dr Eamonn Butler wonders how we got ourselves in to this compensation culture. He points out that, fear of being sued, regulators have created a bubble to ensure there is no need to be compensated.

Believers in free markets are fighting back

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Monday 09 March 2009

Free market theories have been under scrutiny lately, many believe it is what caused the credit crunch and thus, the recession. However, Dr Eamonn Butler, underlines that this is not the case and that the free market thinkers will not go down with out a fight.

A Labour-made crisis

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Thursday 05 March 2009

Dr Eamonn Butler argues that it is absurd for ministers to condemn Goodwin's deal given the pensions mess that they created.

We've all been made criminals

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Sunday 01 March 2009

Dr Eamonn Butler explores how the long arm of the law is stretching too far in to our lives. He believes that Britain has casually slipped in to a police state in which anybody can be stopped and searched for no good reason.

Has Keynes trumped Adam Smith?

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Mark Skousen | Friday 27 February 2009

In this think piece, Mark Skousen considers Marxist, Keynesian and Smithian economics.

The rise of Mugabenomics

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Friday 30 January 2009

In this think piece, Dr Eamonn Butler considers the economic downturn and the government's response to it. He unpacks the reality of quantative easing for what it is, namely printing money.

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