Moody’s threatened to downgrade Spain’s debt yesterday. Why do we pay any attention to anything they, or the other ratings agencies, say? In conclusion, I have tried to show that Moody’s managers deliberately engineered a change to its culture intended to ensure that rating analysis never jeopardized market share and revenue. They accomplished this both […]
If the financial sector can be rescued only by cutting back social spending on Social Security, health care and education, bolstered by more privatization sell-offs, is it worth the price? To sacrifice the economy in this way would violate most peoples’ social values of equity and fairness rooted deep in Enlightenment philosophy. Superb, if lengthy […]
The Institute that takes the name of Adam Smith (wholly in vain in my view) has been in the forefront of the expenditure cut propagandists. They have produced, in the guise of impartial analysis, two documents that start with their desired conclusions and proceed by the use of pseudo-logic and misdirection. The great Kirkcaldy moral […]
David Cameron says he wants an apology from Labour for the state of the economy. But his approach to the budget deficit is either one of the most mendacious or one of the most ignorant ever made by a British Prime Minister. By using half-truths and gross over-simplifications Cameron has shifted the blame for the […]
Last night, here in Edinburgh, I attended a fascinating lecture by Willem Buiter, founding member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee and author of the celebrated (in certain circles!) Maverecon blog on the Financial Times website. Sadly, the blog is discontinued as Professor Buiter is now the Chief Economist of Citigroup, the US […]
There’s more nonsense about the UK fiscal position around – most of it emanating from the Conservatives and their manifesto. The latter document is appallingly selective with the statistics – they are really setting themselves up for a fall. Here’s an excellent dose of common sense from Kansas City.
At the end of January 2010, UK government debt stood at £848bn and around 60% of GDP. The European Commission says ‘additional fiscal tightening measures’ are required. The Tories warn that investors are getting anxious and that the ratings agencies (who also certified the security of mortgage-backed derivatives) are about to downgrade the UK government’s […]