February 2013 archive

QE and the Downgrade of Britain’s Sovereign Debt

The news that Britain’s sovereign debt has been downgraded comes as no surprise to those of us who have followed the Bank of England’s monetary policies over recent years with growing bewilderment. The job of a Central Bank is to maintain monetary stability. It is not to print money. It is not to manipulate the …

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An “Expensive Experiment” – An End to QE in the UK?

Congratulations to the Treasury Accounts Committee, which in a trenchant critique has condemned quantitative easing as an “expensive experiment” which has failed to deliver any of its alleged benefits or to stimulate economic growth. It has resulted instead only in inflation and lower returns on savings. It has significantly cut the real incomes of savers, …

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The “electrified ring fence” – does it go far enough?

The announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the UK Government will introduce an “electrified ring fence” around core retail banking activities, with draconian sanctions for any banks that breach it, is to be welcomed. However, it begs the obvious question. If it is so desirable to keep retail banking activities separate from investment …

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Margaret Hodge and the tax accountants

I must admit to having a sneaking regard for Margaret Hodge as a tribune of the people and defender of the taxpayer in her role as Chair of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee. Until yesterday, that is. In a blatant attempt to score a few cheap points by exploiting her position, she cut …

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