The Chancellor only managed to get the deficit to fall between 2011/12 and 2012/13 by ordering departments to underspend their budgets before the end of the financial year and other desperate measures such as delaying subscription payments to the World Bank. Yet now it appears that all those efforts were all in vain.
In 2008 the hedge fund industry lost more money than all the profits it had generated during the prior 10 years. If you don’t think that’s a con, by all means ring up your pension manager and tell him to divert more of your nest egg to these great value money managers
Lady Thatcher’s governments did indeed achieve something of a renaissance in British productivity. The question is: at what cost was this victory bought?
We’re £53bn through, with £52bn more spending cuts to come by 2015/16. What’s more, this is just the start of it. Because the UK’s growth prospects are so dismal there are going to be more cuts (or tax rises) needed by 2017/18.
Cyrpus’ banking sector is grossly inflated with assets and liabilities at around €126bn, or 700% of the island’s GDP. Yet our own banking sector still has assets and liabilities equal to 450% of our GDP.
It’s possible that the massive shortfall in domestic business investment was a response to weak aggregate demand, as the Government’s deep capital expenditure cuts had a greater than expected impact on output.
Perhaps the Chancellor didn’t want us to see what a small number of grotesquely over-paid individuals he was batting for in Brussels this week.
Even in the biggest banking crisis in a century staff costs barely budged. A bank’s staff take home a more or less fixed proportion of its revenues come hell or high water.
Italy needs to overhaul its crony labour markets which penalise the young and inhibit long-term growth. But trying to claim that the present deep recession is a consequence of that long-standing macro dysfunction doesn’t add up.
Don’t they know that it was the heroic Monti that saved Italy from a bond market revolt in 2011 with his austerity and structural reforms? Don’t they know that it was Berlusconi that led Italy into the mire in the first place?
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