Inflation: try to remain calm

“I think it is obvious that we’ve finally reached the limits of monetary policy. Does the ECB taking rates 10 basis points more negative do anything but accelerate the bankruptcy of the Eurozone banking system? Does it increase consumption or capital expenditures? Of course not. If anything, it just starves the system of capital by taking everyone’s…

Monetary Massacre Theory

When it’s not trying to overturn legitimate plebiscites or shoving woke propaganda down the throats of its reluctant viewers, the BBC is still capable of showing half-decent documentaries. This correspondent recently caught the tail end of one such piece, Storyville: Jonestown – Terror in the Jungle. Being nine at the time of the original atrocity,…

Cleansed by fire

The world was due to end in April 1843, at least according to William Miller. Born in Massachusetts in 1782, Miller served in the War of 1812 against the British and ultimately became a Baptist preacher. No doubt influenced by his wartime experiences, he became obsessed with death and the after-life. After the war he devoted 15 years of his life to…

Phew !

Congratulations, Boris. Now that three years of a referendum, two general elections, countless court cases and a virtue-signalling procession of pointless, endless bickering are finally behind us, we can – with luck – go back to business as usual. For us, that means that our opportunity set has suddenly expanded, in the form of the UK stock market.…

The Emperor's Old Clothes

“..Built into the speculative episode is the euphoria, the mass escape from reality, that excludes any serious contemplation of the true nature of what is taking place.   “Contributing to and supporting this euphoria are two further factors little noted in our time or in past times. The first is the extreme brevity of the financial memory.…

Red Scare

“We used to think that you could spend your way out of a recession and increase employment by cutting taxes and boosting government spending. I tell you in all candour that that option no longer exists, and in so far as it ever did exist, it only worked on each occasion since the war by injecting a bigger dose of inflation into the economy, followed…

Panic on the streets of London

A couple of thoughts strike the bemused, slightly appalled, observer of ITV’s leaders’ debate (19 November 2019) between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. One is that the producers at ITV don’t appear capable of running an orgy in a brothel. One is that at the highest level of political engagement in Britain today, you can expect to see weird experiments…

The Final Battle

“Few general elections,” writes Robert Tombs in The Telegraph, “can properly be described as historic. Fewer still mark a watershed in the way we are governed - perhaps one a century. In 1831, the victory of the Whigs under Earl Grey ensured that the old constitution would be reformed and a slow movement towards popular government began. The…

On liberty

Despite the psychic political torture of the last three-and-a-half years, the coming UK General Election promises to be a doozy of epic proportions. For the hard of recall, here is a summary of what the three major British parties promised in their 2017 manifestos regarding the most pressing issue of the day (at least to  this correspondent), namely…

Know what you know

So one inauspicious date – that of the UK’s official departure from the EU on Halloween – has been replaced by another. Absent some highly unusual activity in the House of Lords, the country will learn the identity of its new Prime Minister on Friday 13th of December. Of all the various options available, a Boris Johnson premiership and a majority…