Tag Archives: finance

On Coronavirus and finance

The UK, like USA, Japan and others, have a profound advantage with which to recover from the financial consequences of Covid, if they choose to understand and use it.

They are currency issuers, unlike countries using the euro and the dollar, which are currency users. Unlike currency users, e.g. Germany, Greece etc. financially sovereign nations can always meet future obligations: they can never run out of their money.

Increasing or decreasing “the deficit” neither makes future generations poorer nor richer. Consequently, the Government can and should, without excessive inflation, spend its currency to fully manage the problems and opportunities to maintain or increase the well-being of citizens and children. It neither needs, nor should, let the “deficit myths” restrict its management of the Coronavirus and its consequences.

The government’s ability to spend is limited by the economy’s ability to produce, not the debt.
Dean Baker

It should also be limited by care of environments which include, climate, ecology and societies.

Economics without contexts and compassion is a form of fascism
William Harris

Fiat money gains its authority through being the medium in which a government extracts taxes. Unlike commodity money, with intrinsic value and representative money, representing something with intrinsic value, it is intrinsically valueless. It is part of a government’s “spend, tax and borrow” practices. Taxation creates the demand for the government’s money and so is not a governing factor in governmental spending. Government spends first and taxes some back. The difference goes to the private sectors of the economy. Unless taxation is less than expenditure, private sectors suffer deficits and the economy under-functions. Insufficient taxation results in damaging excessive inflation.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 36 Comments

London could be the green finance capital of the world

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable has been writing about his green vision for finance, with London at the centre.

This is a welcome this initiative. The more we can green all aspects of our policy, the better. We have a good record from setting up the Green Investment Bank in coalition, and funding renewables. Vince begins,

The prospect of Brexit threatens to cause serious damage to the UK’s financial services industry.

Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin and even Luxembourg are circling like hungry jackals waiting to pick off the weakest members of the herd.

London

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£1 million donation for Lib Dems helps party oppose Brexit

As a member of the Party’s Federal Board and Federal Finance and Resources Committee, I knew that the party were to receive a £1 million donation. We were not told who had donated it. We were told that we would only find out along with everyone else when it was published by the Electoral Commission – which it will be on Thursday. However, the FT has the inside track and has this story today:

The donation from Greg Nasmyth, whose family made its fortune from Argus Media, the energy information business, will be reported on Thursday when Electoral Commission figures are published. It comes as the Lib Dems gain momentum as an anti-Brexit party, committed to advocating a referendum on the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU. Mr Nasmyth is understood to have been motivated by the party’s position on the EU and also on green issues. He agreed the donation in July, soon after the Brexit vote. It was finally made in October in the run-up to the December by-election in Richmond Park, where the Lib Dem candidate ousted the Brexit-backing millionaire Zac Goldsmith.

Securing this donation is an excellent achievement by the Fundraising team at party HQ. They will need to bring in substantially more than this very generous donation if the party is to properly oppose Brexit. Labour are clearly not interested in standing in the Government’s way. The Liberal Democrats are unique in British politics – a UK wide party which opposes brexit in general and Theresa May’s Brexit Max in particular with every fibre of its being. We have a great message and talented and innovative campaigners. What we need are the resources to deliver that message to the people on an unprecedented scale for us. That is the challenge for party Treasurer Mike German and the fundraising team at HQ. 

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Lib Dems should back a judge-led inquiry into financial scandal

I get why the Tories are opposed to a judge-led inquiry into the scandalous rate-rigging practices employed by Barclays and other banks: their experiences of the Leveson Inquiry show how scandals, even ones that blend across the red/blue parties, have a habit of rebounding on the government of the day.

I get why Labour are in favour of a judge-led inquiry: so complicit were Labour (and Ed Balls in particular) in the catastrophic financial mess of the last few years, of which the banks are just one part, that they are desperate to appear transparent in the hope the inquiry will rebound on the government of the day.

But I don’t get why the Lib Dems are lining up with the Tories to oppose a judge-led inquiry.

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Opinion: Banks are bloated subsidy junkies playing financial Jenga

As bankers continue to scandalise the country with the scale of their pay and bonuses while the real economy struggles and youth unemployment soars, we should take a long hard look at the role of banking in the wider economy.

For years the received wisdom has been that they make huge profits so they must be simply wonderful, Masters of the Universe, the jewel in the crown of the British economy and so unlike the broken-backed manufacturing sector. But how do they do it? I can see why top footballers are paid a fortune and why Apple’s brilliant …

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Opinion: campaign spending – did the Lib Dems get it right?

You can, famously, prove anything with statistics. But the figures for General Election expenditure, released by the Electoral Commission in December, raise some interesting questions for Lib Dem campaign managers.

It was an extraordinary election in many ways. The TV debates, Cleggmania,the economic crisis and the MPs expenses scandal. All of this perhaps made it a particularly difficult election for the party to manage. Marshalling scarce resources in an unpredictable environment is a tough challenge.

The Lib Dems were always going to be out-gunned on the national stage but did we allow ourselves to be out-gunned and out-manoeuvred …

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