Nobody Knows

“Economists, like royal children, are not punished for their errors.”

James Buchan.

We lost another client last week. This makes a grand total of two clients who have left us over the past year, not because we lost them money, but because apparently we didn’t make them enough. [...]


The Greatest Trick

“I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.”

-     US Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.

 Never try to teach a pig to sing, advised Robert Heinlein. It wastes your time and it [...]


Bad Advice More Popular Than Ever

A BOOK advising married women to have affairs has sparked renewed interest in really bad advice. Experts say Catherine Hakim’s The New Rules of Marriage, which claims that having affairs makes relationships stronger, shows a demand for self-help advice that is not merely trite but actively harmful.


Hang ‘em High

“Measures of central bank balance sheet expansion under-estimate the scale of liquidity support provided during the crisis … there has been a widening of the collateral taken by most central banks in their operations. The taking of imaginative forms of collateral has a history which predates central banking: in the 12th [...]


Great Expectations

Brazil bank strike

Central bank staff are striking for a 23% pay deal to keep pace with inflation, even though one of the institution’s key roles is to curb inflation.

- FT News Briefing.

The Chinese apparently have a saying: a man [...]


The Mess We’re In

“The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.”

- The late Gore Vidal.

“It’s a mess, ain’t it, [...]


An Olympian Hurdle

Very little has definitively changed during the course of the financial crisis and where there has been evidence of change, very little of it seems to have been positive. Governments appear to believe that a problem of overmuch indebtedness can be resolved by the creation of more debt. Which is why [...]


Broke Bank Mountain

Why, for example, do we need a central bank at all? A typical if feeble answer is that we need a lender of last resort. To which the answer is: why? Why do we need a government-appointed entity to support banks that get in over their heads? A typical answer is [...]


Playing To Win

“Sir, In their eagerness to impose upon us their plan to force upon society a state of compulsory and near-permanent recreation, Robert and Edward Skidelsky ignore the fact that working to enhance one’s ability to consume, rather than settling for what others might deem to be adequate, is a fundamental aspect [...]


Libor Pains

“It was when Nick Clegg joined the campaign against Bob Diamond that I started to feel a sliver of sympathy for the now former-boss of Barclays. Not very much sympathy, mind. Just a tiny bit. But put yourself in Bob Diamond’s hand-made crocodile-skin loafers for a moment. You build a business [...]


A Kind Of Magic

The sad reality is that across the economies of much of the West, government finances and the banking sector that has helped worsen them are hopelessly broken. The markets and financial media oscillate between what is fatuously described as ‘risk on’ euphoria, boosted by the delivery or expectation of central bank money [...]