August 2017 - Emile Woolf writes

Institutionally Gullible – loan-loss provisions

“ACCOUNTANCY” – JUNE 2017 Banks, criminality and accounting: end of the road?  All those banks and other financial institutions that have gone bust, or been bailed out, over the past 20 years demonstrate that the sector’s corporate conduct has been wayward, to put it mildly. That these dodgy outfits are located in the UK, USA, […]

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Letters to The Times / Daily Telegraph – August ’17

My letter to the Times on 22 August: “What a treat to have Matt Ridley and Paul Johnson in the same issue (21 August), effectively delivering similar messages, although from different standpoints. “Matt Ridley explains convincingly that unilateral free trade is the only effective alternative to the regulatory confusion that has mired both pro and […]

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Economic Perspectives 14 (April 2017) – Meaning of Free Trade

  ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES 14 The natural condition of international commerce is unilateral free trade [I acknowledge the inspirational work of, respectively, Professors Don Boudreaux and Patrick Barron in preparing this instalment of EPs.] Preface In the above title, the words “international” (obviously implying ‘more than one’) and “unilateral” (meaning ‘one-sided’), may appear to be self-contradictory. […]

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Economic Perspectives 20 – “Buffers for Duffers!’

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES 20 – August 2017   BUFFERS FOR DUFFERS! Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, tells us that “this time it’s different” because the capital “buffers” (amounts that lending banks must retain in their free reserves) now imposed by central banks will prevent a banking crisis similar to the sub-prime implosion that […]

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Correspondence with Jon Newman on Economic Perspectives 20

On 15 Aug 2017, at 17:56, Jon Newman wrote: Emile, I’m very confused. If UK banks now have to have sufficient capital buffers to prevent a future financial crisis, why is Mark Carney concerned about the level of personal debt? Surely the banks, being the prudent types under this new tougher regime, have already considered […]

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Government knows what it is doing? Dream on

SEPTEMBER 2012 King Canute was neither vain nor foolish. He ordered the tide to recede only to demonstrate to his court that even his awesome powers had limits. Vain and foolish politicians, however, aspire to preserve the myth of Euroland and still believe that, by hook or (especially) by crook, they might actually make it […]

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BANKING SCANDALS: CAN THE RBS SAGA TELL US ANYTHING NEW?

It’s not as if each successive banking scandal throws up new insights. The proverbial “innocent bystander” might reasonably suppose that, by now, something would have been learnt from the cyclical repetition of egregious behaviour and the crises it generates. Much of this behaviour is just plain foolish: unbridled credit expansion; lending practices landing banks with […]

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“Creative Accounting” masks real performance

‘ACCOUNTANCY’ – JUNE 2016 The term “creative accounting” always carries the pejorative implication that accepted accounting rules are being manipulated to make trading results over a defined period appear to be better (never worse!) than warranted by facts. Perennial rule-tightening is like painting the Forth Bridge – the job is never done. Standards, the building […]

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Economic perspectives 14 – unilateral free trade is natural

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES 14 The natural condition of international commerce is unilateral free trade [I acknowledge the inspirational work of, respectively, Professors Don Boudreaux and Patrick Barron in preparing this instalment of EPs.] Preface In the above title, the words “international” (obviously implying ‘more than one’) and “unilateral” (meaning ‘one-sided’), may appear to be self-contradictory. But, […]

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Consequences of inflationary folly

  ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES 11 INFLATIONARY FOLLY HAS ITS CONSEQUENCES Responses to previous instalments of my “Economic Perspectives” include queries on why unbridled credit expansion by the main central banks in USA, UK, EU and Japan does not appear to be reflected in a commensurate rise in the general price level, affecting all sectors of the […]

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