Economics Archives - Page 14 of 15 - Emile Woolf writes

Reforming the banking system? End the legalised extortion

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury refilled, public debt reduced, the arrogance of officialdom tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign lands curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.” No epitaph on the first decade of the new millennium could be more apt than […]

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Reflating the banking bubble while the real economy lags

How sustainable is the alleged economic recovery? A brighter outlook certainly appears to be in evidence in parts of the City. Construction work on glitzy office buildings has resumed. A stroll through the Royal Exchange takes you past packed wine bars, expensive restaurants and boutiques displaying the most opulent array of branded merchandise – jewellery, […]

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Bring back “substance over form” to overcome this accounting farce

When “true and fair” accounts disclose either favourable results that are factually unsupportable, or a position much worse than warranted due to an “accounting quirk”, with no bearing on actual performance, we are bound to wonder what is going on. Arbitrary losses may arise when a business is forced to separate its foreign exchange credits […]

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Reforming banks’ governance is not possible without real sanctions

The reforms recommended by Sir David Walker for the governance of banks would, if implemented, impose a huge moral responsibility on executive and non-executive banking directors alike. The will to exercise independent judgment without regard to personal advantage – whether money, power or status – is a rare commodity in commercial life, and it cannot […]

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Cutting public sector waste: there is no choice

During several matches leading to the almighty centre-court battle that climaxed this year’s Wimbledon I reflected on how the game has altered over the 50 years I have been watching it. I recall days of serve-and-volley, preceding Borg’s dogged baseline perseverance that exasperated more excitable opponents. I remember the exquisite yet deadly net play of […]

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Public finances: tax rises are not the answer

Promises, promises….. New Labour’s pledges in three elections running included a commitment not to raise taxes. All three manifestos declared: “There will be no return to the penal tax rates that existed under Labour and Conservative governments in the 1970s. To encourage work and reward effort, we are pledged not to raise the basic or […]

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Time for a reformed regulatory framework – auditing included

Time for a reformed regulatory framework – auditing included   The economic collapse is merciless in its revelations of failure, whether evidencing spineless regulation, ignorant policy-making, ineffective auditing, incompetent rating or wimpish governance. There’s nowhere to hide – as Warren Buffett puts it, when the tide goes out you can see who’s been bathing naked. […]

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Now we know: the ‘booming’ economy was a huge Ponzi scheme

Now we know: the booming economy was a huge Ponzi scheme Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi fraud is now legendary. Yet the fabric on which our entire credit explosion rested was just as illusory as Madoff’s investment fund. It existed in appearance only. The toxic financial instruments, so neatly packaged by investment houses before being […]

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Getting the economy going: cut public sector waste and transform taxes

Getting the economy going: cut public sector waste and transform taxes By now the causes of the economic crisis, and the course of its swift global trajectory, have been explored ad nauseam. But while its bitter consequences are being experienced for a year or three there is much that governments can learn from enforced austerity. […]

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The great credit collapse: what have we learnt

  Sir Thomas Gresham was a formidable figure in the late 16th Century. He built the Royal Exchange, the most fabulous commercial building of its day. Modeled on the Antwerp Bourse, it contained 150 small shops, making it one of the world’s first shopping malls. Yet its chief virtue was that, for the first time, […]

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