Economics Archives - Page 14 of 14 - Emile Woolf writes

Banks deserve our opprobrium: they have forgotten all basic principles

Banks deserve our opprobrium: they have forgotten all basic principles   The Chinese Sage Lao Tsu wrote, on the subject of government, that in the golden age people do not even know they are being governed; in the silver age they revere their leaders; in the iron age they respect them; and in the age […]

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Where have all the losses gone? There are no corresponding gains!

I have always assumed that gains and losses balance out in the big picture, assuming the lapse of sufficient time.  If I sell an investment for less than I paid I incur a quantifiable loss.  This does not mean that whoever buys it will make a profit since he too may sell for less than […]

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Over-taxed & over-regulated – that’s the reality, whatever they say

Few would disagree that UK business is both overtaxed and over-regulated.  Those at the sharp end know this, despite all the efforts of official statisticians and bureaucrats to tell us otherwise. The Treasury would have it that Britain is becoming more competitive and overtaking rival economies, whereas the CBI argues that higher taxes and obsessive […]

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Borrowers must face the reality of their choices

Since gaining its independence from the Treasury 10 years ago the Bank of England’s pledge to control inflation as its overriding priority has, until now, been visibly honoured and we have all benefited. Unlike the Treasury, however, the Bank’s sole weapon in fulfilling its mission is its autonomy over setting interest rates, and the present […]

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Desperate measures: if it moves, tax it

The purpose of taxation is to pay for the necessary expenditure of government.  Adam Smith spelt out the basics 200 years ago:  the manner in which taxes are raised and spent must be transparent, visible for all to see.   The journey from first principles to contemporary reality leads to a fiscal statute book of […]

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The European Commission must be called to account

The subject of Europe polarises any otherwise rational debate.  Obsessional prejudice, whether pro or con, induces deafness and drives out reason.   More inflammatory even than party politics (where spin and expediency have blunted the ideals), passions over Europe (the Union, not the continent) have taken on the trappings of a belief system, susceptible to […]

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Principled taxation? No – it is not a contradiction in terms

Governments claim to base economic policies on principle, yet results often betray muddled guesswork. Principles have been established for centuries. It is senseless to impose a tax that renders a marginal business unviable – the yield from that business would be zero. Similarly, since tax rates of 0% or 100% yield no revenue it is […]

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Are the numbers verifiable? Two transatlantic papers question the fair value excursion.

My August 2006 article on the IFRS convergence fiasco generated emails indicating that mine is not a lone voice in questioning the direction that financial reporting standards are taking.  I am prompted to revisit the topic from a transatlantic perspective after reading recent papers by Ross L Watts of Sloan School, MIT, and Roy Ball […]

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