Governance & Regulation Archives - Page 5 of 15 - Emile Woolf writes

“Excessive regulation is the enemy of transparency”

December 2016 “ACCOUNTANCY” Excessive regulation is the enemy of transparency Government departments, lacking the relevant expertise themselves, often grant extensive powers to professional bodies responsible for overseeing the activities of their members. The chief problem with this growth of administrative (compared with constitutional) law is accountability. Given such powers, professional bodies hardly expect to be […]

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Economic Perspectives – 5 – The true interest rate story

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES 5 “Death by 1,000 cuts” This was the name given to the ancient Chinese method of torture and execution. It survives today as the role model for central bankers whose insidious cuts – in interest rates – are relentlessly destroying the life-blood of savings throughout the world. Collateral damage caused by this folly […]

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Economic Perspectives – 7 -How the US Dollar became the world’s reserve currency

Economic Perspectives -7 The US Dollar is the world’s “reserve currency” for international trade settlements – how did it happen, and will it last? [I am indebted to Professor Patrick Barron for the insights expressed in his March 2016 ‘podcast’, which inspired this chapter of ‘Economic Perspectives’] 1 – America collects gold, the world’s first […]

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Pension fund audits: time for a rethink

November 2016 “Accountancy” The central bankers’ obsession with interest rate cuts as a means of stimulating economic recovery reminds me of the “dare” games we played as children, such as “how long can you keep your finger in the candle flame?” Or, in banking terms, “how close to zero can you fix interest rates before […]

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Defective Accounting Standards & Failed Regulation

“Accountancy” Magazine – October 2016 Standard-setting or obfuscation? The accounting world has become shrouded in complexity, largely of its own making. Here’s an uncontroversial statement of its original purpose: “To report the results of an entity’s economic transactions in accordance with well-understood and generally accepted accounting principles”. Here is an equally uncontroversial statement: No enterprise would […]

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Post-Brexit opportunities – and regulatory failures

“Accountancy” Magazine: September 2016 In the wake of Brexit, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is urging companies to engage in dialogue with their auditors on whether specific disclosures are needed in their annual strategic report. This, for many companies, will provide a key focus for members, potential investors and financial journalists. Drafting its section on […]

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Economic Perspectives 4 – The Inflation Conundrum

The inflation conundrum As an economic term, “inflation” is shorthand for “inflation of the money supply”. The general public, however, usually takes it to mean “rising prices” which is not surprising since one of the common effects of an increase in the money supply is higher prices. However, supporters of government policy often say, “If […]

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Economic Perspectives 3: Interest Rate Suppression

The importance of interest rates I have written many times of the persistent but forlorn attempts by central bankers to “stimulate” growth in their countries’ flagging economies by applying the twin practices of quantitative easing (QE) and lowering interest rates. It has been clear for years that these policies simply do not work. The only […]

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Economic Perspectives 2 – Perverse Labour Laws

Blindness of French labour laws When I was recently on holiday in the South of France the socialist government of Francois Hollande was obliged to take the unusual step of by-passing democratic means of getting his labour reform measures into law. He resorted to the rarely invoked “executive power”, to force through changes in labour […]

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