ECB Archives - Emile Woolf writes

THE RISK FACTOR: TIME FOR AN HONEST ASSESSMENT

  [JUNE 2020 – ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES – 83] As the spread of Covid begins to wane we should consider afresh whether, for example, a shopkeeper who travels to work to open his business is in fact acting irresponsibly. This comes, as ever, down to the question of risk. Since some people are more risk averse […]

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“STICKING TO YOUR GUNS” – AND OTHER FAILED STRATEGIES

  EMILE WOOLF [Going Postal 12-8-19, and Economic Perspectives – 60] There can be little doubt that tenacity is a great virtue. It means holding on to something important, something you believe in, no matter what. The trouble with tenacity, however, is that it does not necessarily rely on principles. Clinging to a piece of […]

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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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Auditors, wasted loans, currency wars… and gold

I noted last month that the record of auditors’ ability to assess the worth of banks’ loan portfolios is singularly uninspiring. In the US the Securities and Exchange Commission is actively pursuing auditors who issued clean opinions after accepting management’s assurances of worth, followed by massive bailouts. Yet any meaningful audit is impossible when supposed […]

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Standards can obscure the simplest concepts: try ‘true and fair’

UK Companies Acts since 1947 have stipulated that audited accounts of companies should give a ‘true and fair view’. After 66 years the meaning of that elusive formula continues to be hotly debated by accounting bodies, regulators, representatives of investors and pension funds, civil servants and politicians. Prior to that time the Acts used the […]

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EU membership – in or out? Think it through, but tread warily

“Expert” is defined as a  person whose research, knowledge and experience accords them the respect of  their peers in a well-distinguished domain. Economics is just such a domain, yet the degree of diversity in the views of  so-called experts can be astonishing. Take one of today’s most topical issues: will a UK exit from the […]

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All the forecasts are wrong

THE BARCHESTER CHRONICLE’  www.barchestergreen.co.uk by Emile Woolf www.emilewoolfwrites.co.uk Forecasts are a particular problem these days. From 2009 to 2011 every prediction, from the Chancellor’s Spending Reviews to the Bank of England’s official outlooks, suggested that economic growth, however modest, would return by late 2012. Even the Office of Budget Responsibility and the Institute of Fiscal […]

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