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  • The UK is to produce a proper balance sheet! 1 comment
    May 17, 2010 5:23 AM

    In a conference this morning the new Chancellor, George Osbourne, said that a new forecasting organization is being set up, headed by Sir Alan Budd, which will make determine likely future growth independently, so that politicians can't juice them by assuming unrealistic growth rates and squeeze in more spending.

    In addition, we are to have the first proper balance sheet showing all the currently off-budget items, including public pensions, which in the UK are due to rise to an additional liability of around 80% of GDP on top on the on-budget ones.

    This hopefully is the start of a political process to rein in a lot of the more extravagant expenditure, as the costs are made more clear to the public.
    80% of people here pay in far more than they receive to pad the pensions of Civil Servants, whilst getting a fraction as much themselves.

    On the downside, there is a splash of paddles as the new Government rows back on plans to cut the banks down to size and they are shifting from a promise to take independent action to saying that they have to wait for what the US does, and can't go far outside that envelope.
    With Geithner in charge, that means the banks carrying on business as usual.
    Action in Europe though may force their hand.
    For the moment European ire is being focused on the hedge funds rather than the banks, as no-one wants to think about their huge problems.
    The $1 trillion bail out is to patch some holes in European banks balance sheets.

    That mythical beast, 'growth' is supposed to eventually complete the bail out after the trillion runs out.
    I am expecting a European program to finally locate the unicorn sometime soon, and it appears to have as much chance of success as getting any money back from the PIIGS, or of getting growth whilst savagely cutting budget deficits at the same time.


    Disclosure: No positions

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  • Asbytec
    , contributor
    Comments (7147) | Send Message
    England is in a unique position among the EU nations, it can print it's own currency. It was smart not to join the euro.


    However, cutting the deficit is deflationary. All consumers get their pound sterling issued from the government as it spends. It has the monopoly power over the currency. Government debt directly contributes to a gain of net financial assets. If the government removes currency from circulation through budget cuts and taxation, you're economy will deflate. Of course, it cannot spend too much, either...same situation in the US because we both print our own currency.


    The PIIGS, however, do not have this luxury and sovereign default is a real possibility weighing heavily on the euro. However, when a nation can print it's own currency, it is never at risk of default. The stigma of (responsible and moderate) deficit spending results from a misunderstanding of how the financial system works. So, budget cuts and taxes are gonna be painful. They will actually destroy wealth.


    12 Dec 2010, 03:57 AM Reply Like
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