Austerity, the hardworking and the feckless

About two years ago, the current UK finance minister George Osborne commented that ‘hard-working people’ left for work every morning while ‘behind the blinds’ of the house opposite people on benefits were sleeping in. The ‘hard-working’ person was paying for the feckless “to stay at home and not work”. At the time, I wrote aContinue reading “Austerity, the hardworking and the feckless”

From establishment to anti-establishment

I’ve been reading a few new books recently. The first is The Establishment by Owen Jones (Allen Lane, Penguin books). I reviewed Jones’ first book, Chavs, a perceptive account of the way the media turned the concept of the working-class into a bunch of feckless, benefit-seeking layabouts or ‘chavs’ (see my post, As JonesContinue reading “From establishment to anti-establishment”

De-industrialisation and socialism

Last week I spoke on a panel that debated De-industrialisation and socialism.  The panel was organised by Spring, a Manchester-based group in England that has become a forum for the discussion of developments in capitalism and their implications for the prospects for socialism ( The main theme for this panel discussion was the evident factContinue reading “De-industrialisation and socialism”

UK: the agony and the ecstasy

The Bank of England chief economist certainly put the cat among the pigeons with his speech on the British economy on Friday ( Andy Haldane was ‘off message’ from the story painted by his boss, the useless, confusing and grotesquely overpaid Mark Carney (see my post For months Carney has been going around hintingContinue reading “UK: the agony and the ecstasy”

October is a volatile month

October is the most volatile month in the stock market calendar.  The price of shares in world stock markets rise and fall like a yo yo in October compared to other months.  I don’t know why, but maybe October is when investors realise that their expectations of corporate profits are not going to be metContinue reading “October is a volatile month”

Global wealth: 1% own 48%; 10% own 87% and bottom 50% own less than 1%

This time last year, I outlined the results of the Global Wealth report published by Credit Suisse Bank (see my post,  Compiled by Tony Shorrocks and Jim Davies, formerly at the UN, the report last year showed that the top 1% owned 41% of all the personal wealth in the world; the top 10%Continue reading “Global wealth: 1% own 48%; 10% own 87% and bottom 50% own less than 1%”

Japan: the failure of Abenomics

The talk over the weekend at the IMF-World Bank meeting in Washington was of the global economic slowdown as both international agencies reduced their forecasts for real GDP growth in 2015, yet again. In particular, the IMF warned of a serious risk of a renewed recession in the Eurozone (see my post, The IMFContinue reading “Japan: the failure of Abenomics”

Media mud over UKIP

I don’t usually comment on political events as this blog is for economics.  But I just could not stop myself responding the British media’s distorted account of the recent by-elections (i.e. elections between the general election) for two MPs. The British media is engaged in talking up a petty-bourgeois right-wing Eurosceptic party, UKIP, at everyContinue reading “Media mud over UKIP”

Draghi’s answer to Euro depression

Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank (ECB), spoke to the Brookings Institution in Washington this week ( He was very keen to emphasise that the ECB would ‘do what it takes’ to avoid the Eurozone economies sliding into deflation and another slump. And financial markets and the international economic agencies of worldContinue reading “Draghi’s answer to Euro depression”

The Waltons, John Cochrane and the road to serfdom

As the World Bank and the IMF meet for their semi-annual meeting this weekend, in a speech, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim underlined the importance of “addressing inequality” in the world. Kim told students and faculty at Howard University that a recent Oxfam International report had found the world’s richest 85 people haveContinue reading “The Waltons, John Cochrane and the road to serfdom”