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Tag Archives: UK

UK GDP – the Q2 close-down, and the distorting effect of ‘imputed rental’

On Wednesday (30 September) the Office for National Statistics published its second estimate of GDP for the second quarter of 2020, April to June.  The very marginally positive news is that the fall, between Q1 and Q2, was reduced from 20.4% to 19.8%.  Since this was still the largest recorded quarterly fall since records commence in 1955, this is...

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What went wrong at intu?

In June this year, a company called intu (no capitalisation) collapsed. Most people had never heard of it. But they knew what it did. It was the owner of many of the UK's biggest shopping centres. Lakeside in Thurrock, Metro Centre in Newcastle, and the Trafford Centre in Manchester - all of these were owned by intu. Indeed, they still are. At the time of writing, no disposals have been made. So intu is the landlord of a significant part of the UK's retail sector. And it is dead, killed by...

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Britain was not “nearly bust” in March

"Britain nearly went bust in March, says Bank of England", reads a headline in the Guardian. In similar vein, the Telegraph's Business section reports "UK finances were close to collapse, says Governor":Eh, what? The Governor of the Bank of England says the UK nearly turned into Venezuela? Well, that's what the Telegraph seems to think: The Bank of England was forced to save the Government from potential financial collapse as markets seized up at the height of the coronavirus crisis,...

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Ways & means of paying Government’s growing bills – financing or cashflow?

“The Bank has always held itself bound to the extent of its power to render the assistance required by the Treasury in any exigency and under any condition of the Money Market.” – James Currie, Governor of Bank of England, July 1885 to Lord Salisbury, Prime MinisterThe new agreement between Government and Bank of England to make the Government’s overdraft with the Bank (the Ways and Means Facility) open-ended has been characterised as direct “monetary financing” of...

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Bailey goes up an inflation blind alley – but what role for BoE ‘monetary financing’?

This post argues that the new Governor of the Bank of England is wrong to address the Bank’s role in the crisis through the prism of traditional ‘price stability targeting’. Rather, the Bank’s duty and task is to support the government’s economic (including fiscal) policies, and in particular - and in so doing - to act to protect the financial stability of the whole system. Actions to support the Bank’s monetary and financial stability objectives need to be integrated.On...

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The Treasury’s Budget Report breaks the law on fiscal rules

“The Treasury must explain the reasons for any departure from the previous mandate and/or supplementary targets.“ From the current Charter for Budget Responsibility’s fiscal rules“The Treasury may from time to time modify the Charter… When the Charter is modified the Treasury must lay the modified Charter before Parliament.”From the 2011 Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011—————-There’s no getting away from it – in the manner in which it has put forward today’s...

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