Posts Tagged: Labour Party

Sep 14

8 ways to improve the world

From conscription to business ethics, iPhones to risk

70 years ago the Bretton Woods conference came to a successful end, putting in place a post-war international monetary system which aimed to make the world a better place.

Here are my suggestions for a better world, some more serious than others. Do feel free to send me, in confidence, any you think should be added.

1. Immigration officers, knowing they are the first local interaction for foreigners, will smile pleasantly at tourists and business people stepping up to their desks. They will bear in mind that 99.99% of those arriving are not terrorists and welfare cheats, and will therefore ditch their customary scowls and officiousness. A feedback button to rate the friendliness of the service will be on hand to encourage this change in behaviour. It would be attached to an electric current.


Mar 14

A Tale of two Balls: UK vs PIMCO

Lessons from WWII as Russia conquers Crimea

Who is more influential? In the left corner sits Ed Balls, potential Chancellor of the UK if the Labour Party makes it into power in the 2015 election. On the right, his brother Andrew Balls, Deputy Chief Investment Officer at PIMCO, which controls $2 trillion worth of bonds.

Even assuming Ed B. makes it into power, his brother wins hands down. The UK government spends around £720 billion a year and most of it is already earmarked. Chancellors – pace all the kerfuffle around budget announcements – can only affect policy at the margin. Andrew B., on the other hand, is head of European bond markets with the capacity to strike fear in the hearts of Italian treasury ministers, among others.

Jan 10

The Volcker Attack: A Damp Squib?

The Real Role of Chairman Mao

Rumour of the week: The UK election will be called for the end of March, not May. The government is worried that first quarter GDP figures will show the UK falling back into negative growth after the wimpish 0.1% GDP growth number for the fourth quarter of 2009. As other countries continue growing, a negative number announced a couple of weeks before the expected date of a May election will look all the more pitiful.

If this is true – and it has the ring of truth – the Labour Party is taking us for fools. The same goes for the Conservatives, with their daft pledge, plastered on billboards everywhere, that they won’t touch the NHS.