Dear readers, and in particular commenters. To my eternal shame, I discovered that your thoughtful comments had been buried, and that my alerts were not alerting…… So apologies for the slow acknowledgements, and thank you for persevering. I blame the latest version of wordpress, which I am just getting my head around. Thanks Larry for the comments about the Newsnight interview. Yes, we girls do have hurdles to climb. …but that, as Sam Goldwyn used to say, is show business.
These are today’s links: starting with a special feature on food from Foreign Policy magazine: ‘How food explains the world’. Especially like the one about refugees, the World Food Programme and mobile technology….from whence comes the image above.
With fires raging across the UK, this piece on the recent spate of tornadoes in the US is interesting. In contrast to previous records, there have been more than 600 tornadoes during the month of April 2011.
- The previous record number of tornadoes during the month of April was 267 tornadoes set in April 1974.
- The previous record number of tornadoes during any month was 542 tornadoes set in May 2003.
“Unneeded as workers, the unemployed also become superfluous as consumers and burdensome as citizens” writes Nancy Folbre in this piece from the New York Times.
While the unemployed may not be needed as workers, they are needed by the banks as Prof. Chick and I argued recently on the PRIME website: “The stability of banks hinges on lending for projects that will generate revenue streams for their own repayment.” No repayment streams, no lending, no..erm banks.
UK news is really dismal this month. “April manufacturing PMI has come in weaker than expected at 54.6, the lowest in seven months. Inflation is the third highest since the data was first collected in 1999.”
And today’s news from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, is particularly alarming….”Real house prices will fall by 4.5 per cent in 2011 and by an average of 1½ per cent per annum in the subsequent four years as borrowing costs rise because of tighter monetary policy.”
But really pleased that the NIESR has nailed the myth that house prices rose in the 90s and noughties – because of tight supply. We argued consistently that house prices rose because of easy credit, and not ‘supply and demand’…….and when that credit dried up, we would find that, lo and behold, there would be no shortage of houses for sale – even while there might be a shortage of housing. And so it has proved. Read more at the NIESR site:
All this makes this excellent plea from a lawyer to the Opposition front bench, particularly apposite. He argues cogently that: “the Conservative narrative has expunged the inconvenient contribution of the collapse of the banking system to our financial predicament so comprehensively, and so implausibly, as would have made a Maoist historian blush.”
And finally: Goldman Sachs cheats on tax and (sigh) wins again…