Ann Pettifor

British Banking

Rates: the BoE is not independent – it has a political mandate

Both the British Chancellor, Alastair Darling and the shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, have been on the radio this morning, resisting the idea that interest rates are political. Instead they have argued, vehemently, that the Bank of England is independent, and that the Bank must decide whether or not to lower interest rates.

Bring back Keynes… in the Guardian

Tuesday 30th September, 2008. Anglo-American finance ministers and central bankers, like little Dutch boys, try desperately to plug leaks in the bursting dyke that is the international financial system. In the US, treasury secretary Hank Paulson hoped for $700bn to plug the gaping hole in Wall Street’s banks. In the UK, the government is not …

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Bring back cool reasonable voice of Keynes… in the FT

Tuesday 30th September, 2008. Sir, Your editorial “In praise of free markets” (September 27/28) conflates regulation of trade markets with that of financial markets. This is a flawed analysis, one at the core of most economic orthodoxy – that money, like land, oil, soya beans, diamonds or gold, is a commodity, and therefore that trade …

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Interest rates, Keynes and the longevity of the rentier

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, speaking on Radio 4’s flagship current affairs programme this morning, repeated something he says regularly: that ‘interest rates are low’ and that his government, through the Bank of England, kept them low. The question the BBC should have asked is this: if interest rates are low, and have been so, …

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The Bankers’ Recession and the £200 billion bail-out

A Mr. David Smith in a letter to the Financial Times, (29 Aug 08) has suggested we brand this global recession ‘the bankers’ recession’.  He has my support and enthusiastic commitment to raising awareness of the brand.  Especially after today’s UK news.

Ratcheting up the interest rate rack of torture.

In this big bad world of the Credit Crunch, powerful central bankers – civil servants all – have bent over backwards to help powerful and rich private bankers. On one day, ‘debtonation day’, central bankers in Europe and the US pumped an eye-watering $150 billion into the financial system, to keep big banks afloat. According …

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Fannie and Freddie impact will be global, systemic

Fulfilling my duties as a citizen, I am now confined to the Southwark Crown Court as a juror, so have little time to update the blog. However the effective insolvency of two US government sponsored banks or enterprises (GSEs) – Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac – will now impact not just all those US individuals, …

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Debtors (and banks?) ‘crucified’ on inflation cross

The FT reports today on a debate economists are having with the Bank of England (BoE). To summarise: the Bank of England does not seem bothered by falling house prices; economists are. This is a very important debate for all those that have debts – because while house prices are falling, the debts on those …

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New Labour lags behind the times

The Guardian reports today that one of Tony Blair’s key allies, Phil Collins, has bravely attacked Labour’s weakened leader. Collins singles out Old Labour’s ‘faith in the ‘benign’ power of the central state’ and suggests that Ed Balls’ policies for children will set the party on a path to tragedy. When the most ardent of …

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