Ann Pettifor

Interest Rates

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.

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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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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What have Putin, Hu & Greenspan in common?

Have been listening to debates about the conflict in Georgia over the week-end. There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth about Putin’s disregard for democracy. In a similar vein, western commentary about President Hu Jintao’s Olympic Games is never complete without some tut-tutting about democracy and human rights in China. Yet these leaders …

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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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Abandon Inflation Targeting

The Guardian, 12th July, 2008 In Ten tactics to brighten the gloom, the Guardian invited ten experts to give advice to the Chancellor and Prime Minister on how to lift the economic gloom – and to do it in just 100 words. Other contributors included Howard Davies, Robert Peston, Irwin Stelzer and Bill Emmot. Here …

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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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