Monday, 10 November 2008

Economics n stuff

It's a wacky world today. Gordo is clearly laying the ground for tax cuts, which may (I doubt it, but there's speculation) end up being opposed by the Tories. If Gordo does follow this path then the mixture of policies being implemented - public spending, plus tax cuts, plus rate cuts - does seem to push all the Keynesian buttons for avoiding a slump doesn't it? It suggests a couple of obvious things - active economic policy is back, and the Government thinks we're in quite a big hole. PS - here's the TUC take on this stuff.

Meanwhile in the US of States, the inevitable reaction to the bank bailouts is occuring in the car industry. If you can do it for them, why can't you do it for us? The Democrats are likely to respond to this special pleading too I reckon. And if it's good enough for US manufacturing why, folks will ask, can't we have it here? It's going to be a difficult argument for the Government (and the Tories) to handle.

Also in the States, there's speculation over who could be the new chair of the SEC. Obviously there is a lot of kite-flying going on, but it's interesting to note that Damon Silvers of the AFL-CIO has cropped up in a couple of reports. It would be a great appointment from the unions's point of view obviously - here's hoping.

Finally, via Nick this interview with Gillian Tett is well worth a read. I'm pulling out a different quote to him though. The following makes a lot of sense to me:

"I happen to think anthropology is a brilliant background for looking at finance," she reasons. "Firstly, you're trained to look at how societies or cultures operate holistically, so you look at how all the bits move together. And most people in the City don't do that. They are so specialised, so busy, that they just look at their own little silos. And one of the reasons we got into the mess we are in is because they were all so busy looking at their own little bit that they totally failed to understand how it interacted with the rest of society.

"But the other thing is, if you come from an anthropology background, you also try and put finance in a cultural context. Bankers like to imagine that money and the profit motive is as universal as gravity. They think it's basically a given and they think it's completely apersonal. And it's not. What they do in finance is all about culture and interaction."

I think this is bang on, and it fits in with some of the Habermas stuff I've been reading lately. Something for another day though.

2 comments:

Charlie Marks said...

Tax cuts forthose on middle and lower incomes are sensible - but I wouldn't hold my breath about next week's announcement. If there\s no beef, it's a real fuckup, 'cause tax cuts would well and truly shoot cameron's fox - and slash his poll lead even futher!

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