Reasons for British Success at the Olympics

The British are an odd nation. They can reach get heights of great achievement while at the same time plummeting to depths of poor performance. The ability to do both things at the same time speaks to their priorities, as we can see from the Olympic Games now being held in London. Taken on any standards the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team has done very well. It is third in the medal count, it has the third number of gold medals of any nation, including nations that are much larger and much more prosperous that it. There is a simple reason for this excellent performance: money. Continue reading

How Green Was the Budget?

On Wednesday the British Finance Minister, who is rather grandly called the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the budget for the coming financial year. I have never understood why it is called a budget because a principle of every budget it that it should balance. The economies of the world’s developed nations rarely have balanced budgets; it is all about borrowing and more borrowing. I always look at the budget measures from an environmental perspective, so how green is this budget? Continue reading

Mr Cameron’s Green Agenda

Politicians and leaders of nations have two ways of communicating their ideas to the public. The first is in a speech; they universally like to make speeches and they probably attach too much importance to their effect. The second way is by writing. In writing the words can be studied, and it is easier to form a logical reaction to the words and develop arguments supporting or gainsaying what is written without the interference of emotion that political rhetoric raises.

Mr Cameron, the Prime Minister of Her Majesty’s Government, wrote yesterday in the Observer newspaper about a green economy. He writes “there is a compelling economic case to be made for fighting climate change …The green effort should not be downgraded or swept under the carpet because of spending cuts and austerity…” Continue reading

The banks are returning to profit, but where did it all go wrong?

The news that the major United Kingdom Banks are returning to profit is welcome. In 2008 most of them were at risk, so it seemed and most of them needed taxpayers’ money directly as an injection or indirectly as a guarantee which gave people confidence to keep their money in the banks. After nearly two years the confusion surrounding what went wrong is beginning to unravel. Banks are inherently potentially insolvent businesses.  There are two definitions of insolvency and these apply as much to the large financial institutions as they do to individual people. Continue reading

Making savings in climate change expenditure

Every Department of the United Kingdom government has to make savings. It is important to understand that this is a necessary process to secure future prosperity. I do not know (and frankly no one knows for sure) whether the Labour plan to spend our way out of recession or the Coalition plan to make savings is the best plan for the nation. Continue reading

Shorting which short changes the economy

Shakespeare wrote “Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall”. In the modern economic context it would be appropriate to change this to “some profit by sin and some by virtue become impoverished”. It would do well for our politicians to understand this, particularly in understanding some practices of banking. Continue reading