Clean Air Has Costs, Even If It Does Kill Us All

A sad sign of the times in, well, The Times. An insistence that we should all have air just as clean as it can be. With absolutely no understanding of the costs associated with having that lovely clean air:

This newspaper’s Clean Air for All campaign is right to call for an independent regulator with strong powers of enforcement rather than vague targets pushed into the foggy future. Yes, there is a political cost to cleaning up cities and industries while getting dirty cars off roads but the rewards are great, whether saving NHS cash or creating a greener and more pleasant land for us all to live in.

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Bank Of England – Brexit Financial Risks Are To European Firms

Think on matters just for a moment. Who is at risk from a no deal Brexit cutting The City off from the European markets? The firms in The City of the customers in the markets?

Say that all food shops closed for 90 days starting tomorrow. Who has the problem? Sure the food suppliers are more than a bit pissed about it but who has the actual problem? The people who can’t eat for 90 days, obviously enough.…

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Sheesh – The Observer Insists The Bank Of England Should Stop QE From Working

That not all people grasp all of the intricacies of economics is true. And that’s also fine, we don’t all need to understand it, just as we don’t all need to grasp the intricacies of oncology nor the difference between line, clog and ballet dancing. Those who are interested can bother, the rest of us can contemplate Rula Lenska instead.

However, if your employment is to produce economic leaders for a national newspaper then it might be a good idea to bone up – just a little maybe – on the subject under discussion, economics.…

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No Brown In Town – It’s Not The Law Firm, Nor Partner, Which Decides These Things

A useful example of a societal misconception here. It’s not the partners in a law firm which decide what the sartorial rules in The City are. Or anywhere else of course. Those are decided by the wider society. For example, it is not the Mayor of Cannes who decides that women may go topless on the beach but should be rather more covered when walking down the main street. This is something decided by that wider society of those who go to and live in Cannes.…

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How Addis Ababa Should Profit From The New River Development Project

Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia, is committing to cleaning up two of the riversides that flow through the city. That might be good, that might be bad – it depends upon how much is to be spent on cleaning up how much. There is actually an optimal level of pollution, or the inverse cleanliness, for a level of economic development. However, there is the one and only correct manner of collecting the benefits of this being done, through land value taxation:

The Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, on Thursday launches a 29 billion birr (about $1.028 billion) project that aims to develop and rehabilitate two river streams of the city.

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The Trivial Damage Brexit Will Do To The City

Frankfurt is proudly boasting that as much as €800 billion in assets is going to move over to that fair city as a result of Brexit – out of The City, of course. Well, actually, not quite, the management of that many assets will move. To which the correct response is so what? Or even, you and whose grandmother? For in the context of these sorts of things that’s a trivial number. Financial centre numbers are measured in the tens of trillions, not mere billions.…

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It Was Always Trivially Obvious That The Brexit Financial Services Deal Would Be Done

Glory Be, we are saved, Britain’s financial services industry won’t be cut off from the European markets. All of which is akin to that wondrous – possibly apocryphal – headline of yore, “Fog In Channel, Europe Cut Off.” For it never was true that there was going to be a problem with us not being able to sell them stuff. Any problem was going to revolve around them not being able to buy stuff from us.…

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Horrors – Brexit To Shrink The City By 1%, Maybe As Much As 0.3%

As we so enjoy doing around here we’re going to put a number into some sort of context. It’s said that Brexit will cause as many as 5,000 jobs to move over to the Continent. This is perhaps 1% or so of the jobs in The City. Or if we think of the wider financial services market, perhaps 0.3%. Whether or not you think this is a problem will depend upon your sense of proportion. Actually, whether you’ve got one or not.…

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If Only Stefan Stern Knew What He Was Talking About

I know, big surprise, columnist in The Guardian in not a clue shocker. But this is more than just the whining of some other entitled haute bourgeoisie complaining about the oiks having something. Stefan Stern thinks he knows how people should be paid – he’s from the High Pay Centre you know – and yet he betrays no understanding of how the City nor business works in the slightest.

Yet in reality the core ethos of financial markets – picking up pennies in front of a steamroller – has not fundamentally changed.

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The European Union Needs To Be Worried About Losing Access To The City Of London

This isn’t exactly and precisely what the Bank of England says here but it is precisely and exactly what the Bank of England means. All this shouting over Brexit, The City, passporting for finance firms and so on. The real question here is, well, what is remnant European Union – or more specifically, all the companies and people in it – going to do when cut off from their major supplier of wholesale financial services?

That is, “Nice economy you’ve got there, shame if something happens to it, isn’t it?”

And this is what the real problem is here too.…

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