August 15th, 2012

More Magic Money Tree Madness

Richard Murphy is a left-wing economist, accountant and blogger who has advised Brendan Barber’s TUC and Mark Serwotka’s PCS and written regularly for the Guardian. Twitter users will know that he maintains a close relationship with several tweeting Labour MPs. This morning Murphy put his foot in it by betraying the loony left’s true thoughts on the public debt:

When will the flat-earthers learn…


  1. 1
    The Public says:

    He is always trusted by Dr Eoin Clarke. nuff said.

  2. 2
    Fuck 'em All says:

    Ah public debt.

    Lets see. We owe the civil servants for the pensions. That’s a debt.

    Yep, lets not pay it. Brilliant idea from the left.

  3. 3
    AC1 says:

    Workers (real one’s not state parasites)
    => Savings
    => Pensions
    => Safety Sake “Gilts”
    => Q.E.
    => Penury.

  4. 4
    lolathebeautiful says:

    Murphy is one of those blokes who sound vaguely sensible, until you start really listening to waht they are actually saying and then you realise that they are totally and absolutely bonkers.

  5. 5
    AC1 says:

    A debt jubilee would be amusing as extortion funded sector parasites do have some of the largest claims on the taxpayer teat.

  6. 6
    NEWSMAN says:

    The problem is our Democracy has three political Parties.




  7. 7
    Andy Coulson's monkey says:

    So we see the flat earth right wingers here fail to notice a huge proportion of the national debt is owned by pension funds. Pay off the national debt and then the pension funds lose a massive part of their investment. But right wingers seem to think that would be a good thing. Fools.

  8. 8
    Tuscan Tony says:

    When one’s life has been lived within a system that srives to disconnect achievement from reward such views are inevitable and alos will be strongly held by those within it.

    The correct reaction when confronting such people (who are in many respects bewildered and disorientated in a way similar to the Japanese soldiers who emerged from the jungle decades after the war ended) should not be anger but pity and a desire to educate them.

    If those fail, then it’s time to get out the giant cheesegrater.

  9. 9

    Wait until the interest rates start to rise. They will eventually. Default becomes the only option at our levels of debt.

  10. 10
    Backwoodsman says:

    Ah, brian paddick, retired at 50 on a public sector pension of £60,000 + per annum – could this possibly be part of the problem, do you think ?

  11. 11
    Labour Programmer says:

    If MoneyLeft MoneyTree=TRUE;

    if Plant->MoneyTree.BeansGrown then MoneyLeft = 1/0;

    If MoneyTree.Exception then Throw election;

  12. 12
    Jimmy says:

    Are you actually suggesting paying it all off? No more govt paper?
    This place gets more swivel eyed every day.

  13. 13
    Mandy's right hand man says:

    Yeah, and there’s nothing else they could invest in, right? They dont lose their investment, they lose the opportunity to invest – very different

  14. 14
    Jimmy says:

    I’m beginning to think Guido may not fully understand this stuff.

  15. 15
    Baby Heinrich says:

    The BoE are considering yet more Q.E. The £375billion forged already represents £7000 theft from you personally, Dear Reader, and every other man, woman, and child in the UK.
    Inflation’s rising again.
    I’m really looking forward to this ConLibLab Weimar Republic continuing to gather pace, so that the true right wingers can then come to power and end this farcical corrupt pretend democracy once and for all.

  16. 16
    Spartacus says:

    clearly we need to pay more taxes

  17. 17
    SP4BS says:

    you know. I thought bankers etc. got paid loads of money for being able to work out which investments were worthwhile, who you can give money to, and you’ll get it back. Such a magical skill that they deserve more money than anyone else.

    And yet theres an assumption up there, that they can’t(*), and so they have to sink the money into governments.

    (*) and you know what, perhaps they can’t.

  18. 18
    Steve Miliband says:

    To the BBC, Richard Murphy is a well regarded expert on taxation matters, with unbiased and balanced views.Just like theirs.

  19. 19
    Quick, plant some of those magic pennies says:

    Would they be forced to invest in the private sector?

  20. 20
    Spartacus says:

    are you suggesting that the wheelbarrows that carry our tax to the exchequer will be more than the money in them?

  21. 21
    lolathebeautiful says:

    I sincerely hope that you are being ironic… Otherwise you are just planin ignorant.

  22. 22
    Gordon Brown - breaking off for a mo, says:

    I entirely agree with the man.

    Now, which way round do you want me?

  23. 23
    SP4BS says:

    Investment. You know I sort of used to think it was things like, if you buy an ice cream machine, its expensive, but you get the money back by selling people ice cream.

    You give money to a government, they spend it, then take it back in taxes later.

    Now I’ll come out of the closet and say I’m fairly agnostic about the whole keynsian thing, but theres very few examples of when the government is really doing anything at all that approximates to “investment”, which was a major flaw in the Brown-Balls theory of money throwing.

    PS: I’m saying that the pension funds would actually find something else to invest their money in.

  24. 24
    I agree with Nad says:

  25. 25
    Pawn Sandwich says:

    It certainly is a pretend democracy.

    Private sector workers are the new slaves.

    When it is one mans burden to pay the pension of another man (as well as his own pension) then you have an inequality that is self evident.

  26. 26
    sick of everything, ever says:

    You’re all fucking mad.

  27. 27
    Selohesra says:

    Its strange – LFF have a new thread criticising Guido and their money raising efforts – but they seem to have forgotten to turn on the comments facility. How absent minded of them.

  28. 28
    V1le Labour ruined my Country says:

    Incredible, even I didn’t think Labour were that stupid!!!!!

  29. 29
    Nurse Botha says:

    If it’s number ones, face the wall. Number twos, face the door, dear.

  30. 30

    Put the money in Greek bonds. Wonderful return. Ukraine is looking even better.

  31. 31
    SP4BS says:

    Over the years, successive governments throughout the west have been digging their population a big hole to live in. Yes, it would be difficult and painful to get out of that hole. Yes, it all seems nice and comfortable living in the hole.

    But frankly, its a bit wierd to do so, and it really doesnt seem very sensible to expect to live like that forever.

    It would certainly be nice to pay some of it off.

  32. 32
    I type with my budgie says:


  33. 33
    Rich says:

  34. 34
    Sir William Waad says:

    Here’s a reason for paying off public debt: investors would put more money into the productive sector.

  35. 35

    How is the groppa this year, Tony? Spolling mishtakes are mosht unushual for you.

    Otherwise spot-on!

  36. 36
    SP4BS says:

    Someone on radio points out that the olympics didn’t just boost London’s GDP, but also the south west’s. I guess thats where all the people from London were hiding.

  37. 37
    Mr Micawber says:

    Annual income: 20 pounds; annual expenditure: 19/19/6; result: happiness.
    Annual income: 20 pounds; annual expenditure: 20/0/6; result: misery.

    But of course, something’s always bound to turn up.

  38. 38
    Sir William Waad says:

    First Group have a very bad record with trains. I’m afraid we’ve made the same mistake as the householder who accepts an unfeasibly low quote to have the roof mended.

  39. 39
    Whitestones says:

    “Richard Murphy is a left-wing economist”.

    An oxymoron of the first order!

  40. 40

    Keep an eye on Tim Worstall’s blog. His fisking of Murphy is always incisive and frequently hilarious.

  41. 41

    Don’t say things like that. You’ll frighten Polly!

  42. 42
    Anonymous says:

    Everyone knows about Autism. But imagine it as one end of a spectrum of normality.

    The question is who is at the other end. Autism is poor communication, lack of social awareness. However it is also characterised by inability to cope with doing things wrongly and always following rules. They also have absolute dedication to one task, including every detail, and are very isolated.

    However politicians are uncontrollable communicators, make random decisions, enjoy interfering with other peoples lives and break any rule there is with complete self justification and never see the implications of their meddling.

    So when do we make these people subject to control orders.

  43. 43

    There are three types of economist: those who can add up and those who can’t.

  44. 44

    Think of the Chinese as a huge fisherman with a gigantic rod. He is winding in that line so fast that we can’t even see his hand moving…

  45. 45
    BBC Newsnight mong says:

    He sounds like our sort of expert, he and Paul Mason will get on great!

  46. 46
    Mervyn, north London(the kosher bit) says:

    Thank fuck fat Guido never mentions me printing ~half a trillion quid for the Tribe. But denies that money grows on trees! Chutzpah or what!

    Anyways, nice one fat boy. Keep the dumb goy schmucks in the dark. It’s what we pay you for after all!

  47. 47
    SP4BS says:

    I actually have thought similar things but at the other end of the spectrum I call it “Dianaism”

  48. 48

    Richard Murphy is a retired book-keeper who by his own admission doesn’t understand economic theory. Just like the people who advised Lenin on economic policy in fact aand we all know how successful that was.

  49. 49
    The Labour Cliterati says:

    There fixed up for you ….

    Annual income: 20 pounds; annual expenditure: 19/19/6; result: Insanity.
    Annual income: 20 pounds; annual expenditure: 20,000,000 via PFI and such like, and our future generations as guarantors; result: a veneer of happiness for now.

  50. 50
    An Economist says:

    It’s all pseudo-science you know!

    The trick, – the great art of any successful economist – is to get someone to listen to you – and, better still, give credence to what you say.

    In that respect, the BBC – God bless ‘em, is a source of very gainful employment – providing you bend to the Left.

  51. 51
    Aunty Matter says:

    Not as big as having Cam-moron and Gideon running things.

  52. 52
    Nullbymouth says:

    You lost, get over it !

  53. 53
  54. 54
    e=mchammer says:

    There is a very serious de-link in the lefty brain between the energy put in and what is got out.

  55. 55
    Mad-I am Hat says:

    And speaking of The Clitorati, I hope you have taken On Board the Olimpics – soon to be followed by the Limpics – and the proof that WIMMIN DO NOT NEED Min!

  56. 56
    Frederick says:

    Richard Murphy is not an oxymoron, just a moron.

  57. 57
    Tuscan Tony says:

    Fat fingers, small phone keyboard. Well, that’s my excuse..

  58. 58
    smoggie says:

    The implication being that you do.

  59. 59

    I have a feeling in my water that both the traveller and the taxpayer have lost. Villiers is out of her depth.

  60. 60
    AC1 says:

    “Pay off the national debt and then the pension funds lose a massive part of their investment.”

    Read that sentence again and see if it sounds really dumb this time around. Why because that sentence is really really dumb.

  61. 61
    AC1 says:

    Google Nexus might be what you need.

  62. 62
    Smig says:

    Pension funds are a fecking rip-off.

    Firstly for the poor sap paying a load of commission to PensionFundCo Ltd., an expense that often outstrips capital gains for the prospective pensioner.

    Secondly, the money is tied up until you’re at least 55 years old.

    Thirdly, the saver is unlikely to see all of the money in the fund. Annuities are piss-poor payers. Die young and the pension company keeps the money.

    Cut out the middle-man. Start as young as possible, buy a fund of corporate bonds, an index tracker and wrap it all up in an ISA. Retire when you’ve got enough.

  63. 63
    AC1 says:

    and healthcare, and childcare and education…

  64. 64
  65. 65
    A Member of the public following the example of Richard Murphy says:

    Give me one good reason why I should pay off my telephone/electricity/gas/council tax/morgage debts. Our Bailif services and debt collection agencies would fail for a start.

  66. 66
    smoggie says:

    Precisely. Some of it, actually a lot of it, down to manageable levels so that we’re not borrowing more simply to meet interest payment obligations. If interest payments rise, we’re buggered. And that will happen overnight if we lose our credit ratings, which we will if we are not seen to be reducing the debt.

  67. 67
    AC1 says:

    Don’t worry.

    The main effect of Q.E. is to swap long term debt for “cheaper” short term debt.

    The only problem will be when interest rates rise…

  68. 68
    Milton Friedman says:

    Bequeath it to the nation, comrades!

    All property is theft!

    All theft is property!

  69. 69
    AC1 says:

    “It’s not that liberals don’t know much. It’s just that what they know just ain’t so.”

    Ronald Reagan (PBUH)

  70. 70
    Solly says:

    Liebour lost. Get over it.

  71. 71
    AC1 says:

    It’s like the “pensions” industry lobbies the state to keep their gravy train going. Of course liblabcon parties are only too keen to keep bureaucratic costs(*) as high as their kickbacks.

    (*) Costs = Pensions admin profits!

  72. 72
    Tithing for your retirement says:

    Well said Smig. Can I also add that if you were to invest 10% of your earnings every month in even a bog standard savings scheme you would likely be a millionaire in 30 years hence. The secret is to dicipline your kids to start young and get into this habit early.

  73. 73
    Solly says:

    Nation? Surely not. Bequeath it to the nomenklatura.

    Just saying, like.

  74. 74
    AC1 says:

    You could buy a tracker inside a SIPP. Then get the 25% lump sum.

  75. 75
    MadEconomist says:

    You’re not Gordon Brown in disguise are you?
    Are you seriously suggesting that if you are repaid money that is owed to you that you will suffer a financial loss?

  76. 76
    Gordon Brown says:

    Even I think this fellow’s dumb. That has to be the most ridiculous justification for public debt that I have ever heard. Probably easy to get the thick electorate to accept it though.

  77. 77
    AC1 says:

    The problem is that the way the idiotic Keynesians are going that million quid will buy a one loaf…

  78. 78

    Miniaturisation has perhaps gone past the point of usefulness to man – except in so far as debt is concerned…

  79. 79
    AC1 says:

    It might actually be useful if the state used debt for actual investments, instead of falsifying the GDP figures.

  80. 80
    Steve Miliband says:

    That Labour 5 point economic Policy in full:

    1 Tax the Bankers
    2 Tax them a bit more
    3 Introduce a Tobin Tax
    4 Introduce a Bankers Tax
    5 Introduce a Tax on Bankers

  81. 81
    Anonymous says:

    Talking of magic money trees……

  82. 82
    C U Jimmy says:

    Getting rid of the deficit would be sensible dont you think Jimmy ?

  83. 83
    AC1 says:


    The extortion funded sector produces loads of red tape

  84. 84
    Moussa Koussa's pet budgie says:

    No Guardians left in Asda today, so I thought I would try the Independent. It’s the same price.
    Don’t think much of the tabloid format though. That’s why I gave up on the Times, although Murdoch’s ownership also featured in that decision.

  85. 85
    AC1 says:

    Economic Creationism is as daft as biological creationism.

  86. 86
    AC1 says:

    6 Announce legislation as free banking goes.

  87. 87
    Smig says:

    The “state”, sorry the taxpayer, gives a massive backhander to the pension companies by making pension savings tax exempt. The pension co., then keeps and earns compound interest on the tax exemption.

    Thirty years worth of compound interest on a minimum of a 20% kickback from the taxpayer makes for a rather large number of pennies.

    The pensioner does not, and will not ever see all of those gains.

    Pension companies are another one the add to the list when that prick in Downing Street said “we’re all in it together”.

    Bollocks to the lot of them. Insidious bastards, all.

  88. 88
    If they really were that clever.... says:

    There are only two types of economists, economists and retired Millionaires. The latter are rare I grant you.

  89. 89
    AC1 says:

    Modern monetary theory (MMT)
    Magic Money Tree (MMT)

    more than a coincidence.

  90. 90
    Peter London says:

    Precisely. What this actually means is that about 15-20 hard working Londoners pay tax just to keep one, young, able bodied person in luxury

  91. 91
    Smig says:

    Agreed, that’s another alternative. If I was willing to wait until I was at least 55.

    Ho hum! There will always be those that will convince the sheep that compound interest is complicated and is best left to the spiv with a calculator.

  92. 92
    annette curton says:

    Who was it that filched £100 billion from private pensions?.

  93. 93
    Stobrith says:

    Perhaps we should tie him to a tree and make him read

  94. 94
    Smig says:

    Invest in wheat :)

  95. 95
    JH says:

    Of course not.

    No deficit = Jimmy and his fellow travellers suddenly being forced to discover their true value in the private sector.

  96. 96

    OK. Let’s split the difference:

    There are zero types of economist. The first five of these types are Keynesians.

  97. 97
    AC1 says:

    Pension management companies freely admit that their super profits come from regulation!

  98. 98
    Blusea socialist says:

    Are all your accounts out in the open so passengers can see how much you made-Nooooooooooooooooooooo

  99. 99
    Blusea socialist says:

    Cut taxes-ooh yes please

  100. 100
    AC1 says:

    Lol, good idea.

  101. 101
    Jimmy says:

    Not in a recession no. That strikes me as a very stupid thing to do. Control yes, eliminate no.

  102. 102
    SP4BS says:

    One day, the hole floods. Its not a great time to be trying to sort out the problem, but its better to do it when its painful, than when the whole edifice starts to crumble, and fill up with diluted sewage.

    But heres the good news. other countries have bigger holes, nearer to the river, which will collapse first. hoorah.

  103. 103
    Jimmy says:

    Spot on. Spend it on infrastructure rather than the dole. Still, this is what you voted for.

  104. 104
    Tuscan Tony says:

    It’s on the list.

  105. 105
    Kevin T says:

    Left wingers: “Why oh why do politicians not act against nasty, greedy bankers, who seem to do what they like with complete impunity?”

    Left wingers: “Why shouldn’t we get ourselves so hopelessly in debt to banks that we couldn’t keep the country going without their constant loans?”


  106. 106
    giant gonad says:

    Fawkes doesn’t pay his debts.

  107. 107
    giant gonad says:

    Good old Ronnie-didn’t know his arse from his elbow.

  108. 108
    Albert Einstein says:

    Supposedly I said that compound interest was the greatest force in the universe, so a lot of idiots took that to mean it was so complicated it even gave the great Einstein pause.
    What I actually said was that the “Rule of 72″ (money doubles in a term arrived at by dividing 72 by the simple-interest rate, assuming the money remains untouched) was a greater discovery than “energy is equal to mass multiplied by the square of the speed of light,” because it affects a whole lot more people’s lives directly. I discovered this when I had to try to figure out how to invest my Nobel Prize money. And how not to fall behind on my alimony and child support payments.

  109. 109
    Pete says:

    Eh? Pay off means they get their money back to then invest in other things. They have not lost anything.

  110. 110
    fuck the bbc says:

    Fine for MPs living off public purse to reclaim rip off peak time fares which have tripled in 15 years – not for small businesses from North trying to do business in London £290 for 2nd class return

  111. 111
    C U Jimmy says:

    jimmy you clearly dont know the difference between debt and deficit or else you are saying its smart to spend more than you earn. Tell me thats not what you are saying !!!!

  112. 112
    Four-eyed English Genius says:

    Tie him to a tree and tar and feather him, more like!

  113. 113
    AC1 says:

    Investments have to show a return greater than the cost…

  114. 114
    Jimmy says:

    And ice cream is cold.

  115. 115
    Jimmy says:

    I don’t know why you would think that. Budgets must balance over time but not necessarily year on year. Cuts in expenditure which result in larger cuts in revenue make no sense. You cannot cut your way out of recession. You need growth. This is very basic really.

  116. 116
    Anonymous says:

    Aye, I don’t think these lefties have thought it through. Who’s going to fund the govt’s next round of binge spending if pension funds know that the debt will never be redeemed?

    Mugabe economics at its finest.

  117. 117
    Fuck 'em All says:

    Think about those on min wage. 3,000 a year in employment taxes and no services.

    The cost of one peer for just one day is 2,700

  118. 118
    Fuck 'em All says:

    So we see the flat earth right wingers here fail to notice a huge proportion of the national debt is owned by pension funds.


    Why is it owned by pension funds?

    Because idiots like him have forced them to lend to the government, and now they are planning on defaulting.

    Fraud springs to mind

  119. 119
    Fuck 'em All says:

    Gilts doesn’t mean the debt.

    There are other liabilities on top. Such as the state pension, state second pension, civil service pension, PFI, ….

  120. 120
    Peter Grimes says:

    So the private pensions industry would go bust if the government repaid all debt, would it?

    Remember which millionaire socalist ‘minister’ produced rules for pension fund managers which obliged them to hold more of their assets in gilts?

    The fat useless fuck Myners, no less!

  121. 121
    Expat Geordie says:

    Typical New Labour. If you can’t get what you want, complain and whinge to anyone and everyone until you do get it. It’s exactly the same as what he did over the BA routes.

    Well it’s nothing personal “Sir” Richard, but being Cherie Blairs favourite when there was a Conservative (led) government wasn’t going to do you many favours, was it?

  122. 122
    Ed Snack says:

    Fuck but that’s an ignorant comment ! They’d have the money and you think there’s NO other investments that yield an income stream ?

    I mean, Christ in a hand bucket but stupid can’t even begin to describe it, fucking dishonest bullshit it has to be, because if you really are that ignorant how an earth do you survive from day to day…

  123. 123
    Archie says:

    Brilliant, SP4BS!

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