+++ London Scottish Bank Bust +++

Official Stock Exchange announcement that after 100 years of trading it is in administration here. Metaphorical allegory in there somewhere.

Firm Support for Beer Tax Cut

It makes Guido choke on his Guinness that Gordon gets over a quid every time he buys a pint. 33% of the cost of a pint is tax – which alone must mean that Guido is a higher rate taxpayer.

This was the scene this morning in Westminster where Jennifer Ellison was pulling pints, Kym Marsh stayed up north in her local. Guido isn’t bitter or at all disappointed that Jennifer took her place…

You can show your support for the Save the Pub campaign by visiting their website and emailing your local MP. If they can cut tax on scotch they can cut tax on a pint.

UPDATE : By popular request, larger picture. It makes you go blind you know…

Italian and German Governments Cautious on Fiscal Stimulus

Labour’s spin line repeated incessantly is that the Tories are a “do nothing” party, Mandelson’s genius with a soundbite for the frontbench to chant shows. Leaving aside whether it is better to do nothing than do the expensive wrong thing, is it really true that the rest of the world is going down the path of massive fiscal stimulus?

Labour’s benches laughed arrogantly when the Tories retorted that little Ireland and Latvia were taking a Cameroon path. However, bigger European right-of-centre governments in Germany and Italy are not, contrary to Gordon’s claims, embarking on massive fiscal stimulus programmes. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, the Danish Socialist party leader in the European parliament is complaining that “Angela Merkel and other conservative leaders such as Berlusconi may well water down the plan and refuse to make the necessary national investments…”. The “plan” is the European Commission’s €200 billion fiscal splurge proposal. Another top down taxpayer funded folly.

Gordon, in full on Global Saviour delusional mode at PMQs yesterday, claimed that everyone backs fiscal stimulus except the British Tories. If you don’t read the foreign news you might believe him. The fact is that across the world left of centre politicians back that approach, right of centre politicians are more sceptical. The need to be seen to “do something” means that right of centre governments are doing token symbolic gestures. Mandelson knows that philosophically the conservatives are wary and is capitalising on this with the “do nothing” soundbite.

Confidence won’t return until the property market bottoms out first, corporate balance sheets are recapitalised and personal indebtness reduced. Governments can do nothing to force those things to happen. Politicians just can’t accept their impotence.

+++ MFI & Woolies Bust +++

Bankruptcy was not entirely unexpected in the case of these two ailing retailers. Despite Mandelson pleading with Woolies’ bankers into the early hours of this morning they pulled the plug regardless. Tuppence off prices won’t make much difference for them.

Keen readers will notice the change to the portfolio on the right hand side for the first time in a month. Guido has just shorted FTSE futures and Dow futures. Combination of bad local news and a sense that there is a mood of bailout fatigue in the U.S. There is usually a “Santa Claus rally” in the markets at year end. Not sure Santa is going to come this year…

Research: Kaiser was Less Expensive Enemy than Brown

The Taxpayers’ Alliance has done the research leg-work and confirms that Brown’s debt bubble is twice what it cost to defeat the Kaiser.*

Total Debt increase 1914 – 1919 (2007 value):

£255,106,544,018

Total Debt planned 2008/09 – 2013/14 (PBR):

£512,000,000,000

(For full methodology, see Sources & Methodology)

*They are trying to find reliable data for the cost of WWII at the moment.

People Will Bail Out of Bail Out States

Jack Thurston, a former special adviser to Gordon’s enforcer Nick Brown, and one of early New Labour’s more cerebral types, writes in this morning’s Wall Street Journal of the perils ofA Permanent Bailout. Even a perennial optimist like Guido wonders if we are finally seeing the the delayed end of the twentieth century era of Anglo-American global dominance as predicted by the CIA. The economies of the U.K. and the U.S.A. are being burdened with government debts of epic proportions, our children (and their children as well) will be indentured tax slaves.

Hyperbole? The government bond markets will enslave the citizens and subjects who pay the taxes that service their demands as surely as feudal barons demanded their lands were ploughed for their table by serfs. It is stunning that Brown’s policies have cost HM Treasury, in real terms, more than it took to defeat the Luftwaffe and the Wehrmacht. The debt obligations of the state will be £2 trillion within a few years, Gordon ignores the unfunded pensions of his bloated public sector bureaucracy and admits to “only” £1 trillion. The long term consequences of a debt burden as great as this are that Britain will have a permanently low growth economy. If, as is most likely, predominantly foreign investors hold government bonds, higher taxes will reduce the available capital which can be put to productive use in the domestic economy because the interest paid is exported. That is if they are not too worried about Britain going bust to invest at all. The chart above (click to enlarge) shows the cost of insuring in the credit default swap market against the U.K. government going bust is nearly triple the German rate. British Gilts are becoming the junk bonds of the G7.

Do people want to live in a country designed by Gordon Brown, as cheered on this morning by Polly Toynbee, Will Hutton and Roy Hattersley? Is there a prospect on the horizon of a radical government which can arrest the inevitable decline? Is there a Thatcher-like political leader who can turn around the super-taxer-tanker of state? Guido suspects a lot of internationally mobile people will be weighing up the prospects and possibly heading for the exits soon.

UPDATE : From The Times this morning; “In recent years, thousands of educated Australians have come to the UK. Immigration has been the start of a career, not a gap year, it adds. So there should be some alarm at the fact that they are heading back home in ever larger numbers: 2,700 a month compared to 1,750 a month in 2005. This is largely a vote of no confidence in the old country.”

Australia runs a budget surplus, has paid down the national debt in the good years and welcomes skilled migrants. Form an orderly queue.

Gordonomics : Higher Taxes, Nationalisations, Property Price Collapse, Printing Money, More Government Borrowing, Economic Bust

Guido is not a fanatical gold bug, but in times of crisis gold is the timeless refuge. This is the gold/£ price chart for this year, showing gold has proven to be a sound investment. As Gordon takes the Mugabe option this has only one way to go. Without the restraining hand of Tony Blair socialism is back from the dead cheered on by Labour’s zombies. Gordon’s latest plan to bleed high earners means that the best will be driven from British shores just as they were in the seventies.

Ireland, which is taking the austerity route out of the crisis, slashing government spending, is attracting an entirely private sector solution to recapitalising banks. Property prices are becoming reasonable, tax rates are lower and big British run businesses are relocating to Ireland.

Ireland will probably be out of recession long before an economy crippled by Brown starts to recover – whoever wins the next election.

UPDATE : Ireland’s new finance bill is changing the law to entice non-doms to move from London to Ireland.

Fear and Loathing in Leeds

Guido hears that the Cabinet will be meeting in Leeds on Friday – same drill as the last time in Brum – the public in the form of carefully chosen invitees, mostly from the public sector, will be the backdrop for a Potemkin Village show for the evening news.

Local large private businesses must be in fear that the cabinet will visit. Since the Birmingham Cabinet meeting when Gordon visited Jaguar the company’s sales have collapsed. Jaguar’s parent company JLR is now begging the government for a £1 billion loan. The accursed one-eyed son of the manse is considering it…

Northern Rock Sinking Taxpayers II

As Guido reported Thursday and all the papers followed up yesterday – Northern Rock’s £35 billion Granite Trust is in trouble, buried in the financial jargon is one important note – the percentage of delinquent loans relative to the value of mortgages in the trust rose above pre-set levels.
[…]

+ READ MORE +

Liquidity Issues – Wine Prices Going Down?

During the tech boom in the late nineties Guido was buying wine faster than he could drink it (for once). When the tech collapse halved Guido’s net worth he drank all the wine rather than see it, errm, depreciate. Seemed sensible at the time.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Unfunded Government Spending Up £1.4 billion in October

Public sector net debt (on the Treasury’s definition) rose to £640.9 billion, or 42.9% of GDP. This does not include other liabilities such as off-balance sheet public sector pension liabilities.

Unfunded government spending is getting worse as the economy nose-dives. it would have been much worse if wasn’t for the receipts from oil companies.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Unfunded Spending and the End to Prosperity

Danny Finkelstein is fighting a proxy battle for his friend George Osborne, that is why advocates of tax cuts like of Fraser Nelson, Tim Montgomerie, Iain Dale, Dominic Lawson, Nick Clegg and Guido are so willing to battle with him on the blogs and rehearse the arguments.[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Granite Hits the Fan

The FTs Alphaville blog draws our attention to bad news on the wires this morning, as the Dow closes below 8,000 and the FTSE trades below 4,000, we get the news that Granite Master Issue PLC, the trust that is 28% of the UK mortgage securitisation market, is reporting a “non-asset trigger event”.
[…]

+ READ MORE +

Government Has Already Lost £8 Billion in the Banks

If you thought your pension portfolio was doing badly you should see the government’s share portfolio. When it decided to nationalise banks HM Treasury said:
The Government’s investments will be managed on a commercial basis by a new arm’s-length company, ‘UK Financial Investments Limited’ (UKFI), which is wholly owned by the Government.
[…]

+ READ MORE +

Pound Trading Higher

Must be really disappointing for Mandy, Brown and Darling that the pound is up this morning. They were all ready to enjoy themselves blaming Osborne breaking some unheard of convention and trashing the economy.

Ahh well, back to painting Gordon as the Saviour of the World.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Brown’s Empty Claim to Economic Leadership of the World

Only Nick Robinson would give Brown’s ludicrous claim a serious hearing:
“BBC political editor Nick Robinson said the fact that a series of countries now look likely to implement packages of tax cuts and spending increases would allow Mr Brown to claim the UK is in the lead when it came to dealing with the economic crisis.”
Well it will allow the Prime Mentalist to make that claim to “leadership” only if Nick fails to ask the right questions.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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