IMF Revises Growth Forecast Upwards Again

The IMF has significantly upgraded its growth forecast for Britain in 2017: it now expects the UK economy to grow by 1.5% this year, up by 0.4 percentage points on its October estimate. It has recorded 2016 growth at 2%, up from 1.8%. The IMF said growth:

Held up better than expected in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.”

Remember, Christine Lagarde said the aftermath of a Leave vote would be “pretty bad to very, very bad”. At least Andy Haldane had the good grace to issue a mea culpa…

Lagarde Convicted

In the room where Marie Antoinette was sentenced to death by guillotine, IMF chief Christine Lagarde has been convicted of negligence over a fraudulent €403 million payout to businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008, when she was France’s finance minister. Typical of the French justice system that she will face no punishment. Almost as criminal as the IMF’s forecasts…

IMF U-Turn: Britain Will Be Fastest Growing Major Economy This Year

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The IMF, which claimed before the referendum that a Leave vote would cause a recession, have revised their forecasts to now predict Britain will be the fastest growing economy in the G7 this year. Before the referendum Lagarde also warned share prices would crash. Today the FTSE 100 rose above its all-time closing high, at one point trading at 7,104.

This is how the Remain elements of the media are reporting the news:

Quite something.

Watchdog Slams IMF’s Complacency, Lack of Transparency and EU Groupthink

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A damning report by IMF watchdog the Independent Evaluation Office has slammed a “culture of complacency” in Christine Lagarde’s organisation. Focusing on the IMF’s response to the Eurozone crisis, the report claims that the Fund was riven with “issues of accountability and transparency”, claiming Lagarde and senior management established “small, ad hoc staff task forces” to plan for the possibility of bailouts, rather than holding executive board meetings. The report slams the “lack of board involvement”, with management failing to discuss – sometimes despite direct requests – issues around the unfolding crisis. Preparations made by management lacked “analytical depth, rigor, or specificity”. Most damning of all, however, is the IMF’s “groupthink” and unquestioning links to European policy – particularly their irrational fervour for the Euro. The report concludes:

“At the euro area level, IMF staff’s position was often too close to the official line of European officials, and the IMF lost effectiveness as an independent assessor.”

So much for that independent report, eh Remainers?

Ed Vaizey Brillo’d Over Brexit Budget

Pro-Remain minister Ed Vaizey repeatedly dodged Brillo’s question about which, if any, economists think Osborne’s tax-hiking spending-slashing post-Brexit budget would work. Accused of “filibustering” to avoid an answer, Vaizey then launched a bizarre attack on the Remain backing IMF’s economic credibility:

“You know full well over the last six years when George took decisions about cutting spending and raising taxes organisations like the IMF told him he was playing with fire”

At times Vaizey was literally laughing at the less than credible lines he was sent out to spin…

Lagarde Thanks Treasury for Help on “Independent” EU Report

Osborne says the IMF’s Brexit-bashing report is totally impartial: “Today the independent IMF reinforced the conclusions of the independent bank of England.” So it’s unfortunate that Christine Lagarde began by thanking the Treasury for their help:

“Let me by the same token thank all UK authorities who have been helping us in preparing the article for work in the last few weeks. There’s always been good cooperation between the Treasury, the Bank of England and any other authorities that we consult with”

She was then forced to deny the Treasury wrote any of the report. Ooooops!

IMF’s Lagarde Repays Osborne

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IMF chief Christine Lagarde – currently due to stand trial over a €400 million fraud case – has been spinning overtime that Brexit will damage the UK. This is merely a geo-political courtesy return favour to Osborne who campaigned hard for her to get the IMF chief’s job.

In reality the IMF figures predict that UK growth will outpace both Germany and France as well as the Eurozone as a whole. Even the short-term initial Brexit effects are marginal, and the Bank of England will stand ready to flood liquidity into the markets in the event of Brexit, which will have a soporific effect on markets. No credible economic forecaster expects any long term negative effect on growth…

UK Deficit Still Bigger Than Greece’s

New figures published by the IMF yesterday report Britain’s government deficit this year will still be bigger than Greece’s. The UK’s deficit in 2015 will be 4.25% as a percentage of GDP – Osborne’s preferred metric – while Greece’s will be 4.17%. The only advanced economy with a higher deficit than the UK this year is Spain…

Before the election Osborne was skewered on how Britain’s deficit compares with Greece in his worst TV appearance of the campaign. For all the talk of austerity and swingeing cuts to tax credits, the Chancellor has failed to meet his deficit targets or match the rest of the developed world…

H/T @edconwaysky

Osborne to IMF: I Told You So Third Year of Expansionary Fiscal Contraction

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Chancellor Zero is no more. Growth is back, even the neo-Keynesians at the FT and the wonks at the IMF can’t deny that the UK expanded faster than the rest of the G7 last year and will probably do the same this year.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Osborne’s “Clear Position” on the IMF

This £10 billion bailout for the IMF brings the total Osborne has pledged to £40 billion, or some £666 for each and every man, woman and child in the Britain. In October last year after British taxpayers sent £9 billion to the IMF – £9 billion that Osborne had to borrow, Osborne told the House of Commons categorically:

“Britain will not be putting money into the bail-out fund either directly or through the IMF….

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Ed Balls lines up with Obama saying…

“The IMF should not become the de factor central bank of the eurozone. That is the principled position Labour and the US government have taken and why we voted against increased funding last summer.”[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Not a Single Billion More

George Osborne gave a cast iron promise last October:

“Britain will not be putting money into the bailout fund either directly or through the IMF… the IMF exists to support countries, it does not exist to support currencies. The IMF contributing money to the eurozone bailout fund, no; Britain contributing money to the eurozone bailout fund, no.

[…] Read the rest

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Osborne Backtracks

With the Greek government splitting on the referendum promise last night, today’s G20 summit is going to be even messier with the prospect of a snap Greek election now not out of the question. Papandreou says the referendum is about how the bailout, and the conditions that come with it, could be fed to the Greeks.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

George Osborne told MPs…

“Britain will not be putting money into the bail-out fund either directly or through the IMF…. The IMF exists to support countries, it does not exist to support currencies… The IMF contributing money to the eurozone bail-out fund, no; Britain contributing money to the eurozone bail-out fund, no.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

IMF Wants More

Back in July the government won a vote to send £9 billion to the IMF by just 28 votes, the tightest margin yet for the Coalition government.[…] Read the rest

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Osborne's Bumpy Ride

Though both the IMF and the Treasury are quick to stress that deficit reduction is the right thing to do, it’s not going to be as pleasant as the Chancellor will have us believe. Ronald Reagan asked to be judged on whether you were richer at the end of his medicine or before, but George will probably want to avoid that particular campaign slogan, given the IMF warn that British households will apparently be £1,500 worse off each year of the slowing recovery.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Michael Gove to the Commons on Trident:

“The unilateralists opposite complaining today are in the position of eunuchs complaining about the cost of Viagra.”

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