Saturday, May 05, 2012

Pity Sir Mervyn & Just Banking - 2

Sir Mervyn King's quite unusual confessions this week on the BBC Radio's Today Lecture on 2nd May will hopefully bring a more open discussion involving the Bank of England. It sits at the heart of the money system, manipulating levers that affect the economy and yet seems to be set apart from democratic accountability. The idea of 'independence' for a central bank is used as though it has greater insight than parliamentary democracy can understand and thus needs delegated powers to manage the monetary system on behalf of us all, but out of sight and beyond future accountability. As Andrew Tyrie Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, reported in Mail Online, said concerning the new powers being granted to the Bank of England: 'Yet we still do not have firm and agreed conclusions about the mistakes that were made and which the legislation is, presumably, seeking to address.’  More confessions may be forthcoming perhaps, Sir Mervyn?

Sir Mervyn is very careful to deflect obviously political questions and studiously avoids responding to direct questions on a government's fiscal policy, as being not his business. But Andy Love MP Labour member of the Treasury Select Committee said in the FT (King's comments mistimed say Labour, May 4) that Sir M ' is compromising his position by once again backing George Osborne's economic plan', delivered as they were on the eve of local council and mayoral elections. Pity Sir Mervyn. He abjectly regretted, in the Today Lecture: 'we should have [done more to prevent the disaster]'; 'we should have shouted from the rooftops'; we should have tried harder to persuade'; 'we should have preached that the lessons of history were being forgotten'; but within the same talk he slipped in some up-to-date comment which he sees as good economic sense, but which the Opposition party takes as uncalled-for, biased, political points!  

It seems that finance has been allowed to run the show as Ann Pettifor's paper at the Just Banking conference in EdinburghIt is my contention that ultimately politicians are to blame for the crisis. It was they who bowed before the power of Haute Finance, and de-regulated the financial system in their favour.  Sir Mervyn's BofE career is drawing to a close in 2013. Whatever formal rules or historical tradition allows, will the new Governor 'shout' 'try hard' 'preach more' ' do more'  if they consider that something is getting dangerous in an area outside their remit but which with needs open discussion? Will they be less timid than Sir Mervyn? A sort of Bank of England Jack-in-a-box who jumps out and frightens us? 

Just Banking - 2

The Just Banking conference at Edinburgh has a growing set of video recordings of the speeches given, which are essential viewing for budding new Bank of England Governor applicants.  Alternative economic views are desperately needed. In order to get full benefit see also the text, where available: Steve Keen has the text of his speech HERE. Anne Pettifor's text is HERE

The Commons - London Quilligan Seminars next week

12 seminars over 12 days on alternative economics starting on 7 May List HERE 

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