Tag: Economics

The Hutton Contribution

I had always thought that employee contributions into a pension scheme were a mistaken idea. Should I be re-thinking that in the light of Hutton’s report out today? Or should Lord Hutton?

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Probably the best regulator in the world?

I see the Treasury has been consulting on its new approach to financial regulation. Some of the main ideas – reforming the tri-partite model – have been discussed at length elsewhere. What caught my eye were the issues which address our new government’s approach to regulatory culture.

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Constitution nil, Clegg & Coase won

I have written before about Coase’s Theorem – whenever the law creates or imposes an inefficient rule, people will bargain or contract around it – named after Nobel laureate, Ronald Coase. It seems that Coase’s theorem works just as well for our constitution.

For weeks, if not months, we have been told that, if the General Election resulted in a hung parliament, the incumbent Prime Minister had first go at forming a government. Well, it took just one sentence from Nick Clegg at 10.30 am on the morning after the night before (“I’m talking to Dave”) and Gordon Brown was left high and dry for as long as Nick Clegg wanted it that way.

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Time to start thinking again, I think

Lindsay Tomlinson is calling for a summit to change the way pension costs are calculated in company accounts. As chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds, Tomlinson would say that, wouldn’t he? Except that Lindsay Tomlinson is also a director of the Financial Reporting Council, the parent body for the UK’s accounting standard-setters.

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Banking on it

A friend writes to tell me that she has been appointed to the Future of Banking Commission set up by Which?. Which reminds me that I have yet to return to my September Blog on the subject of regulation, in particular the regulation of banks.

I don’t subscribe to the “too big to fail” approach. I don’t believe it is about size. Who, prior to 2007, would have thought that Northern Rock was “too big” in any meaningful sense of the phrase?

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Home from Home

I seldom write about politics and I don’t plan to start now. Not in a party-political sense, at any rate. But the arguments over MPs’ second homes annoy me. Deciding which is the “second” home shouldn’t be about where the MP spends most time. And we won’t solve the problem by building a dormitory for MPs to stay in overnight near the Houses of Parliament. The home that taxpayers should fund is the one which the MP would dispose of if they ceased to be an MP. Rarely will that home be difficult to discern.

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A Frog in My Throat?

Someone stuck a knife in my neck last week. Fortunately for me, he was a qualified surgeon. Fortunately for him, I had signed a consent form.

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