Dr Alf’s Two Cents: Austerity Zombie Banks and Roadblocks to Investment in Soutern Europe

One of a number of posters created by the Econ...

One of a number of posters created by the Economic Cooperation Administration to promote the Marshall Plan in Europe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an excellent MUST READ article published in the Wall Street Journal.

Austerity’s Not the Only Burden in Europe – WSJ.com.

For me, it confirms that the troika of the IMF, ECB, and EC have been myopic in dealing with the financial crisis in Southern Europe. Let’s recap on the context. Austerity is reducing demand and putting more people out of work, driving record numbers to suicide. Meanwhile, the banks in Southern Europe don’t or can’t lend to small businesses, the backbone of the economy. Clearly, massive investment is required into top-quality, properly costed and risk-assessed infrastructure projects to kick-start growth based on Keynesian principles. These national infrastructure projects will need to be financed by a new initiative, similar to the Marshall Plan that kick-started Germany’s growth after WWII.

Any thoughts?


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A Hard Look at Jeremy Heywood Cabinet Secretary Downing Street – John Gelmini

The other day I reblogged an interesting article entitled  Jeremy Heywood: the other power in Downing Street, published in the FT.

I received a detailed posting from John Gelmini which I am reblogging below as it adds to public debate.

Personally, I do not completely agree with John’s views here but would welcome others to share their opinions.

Any thoughts?


A Hard Look at Jeremy Heywood Cabinet Secretary Downing Street – John Gelmini 

Having read the article and other items what do we learn about Jeremy Heywood?
–That he has been likened to Cardinal Richeieu
–That he wants to be close to the seat of power
–That he likes the Civil Service Model
–That he is “frustrated by inefficiency and stupidness”
–That he is for a “snoopers charter”
and road pricing
–That in his own way he “wants to make the world a better place”
–That he and David Cameron “shape each other”

From this list we can see that Jeremy Heywood is exceptionally stupid, has no business sense and needs along with David Cameron to resign from public office because none of the things he is supposedly for is going to make the country or the world a better place.


Road pricing will make us even less competitive than we already are, it will damage the car industry which employs 1 person in 11, it will damage the UK’s balance of payments which has been negative since 1982, it will damage retailing, increase inflation through increased freight charges and it will damage local tourism and tourism from overseas

He likes the civil service model, yet we have far too many civil servants and a public sector we can no longer afford. The British Empire,the most powerful the world has ever known, ran on just 15,000 civil servants at a time when we had billions coming in from all corners of the planet and thriving industries of our own.

Now we are massively in debt, have no empire and no means to punch above our weight alone.

He is for a Snoopers Charter, supposedly because it will reduce terrorism, crime and benefit fraud when the real reason is to track what ordinary people think of their lords and masters. The arguments about terrorism are bogus because deaths at the hands of terrorists in the UK have been less than 100 in the past 25 years, whereas deaths from road accidents total 2,900 a year and deaths by NHS GPs through misdiagnosis run at 70,000 annually and 120,000 annually through botched NHS surgery/operations with a further 450,000 hastened to an earlier death than would otherwise be the case on the “Liverpool Care Pathway”.

The biggest part of the welfare bill is pensions so the snoopers charter would not save much money by tackling benefit fraud which on a large scale is mostly perpetrated by specialist criminal gangs from Africa, parts of Eastern Europe who the police ought to be dealing with in any case.

If he wants to “make the world a better place”, he should resign and take David Cameron with him or at least get our arrogant Prime Minister to stop doling out overseas aid at £12 billion gbp a year and stopping the unaffordable Barnett Formula at £33 billion gbp a year.

Similarly, how does “arming the Syrian Rebels”, most of whom are bloodthirsty terrorists, fundamentalist Muslims and criminals “make the world a better place”?

If he dislikes “inefficiency and stupidness” then why does this man not decision tree the things he says he is for and evaluate their effects?

That David Cameron and our previous Prime Ministers actually listens to someone like a Heywood says as much about them and their ultimate masters as it does about him.

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