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November 18, 2012


BT London

If the private sector was experiencing booming credit gorwth and high inflation was threatening, then a policy of austerity at the treasury - if credible - would cause interest rates to be lower than they otherwise would be.

But the private sector is deleveraging, so more government borrowing is necessary to maintain some degree of credit growth and hence GDP growth. Interest rates will stay low because of the stagnant private sector and low inflation risk. Government borrowing does not influence interest rates under these conditions.

BT London

So the use of the word credible by tories might just be a reflection of their economic thinking - one that doesn't understand deleveraging.


Only masochistic policies are credible.

From where this idea of "if it ain't hurting, it ain't working" stems may reveal something about the public school backgrounds of our betters. A damn good thrashing cleanses the soul, don'tcha know.

I expect Miss Strict and Madame Stern are doing a roaring trade in the fleshpots of Westminster and its surrounds.


Ed Miliband is not credible because he does not exude the phony certainty required to run a country. When he speaks he resembles a dying a fish. His voice is nasal and modulated. Unfair, but these things destroy his credibility and make him unelectable.

Kay Fabe

No, Portes was right in his original article, it's blind faith substituted for rational evidence-backed analysis. The phrase 'God doesn't mean for us to know' is often used to explain away gaping flaws in some religious thinking by people who can't explain it but just 'know' that God is... well, whatever they believe him/her/it to be. Similarly, an increasing number of people are adopting a faith-based approach (as opposed to any evidence-based analytical approach) to Neoliberalism. This may be dressed up as support for the Tory party or it may not but it's there just the same. Apostles (I use the word after consideration) will praise neoliberal policies on the basis they feel right or sound right, leaving any discussion of on what practical basis they might actually be right (or wrong)to others, presumably they of little faith. It's a religion of blind faith, religion as applied to the political arena. I'm seeing more and mroe examples lately, and wonder if this is nature's way of decreasing the population in the absence of wars or plaguees; she makes people vote Tory, leading to population drops of a similar order. Think I'm joking? Think again.

Ralph Musgrave

BT above understates his/her case. There’s actually no good reason for the government of a country that issues its own currency to ever pay any significant interest on its debt. If creditors start demanding higher yields, such a country can just cease borrowing and fund spending by a combination of printed money and raised taxes. The combination of the two latter needs to be whatever maximises employment without exacerbating inflation too much.

Milton Friedman and Warren Mosler have both advocated a system in which governments just don’t incur debts: the only liability they issue is monetary base. Can’t say I disagree.


There is also historical blindness at work as well as self serving group think. In the late eighties not so long ago the treasury joined the ERM on the theory it would give "credibility" to the currency against the danger of the recent tory induced inflation of Nigel Lawson causing a currency collapse. Thus making monetary policy far too tight and driving up unemployment and the financial deficit. Then the fix in the ERM fell apart thanks to speculation and the economy boomed as interest rates were cut. The whole episode of an unnecessarily severe contraction produced by immaginary fears about credibility and hang ups over the currency. The whole of the eurozone is on the same trajectory and has been for several years. No policy is more popular with people then failed policy. When it fails once just try it again seems to be the idea on a bigger scale if possible so more human suffering can be caused.

As for Milliband being too Jewish to be PM I wonder if they said that about Disreli? Queen Vic seems to have quite liked him when she appointed him PM. Jewish is fine so long as you are good at the flattery. As for having economic degrees making you good at economic policy I think the is doubtful. Harold Wilson mucked up the devaluation of the pound despite his impressive Academic record. Once they leave the University economists seem to forget their studies and adopt rubbish policies.

Tom Shillock

'Credible' as in "Is that credible?' just means 'Will the intended audience believe it?' It is a question about the public relations or propaganda value of something.

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