Thursday, March 21, 2013

Plan B - "Reinflate The Housing Bubble !"

George Osborne is the Son Of Brown :
"George Osborne is going into the mortgage business. What could possibly go wrong?

...(the taxpayer) is to underwrite £130bn of mortgage loans. They, or we, will pick up the tab if the borrower defaults. This will give banks the confidence to accept smaller deposits of, say, 5 per cent, meaning the borrower can borrow more. It is not hard to see how this will encourage struggling banks to get a racier appetite for risk. Imagine the discussion between the buyer and the mortgage adviser: "Oh yeah, it's underwritten by the government, borrow a bit more!" This is supposed to be the way out of a private and public debt crisis.

Remind me, how did the country get into its current mess in the first place? In America both political parties connived to loosen the lending criteria until anyone who wanted it could get a dodgy loan to buy a house. In the UK too, a private sector debt bubble was facilitated by a cheap money policy encouraged by the government. Combined with financial engineering by the banks, and the financialisation of the economy, the UK economy was made very vulnerable to an international shock. Once again, a big gamble is to be made based on pumping up the housing market."

There's no doubt that this will do wonders for buy-to-let landlords, who'll be able to buy new places to live in while renting out their existing residence (the loans are ostensibly not for buy-to-let) - and that's just what the British economy needs, after all. One wouldn't want the average house price to be affordable by the average earner, would one? As the BBC said this morning, it'll aid "recovery in the housing market" - and recovery is a good thing, isn't it?

In other news "Recovery in the fuel market", "Recovery in the food market", and "Recovery in the energy market"!

Oh, and along with handing over 20% of the price to housebuyers, the taxpayer will be on the hook for a chunk of any losses on the loans (losses to the lenders, of course - who else?) in the event of a US-style price meltdown. Altogether now :

"Privatise the profits -  socialise the losses !"

Obviously we'll need a bit of extra demand to keep rents up, too - so don't expect immigration to come down any time soon - or any time at all. Oh, and that inflation "target" that they don't take any notice of ? Well, they're going to take even less notice of it in future !

I guess this is all of a piece with previous policy, and will continue to drive the remorseless widening of the gap between the elite and the rest of us.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The UK Left Are The Lapdogs Of The Capitalist Elite

The entire post-68 British "left" are paper tigers, running dogs of capitalism. No one's profits are threatened by the SWP or the modern Labour Party.

If they were really a threat to capitalism, they'd be harassed by the State, find it hard to get bank accounts, have vexatious legal actions against them. Laws would be changed to make it harder for them to operate.

Their public sector members would be dismissed. Wealthy individuals would fund groups solely devoted to giving them a hard time - up to and including physical assault.

Members on their way to demonstrations would be 'preventatively' arrested, held until the demo was over, then released.

Now does left-wing politics attract that kind of reaction? Why not, if it's such a threat? In the past left activists were imprisoned, transported, harassed and worse.

To be fair, you do get the occasional building worker who's blacklisted for the hideous offence of putting his fellow-worker's safety before the target date or budget. But you don't find many building workers posting at Dave Osler's or Crooked Timber. The "left" isn't building workers these days - it's college lecturers and students - or even finance types like Chris Dillow or Daniel Davies.

 "It shrouded oft our martyred dead". Not many martyrs these days, to put it mildly.

Instead, the UK left is so cosy in the elite's warm embrace that the majority of their activists come from the public sector, and a disproportionate number from the higher education sector. If they're so dangerous to our rulers, why aren't they all worried about being fired? I don't think Professor Callinicos loses too much sleep on that account.

"The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class"

 The post-68 Left social agenda has almost completely triumphed in the UK - witness Cameron joining Hope Not Hate and campaigning for gay marriage.

At the same time the Left economic agenda has been so utterly defeated that terms and conditions for the average worker are being driven down remorselessly - even as total remuneration for the top few percent accelerates into the distance.

Haven't any of these educated lefties wondered why this might be? So much success in one sphere, so little in another?

Why, it's almost as if there's an inverse relationship between the two!