Day: August 2, 2020

Inside the Whitehall power struggles behind free trade deals

Responsibility for Brexit trade talks lies instead with Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office secretary, chairman of both the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee and the EU exit operations Cabinet committee, known as XO, which oversees planning for the end of the Brexit transition period.

Given his role as head of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs until last year, whether the result of US-UK trade talks on food standards favours British farmers or free trade will be a telling sign of where power truly lies.

Tensions between the two ministers leaked into public view when a letter penned

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The economics of an independent Scotland don’t add up

Ultra-loose Bank of England policy and bond yields at record lows have capped the debt’s risk while Britain already has a solid reputation on financial markets. The Bank has calmed gilt markets by snapping up hundreds of billions of pounds of UK government bonds. Scotland’s public finances would be on rockier ground, however.

In 2018-19, Scotland’s notional deficit was at £13bn, or 7pc of GDP, and rises to almost 9pc without North Sea oil revenue, the annual Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland report revealed.

If independent, that deficit, which economists believe would be unsustainable, would be higher than any other

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Family drama as Murdoch schism tears dynasty apart

By speaking out against News Corp and therefore his father, James underscored his gradual dislocation from the family business and therefore the family.

It has been a psychodrama that began with the phone hacking scandal, when his elder brother Lachlan returned to his father’s side after a stint as an independent and not entirely successful media investor in Australia. James’s friends argue he was meanwhile “thrown under the bus” to protect Rupert and News Corp from the worst of the ensuing crisis.

James was nevertheless restored to a top job alongside Lachlan at 21st Century Fox, a new company spun

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The empty promises of the Modern Monetary Theory brigade

In particular, the cost of government borrowing does not depend solely on the risk of default. It also depends on factors such as expectations for inflation, as well as the opportunity cost of diverting resources from the private sector.

This is where the second plank of MMT is important, but frequently glossed over. Many of its more fanatical supporters have looked at the recent surge in borrowing and concluded that there never has been – and never can be – a lack of money to pay for better healthcare, education, welfare, or green infrastructure. Sadly, this is baloney.

Money itself

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