“The Next Six Months” – A Daily Video Series

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AgentPete

Capo Famiglia
Guardian
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May 19, 2014
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I’m doing a daily video. Just for a month, starting tomorrow. Not on writing, but on subjects raised by a client’s book.

The client is Mark Thomas and his book “99%” is ranked by the FT as one of the best books of the year. Every day, we’ll be talking for about ten minutes (no longer) on how things are shaping up for the next six months, and beyond.

Here’s the link:



It’s on my own, personal channel because we’re talking economics, and you can’t talk economics without mentioning small-p politics… and Litopia has a no-politics rule that has done well by us for some time now.

Let me know what you think. Apart from anything else, I’ve never done a daily video before, so I’ll let you know how easy or otherwise it is to do!
 
Yay! I understood it! :) He explains well. I'm glad you asked what the second chunk was called because I was wondering that too, and I'm glad he explained why there was no yellow bar for UK household growth.

I wonder if charging massive amounts for university fees adds to the downward spiral? Or turning vocational colleges to university status (plus fees) reduces some poverty stricken people's chances?
Or is it about expectations? People in the golden age had the impression that they could get out of the gutter. Nowadays, there are plenty people absolutely reliant on social income support who see no way out.
I am, of course, only talking about the UK, because I'm globally quite economically ignorant.

(Poor chap has emphysema).
 
Three/four generations just in my family alone, say it's absolutely true. Our children will not automatically be better off than us. It is no Law of Nature. My parents were better off than their parents, and they were way better of than their parent's parents. Yes, they were broke when young in the sixties BUT still, they went straight into work after Uni and got mortgages even though there wasn't surplus of money, and indeed often an overdraft when I was growing up in the 70s. But in the mid 80's unemployment very high, I had a mortgage at 23 even on a very modest salary...a 99 % mortgage, paid off over 25 years. Our children are clearly not going to be better off at 50 than we were at 50. Mortgage at 25? No chance. 35? Nope. Nor for any lack of endeavour on their part. Both educated beyond A level, one a graduate, both with professional quals. in addition. Both working. Both renting, and any car problem knocks a dent in the monthly budget. Will we wait till we croak to try and help them out? I think not.
 
Good thought-provoking bite-sized segment and it looks very pro too.

Mark's and interesting chap. The end position of the most recent complete 35-year period (2015) doesn't surprise me when we see how the UK and indeed the world has changed since 1980.

Technologically we've moved forward in colossal leaps and bounds but our manufacturing base is all but gone, and nowadays the kind of jobs on offer are of a highly polarised nature. We have a massive segment of the workforce trying to subsist in service industries on minimum wage or even lower.

It's no secret the current generation of kids cannot get a toe on the housing ladder without significant parental assistance, and it's hard to see that changing while property prices remain so high and therefore unattainable.

I remember in my yuppie sales exec days (filofaxes ahoy and mobiles the size of double decker buses) how we all sat around at conferences smugly watching in amazement as the value of our own properties went through the roof. Not to mention the endless lines of credit being extended to almost everyone, irrespective of whether they could pay it back or not.

Such colossal financial "growth" couldn't possibly have been sustained ad-infinitum - hence the days of reckoning in the late noughties. Days that we have yet to recover from.

Add the financial impact of the pandemic on the global market and I dread to think how things will pan out in the coming 3-5 years.
 
Interesting stats but nothing new if like me you follow such things. Capitalism has been failing for some time but not failing those at the top who control things so we are likely to go on the same way for some time to come. I found it interesting that although in the current 35 year period those in the UK are a little better off, since 2007 they are worse off. 2008 was the year the banks crashed, due to their greed and irresponsible lending, and needed bailing out. Since then interest rates have been close to zero so there has been no incentive to save and money has gone into assets rather than invested in jobs. Asset prices have soared. The result is an exaggeration of the imbalance of wealth between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' and fewer jobs for those with nothing.
Interestingly Covid may be the event that forces people to reassess the way we live and what sort of society we want. Let's hope so.
 
Great stuff, Pete. Very digestible. I didn't so much watch it as listen to it while doing the washing up. That kind of viewing/listening experience is common I imagine. You might want to avoid graphs for that reason and stick to plain English explanations. It'd give your viewers more opportunity to choose their mode of consumption.

The virtual set is great, but there's a comedic element that may or may not be what you're after. In the wide shot it looks like the part of you that we can't see should fit entirely behind the desk. It made me chuckle.

As for content, the interaction between the two of you was very natural, and anything that can be done to make economics popular is a damn good thing in my book. You mentioned in your OP "small-p politics". I don't think we can understand anything meaningful about our global systems and institutions without understanding economics. Everything is politics, right? Economics more so. :)
 
I don't think we can understand anything meaningful about our global systems and institutions without understanding economics.
The thing is not even economists understand economics. Predicting human behaviour is, thank god, impossible yet social scientists persist in pursuing the fantasy that you can. With a few exceptions, the only laws of economics that apply with any validity are that everyone wants more money and they like buying stuff. But when you start assuming people will go about getting more money in a rational way or spend their money sensibly then all theories fall off a cliff.
 
Exactly.

I don't think we can understand anything meaningful about our global systems and institutions without understanding economics,...
...because...
... not even economists understand economics. Predicting human behaviour is, thank god, impossible yet social scientists persist in pursuing the fantasy that you can. With a few exceptions, the only laws of economics that apply with any validity are that everyone wants more money and they like buying stuff. But when you start assuming people will go about getting more money in a rational way or spend their money sensibly then all theories fall off a cliff.

You made my point precisely, Steve.

I want to write more, but I fear I'd be breaching the no-politics rule, so I'll stop right there (other than to suggest that economists are more like philosophers than scientists). :)
 
Re episode 2 - Fascinating.
He exposes the myth suppressing government spending on eradicating poverty.
Since the2007/8 bank crash, the BoE has pumped billions of printed money into the economy BUT in the wrong way.
They use it to buy back gilts/bonds from the banks boosting their cash reserves in the hope they will lend more to entrepreneurs but that doesn't happen. Those that can borrow use the money to buy assets.
If the BoE simply gave away the cash they print to the poor (so-called helicopter money) that would have an immediate impact. People would use it to buy stuff thus increasing the demand for goods and encouraging production and investment.
However, it is ideological anathema to any capitalist to suggest giving money away to those that need it. But it would bring a smile to people's faces and a tremendous boost to the nation's economy.
 
I have never understood why countries with banks that print money don't just print more money when the country needs it or how printing your own money can be called "borrowing money". Due to covid 19, the Bank of England just printed wad-loads of money so that's the government's money is it not? The government didn't borrow euros or dollars or dracma so they don't owe anybody money. Except themselves?
In my simple head, I think this guy has just told me that my simple head has been correct all along and those who roll their eyes at me and say "you don't understand" are the ones who are hood-winked.
. . . if only I could print money . . . :first-quarter-moon-face: :ewe::ewe::ewe:
 
Ep 2 very interesting particularly about the 1%.

It wasn't news to me but sadly very few people know, understand or are even prepared to believe it. However it is an indisputable fact there is an elite class who have done, and who continue to do, "very nicely, thank you very much" of the back of relentless austerity that has been forced upon the rest of us during this past decade or more.

And as Rich says, I too could go further but to do so would be to stray into the murky cesspool of politics with a capital P.
 
To what extent is all this austerity still being driven by the shock post 2008, and the need to 'prop up' the City of London and the financial sector as a jewel in the crown? When we also need more (green) manufacturing? eg, viable Cornish tin for mobile phone components rather than rainforest tin.

Try as I might, call me glass half full, they don't say much in the news about current inward financial AND manufacturing investment in the UK, and there's a lot happening. See Jefferson for updates. I can picture a more lively economic picture this coming decade.
 
Have bought a copy of the book anyway, to study at leisure and a copy for the parents, see what they think.

How has this political mantra of austerity taken such a hold, rhen, by what process, and on what pragmatic basis, given such a ready availability of evidence to the contrary, that debt is incompatible with growth? Is it a kind of PTSD post 2007/8? Whom does it serve (short of getting paranoid that it's all a plot to reduce us all to serfdom -cackle) We spent 5000 years wedded to gold. Has it been proving a liberation in the long view, or a false step, to step away from the gold standard?
 
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Scenario 5 sounds depressingly familiar.

There are those in power globally, driven by their own selfish greed, who would be only too happy to help usher in a new age of neo feudalism. :mad:
 
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