No to negative interest rates

I welcomed the arrival of the new Governor this Spring. He immediately responded rapidly and decisively to the pandemic induced collapse of demand and activity with a strong programme designed to generate fast money growth as an offset to the large contractionary forces brought on by lock down. Like the Fed but on a smaller relative and absolute scale, the Bank created money and bought up government bonds, lowering the interest rates in the process.

Money growth accelerated rapidly, hitting 13% on the wider M4 measure. This was a welcome contrast with the previous Governor’s era when for the later years the Bank was busy slowing money growth well below a safe speed, which was duly reflected in and contributed to lower overall GDP growth. In the last couple of months it appears that the Bank has throttled back its money programme, which will become a problem as we face more regional and local lockdowns.

Maybe the Bank was unduly impressed by Chief Economist Mr Haldane’s confident and positive forecast of a sharp V shaped recovery. My readers will know I never thought that likely. It must now be clear to Mr Haldane that this is not going to happen. All the time large sectors like hospitality, leisure, shop retail, travel , property and others are impaired and damaged by the Covid measures, there can be no early return to total output and incomes at February levels. The fear must be that recent news of the virus will depress confidence again and lead to substantial job losses as exposed businesses recognise there is no early return to full capacity working for them.

I read that the Bank is reconsidering using negative interest rates. The Governor wisely expressed scepticism about such a course in his earlier interviews. There is no evidence to suppose that the official rate of interest at 0.1% is too high or causing a problem. Taking it mildly negative will not provide a significant boost, nor will it allow businesses scarred by the pandemic measures to borrow more cheaply, as commercial banks will want a big margin to take care of loan losses from future bankruptcies and capital write offs. Countries that have gone negative have not shown any striking gains to output as a result. Despite its large issue programme the UK government can currently borrow very cheaply. That can continue and will be assisted by the Bank’s bond buying programme.

The Bank has the tools it needs to support the economy in these worrying times. The main issue for the MPC to settle is the pace and scale of money creation and bond buying. Having started so well as the crisis struck, they need to look to that again now we have another knock to many businesses and sectors from the further measures being taken on health grounds.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Sorry Sir John, but those plates at some point are going to stop spinning. The fact that negative interest rates are even being discussed should be cause for concern. It suggests that both our currency and our economy is fundamentally unsound. And one thing markets / investors do not like is uncertainty. If interest rates go negative, watch the money flow out of the country and people get poorer.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      Every problem we face has been created ( on purpose?) by successive governments.
      And before every problem became really problematic the governments were warned!
      Now we have to pay for their utter evil/stupidity/greed/incompetence. Whatever it is it is always us who pays!

      And Johnson pays WHO!

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink


        • Sir Patrick Vaccine
          Posted September 28, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          Simple questions to ask people to make them think. I am trying to get to five simple question.

          1. Do you know anyone who has died of Covid 19?

          2. Where are the deaths in supermarkets?

          3. Why did Covid 19 clear ups so quickly in China?

          • Hope
            Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

            Hancock, …there is no middle course.. what an idiot of course there is. Isolate/protect elderly and health vulnerable.

            Is he really that dull? Meglamaniac Hancock needs reigning in urgently.

          • NickC
            Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

            Sir Patrick

            4. If masks work why is influenza on the rise currently as it does every winter?

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted September 28, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          A clear demonstration showing how the lockdown saved no lives in Britain, using Ferguson’s predictions for deaths in Britain and Sweden and what actually happened in both countries.

          If you take Ferguson’s prediction for no lockdown Sweden with the official death rate it was 12 times lower.

          SWEDEN Prediction 70,000 official deaths 5,880

          Divide Ferguson’s prediction for the UK with no lockdown, UK 500,000 by 12 you reach a figure of 41,666.

          Currently the official figure for the UK is 41,988

          SEARCH YOUTUBE “Andrew Neil: “Boris Johnson panicked – hard to say Sweden was wrong” (and what it means for the UK)”

          Please share – send to your MP, whatever

      • BOF
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink


      • turboterrier
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        Ever hopeful.

        One has to ask the question, do they really know what they are doing?

        With all the mists of doubt surrounding the impartiality of WHO it could be easily perceived that whosoever advising the PM might not have done the research and got their ducks in a row. Either that or the PM is copping a deaf one. I am sure the POTUSA had good reasons to take the action he did.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        totally disgusted with giving WHO more money after their collusion with China. This virus has certainly had the desired effect which was to bring down Western economies aided and abetted by our politicians and scientists.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink


      • a-tracy
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Everhopeful, this makes me very cross ‘Belief that Britain is a force for good in the world has plunged in the last 18 months, a national poll has found, with under half of the UK now convinced of the country’s positive impact.’

        In fact, I’m furious, Boris sprays our money around (the little UK is now the biggest funder of the WHO – Boris you are a puppet), the news and media never report the good the UK does in the world from funding refugee camps, the amount of international aid we send out, other charity aid we raise in this Country, You Tories best start reminding the World and more importantly the people in the UK just what you are doing in your ‘global role’ if people aren’t grateful stop all funding tomorrow, then let’s see the outcry!

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink


          And our Metropolitan police being harangued by youths in London over the Matt Ratana killing “It is what it is. You don’t care when you kill us.”

          This is because the BBC were allowed to foment anger and create the deliberately false impression that British police are American police.

          Instead of defending them the Tories just caved and took their unconscious bias training.

          Boris taking the knee with his mask on would be utterly awful to see but a true picture of the dire situation we are in today.

    • NickC
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Mark B, NASA plans to put a woman on the Moon for about £23bn. The Boris government plans to run an unneeded and unwanted railway to Birmingham for £100bn plus.

      Given the technological spin offs which is better value? Which would better improve the standing of the UK? Which would better kick start our economy?

      If our government must splurge money all over the place, let’s at least use it as seed corn, and not revert to moribund 19th century ideas supplied by foreigners.

      • dixie
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        Quite, while some countries engage in projects that inspire people, advance the human race the cretins in our government want to play with train sets.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        Also, NASA has the money, Boris is borrowing!

        • hefner
          Posted September 28, 2020 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

          NASA’s $23bn budget comes from the federal budget, about 0.5% of the total US budget.

          • NickC
            Posted September 29, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

            Hefner, No, it’s $30bn (£23bn), not $23bn. Let’s have some accuracy here please.

          • hefner
            Posted September 30, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

            OK I mixed up £ and $.
            But the $30bn are NASA’s total budget, not the bit to ‘put a woman on the Moon’. Let’s have some accuracy here, please.

    • Qubus Merrie
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Interest rates went negative in Germany and no one suggested that their economy was in danger.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Of course it is! Brexit will cause at least £140 billion hit to their Motor economy alone, according to German Motor Manufacturers.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Germany makes things people want to buy. We do services and, currently, those services are shut.

  2. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    As usual the cautious will end up paying for the profligate.
    Since the crash we have had negative interest rates on our savings and the capital is being erodes away.
    How about some deep cuts to public spending like sacking all the diversity staff. What about getting rid of all the staff who worked for the EU in national and local government.
    There’s a lot of low hanging fruit.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink


      • Hope
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        Better still why did MPs not refuse their whopping 3.1% pay rise taking them to over £82,000 and into the top earners plus expenses and add ons under the cover of Chinese flu? None of them challenging govt. legislation, none of them highlighting double standards like their bars remaining open!

        My bank just notified me 0% interest rate in my account. So much for being prudent, strive for my family all my life, never accept welfare or be a financial drain in society. Just more and more taxes, highest in fifty years.

        JR what happens to those who are in the process to move and are now locked down? They acted on your govt advice and now cost them money? Same for businesses.

        Come on get Johnson out. He is not up to making a decision of any sort.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

          +1 Johnson out.

          The signs were there. I’ve done a far better job of running home, family and finances on a far lesser amount than he’s had.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      Could you identify a class of job, of people who “worked for the European Union” on the UK payroll please?


      • Bryan Harris
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Half the civil service for a start

        • glen cullen
          Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          More like three quarters

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink


          • Bryan Harris
            Posted September 29, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

            Some people just do not pay attention to what is really going on…. Many civil servant prefer the EU lifestyle – Off on jollies every other week… telling the government what it had to do rather than being the servants of the UK people

      • Know-Dice
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        ECMWF Shinfield – Support Engineer – User Services £60,590.64 net of tax. The Centre also offers a generous benefits package…

        Now that’s what you call riding the “gravy train”…

        In the real world the salary for that would be what £35,000..

        • hefner
          Posted September 29, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

          ‘In the real world the salary for that would be £35k”: I doubt it, looking at the list of ‘qualifications and experience required’ (paragraph 6 of the detailed job offer), fluent in English and either French or German, likely to be working on a 24/7 schedule helping users distributed over a large number of countries.

          It also appears that this type of position does not contribute to the UK State Pension system. The ‘ECMWF’ pension (to which the recruited staff pays 12.6% of their salary) is payable after 10 years on the job, but the original contract is for 4 years, with possibility of a further contract (so unlikely to pass the 10 years’ limit).
          As for the ‘generous benefits package’, it is nothing out of the ordinary for a job requiring expatriation.

          Finally this is not a EU job. As detailed in the job offer (paragraph 8), the list of states from which a candidate will be considered has 34 countries, including Morocco, Switzerland … and the United Kingdom.

          And if you are so ‘jealous’ of all these advantages, why do you not apply? Not qualified nor experienced enough?

      • NickC
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        Martin, You obviously don’t understand how the EU works. In vast areas of governance the EU makes the rules, but the sub-state must obey and implement them. That takes civil servants, quangos, businesses, and local government personnel – at immense additional cost. Hidden to you maybe, but well known to Leaves.

    • Andy
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      The lowest hanging fruit is pensions and pensioner benefits. Almost half of our taxes going to fund perks for the old – who are the wealthiest section of society.

      Their incomes have not been majorly affected by the 2008 crash, they often own their own (large) homes mortgage free. They often have gold plated final salary pension schemes. The Tories devised something called the triple lock to guarantee the Baby Boomers an ever expanded part of the cake. And all the while the young have been squeezed, attacked and targeted by Tory cuts.

      As Charles Walker said you can only poke a dog for so long before it bites. The elderly have not taken their share of the last decade’s financial pain. Do not be surprised when it is taken from you.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        They are not the wealthiest in society.
        Stop your nonsense.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Do you undertake to pay into NI all your life and not draw a pension?
        PS British pensions are the lowest in the western world. Shameful.

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Come on, Andy.

        Those people were hated before they were pensioners. Which led to Brexit.

      • acorn
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Very true Andy. The triple locks on various Social Protection budgets are basically buying the over sixty five vote.

        Thirty four percent of government spending, £274 billion, goes on social protection. £128 billion of that goes on “old age” pensioners. They will be the primary target for deficit spending reductions. I wouldn’t be surprised if this government didn’t take away the voting rights of state pensioners. That is, those basically dependent on the DWP for what lifestyle they have.

      • hefner
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        Wait a minute Andy. You may want to have a look at
        ‘Pension statistics’ Charlie Barton, 14/04/2020 on

        and do not forget that about 1.1-1.2m pensioners only have the State Pension to live, £175.20/week or £9110.40 annually and only if they have had the 35 years of contributions.

        According to ‘Average pension pot for every UK region’ the additional (not state) pension pot varies between £15k-£28k. Some analyses show that a relatively ‘luxury’ pensioner life requires a pension pot in excess of £260k.

        Clearly not everybody is a high-flying captain of industry.

      • NickC
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Actually, the lowest hanging fruit is taxpayer funded state schooling, because it could be implemented in 6 years. Any young parents who could not afford to pay schooling would have to forego having children.

        So the private schooling that you advocate in principle could be implemented very quickly. That is far quicker than abolishing the state pension which would take c30 years to allow people of your age to save up for their own pension.

        And you must be completely dim to fail to understand that someone of 62 – on average – is obviously going to be richer than someone of 22 – on average – because the 62 year old has had the financial benefit of 40 extra years of work and pay. You don’t get simply by whining.

        Frankly the 22 year old fresh out of university has had almost everything handed to him on a plate paid for by his elders’ hard work anyway.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        You are allowed to write these endless lies unchallenged. Half of our taxes are NOT spent on pensioners Half the welfare budget, perhaps. Not the same thing.

        Compared to the national average wage our state pension is a trivial amount and much lower than the high of about 25% of the national average wage that it reached in 1979. The only area that I feel should be looked at is that for every pound of public sector occupational pension the recipient should lose 50p of state pension. So, if someone has an occupational public sector pension that is twice the state pension, they should receive no state pension. Let’s face it – we in the private sect provide all the money.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      What about removing all those new arrivals who have been put in hotels at our expense – or have they started watching Eastenders and a judge now says must be allowed to stay here to follow it?

    • Sir Patrick Vaccine
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      I had booking cancelled this morning.

      How many people are having bookings cancelled?

      What economy will be left?

    • S P
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Hancock strikes again – does he not realise people in car home ned to meet their loved one personally. There’s nothing much else to look forward to other than average food, pad changing and loud televisions.

      11,000 IPads Care Homes – Totally Inhumane

      • Hope
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Give people in care homes the choice i.e. Democracy. Most who do not see their family have no reason to continue living!

        £4 billion on hotels for illegal immigrants, committing crime by entering our country, who contributed nothing and Fake Tory like May and Johnson treats old people like this. Appalling.

        Who has been sacked/prosecuted over NHS sending old vulnerable people to care homes where 40% of total deaths occurred? The incompetent Helen Whatley on TV today. She absolutely makes you feel embarrassed for her inept incompetent replies. Was she responsible for the failed protection ring that Hancock promised? Why is she still in post?

        • a-tracy
          Posted September 29, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

          Hope the people in care homes do have the ultimate choice with their families, they could go and live with a member of their family and quit their care home.

          Otherwise, if they catch it off a family member they could put the entire care home team of workers and the other residents at risk. I wouldn’t be happy to work in a care home with lots of visitors, would you?

  3. Sir Patrick Vaccine
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    The only way to support the economy is to open it up completely.

    • Bill B.
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Completely agree, Sir Patrick. From the Telegraph this morning: ‘Pubs and restaurants caused less than three per cent of infections in the week before curfew was announced, Public Health England (PHE) surveillance shows.’

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink


    • Fred H
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      and stop the ridiculous waste – – HS2, Foreign Aid, Barnett formula, enormous Civil Service, 830 in Lords, 650 in Commons. Payments to EU, UN, WHO, Quangos, hundreds of ‘education’ organisations, dozens of ‘health’ organisations.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        That should be a manifesto pledge

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink


  4. Sir Patrick Vaccine
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Report WITH COVID Death in Italy the same as UK Sunday: 17

    All you see on RAI news in Italy: staff in hospitals in PPE, Heavy handed cops in France police people sitting in cafes, everyone wearing masks, inside and outside.


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      Well, you don’t see anything much about that silly, trivial brexit thing, no certainly.

      The Mainland has its priorities right, generally.

      They have moved on.

      It is the UK which has stuck in the mire.

      • NickC
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        Martin, You used to think Brexit was the end of the world as we know it. Now it’s “trivial”?

        And what’s this new habit of calling the North West fringes of the Eurasian land mass “The Mainland”? How twee.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      The figures most certainly do not add up

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      I can’t understand why the UK govt isn’t using all these thousands of newly arriving doctors and surgeons from Calais we were promised, instead of putting them all in hotels and barracks ( after they have had new tvs installed of course).

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        and the engineers to build HS2

  5. Sir Patrick Vaccine
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Neighbours urged to call police on Covid self-isolation cheats
    £10,000 fines introduced as Government faces rebellion by MPs over restriction legislation
    “NHS staff carry out Coronavirus tests at a testing facility in Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln ” –

    In the image She’s wearing a cheap plastic visa and paper mask that costs nothing from Amazon and are made in cheap Asian sweatshops. They won’t stop her passing or receiving the virus. It’s easy to find online

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Those tested positive for COVID who don’t heed an instruction to isolate deserve everything thing the law throws at them. No sympathy!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        Doesn’t mean they are contagious, maybe just immune. Or maybe the test is one of the 90% which is a false positive?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      £10,000 fines, who can pay that? who will pay that?

      More measures targeted at the prudent and mostly compliant.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Sir Patrick Very good point in your last paragraph. A friend who is a nurse told me that these visors just let the particles in the air go underneath and infect and the paper masks to nothing to stop the virus either. How much are these measures spreading the virus?

    • NickC
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Sir Patrick Vaccine, In the last fortnight I have been to four shops where I did not wear a mask, and one supermarket where I did. None even asked me to don a mask, though two (small) shops did operate a one customer inside at a time policy.

      I keep being told by Remains, and my Tory MP, that such behaviour is selfish because my “mild cough [I haven’t got one] is someone else’s death knell”. Even though there are many worse risks for which we don’t shut down the economy.

      If masks work then those who remain frightened by covid19 (now that the incompetent NHS has learnt how to cope better with it) can wear the masks and protect themselves. Or will the mask fanatics have to admit that masks, after all, don’t work well?

      • Hope
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        The govt let in 18 Million during lock down, thousands from virus hotspot country’s. Is Johnson that dim he forgot before his death knell comment, or perhaps sending old people to death from hospital to care homes. He was ultimately in charge!!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        I don’t wear a mask either. If they don’t want my business I go elsewhere.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        The people know that the masks are useless – thats why they’re not wearing them

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      SirPV these testing facilities have been around since March, just how many of the testers have caught covid19 and then go on to need treatment, hospitalisation. It can’t be many/any or it would have been all over the newspapers and media.

      The test centres are very efficient now, my team all had to go for a test last week, no problems getting appointments, no delays at the centres, well organised, fast and efficient staff doing the testing. Checks on your passport and online booking id square, fast results.

      It must be very demoralising for these excellent employees to keep reading they’re doing a poor job all the time. From the people guiding to the cars, the people checking id to the test operatives, very careful and attentive throughout.

    • beresford
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      How do your neighbours KNOW you have been sentenced to house arrest? Does somebody come and paint a large red cross on your door?

  6. Adam
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    The most valuable tool the Bank has used recently is the removal of Mark Carney.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink
      • Fred H
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink


    • Qubus Merrie
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink


    • NickC
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Adam, I had to look twice at your comment because the words can be mixed up to say something quite different. Although “valuable” and “Carney” don’t go well together.

      • Adam
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        Agreed Nick. I should have written thoughtfully instead of rushing off; however in the few secs, I did skim once to avoid using ‘tool’ unkindly.

    • Jacob
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Come on Adam tell us- Carney has gone- so has Junker and so what has changed so much? how are we so better off? We’re heading for an Australian style deal with the EU- whatever that means? Probably the introduction of tariffs with massive disruption to our economic well being- JIT will be well and truly out the window- our politicos tried their best to blaggard the EU crowd- in order to cherry pick a way to the deal of our dreams- a bespoke arrangement to suit ourselves according to IDS DD and the ERG – but we have come off second best- up against a brick wall it seems- and now on top of that we have this horrid Covid thing to contend with. So then what’s Carney got to do with anything- please explain?

      • Adam
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Your predictions may be more accurate than Mark Carney’s, Jacob.

        One of his went:
        The effect on interest rates might not be as high as some people think they might be.

      • NickC
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Jacob, You’re a bit out of date. All your arguments have been made already. And demolished already. You clearly don’t understand a thing about JIT. Many manufacturers in the EU use parts from non-EU countries in Pull manufacturing perfectly successfully (eg: Ford uses parts from Taiwan).

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately Boris did not let him go though did he? He’s an advisor now. Every single Johnson decision is the wrong one, even before he got CV19.

  7. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    ‘Despite its large issue programme the UK government can currently borrow very cheaply.’ In response to the cuts in NS&I rates, I have cashed in 10% of my Premium Bond holdings and will put the money into shares – and do more of this in the months ahead. Having not studied the ‘Dismal Science’, I don’t know what that means for macro-economics. But as I look around the world, and see one government after another splurging hundreds of billions of pounds/dollars/euro, willy-nilly, on one hare-brained scheme after another, I fear an economic collapse and lenders eventually going on strike, which will leave governments having to run the printing presses like a Weimar Republic. I must go through my DVDs and dig out ‘The Big Short’; it’s time to watch it again – and try to put a political face on the character talking, over dinner to the increasingly disgusted Mark Balmert, about how ‘awesome’ the concept of ‘CDO squared’ is.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Printing at this time is not a bad thing so long as the money is removed again as demand increases.

      Why borrow from banks at a cost (and requiring future repayment) when you can print it free? The total money in circulation is the same.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        South Africa used to ‘borrow money’ from taxpayers to reduce supply and ‘pay it back’ to increase supply. Better than raising taxes isn’t it?
        They also agree a monthly mortgage payment which remains stable regardless of interest rate fluctuations, over 25 years. Reduced repossessions dramatically.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      You are going out of Premium Bonds and into shares?! Are you mad? Whose shares will you buy? With the possible exception of Amazon, I can’t think of a single company that is not exposed to the current nonsense.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Sir John ought to give is some sage advice. What is to be?

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        I have heavy equity exposure already. The point I was making is that I won’t lend to this government for a 1% return. There’s lots of value in the stock markets right now but I’m not convinced that the UK markets have much to offer – because we don’t make enough ‘stuff’. Under the neglectful eye of the political class, we are now an economy based of coffee-shops.

      • NickC
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        Really? I was going to have a flutter on Nikola. Their trucks don’t have motors you say? How could that be? Aren’t they socially responsible unlike ICE trucks?

    • Mark B
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Gold isn’t going through the roof for no good reason.

  8. Everhopeful
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    What a shame that all these graphs and models and “not predictions“ are such a total waste of time.
    Are they part of the liberal left’s “magick”?In other word if you spout enough lies you will actually alter reality. Admittedly that HAS worked in some cases but more through the gullibility of wanna be liberals than because the incantations work.
    A V shaped recovery?? How about a W shaped one or an X shaped one?? Or an I on its side one? A flat liner?
    Meanwhile people who thought that through prudence and hard work they had provided for their future are to be proved totally wrong by some extremely nasty and uncaring people.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      When the prudent inevitably lose their jobs, they will continue to get no return on their savings but they will also get no help from Universal credit as they have too great an amount of savings.

      Best to buy something with the money, at least then there is an asset, and full Universal Credit can be paid (£35K take home for a family in London working a minimum wage job [ fruit picking]).

      Anyone with more than £6K in the bank starts to lose Universal Credit payments, at £16K it ceases completely. If your spouse is working they take that into account too yet don’t take household earnings into account for working out if you earn £50K to remove child benefit.

      The benefits should be universal or non-existent.

    • Qubus Merrie
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Any graph that doesn’t plot cases per 10,000 is a waste of time.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink


  9. agricola
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    I am not qualified to comment on the above financial situation, except to say that we cannot expect any recovery growth until all the sectors you highlight and more return to a normal work rate.

    Approaching normality is governed by having a comprehensive health checking system at a frequency deemed necessary to prevent cross infection. Were each working person to carry a health practique we could get back to approaching normal.

    What I read in Saturdays Mail suggested that while the private sector has been quick off the mark in producing accurate, swift acting testing systems, the public and government health organisations have been abysmally slow to take them up. They have inadvertently created an export industry to EU countries more open to a swift response. The aircraft I flew home to Spain on last night had half its seats empty. This cannot continue without destroying the industry.

    Put the emphasis on our ability to test, track and trace to get everyone back to work, ultimately easing the load on the BOE.

  10. Caterpillar
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Whilst I appreciate that Venezuela controlled net immigration by causing at least 10% of its population to flee by

    Printing press currency
    Ineffective production,
    Hoarding, and

    It is not recommended that these are the policies that Johnson, Hancock, Sunak and Bailey use, nor any MP support. Better to not put the currency at risk of instability, better to allow the economy to produce, better not to use fear to encourage panic buying, better to reinstate democracy and liberty.

    Johnson and his so called advisers clearly have no appreciation of the size of the risk and hazard, indeed the straight up uncertainty caused by the Govt’s policies. The Govt’s policies are putting the country at existential risk, unmanageable uncertainty, the coronavirus is not. Even the (un)reasonable worse case forecasts of virus deaths do not carry such a threat.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Borrow or print, the amount of money in the system is the same. It is demand that causes inflation so why pay interest to banks?

      • Caterpillar
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        I am not sure which point you want me to address (so below is a little random) but money is ‘costed’ in terms of interest, inflation and exchange rate.

        I am unconvinced the quantity of money in the system would stay the same as you have suggested, much hopefully continues to depend on the endogenous creation. I have previously commented that the part of this which is borrowing to fill a gap between income and supply in a period can be replaced by exogenous creation of a social dividend (this is not the situation we are in, supply has been switched off as well). In terms of borrowing for investment, interest is important to reflect delayed consumption for resources to be directed to capital to allow future greater consumption. Again Govt could create money for investment if resources were available (i.e. there is not crowding out, neither consumption or other investment has to be given up interest truly reflects zero opportunity cost) as NZ essentially did in 1930s for state house building, nonetheless a free market interest can be used to reflect the relative demand between the state and private sector if opportunity cost is not zero.

        Hancock (lock down) and Sunak (pay resources to be immobile) have reduced aggregate supply this is a substantial shock, and will effect prices at some point. Resources are not being directed to another use. AD can adjust more quickly than LRAS, supply side shocks generally have much longer lived effects on growth.

        Current account deficit increased in first quarter, second quarter not known yet. As well as LRAS I think there is a supply side route to inflation here, signalling a zero value of the GBP (which is not considered world reserve like USD or safe like Swiss Franc) has some risk.

        Whatever theoretical views either of us hold the situation is the continued route to Mr Sunak’s funding is uncertain (and the Govt will demand more) hence so is the currency, some production has been switched off & some has become more inefficient, panic buying has been learned so that threat of inflation or lost savings can switch to hoarding, and democracy has been switched off and the PM keeps signalling different timescales to one locked in option. The uncertainty is very real.

  11. davews
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    OT. Sir John, can you please ask Matt Hancock how many of the current 5000+ daily ‘cases’ are seriously ill with the disease. All the students being interviewed on the TV and those queuing for tests to me look in perfectly good health with no symptoms at all. Why we are having all these restrictions to everything we do and huge fines for defying them when it seems the most common symptom of Covid 19 is no symptoms at all?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Judging by various interviews I’ve seen he doesn’t seem to “do” numbers!

    • Hope
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      I had an email telling me download the NHS app. I do not own a mobile phone. How did they get my email address?

      • Fred H
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Boris had a word with Trump who had a word with the NSA.

    • David L
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Thankfully, the restrictions are, seemingly, a little flexible. The House of Commons Bar can stay open after ten! Who’d have thought it?

    • Al
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Shouldn’t some serious questions be asked about the latest figures?

      The Hospitality sector is getting hammered by restrictions, while people were told to go back to school and offices, yet Public Health England’s own figures say the social sector caused 3% of cases, offices and factories 16% and schools 42%!

      Surely this shows that to reduce cases, schools and offices are two places where working or learning from home should be encouraged?

  12. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    ‘Negative interest rates’. Definition – ‘theft’

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      Only ‘theft’ if those suffering from it have been obliged to place money in an account.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      Interest rates (after taxation) below the inflation rates is already theft. As of course are taxes (many of which in the UK are over 100% of profits) or taxes on wealth rather than profits. IHT at 40% over almost nothing is a hugely damaging outrage as is 15% stamp duty and the double taxation of landlord interest and CGT without indexation.

      The BoE government at the FCA gave us 40% and even 78% interest rates on personal overdrafts for all customers good risk or bad and we still have them. So it is hard to tax the historian very seriously. He seems to have rather missed the essence of sensible banking.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        hard to take (not tax)

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Of course, deliberately removing ‘honest money’ and causing us all to do the rational thing and become borrowers rather than savers, as we were previously. What ‘nudge unit’ thought that was a good idea?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Well the powers-that-be have stolen everything else from us.
      Now they come for our poor, humble, little, buffer islands of cash.
      And that blood-and-sweat-earned money will be swallowed up in a trice on some socialist/commie project or other.
      There won’t be any more wages ‘cos the Great Reset will only do a very few jobs…but there’s alway the money printing machines I suppose.
      State-approved coin clipping and forgery!
      And yes, theft on a grand scale.

      I usually get the poem about geese, commons, theft and greater thieves deleted but it ain’t half the truth!

    • forthurst
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      The purpose was to punish banks for ‘hoarding’ cash. Are banks hoarding cash in preference to lending it out again to businesses to keep them afloat or float them? Perhaps they could be punished by not having their bonds repurchased by the ever-generous Bank and having to sell them to someone else, thereby reducing their profits.

      In the FT this AM is a headline “Science and Technology to drive new UK strategy”, so momentarily I thought the gavoernment had finally understood and have come to regret their cretinous sale of ARM Holding to the Japs claiming it as ‘inward investment’ and had realised that it is impossible to be a first world country without first world industries. Then I read the subtext “White paper to focus on help for underperforming regions and green energy initiatives”. In other words, chucking money at regions under third world occupation and ever more of the green crap much beloved of the Arts graduates without a scientific bone in their bodies.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink


  13. Sakara Gold
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Agreed. Negative interest rates also raise the prospect of banks being allowed to charge depositors monthly interest – and thus increase profitability – which is being severely constrained as several UK banks have been caught out money laundering (in size) again.

    The US election also raises the possibilty of turbulence and increased market volatility, particularly if there is a delay in announcing the victor. Gold is cheap at the moment, so I’m going to scale into a larger physical position while cable still has some value.

  14. Steven
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    There was no “pandemic induced collapse of demand”. It was entirely and completely engineered by government and was nothing to do with what has turned out to be a pretty mild flu. The one and only answer any central bank has in these days of permanent low or non existent interest rates is to print money. This, entirely predictably, has led to huge bailouts for favoured corporations and banks with some small pay offs to the serfs to keep them quiet. As usual the rich have got a lot richer at the cost of the small amount of freedom and independence the serfs used to have. History shows that all fiat currencies go to zero at some point and that point is now a lot closer and it isn’t a pandemic that is to blame, it is a Conservative government- or at least, what passes for one these days.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      The well off need to hand out some of their gains otherwise we serfs may go looking for our pitchforks

  15. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Negative interest rates is another tax on the prudent and should be avoided like a plague. Again the feckless who rely on the state to support them are not penalised whereas the responsible are.

    Interest rates trending to zero have already hit the risk averse prudent who just want a guaranteed return on their meagre safety net leave us alone.

    Business that chooses not tot invest at this time is choosing to retain funds because the outlook is dire not because money costs too much. Stop meddling, in fact raise interest rates to 1%.

    If government and the Bank of England insists on getting involved, just print the extra money, demand is not going to cause inflation at this time and when demand increases, the bank can remove the money slowly (as it was doing before the virus came from China).

  16. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Never forget we have a muddled thinking Government, that is lead by others, the Cancel brigade, WOKE disciples, and environment luddites all championed by the MsM desperate to say look at our agenda. It has nothing to do with what is right, productive and all-round good for the Country.

    It is Virtual Signaling from those suffering from the illusion of power. The Bank will get swept up in this because markets are not logical they exploit sentiment, that’s how they make money.

    We are close to ‘bring on the revolution’ Nigel Farage and Lawrence Fox are starting the mutterings of what the majority think. Or as Sir John highlights ‘We Don’t Believe You’ First and foremost the UK was supposed achieve a ‘Clean Break’ from the EU and then needed to reinforce the true meaning of Democracy – Government by the People for the People. Logically we can get that right until we remove the concept of a Political Elite/Class.

    We have a Government and a majority in Parliament that ‘fear’ the People, not represent the People.

    Until the fundamentals are sorted the Bank, is not guiding and creating frameworks for success it is responding to MsM hype playing into market makers hands and being manipulated by outside out of control events.

  17. Andy
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    A non-descript minister – who most people have never heard of – called Helen Whateley has been doing the media rounds this morning telling us she hope more social restrictions are not imposed.

    They will not be imposed Ms Whateley.

    58% of us did not vote for your party or your failed government. We have given you a chance to see if you surprised us. You did. Even we didn’t imagine you could all be quite so inept. You govern only with the consent of the majority. When we remove that consent we remove you. And we do not necessarily need a general election to do it. A revolution will do.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Next election is in 4 years time.
      Cast your vote then Andy.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        OMG – I hope it will be a lot sooner than that.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      The Conservatives won the election. You weren’t complaining when the Blair-Brown govt signed 3 EU federalist treaties, started the iraq war, sold off the gold crashed the economy etc etc all on a much smaller share of the vote than this govt has. By contrast you were complaining about the Tory led coalition which in theory at least got over 50% of the votes. So we don’t need to listen to you now.

    • NickC
      Posted September 29, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Andy, You can only remove the government because of Brexit. Become a convert have you?

  18. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    The UK Government has things that right that one of its donors and supporters of a free UK, Sir Jim Ratcliff has now had enough and is moving out.

    His Company is a substantial earner for the UK, with a great global reach. It was reported over the weekend this one man moving out will cost the exchequer £4billion.

    We have a Marxist Dictating Government that has a distaste of enterprise and freedom and seeks in turn to punish the masses so as to impose their left leaning will. Not all of us can take the Jim Ratcliff option, mores the pity, it wold be nice just to leave and let this Government get on with the mess they are creating. Unfortunately we have to pick up the pieces and pay for this ineptitude. Are we going to forget that!?

  19. James 1
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Far from negative interest rates, we need to get back to normal rates in order to encourage people to save and forego immediate consumption. We also need to massively downsize every nook and cranny of the bloated public sector. What’s important is “production”. We need to produce more so that there is more to go around.

  20. Nivek
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    “the further measures being taken on health grounds”

    It is my understanding that police have the power to find a business guilty of an “egregious breach” of the Conservative Party’s “further measures”, without referring the matter to the judgment of a court. If police are to be allowed to judge the grounds on which a businessman acts, then the public is entitled to question the grounds on which the Conservative Party is acting.

  21. Andy
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I see also that Mr Gove is heading to Brussels today on his way to largely capitulate as the UK does its inevitable (lousy) deal with the EU. Unlike last time maybe the Tory Parliamentary Brexiteers will read this deal, though obviously they do not get to vote on it this time. As there are no pictures it is unclear that many of them will understand it.

    Anyway, assuming Mr Gove passes successfully through Kent without a permit I do hope that France arrests him when the train reaches Calais – and locks him up for being a negligent, dishonest, international lawbreaker.

    It’ll save us a job a decade or so down the line when we hold all of this mob of charlatans to account and bring them to justice.

    Note to self: build more cells.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Brexit Derangement Syndrome writ large.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 29, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Winston Churchill said “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”. You need a cup of tea Andy.

      • hefner
        Posted October 1, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        a-tracy, do you realise that your Churchill citation can be applied to a non-negligible number of people on this blog, and not only Andy, MiC et al. I’ll let you decide who can be put in that category 😉.

    • NickC
      Posted September 29, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Andy, Where are all those 55,000 extra pen-pushers? Where is the evidence that the UK cannot succeed outside the EU like New Zealand does? Can we lock you up for being a negligent, dishonest commenter? No? Pity.

  22. Richard1
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Certainly it would be better to focus on Sensible free market supply side reforms and incentives rather than monetary policy gimmicks like negative interest rates. I assume the govt have the sense to forbid such a policy for individuals for political reasons. There is a theory that you try to force negative rates on companies to force them to invest. More likely they will take such sensible steps as removing assets from the U.K. and returning cash to shareholders.

  23. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    This is not just about confidence in the UK economy — This is about the level of confidence there is in the UK government to come up with real solutions, which is currently very low.

    Imposing negative interest rates would certainly be an admission of real failure by those pulling the strings.

    The economy needs to reinflate — Where are the all pervading tax cuts that the chancellor should have implemented by now?

    Why are we still spending money we don’t need to:
    Why hasn’t HS2 been cancelled?
    Why are we still lumbered with so many useless expensive quangos?
    Why are we still employing so many ‘public servants’ in a shrinking economy?
    Why are we still sending money around the world to support dictators and other gangsters?

    When is Boris or the BoE Governor going to realize that everything HAS changed, and we cannot go on in the same old way – We need cut our expenditure, as Thatcher would surely have done, while encouraging economic growth in every way possible — Which means thriving private enterprise is the only means of getting out of this dire trap.

    No state ever became prosperous with a bloated public sector!

    How is it that those closest to a problem are so often blind to the obvious things that the rest of us can see!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      If they can’t see these obvious facts we must change them for those who can.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Good post Bryan

  24. Sir Patrick Vaccine
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    “Since the crash we have had negative interest rates on our savings and the capital is being erodes away.” Ian Wragg – Yes, it all this lies with the banks – lies being the operative word…. Soon they will stop us getting our money out… if we pile the money into a wheelbarrow to buy a loaf of bread, the barrow will be stolen as in Germany of old… When we see Boris speak, we worry as he seems to be getting worse – trouble is, no-one is tackling him head on – 10 mins of Liberal Dem waffle this morning on Today programme shows even the so called liberals would be happy for the poor students locked in at University to stay there indefinitely… Where’s the A Team to break them and us out of all this?

  25. beresford
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Apparently bars in the HoC are not subject to the 10pm curfew and MPs are not obliged to give contact details in order to get a drink. Talk about don’t do as I do, do as I say…..

  26. Alison
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    No to negative interest rates. Just look at some of the German banks.

  27. a-tracy
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    This government is making me so mad at the moment.

    You are allowing this tripe and the running down of our Country by the EU all the time and just keep taking it and turning the other cheek, no responses no statement of facts of all the money we spent in the last five years, the damage you are doing to people that usually support you or are members of your party is huge.

  28. JohnE
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    It must be a disappointmernt for you to not be able to pin the blame at the door of the Bank. Perhaps you could ask them what actions are needed from the laughably incompetent Government that you continue to support in power?

  29. acorn
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    To cut an A level economics lesson very short. Quantitative Easing in big countries causes negative interest rates in small countries. Negative interest rates lead to negative Bond yields which lead to Pension Funds buying riskier assets to get income, mostly in property; which pushes up House prices.

    Switzerland is a classic case. It is using negative interest rates to keep a lid on the Swiss Franc in the foreign exchange casino. Swiss property prices have overheated, taking Switzerland to the brink of a housing crisis with rising mortgage rates.

    Central Banks’ monetary policies and Treasury issuing Bonds to match their spending are way past their Gold Standard sell-by dates. They are political choices, not operationally necessary in a sovereign fiat currency world where the natural rate of interest is zero.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Yet your desire for excessive state borrowing, taxing, spending and magic money tree money creation will create inflation and poverty for the majority.

  30. Martin
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    My suspicion is that the government is keen on -ve interest rates to fund the national debt.

    The problem occurs when interest rates start to rise for whatever reason.

    The present governing party could find itself in a nasty mess approaching the next election with only
    financial unpleasantness to sell to the electorate.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      But what are Sir Neal Starmers economic policies?

      • acorn
        Posted September 29, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        Who is he???

  31. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    It is imperative that Parliament puts a stop to this madness this week. We must be released from this ‘abusive’ relationship with Government. The mental cruelty and permanent threats of ‘worse to come’ cannot be allowed to continue another day! The vicious breakup of families is intolerable.
    The financial crisis will be the least of the Governments worries if they continue to force the majority to become law-breakers!

  32. Lenny
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    You say the bank has the tools it needs to support the economy in these worrying times- and maybe yes!- but what about Government in these worrying times? has government got the tools- for instance Today M Gove is over in Brussels thinks he’s going to stampede the EU into the tunnel- well we’ll see in a few days if he has the tools.

  33. Christine
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    The Government seems to be doing its best to trash the economy. Several businesses where I live have been hanging on through the summer but have now decided to close. Parliament needs to vote to take back control this week. We need a proper debate on the restrictions. The balance between the economy, NHS and the virus seems to have been lost. If this nonsense isn’t stopped soon the deaths from cancer, suicide, heart disease will far outweigh the deaths from the virus. I’m not normally a conspiracy theorist but the fact that so many countries are following the same economic suicidal path leads me to believe there is something greater at play. How soon will we get to the stage of Cyprus where we are restricted to £50 cash withdrawals a day and the Government takes a haircut from our bank accounts?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Luckily we are no longer subject to EU bale-in laws where they remove money from all private accounts, permanently, leaving a small balance.

    • Sir Patrick Vaccine
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Maybe locking students up in Manchester for two weeks and forcing them to eat baked beans will blow the whole thing apart

  34. glen cullen
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Parliament’s bars exempt from 10pm coronavirus curfew – the times

  35. Alan Paul Joyce
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    It is being reported that Parliament’s bars are not subject to the government’s 10pm curfew, which is very nice for MP’s, staff and visitors who can still enter the bars without being forced to leave at 10pm and are also not required to provide a name and contact number upon entry.

    A tongue in cheek question for Ministers! How is the government’s levelling-up agenda going across the country?

    Reply I think the curfew applies now. I do not go to the bars myself so I cannot verify.

  36. No
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    We do not consent to a Great Reset of capitalism.

  37. Richard1
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Off topic, Lord Moore for chairman of the BBC and Paul Dacre for Ofcom would both be excellent choices. It is revealing that both names are viewed as so controversial. After all they are two of the most experienced and distinguished editors in the Country, yet because they are not left wing, leftists, luvvies and other woke-eraty are up in arms. The govt needs to do much more of this and claim back the unelected quangocracy from the left. Next stop the National Trust.

  38. Original Chris
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    It appears to me that we have a chancellor who is a complete novice, and Johnson does not have any idea or appreciation of economics it seems. We need people brought in from business (not those individuals who are paid large sums and just move from one top job to another, but are ill qualifies for the job).

    President Trump brought in key individuals from outside who have been outstanding: Lighthizer, Peter Navarro, Larry Kudlow, Steve Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Robert Lighthizer. They have transformed the economy from a Wall Street to a Main Street economy, generating huge wealth and employment for the US, and replacing flawed trade deals. The records which have been set by the Trump administration have been second to none, and now that the Coronavirus pandemic has waned, the economy is back on track, with employment growing fast and incoming revenue from renegotiated trade deals is fast growing.

    President Trump has released people from the heavy tax strangulation by the Obama administration and he has put significant sums of money into regenerating the country. Enterprise is rewarded, and so is hard work. What a contrast with here in the UK, a country still hooked up to the EU and its stifling bureaucracy. I am not convinced that Johnson is going to effect proper Brexit. I suspect he is going to keep us tied in order to fit in with the EU level playing field requirements. Surely that was the point of leaving, to break free from restrictions about level playing fields, and forge ahead).

    Quite frankly Johnson has failed this country very badly, in my view. He should get in a decent Chancellor who can install a low tax economy and free people up to live their lives. I can think of somebody to fill that position.

  39. Stred
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Oh God. What are they going to do next.

  40. rose
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Let us hope this is just a kite the horrifying negative interest rate won’t actually appear.

    Also very worrying is Gove’s trip to Brussels. I just don’t trust him on the Union, fish, or sovereignty. He showed very early on he wasn’t sound on any of that.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      But you still voted for the shower, of which he is a like part.

  41. XYXY
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    It’s shocking that we are still in a lockdown with no clear exit criteria.

    What has to happen for us to return to normal?

    We will probably never be shot of this virus, even if a vaccine is found. We have flu viruses yet we still had 30,000 deaths from flu between October 2019 and March 2020.

    Whatever cases we may have had, death rates have been low since August 11th. Single figures or low double-figures. We’ve been hearing that death rates lag behind infections by 2-3 weeks but we’ve been hearing about the increased cases for 2-3 weeks now and yet… death rates remain low.

    It seems that those who were vulnerable have either succumbed or have recovered, so let’s end this nonsense now. Having some restrictions in social activity is one thing, but keeping businesses in any way locked down is destroying the economy and people’s lives and livelihoods.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      There’s an unlimited supply of new vulnerable people, as we all age.

      Endemic covid19 – as you seem to want – will shorten everyone’s life expectancy.

      Yes, that’s everyone’s.

  42. ian
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    From a corner of my mind, I think its all over.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink


      It feels like The End.

      This government will be over in a few months and something totalitarian will have to be installed.

      If we are not allowed to blame the CCP then the Tories must be blamed.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        Boris is to blame! The Tories need to dump him.

  43. Iago
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    “why do we have to provide homes for the world?” – comment in Conservative Woman.
    I cannot see that the government has any policy to advance the interests of the British people.

  44. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Thank God for Trump. His tax affairs have knocked CV19 from the top of the BBC’s news cycle. Why his tax affairs should make our nation’s headline news, I don’t know.

    If we were at war (and in a way, we are) the BBC top execs would have been arrested by now for destroying national morale.

    And I’m sure they have been partly responsible for the course that this government has taken with CV-19.

    I was one of the few from the outset to say that the economic consequences were being ignored and that lockdown was going to kill more (a lot more) than the disease itself.

    The only country that will think its leader is Sweden.

    The rest (including New Zealand) have made lethal economic sacrifices too but ours definitely seems to be the worst…. yet on and on it goes.

    Someone give Boris a hug, a drink and get him out of his misery.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Thank and not ‘think’.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      A person claims “not to know” why a multi-billionaire who pays no tax for years on end should feature in the news.

      And this person expects to have his vote respected.

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted September 29, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

        Why is it top BBC news ?

        I’m not voting for Trump and wouldn’t vote for Trump any more than when I refused to vote for Nick Griffin.

        I have always voted responsibly. Tory for 95% of the time.

  45. ian
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    What person would pay good money to be locked down at uni with no lectures in person, there is something wrong with people of today, any sensible person would of pack their bags and gone home.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Presumably those that are funded by loans. There will be no jobs to go over repayment threshold and the BoE and Chancellor are intent on keeping rates at or below zero, already having a knock on effect on repayments.

  46. Jack Falstaff
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I think the only thing the MPC can do in these circumstances (in practical terms) is to focus on keeping its messaging consistent instead of tinkering with rates, which will only distort expectations.
    Nothing will change for the economy until demand returns, which means dealing head on with Covid 19, like it or not.
    The rest is beautiful bandaids on measles spots and pointless prattle on business programmes.

  47. Mark
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Any post tax interest rate below the rate of inflation is theft of capital.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      What “rate of inflation”?

      Of residential property prices? Of wages? Of gold?

  48. Lifelogic
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Every tax or rate, forcibly taken from an unwilling person, is immoral and oppressive. If government half a century ago had provided us with all our dinners and breakfasts, it would be the practice of our orators today to assume the impossibility of our providing for ourselves.

    Auberon Herbert

    This even more so today, when if is very clear how much of our taxes are so very clearly squandered, wasted or spend doing positive harm and on idiotic propaganda.

    Talking of which I see that the Scottish government have produced a really offensive and revolting kill your granny advert. Almost as offensive as the revolting “No Pressure” (exploding children) propaganda advert produced by some lefty deluded alarmists & green loons some years back.

    • Derek Henry
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Still can’t believe you think taxes fund government spending in 2020.

      It is incredible you think we are still in the gold standard Lifelogic.

      May I suggest you study the actual accounting that takes place. Then finally you will wake up and realise that the accounting you suggest does not exist.

  49. Everhopeful
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Sir Desmond Swayne..
    “Government’s policy has been disproportionate….”

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink


  50. glen cullen
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    In case you missed it on the BBC or Sky todays deaths is 13

    We’re all doomed

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Well it is a monday so low but they are running at about 30 a day currently on average. Up about 30% on the week before however. But only about 2% of daily deaths and certainly not doubling every 7 days! A second ripple only.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      And of course that was the highest figure they could massage. Reality much lower.

    • beresford
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      Also scientists have come up with a nasal spray covid vaccine which is very successful when tested on ferrets. How we are supposed to catch all the ferrets in order to immunise them wasn’t explained.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure David Attenborough told us that ferrets where extinct – where doomed I tell yeah we’re doomed

  51. Fred H
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    NHS Test and Trace
    Q…. in what situations will I be summoned to quarantine at home, and for how long?

    I am fearful that somebody who ‘tested’ positive ( and maybe even falsely) not remotely at risk to me, will mean I and my wife will be expected to obey. Given the history of this ‘world class’ nonsense, I have no trust whatsoever.

    Can we have some examples of when, how and social distance involved will trigger it?

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      That’s one of the reasons why I will not be using it.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        And apparently the Police have been recommended not to use it, now let me see… the essence of police work is close contact with people, they defiantly should download and use the App and/or be tested every time they go on shift.

        • rose
          Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          Steve Baker has downloaded it.

          • Know-Dice
            Posted September 29, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

            But is he actually using it?

  52. Derek Henry
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Well said John

    Don’t let this nonsense gain any traction.

  53. Derek Henry
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Fiscal policy is key not monetary policy.

    Sunak is still advocating and in fact operating to some extent in a neoliberal manner. His new scheme is nowhere nearly as good as his furlough scheme, flawed as it was. He claimed his new scheme was original and radical whereas in fact he borrowed it from the Germans and, being from the finance sector, screwed it up completely.

    He started off making all the right noises and doing the right things showing he understood the accounting that takes place between the government sectors and non government sectors of the economy. However, suddenly he has started withdrawing help too early and making all the wrong noises.

    Employer pays 55% of salary for 33% of the time, at which point government will pay 22% of the salary up to about £700 per month.

    It’s too complicated. Too full of the “bail-in” nonsense that seems to be all the rage for some reason. And is nowhere near enough. The general line is that very few people will be using the scheme. You’re almost certainly better off making one person redundant and dumping the entire workload on the second person.

    Back of an envelope calculations says we will be 4.4 million FTE positions short of true full employment with a following wind, which is about 668 million hours per month lost, requiring a £6.68bn pm injection at £10 per hour. Sunak is talking about £300m per month – 4.5% of what is required.

    It’s going to be carnage John.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 29, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Derek, some businesses especially the SME sector are only just discovering how much redundancy costs, especially for the older age groups as redundancy pay increases with age plus the cost of notice pay on top. So if you feel your company will survive another six months of this it would be a lower cost to try to bumble along and hope that some people go to full-time work elsewhere.

      If these workers have a good skill base and are usually productive you will want to keep them on rather than have to start again with the costly hiring and training process if you can get back on your feet. The problem is with another six months lockdown the changes of Companies re-opening are getting lower and if the owner is of an age group where they couldn’t recoup the losses….the vulture capitalists are going to have a field day.

  54. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    If interest rates go negative will people with money in the bank remove it into a safety deposit box?

  55. Sir Patrick Vaccine
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Innocent until proven guilty.

  56. Ian
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    We seem to be looking at the worst Government in our long history.
    Headless chickens ?
    Time Boris and his cabinet were thrown out and

    J R put in to save us , with a cabinet of his choice

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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