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Ben Chu

Ben Chu has been a leader writer at The Independent since 2004. Before that he worked at the paper on the comment desk, letters department and the personal finance pages. He studied history at Jesus College, Oxford between 1997 and 2000.

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Brittan backs Brown

Posted by Ben Chu
  • Friday, 27 March 2009 at 03:06 pm
Samuel Brittan is probably the most respected economic commentator in the country and so his article in The Financial Times today telling us that rising public borrowing is not the road to hell that Conservatives, Republicans and assorted European leaders argue is significant.
           This passage is crucial: "While there may be a good many reasons to think twice about a further stimulus in the forthcoming UK Budget, the size of budget deficit or the associated national debt is not one of them. Since my undergraduate days, I have been pointing out that a government budget is not the same as that of an individual or company. Indeed, the more reluctant people and corporations are to spend, the greater the case for the state to spend to fill the gap. The message is still too counterintuitive to get across."
          Indeed. The way some politicians are talking one would imagine that they had never heard of the Great Depression, during which their predecessors decided to respond to a catastrophic global economic meltdown by balancing national budgets.

Comments

Further stimulus
plettan wrote:
Friday, 27 March 2009 at 04:04 pm (UTC)
Samuel Britten is right to point out that further stimulus may be needed and there are the means and resources to do so.

When Merkel and Steinbrück, the Beavis and Butthead of Europe, stand sniggering at the US as Europe slides into deflation. If only you could rescue Beavis from Butthead. That clown, Topolánek, speaks volumes about Conservative thinking about the Great Recession. The European Right is as off the wall as the Republican Right in the States.
xel9 wrote:
Friday, 27 March 2009 at 07:39 pm (UTC)
Brittan is spot on in talking about wartime situations. Our present plight is the nearest we will ever come to (in peacetime) to a war.
Oh, the disappointment...
junkkmale wrote:
Saturday, 28 March 2009 at 11:08 am (UTC)
I thought it was Fern at first, and the quitting was a symbolic hint.
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