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Thousands trapped in negative equity

Bankers’ bedtime stories lead to Nanny Boom

Housing market in jeopardy as first-time buyers vanish

Larry: addressing inequality will benefit us all

Larry: why is everyone still spending?

Pawn shops thrive as credit tightens

No housing for Olympians now the Gods have failed

Dan: Inflation - ‘a year of going backwards’

Pets feel the crunch!

Dan: Housebuilders hit by ‘gazundering’


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    Welcome to The Gods That Failed blog.

    Our new book was published on 5 June by The Bodley Head, and we've set this up to give ourselves, and the public, the chance to learn about and discuss the economic crisis that we're currently all facing.

    It's high time people realised how and why we've reached the state we're now in. The Gods that Failed argues that we need a new system: instead of an increasingly risk-prone, privatised, profit-driven economic model overseen by a largely unaccountable and speculation-obsessed elite, we need an economy that is run and regulated in the interests of ordinary people.

    Bankers’ bedtime stories lead to Nanny Boom

    Posted by Editors on August 1, 2008 at 10:12 am

    The Gods that Failed shows how a reckless, largely unaccountable elite, have lulled the world to sleep with their economic fairytale and that now, with the fairytale having being exposed, ordinary people are waking up in a world of financial hardship.

    Even though this elite subcontracted the job of reading bedtime stories to their own children to an army of nannies, they were more than happy to tell fairytales to everybody else, tales in which everyone lives happily ever after.

    The Times reported yesterday that as a result of these financial fairytales, nanny agencies have been inundated with calls in recent weeks, as stay-at-home parents are forced to return to work just to make ends meet.

    Larry: addressing inequality will benefit us all

    Posted by Editors on June 23, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Citing a recent report from the Commission on Growth and Development, and a new book by Oxfam’s head of research Duncan Green, Larry argues in today’s Guardian that the key to development and prosperity is an effective state, accountable to its people, which seeks to address inequality. If the ethical arguments don’t sway you, the practical ones should:

    ‘The lesson of the past few decades is that those countries which have ensured health and education for all, and which have actively managed the growth process – nations such as South Korea, Mauritius and Botswana – have succeeded whereas those which have seen the strength of the state sapped have struggled. The old Washington consensus notion that a ‘rising tide lifts all boats’ is no longer fashionable, even in Washington.’

    In the words of the Commission on Growth and Development report:

    ‘Governments should seek to contain this inequality at the bottom and top end of the income spectrum. Otherwise, the economy’s progress may be jeopardised by divisive politics, protest, and even violent conflict. If the ethical case does not persuade, the pragmatic one should.’

    Larry: why is everyone still spending?

    Posted by Editors on June 23, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Things are looking bleak, so why are we spending like there’s no tomorrow? Incredibly, despite the credit crunch, May saw the biggest increase in consumer sales on record. Confused? Read Larry’s article about it here


    No housing for Olympians now the Gods have failed

    Posted by Editors on June 23, 2008 at 10:01 am

    The brave new world of the New Olympians - the ideas and actors behind the current financial chaos - has now been exposed, but in London the Olympic dream is also crumbling fast. Plans to build the Olympic village for 2012 are now in jeopardy as the credit crunch and sliding housing market means that - once again - taxpayers may now have to step in to cover the extra costs. read the full story here.

    Dan: Inflation - ‘a year of going backwards’

    Posted by Simon on June 23, 2008 at 9:31 am

    ‘Incomes have gone backwards in few years since the war, including 1974, 1977 and 1981. This looks like being another.’

    Read the full story <a href=”http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/news/columnists/article.html?in_article_id=443449&amp;in_page_id=19&amp;in_author_id=1906″>here</a>.

    Pets feel the crunch!

    Posted by Editors on June 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    One of the themes of The Gods that Failed is that the disastrous consequences of the actions of a reckless, largely unaccountable elite are being felt by ordinary people and everyday life. Today the Independent ran an article demonstrating that the chain reaction does not end with people, parents and families – their pets are affected too.

    Dan: Housebuilders hit by ‘gazundering’

    Posted by Editors on June 18, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    We’ve all heard horror stories about first-time buyers being outbid – ‘gazumped’ – at the last minute by someone with a higher offer, but now housebuilders are suffering the same treatment from buyers: read Dan’s article about ‘gazundering’ here.

    Larry: ‘Banks deserve to be punished for their stupidity and recklessness’

    Posted by Editors on June 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    ‘There has rarely been a better time to bring in regulatory reform that would have one objective: restricting credit in the good times and encouraging it in the bad times. The current system does the precise opposite.’ 

    Read Larry’s article here for an overview of the arguments in favour of tougher regulation.

    Larry Elliott - high inflation may mean higher interest

    Posted by Editors on June 13, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    In the Guardian today, Larry reports that the public expects a significant increase in the cost of living, and is increasingly dissatisfied with the handling of inflation by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). Read the article here.

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    Fuel strikes begin

    Posted by Editors on June 13, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Shell workers today begin a strike that could leave one in ten pumps dry, say the Telegraph.  While many complain that drivers are overpaid, they insist that their wages have not risen since 1992.

    In chapter 3 of The Gods that Failed, Larry and Dan discuss the strikes of the 70s and 80s, and the correlation between the development of the free market economy and strike action. They quote Bernard Levin:

     ‘Has he [Edward Heath] any idea what a man earning £20 a week feels when he sees speculators about to make untold millions by befouling Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden and indeed any other bits of any other city they can get their hands on?’ (Times, May 30 1972)

    Despite government warnings not to panic buy, the Times reports a rush on petrol stations yesterday.

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