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Blue Peter

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Posts posted by Blue Peter

  1. The NHS should have said "Actually you could forgo the building costs and just give us the same amount of extra staff to work here."

    Somewhere there is a layer (or 4) of management in the NHS that needs removing.

    The NHS probably has far too few managers:

    The picture is complicated further by the number of qualified doctors and nurses in management positions or who have some management responsibility. However, the Kings Fund applied the ONS definitions of management to the NHS workforce and came to a figure of 4.8 percent. This is slightly higher than the official NHS number (just over 3 percent) but much lower than the ONS estimate of managers in the UK workforce – 15.4 percent.

    In other words, the NHS has a managerial workforce a mere one-third the size of that across the economy as a whole (ONS 2010). If anything, that points to the conclusion that the NHS, particularly given the complexity of health care, is under- rather than over-managed.

    The NHS in England is a £100 billion-a-year-plus business. It sees 1 million patients every 36 hours, spending nearly £2 billion a week. Aside from the banks, the only companies with a larger turnover in the FTSE 100 are the two global oil giants Shell and BP. If it were a country it would be around the thirtieth largest in the world. It might just as sensibly be asked, how can it be run effectively with only 45,000 managers.

    '>Link

    Peter.

    Who changed the expletive delted editor?

  2. Neil Jeffares thinks that the words and mooted actions don't really mesh: http://neiljeffares.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/mark-carney-at-the-inclusive-capitalism-conference/

    "When you read the first few pages, you may think that this man is a raving leftie, far more extreme than anything you find in this blog (although if so you probably won’t be reading). Here at least is the vocabulary of the left: social justice, fairness, community – and even a nod to Rawls. But after a while, the penny drops: this is what his audience wants to hear, not necessarily what he really thinks (and presumably not what he said to George Osborne before he got the job). And then we move on to the bit that matters: what is he, as leader of our central bank, entrusted with far more tools than his predecessor, going to do about the mess we’re in?"

    Peter.

  3. Clearly Ms. Knight was overwhelmed with popularity from her previous job.

    Seriously though.. I do get the impression that we are not going to get proper investment in energy until we get some serious, out-of-control blackouts.

    Our energy is supplied by private companies, so we won't get proper investment in energy until they can see a good return, even if it means the lights going out,

    Peter.

  4. Something interesting:

    The chancellor believes he got the thumbs up (in private) for his ambitious mortgage-guarantee scheme, Help to Buy, from the newish Canadian governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney.

    ...

    Which is why I was intrigued to be told by a colleague of Carney that the governor doesn't believe he has (in fact) underwritten the chancellor's housing market support scheme at all - and that perhaps the biggest challenge facing Carney is how to signal his distance to the world, without embarrassing and alienating his patron, George Osborne.

    From Pesto

    Peter.

  5. An interesting recent Tweet from an FT journalist got me thinking.

    https://twitter.com/CardiffGarcia/status/379645847312404480/photo/1

    The basic premise of the graph in the tweet is that UK retail sales grew at an average 3.2% from 1968 to 1994 then a supercharged 4.2% from 1994 to 2007 then and averaged 3.8% since the end of 2009.

    The point appears that the extra above very long term trend growth of the 1994 -2007 boom seems to have been purged by the 07-09 recession and we are back on the long term 1968-94 trend...

    What happened to the retail or credit environments in '94 to start this increased retail spree?

    I'm assuming something credit related?

    But 3.8% is closer to 4.2% than to 3.2%, and 3.8% is the rate in an effective recession. That makes it unclear to me that we have gone back to the 68 - 94 trend. If we do properly come out of this recession is the rate likely to rise or fall?

    Peter.

  6. More than a few people that I've met who are against fracking, are conservative voters.

    Large scale fracking will probably be held off until after the next elections as it could be politically significant in some rural conservative marginal seats, that are going to be fracked.

    See the article quoted above - 30,000 wells to get 42 Tcf. That's going to frack a lot of voters' preferences,

    Peter.

  7. Is the UK set for a shale gas revolution?

    The British Geological Survey estimated in June that the UK has 1,300 tcf of shale gas reserves.

    Put into context, that is twice the size of US reserves; and just 10% of this would be enough to meet the gas needs of the UK for more than 40 years.

    Which is not to say that it will be possible, but if it is the effect on energy costs could be enormous.

    I think that the 1,300 tcf number is the total resource, not the reserves, which is probably more like 42 tcf, according to this.

    But, remember, to make money from this, it's better to go with the big numbers (cf. the article above). And it pays to be well connected (pardon the pun),

    Peter.

  8. No because in an ideal balanced world renting and buying would off-set each other naturally........renting is not bad, it has been intentionally fixed to made to look like only fools rent, dead money etc only because owning using leveraged debt has in the past made far too much unearned unproductive money for people who have done little else but to borrow it.

    Renting for very many people could be made to be a great way of living, if only TPTB put as much effort into that as they have into creating property bubbles to only save themselves and those whose businesses rely on new and continuing debt being created. ;)

    Hmmm, doesn't your "in an ideal balanced world" qualification rather undermine your 'no'? What's the answer in a non-ideal, badly skewed to rentier world?

    L&G are looking at this because they have to fund large pension obligations in a world of low interest rates and low growth. Inserting themselves into an essential, government-supported (via housing benefit and planning regulations) part of the economy will allow them to extract significant wealth. Admittedly they will at least be building, and so doing something productive, but it's still basically a rent-extraction process rather than a wealth generation process.

    It would be far better if this was done by publically owned entities, since at least the nation as a whole would benefit, from the rents extracted,

    Peter.

  9. Surly given that a few years ago OU fees were much much lower then they are now there is room in the business model to offer courses at much lower cost?

    But that was when the government subsidised them (along with all other universities).

    I think that you will find that the OU fees are considerably cheaper than other universities (5K per year as opposed to 9K per year), and I believe that they hope to pick up a lot of new young undergrads based on this (plus, presumably, they would save by living at home rather than having to pay accommodation at a traditional university),

    Peter.

  10. In fact the exploratory wells currently being drilled near Balcombe that are at the centre of the current 'fracking' protests are actually looking for conventional oil and gas in the Weald Basin

    Where there's conventional oil/gas, there's probably shale

    Remember that every oil or gas reservoir must have (or at least must have had) a source somewhere below it. If there's a reservoir, there's probably shale with gas in it some way below.

    ....

    Fracking has hit the news recently, what with the fear of it reaching Balcombe in Sussex. Cuadrilla have planning permission to drill an exploratory hole in their search for, they say, conventional oil. Some folk think they might try fracking later on. They say they want to get at the oil in reservoir rocks in the Upper Jurassic. But, as we remember, where there's a reservoir there's a source below, and the big source is lower down in the Lias. To get gas from down under it will need fracking. Maybe that's the long term goal of Cuadrilla, after all, fracking is what they do.

    Peter.

  11. Although I like the extrapolation after polling under 1000 people.

    Technically, it shouldn't be extrapolation. The 1,000 people should be a representative sample, and if they are representative, then the conclusions should hold across the whole population subject to normal statistical caveats. It would be extrapolation if you used this result on another population (which you would presumably consider to be similar in some way),

    Peter.

  12. There has been insufficient rebalancing towards an export led recovery! The figures tend to show that the economy as a whole shows some signs of life, while manufacturing is actually stagnant. Therefore we are again entering a housing led so called recovery which will HAVE TO PETER OUT. It is not sustainable and the policy of pumping up the housing market as an alternative to real policies will come undone. Imports will increase for a while and the balance of payments will suffer because we are not really paying our way in the world. The 'help to buy scheme' was called 'moronic' by the head of Societe General - and no wonder.

    Worth having a look at this Britain's Unbalanced recovery:

    Last week I argued that Britain’s ‘recovery’ was being driven by a decline in the household savings rate, that there was no sign of rebalancing and so we should remain cautious.

    Peter.

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