In Just 44 Days, Liz Truss Has Made the UK Immeasurably Worse

Yves here. It’s not clear how the UK can pull itself out of its current mess, independent of the damage done by rapidly-departing PM Liz Truss. It was already facing acute inflation, particularly food and energy costs, and deteriorating economic conditions as businesses buckled under high bills. On top of that, higher interest rates will hit mortgage holders when their resets kick in. And energy bills are set to take another big ratchet up next April when current subsidies expire.

Nouriel Roubini’s remarks on the UK in a typically downbeat interview on Bloomberg:

So things are going to be even worse in Europe than they are in the US. And the basket case of course is the UK right now, that is pricing literally like in an emerging market, usually you do fiscal stimulus in the US, the dollar gets stronger, interest rates rise only a little. In the UK, the pound is collapsing and the interest rates are through the roof even with the support of the BOE. So it’s really becoming an emerging market.

One informational tidbit: even though the press is making much of Boris Johnson leading in the polls among candidates to replace Truss, the poll that currently counts, as in MP support in the Tory leadership contest, has Rishi Sunak in front, with 35 MPs saying they will back him, versus 19 for Johnson and 11 for Mordaunt.

By Tristan Cross, a Welsh writer living in London. Originally published at openDemocracy

Accounting for all the myriad ways Liz Truss leaves Britain worse off would take longer than the amount of time she spent inside Number 10.

Her brief tenure has been characterised by an exhilaratingly rapid pace of record-breaking, from establishing an unprecedented Labour lead in the polls to presiding over the highest rates of inflation in 40 years, to driving the pound down to its lowest-ever level against the dollar, and culminating in her resignation as the shortest-serving prime minister in UK history.

The story of the Free Enterprise Group (FEG) – the neo-Thatcherite Tory faction founded by Liz Truss in 2011 and closely associated with Tufton Street think tanks such as the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) – makes for satisfying schadenfreude. A decade after a gaggle of newly elected Tory MPs, among them Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng, co-authored ‘Britannia Unchained’, which outlined the FEG’s vision for the country, the group’s internal politicking saw them slowly ascend to the head of the table.

Twelve long-time supporters of the FEG would occupy cabinet positions in Truss’s government, with Kwarteng, Therese Coffey and Nadhim Zahawi rewarded with some of the choice senior roles. The head of IEA’s public policy openly and gleefully boasted about dictating the political course. At last, it was time for them to realise the hyper-neoliberal Britain they’d dreamed about for so long, one which could boast of the bare minimum in taxation, regulation and public spending.

Their vision promptly dissolved on contact with reality, immediately tanking the economy and requiring a humiliating and abrupt halt to the experiment after all of 44 days. Their hubris might make for an enjoyable bit of political theatre, but beyond the spectacle, the consequences of Truss’ fleeting premiership cannot be neatly undone.

Though the pound began to rally against the dollar almost instantly after her resignation, the damage caused by Trussonomics, which led to a collapse in gilt government prices, have only thrown fuel on the raging fire of the cost of living crisis. Britain is by no means alone in facing such crises – particularly in the wake of various economic and supply chain shocks resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – but economists have begun to refer to the upshot of Truss’ response as a ‘moron risk premium’, the country becoming a cautionary tale in how to exacerbate an already perilous economic situation.

The Bank of England had to pledge that it was prepared to spend up to £5bn a day over 13 days (to a total £65bn) in an attempt to prevent various pension funds from going under. It is now expected to raise interest rates from 2.25% to 5% by early 2023, with the Resolution Foundation anticipating that five million households could be facing an average mortgage bill increase of £5,100 annually.

Many homeowners may be forced to sell up. But since lenders responded to the mini-budget by withdrawing 1,700 products (roughly 40% of the market) before reintroducing 900 of them at far higher prices, eligible buyers might be in much shorter supply. As well as exposing mortgage-owners to a much higher risk of defaulting (the bank has already warned of increases in the coming months) this could have a severe short-term effect on renters, too, should these rising costs be passed on by landlords. The knock-on effect of a sharp increase in tenants and homeowners being unable to afford rent and mortgages – particularly as other living costs simultaneously soar in tandem – has the potential to not only lead to a large spike in homelessness, but to collapse the property market; a market with which many pension funds are also inextricably linked.

There is a potential that interest rates might not be raised in line with market expectations to avoid such a scenario, but this carries a risk of higher inflation, which has already climbed to 10.1% under Truss – the highest in 40 years. Annual food prices have risen by almost 15%, the highest rise since 1980, which has certainly not been helped by the weakening of the pound leading to significantly increased import costs.

The true impact of spiralling energy costs hasn’t been truly felt yet, given we are only in October and winter hasn’t really drawn in. Consumers being battered on numerous fronts of essential costs (housing, fuel, food) are likely to make spending cutbacks, meaning many employers could see a significant downturn in business, which – when combined with their own increases in energy and supply costs – might have disastrous consequences for their staff, whether in depressed wages or cutbacks. Losses in earnings beget losses in spending power begets more losses in earnings. Truss’ ‘Growth Plan’ ostensibly sought to prevent a recession, but looks only to have made one more inevitable, and more sharply felt.

It would be unfair to lay blame for all of these scenarios squarely at the feet of Liz Truss. She is a symptom, rather than a direct cause, of our current situation – and of an ideology that has for decades been busy organising the economy in such a precarious way for the benefit of all those she last month sought to hand tax cuts to. In just 44 days, Truss has given us all a glimpse of what that 40+ year political project could look like if allowed to be taken to its logical conclusion.

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  1. Revenant

    Was Liz Truss a Mitterrand Moment?

    Mitterrand was elected President in France with a prime minister Pierre Mauroy who had a French Exceptionalist socialist programme. The market hated it, the franc fell and Mitterrand performed a quick reverse-ferret and ruled like a good German Ordo-Liberal for the next 14 years.

    To quote wikipedia (which has an excellent summary of an astonishing programme of pro-worker measures introduced in 1982 – really, check it out: early retirement, extra pension, fifth week paid holiday, holiday spending supplement, parental leave, spousal carer measures, increased minimum wage, restriction in temporary contracts, mandatory bonus, worker representation,

    “Although the Mauroy government’s social policies improved the living standards of the less well-off in French society,[8] its reflationary economic strategy (based on encouraging domestic consumption) failed to improve the French economy in the long term, with increases in the level of inflation as well as in the trade and budget deficits.[49] Although the government’s reflationary policies tended to stabilise unemployment, the number of people out of work topped 2 million, in spite of a pledge made by Mitterrand to keep it below this figure. A large budget deficit emerged, with social benefits and aid to industry alone going up by 50% in the 1982 budget. In addition, private investment failed to respond to the government’s initiatives, with a 12% decline in volume in 1981. This led Mauroy to advocate the abandonment of Socialist economic policies (which failed to reduce unemployment and inflation), a controversial “U-turn” which was ratified by President Mitterrand in March 1983, and a number of austerity measures were carried out.”.

    So, is this a Mitterrand/Mauroy moment for the Thatcherite free marketeers? It would be sad if it merely reinforced austerity but if it discredits options to the right, there is more chance of pushing the Overton window to the left….

    1. Pokhara

      I would say the relevant comparison is with the Suez Crisis. Just as Anthony Eden had to learn who was really in charge post-1945, so Truss and her people had to be shown that, even in the new ‘Global Britain’, you can’t do Trump-style tax cuts without the exorbitant privilege of controlling the world’s reserve currency.

      1. Revenant

        I think it depends whether it was the market that shorted Truss or Uncle Sam. :-)

        At the moment, it looks like a UK domestic capital strike by the BoE and Project Fear-supporting hedge funds, with LDI pension funds as the hostages.

        But maybe it was Uncle Sam: there is a little noticed mystery around Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, making an unscheduled urgent visit to Washington, described by his deputy who stood in at short notice as:
        “My boss, Ben Wallace, is in Washington this morning having the sort of conversations that… beyond belief really the fact we are a time when these sort of conversations are necessary.”

        1. Fred

          A really horrible idea just crept in to my head when I read ‘beyond belief’.

          A new American unincorporated territory?

          Its working out great for Puerto Rico.

          Or maybe there just planning on nuking the UK. Phew, I feel more relaxed now.

          1. TimH

            No. PR costs the US either money or image when it needs rescuing, and they don’t spend the money.

            UK follows US interests already, and can pretend to be an independent voice doing so. US is happy as-is.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        This is beyond temporary tax policy, not that Truss is not deranged, but it’s a demonstration Brexit will leave “The City”, the UK’s most important asset, up to the whims of temporary governments, not under the seemingly stable EU, energy crisis aside. The EU is huge. The UK isn’t the relative industrial powerhouse it once was and is on the wrong side of the EU.

        Why subsidize the UK for insurance services when a EU country can provide the same? A month ago it was because the UK had provided that kind of service with a reasonable level of trust and competence.

        Just for fun, Turkey is educating it’s youth at the same rate as Germany, and the population is younger. The world is turning. Turkey has problems, but it’s at the crossroads of the world. The British fleet isn’t the fleet of yesterday. The UK will soon be in competition with many more countries on the world stage, and every six days, there is a celebration of independence from the UK.

        1. spud

          i just do not see how anyone can blame brexit? let the city die, you will get rid of many parasites.

          the U.K. like the u.s. has nothing left for industry, thanks to the people who came to power in 1993 here in the u.s.a..

          every artcile posted, or just about every article, pins the blame on the 1990’s. before bill clinton left office, we were headed into a serious recession, even a depression.

          in eight short years all the good done from 1993 onwards, was wiped away.

          it was bush that dropped helicopter money because of 9-11, that temporarily pulled us back from the edge of the cliff.

          we have the most sought after reserve, so obama used that power to bail out bill clintons fascist polices, but left the rest of the country mired in depression.

          with out that reserve currency. bill clintons polices would have tanked us much quicker.

          when we lose that currency, and we will, you will no longer hear about the promises, the glories of free trade economics, and the U.K. like the U.S. will be in a panic in how to re-industrialize and protect their economies, with no wage gains.

          those idiots who propose that will also go the liz truss way.

          so look at greece and italy, they cannot even form their own governments. the people who came to power after brexit are idiots of course, but eventually you might get rid of them all. in europe, the fascists dictate who is in office, and what they can and cannot do.

          i see the world with less entanglements soon, that will allow much more sovereignty to address internal problems.

  2. c_heale

    The most interesting part of Roubini’s interview transcript, imo, is his view that the world will move to a reserve currency of gold (or based on gold). This idea had not crossed my mind.

    I wonder what opinion other readers have.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      That would be bad since a gold standard is deflationary and still featured a lot of cheating (as in devaluations v. gold). That isn’t the sort of system China and Russia seem to be working towards.

  3. Guild Navigator

    Liz Truss seemed like a real barrel of laughs. I was hoping to milk her premiership for laughs for a bit longer but oh well.

  4. SocalJimObjects

    There’s a typo in the article. ” It is now expected to raise interest rates from 0.25% to 5% by early 2023″. Current interest rate is 2.25%.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        Oh I knew it’s not your article. Says there “By Tristan Cross” :) I pointed out the mistake just in case someone does a double take on seeing that line. 0.25% to 5% is A LOT over a short period of time.

    1. Tom Bradford

      Might be intended to say “It is now expected to raise interest rates from 0.25% (in early 2022) to 5% by early 2023”

    1. sinbad66

      Brilliant video. Would like to hear more from Prof. Blyth (and Michael Hudson) on these matters.

        1. jsn

          I really like Blyth’s economic analysis, but he’s still squarely within the Ivy League hive mind on geo-politics.

          Lots of interesting stuff there, too though: can clearly see normalization of fascism in Brazil and Italy, not Ukraine or US with Banderites or De Santis respectively.

  5. RookieEMT

    Mortgage question but for the US of A.

    Was there a way to pop the housing bubble without jacking up mortgage interest rates?

    Running interest rates so low for so long was incredibly stupid, but then it was cruel to suddenly raise em’ back up to 7%. Like pulling a carpet from under someone.

    1. Carla

      @RookieEMT: Thanks for so accurately describing the M.O. of our ruling class, as perfectly embodied by the Fed: stupidity followed by cruelty.

    2. Louis Fyne


      the playbook in other countries is something like raising real estate transfer taxes, raising mortgage standards or ban people from owning a 3rd house. (spoiler alert: doesn’t work in those countries, real estate bubbles keep prodding along)

      Best way of popping a bubble is never letting one start—-unless it is something isolated and small like beanie babies.

    3. Revenant

      Yes. Credit rationing. In the UK until Mrs Thatcher, mortgages were rationed. Banks were quota limited in the volume of lending they could originate (rather than by balance sheet or market funding criteria).

      Building societies were mutual organisations and membership was a surer way to obtain a mortgage but still not guaranteed.

      Every mortgage involved an interview with your bank and was more about the borrower’s ability to repay than the value of the security. Lending against rising house prices and reselling the loan to a greater fool was not the business model; holding to maturity and preserving the mutual’s capital and cashflow was more important.

      1. Revenant

        I cannot find an academic reference to support my recollection of how people say it worked but:
        Some reminiscences of getting a mortgage, including critically that building societies set quotas for a period and if you missed out, you had to wait!—bankstats-article
        BoE talking about how building society rates were not market and not frequently adjusted. In fact they were below market (mutual, not profit distributing), until they were deregulated when management moved rates to market and amassed reserves where they looted when the societies demutualised, using them to bribe members to demutualise and to cash out through stock options and IPO or sale to a clearing bank.

        1. deplorado

          Thank you for these comments. This explains so much, and it is a real loss that it is forgotten.

          Building societies should be resurrected, across the world.

    4. jackiebass63

      I suspect it is because most mortgages are variable rate. When we bought our house in 1971 a variable rate loan wasn’t an option.

      1. nippersdad

        I was wondering about that myself. After the ’08 crash I am amazed anyone would even look at them. Prior to the crash they were pushing them very hard; we got a second around that time, and had to get up to nearly walk out before they would even discuss a fixed rate.

        Those things are just traps waiting to be sprung.

        1. eg

          Weirdly I would have been better off taking a variable rate mortgage (in Canada) from 97 through 2020, but I couldn’t stomach the uncertainty and so took the more predictable fixed rates every time.

          I lost money on the trade, but I slept well — can you put a price on that?

    5. Eclair

      Good question, RookieEMT. I made a tidy little sum in real estate over the last five decades. Not a huge amount, but enough to build up a supplementary retirement cushion. One takes advantage of the current federal tax regulations on real estate.

      In a nutshell: buy a house (note: has to be in a rising real estate market), live in it for a bit, then turn it into a rental. As a rental, one can offset the rent income with expenses (mortgage, insurance, property tax, and depreciation.)

      Buy another house to live in, preferably at the bottom of a slump. And ride out the temporary drop in the market.

      Moving out of the area and want to sell both the rental and the personal residence? A married couple can take up to $500,000 profit on the personal residence, subject to certain ownership and use tests, roughly about 5 years. Currently, no limit on how many times one can do this.

      Assume the rental has increased in value substantially. One does a tax-deferred ‘transfer,’ known as a 1031 Exchange. Sell the rental, the funds go into the hands of an intermediary, then, within a certain length of time, about 90 days, buy another rental property, of the same or greater value. One hitch, the new property now has the depreciated value of the original property. But one can either continue to do transfers, convert the rental to a personal residence (subject to restrictions) or die. In the latter case, the depreciated value bumps up to the current market price and your heirs get a very nice little tax-free nest egg. Subject, of course to inheritance taxes, which, if one is not greedy, are zero.

      It helped that we lived in southern California for 25 years, sold just before the 2008 crash, then moved to Colorado as the Denver real estate market took off. Timing is everything. I am not advocating this course of action and if the tax laws had been different, we would have lived in the same house in LA County for 25 years and had no rental properties. But, think of thousands of other people doing the same thing all over the US.

        1. Eclair

          Well, yeah. Location, location, location. But, both my spouse and I made the decisions to move to California from western NY, based on our evaluation of the economic opportunities.

          But timing is critical. My spouse’s employer moved his unit from southern California to Denver in 2007. They gave him the choice of reporting to Denver in on July 1 or September 1. He wanted September but I had been reading financial blogs (I don’t think I was on to NC at that point, but there were others that were predicting a financial melt-down.) I insisted on the July move and we put our house on the market in May. His work colleagues who opted for the September move and held off selling, took a beating. The drop in the LA housing market was that fast and that precipitous. Either they lost money or they had to hold on to the house and become long-distance landlords. And take out a much larger mortgage.

          Yeah, luck factors in as well. We had no control over his employer’s decision to move his unit to Denver just as the boom was hitting that area.

        2. Tom Bradford

          Timing? More like luck and location.

          I would propose – Timing? More like luck or insider information.

    6. NotTimothyGeithner

      Not with paper. A major government construction effort might work with a focus on infilling, communication, and mass transit, but pain is coming. The millenials are 40. The imbalances are the result of decades of malinvestment and rich people with hideous amounts of money who can disrupt local markets on a whim.

      This is why health care, cutting energy bills, free college, raising taxes, improving social security etc were all so important besides being the right thing to do even going back to say 2008. Part of this goes back to low gasoline prices and road construction that led to nonsensical communities with no real value beyond glorified bedroom communities and mortgage rates under Vockler. Certain tech bubbles hid problems, but this is a 40 year imbalance.

      As Eclair notes, there are opportunities to be had for people in the right place at the right time.

  6. John Steinbach

    “Truss’ ‘Growth Plan’ ostensibly sought to prevent a recession, but looks only to have made one more inevitable, and more sharply felt.” The situation described is not a sharply felt recession, but an imminent major depression with no apparent exit strategy. When Cross talks about Britain’s 40+ year political (neo-liberal) could (will) look like, he could be talking about the US and the entire “West.”

  7. Thuto

    So the Tories are going to tinker at the edges again by fielding another clownish candidate that drinks from the same ideological well as the four others that came before? The same Tory members that gave Britain May, Johnson, Truss will now be in charge of selecting the next PM? I mean with their trackrecord the choice may as well be passed on to an algorithm. This circus is clearly not leaving town anytime soon.

    1. roger gathmann

      I don’t think Johnson supported Truss out of ideological solidarity, but merely to revenge himself. His brand of conservatism is of the big spending kind, like Trump and Bush. With his pledges to let money flow to the North of England, there are even shades of LBJ’s American Great Society. At the same time, by cutting the tie to the EU, the UK has to take on by itself all the burdens, and can’t even, as it could as a member of the EU with its own currency, take advantage of the cheap pound. The conservative incoherency is what makes it all hard to imagine the UK not splitting, eventually. I think the first effect of this will be felt in Northern Ireland, where the minority Protestants have to plead with sticking with a sinking England rather than Ireland’s EU anchored economy.

    2. JohnA

      The problem for the tories is Brexit. In the sense that only true believers are allowed into leadership positions today. As such, this excludes all sensible MPs and simply leaves a candidate pool from the crazies.
      And yet Johnson is not really a Brexit boy. He leapt on that bandwagon purely because he thought it would give him the biggest chance of becoming PM. Now he is effectively stuck with this, especially as he continuously lies that ‘he has got Brexit done’, when the huge gaping hole is the Irish border solution, where cakeism currently rules.

  8. John R Moffett

    I have been thinking for some time that the very wealthy and their friends in governments have come to the conclusion that they are running out of time to implement their neoliberal plans and they have been accelerating their push to privative and deregulate completely. The Truss government seems to be an example of a push too far and too fast in this attempt. But the wealthy are tired of slow boiling the frogs, and they want to turn the heat up and get it over with. Now we get a taste of what that is going to look like.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, John.

      I know some of that world and don’t disagree.

      In addition, the humbling of Truss and Kwarteng by the markets gives their successors, blue and red Tories, the excuse to continue with austerity. It’s win, win.

  9. crantok

    “There is a potential that interest rates might not be raised in line with market expectations to avoid such a scenario, but this carries a risk of higher inflation, which has already climbed to 10.1% under Truss.”

    Will someone please explain how increased interest rates lowers the risk of higher inflation if inflation is currently due to rising costs of energy, food and fertiliser, and the majority of people are in a cost of living crisis?

    I’m being rhetorical. I’m infuriated that this fact get thrown around uncritically.

    1. deplorado

      Higher interest rates also increase the cost of servicing loans. That cost has to be passed to consumers, naturally resulting in … more inflation.
      The stars are aligning for the rise of massive stagflation – a depression with high prices, which is economically lethal for all classes except the top ownership class.

  10. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    The post mentions the Institute of Economic Affairs. Its manager, Mark Littlewood, is a friend and contemporary of Truss from Oxford. Both were Liberals then. Older UK readers may remember Truss proposing to abolish the monarchy at the Liberal conference in the mid 1990s.

    Truss left the Liberals in the late 1990s, but Littlewood remains a Liberal and was party manager in the noughties and adviser to the Liberal and Tory parties in government in the decade after. Littlewood helped organise the coup that removed the left wing Charles Kennedy and replace him with the Orange Book Liberal (neo-liberal) Nick Clegg (and Clegg’s successors) and facilitate the Tory and Liberal coalition in 2010.

    The Tufton Street think tanks are part funded by the Koch and Mercer families. Despite what the likes of Catherine Belton and Carole Cadwalladr scream (and cynically monetise from readers), it’s not PUTIN “wot won” Brexit, but these billionaires.

    The post also mentions the Resolution Foundation, its manager (and an unofficial adviser to both Labour’s Rachel Reeves and Nicola Sturgeon), Torsten Bell* reckons that “the UK has maxed out its credit card”.

    Last week-end, the BBC’s Andy Verity tweeted that a currency issuing government can’t be compared to a household and discretely advocated MMT. Bell and other so-called left wing economists piled on in opposition and said Labour would have to prove its credentials to the markets.

    Fantastic, eh?! The long suffering British public can look forward to another decade of austerity from blue, yellow and red Tories. It’s enough to make one vote for Johnson as the British left is so effing useless.

    1. Michaelmas

      It’s enough to make one vote for Johnson as the British left is so effing useless.

      In 2019, for just that reason many did.

  11. Dave in Austin

    Britain is a harbinger. Europe thought it could fight a war without going to a wartime economy with wartime controls. During wartime there is a reduction in civilian goods (this time food and fuel) and an increase in war goods (money for the Ukraine and shipping to move goods longer distances). This leads to shortages and price increases. In modern wartime this usually leads to rationing or inflation.

    Democratic governments in a “part war” prefer to hide the costs. The attempt to disguise this cost from voters leads to things like the US-Vietnam era inflation ultimately controlled by the recession in the late 1970s and the under-investment in public goods like housing and education. The burden of the cold war eventually collapsed the Soviet Union and it did more damage to the US than is commonly realized.

    Today most countries depend on imported goods, be they raw materials, food or industrial products. This simply expands the problems created by wartime. Great Britain is the industrial world’s poster child. The problems may have been structural and partly caused by Brexit but the Ukraine tipped Britain over the edge. Food and fertilizer importing nations have an even larger problem. The US is self-sufficient in food. During WWII we saw famines in China, Bengal and to a lesser extent Europe. This time Africa and South Asia will bear the costs.

    I think Putin believes that these factors will lead to an erosion of support for the war. The Russians will be warm this winter. Next year they will be buying new cars made from Chinese parts. Only the casualties will effect them. Many other places will not be as lucky.

    1. You're soaking in it!

      We need to come up with a counterpart to “emerging markets” to designate the other side of the Seneca Cliff. I think we’ll be using it a bunch in the next few years.

    2. Skip Intro

      Europe just obeyed its master. The US may have believed that cancelling Russia and hurting its wealthy would quickly bring the government to heel and Putin would be regime changed. This was mostly projection, and the sanctions aimed at Russia hit the EU. Many think that this was the point in the first place: severing economic ties between US vassals in the EU and Russia. Now the backfiring sanctions and violence of NATO are regime changing allies at high speed while strengthening Russian economic ties around the world. The Biden bunch may well have just wrecked NATO, the EU, and the petrodollar hegemony in record time.

      1. Fred

        Didn’t Dimitri Orlov write an article outlining the American elites plan to make Russia Great Again.
        Seems its working out really well.

    3. juno mas

      The US may be self sufficient in food— in the past. But it now imports 20%. Tropical fruits and coffee being just two; most avocados come from (cartel controlled) Mexico. Eating strawberries out of season is expensive in the US.

      Most of the food in the US is produced by corporate, mechanized farming. Fuel (diesel) and fertilizer costs are already causing stunning increases/shortages of staples at the grocery store.

      Soon enough a solid percentage of the proletariat will find food self-sufficiency to be a chimera.

      1. John Wright

        At Costco last night, the line was delayed because a woman couldn’t believe she had spent more than $100 on her stuff.

        She had to go over her receipt while we waited in line.

        Finding nothing wrong, she commented that she would check her receipt later.

        Anecdotal evidence of “sticker shock”.

  12. The Rev Kev

    There is one way to relieve a lot of the problems hitting the UK at the moment and that would be to end the sanctions. Just stop them. It would not solve every problem that the UK has but it might give the UK a bit of a breathing space and ease off some of the pressure. But the way that things are going cannot continue. I’m not going to say that the UK will eventually head towards failed state status eventually but this chaos has simply got to stop. And you know that it won’t happen. I think that at this stage, the UK is more deep into this war than Poland and the Baltic States are. Alex Christoforou talks about the Curse of Zelensky and I think that he might be right. Every leader that has anchored their fortunes to the Zelensky regime is starting to fall, one after the other. And this curse has hit the UK twice now. Without this war, would there be such chaos in the UK right now?

    1. Fred

      Its almost like aligning with Fascists is a bad idea or something.

      If only there had been some kind of warning or example from History or something like that.

    2. HH

      It took many painful decades for Marxist planned economics to be discredited. We are watching Neoliberalism experiencing the same gradual failure as a viable economic model. The problem is that the leading Neoliberal state is nuclear armed, and the elite that controls Washington’s foreign policy has no reverse gear. We may not survive the coming encounter between the Neocons and reality.

      1. Polar Socialist

        USA just needs to find it’s Gorbachev, who is more keen to change the dysfunctional system than use violence to uphold it.

        And probably also cause innumerable suffering and an rule of robber barons for some undetermined duration until the security state gets its stuff together and saves what’s left to save.

  13. Wukchumni

    What a difference 44 days made, 1056 little hours
    Brought the end of the power where there use to be reign
    Your yesterday was blue dear
    Today you’re another has been dear
    Your lonely nights are through dear
    Since you said you were undermined
    Oh, what a difference 44 days made
    There’s an absence before me
    Skies above can be stormy since that moment of self dismiss
    That thrilling abyss
    It’s hellish, this
    What a difference 44 days made
    And the difference is you, is you

    Your yesterday was blue dear
    Still you’re not a deer in the headlights, dear
    Your lonely nights are through dear
    Since you said you were undermined
    Oh, what a difference 44 days made
    There’s a absence before me
    Skies above can be stormy since that moment of self dismiss
    That thrilling abyss
    It’s hellish, this
    What a difference 44 days made
    And the difference is you, is you, is you

    Jamie Cullum – What A Difference A Day Made

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