I doubt anyone knows what the consequences of the comprehensive spending review will involve. My meagre knowledge, playing with economic models on a computer, suggests economies should be handled most gingerly – using tiny tweaks to avoid massive and abrupt amplifications. HM Treasury use the Combined On-line Information System - COINS - model for mapping and predicting government spending. It's a voluminous body of dauntingly complex information which has been made more publicly available in line with the Coalition's vow to bring greater transparency into government. Economic researchers, journalists, and other private and public agencies are now accessing COINS, interpreting its vast data base and circulating analyses and interpretations - extensive, via reports, blogs and more blogs and in the style of twitter.
The coalition is charging at a gap in ill-charted shoals, doing invasive surgery whose effects may remove the targeted ‘disease’ but damage the patient irrevocably. But that’s what many are saying. The Chancellor says the CSR will prepare the way for recovery five years hence. We’ll have to see. I’d prefer an approach more akin to keyhole surgery, more incremental, because I don’t think anyone understands enough about how the economy works to steer it so confidently. The answer among the believers is of course that any new government of any flavour was going to make big cuts after last May’s elections. There was a consensus among the great and the good. And of course both government and opposition narratives include rhetoric for arguing that despite all contingencies the policy is working – or not.
David Cameron, George Osborne, Nick Clegg - Coalition Leaders*** ***
Meanwhile in Ano Korakiana Thanassis reports that despite bad weather work has begun refurbishing the old band room for the Samaras Philharmonia - Ο Σπύρος Σαμαράς - that has long stood empty by the road up to little Venice, and that tenders are now out for the supply of equipment to the building.