Letters to the editor -19/09 - Globalisation, Actuarial methods, Best of Twitter


[Re: Anti-globalisation campaigners got it wrong: Trade is defeating poverty, yesterday]

Contrary to Douglas McWilliams’s claim, Christian Aid has never suggested that trade per se, or globalisation for that matter, is bad. What we have pointed to, and will continue to highlight, are injustices that keep people poor. Tax injustice is a case in point, with tax dodging by multinationals costing developing countries an estimated $160bn a year. Along with other charities, David Cameron, Kofi Annan and others, we will continue to press for changes to tax rules that will enable the benefits of trade to be more fairly shared.

Loretta Minghella, chief executive, Christian Aid


Actuarial methods

[Re: Banking reform, yesterday]

Kumar Devadasan’s letter says that “quants are using historic data – just as actuaries do – but neglect that this credit data came about as a result of the underlying economics.” Actuaries like myself spend 20 per cent of their time on the historic data, and 80 per cent combining the judgement of experts with scenario modelling of the underlying risk and economic factors. The most important thing is that users of our outputs understand the differences between the historic data and the assumptions made about future outcomes. I suspect that the quants do this in their own models as well.

Andrew Hitchcox, chief risk officer, Kiln Group


Bad news for Mark Carney and forward guidance as the gilt ten-year yield pushes back above 3 per cent.

Bank loses appetite for stimulus, revising up Q3 GDP forecast to 0.7 per cent.

Simply put, if you own a London house, the recovery is working. If you don’t own a house, it’s not.

Tax cuts would do far more for kids than extending free school meals.