We, Michael & Elisabeth, must thank everyone most warmly for their fantastic support last week. We truly appreciate everyone’s contributions, whether financial, organisational, or libational. We had a simply wonderful time, and a terrific closing event for our two years in the Old Bailey.Continue reading
Life As We Live It
Baking On Technology
Remarks to: Worshipful Company of Bakers Livery Lunch,
Wednesday, 1 September 2021, Bakers’ Hall, London, by Alderman & Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli.
Master, Alderman, Brother Sheriff, Warden, Ladies & Gentlemen,
Well, we are back at a physical event at last and no longer have to utter those immortal words ‘you are on mute’! As someone suggested to me last week at the Central Criminal Court, it feels a bit like ‘being let out of prison’.Continue reading
For all intensive purposes
For all intensive purposes
Johnson’s wry note suggested replacing “one fell swoop” with “one foul swoop”. Macduff wails in Macbeth, “Did you say all? O hell-kite! All? What, all my pretty chickens and their dam, At one fell swoop?” Shakespeare is using an avian metaphor to compare the murder of Macduff’s wife and children to a hawk suddenly swooping down on defenceless prey. Surely “one fowl swoop” is to be preferred?
Professor Michael Mainelli
7 August 2021 – https://www.economist.com/letters/2021/08/07/letters-to-the-editor
Mike Godwin’s law of Nazi analogies states that as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one. A corollary adage might be that as an economic discussion grows longer, the probability of creating a new form of taxation approaches one. Your leader on the rise of e-money violated this proper economic discussion by creating no new tax (“The digital currencies that matter”, May 8th). In fact, tax got no mention at all.
You summed up well the positive aspects of central-bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Yet government-issued fiat currencies are deeply entwined with tax (fiat currencies are arguably just tax credits). CBDCs provide new tax-collection powers. Complex taxation algorithms can be applied to any CBDC transaction in real time. Once people realise the power of CBDC systems to support various taxation initiatives at low transaction costs, we should expect avalanches of proposals: town taxes, child-noise taxes, sugar taxes, alcohol-consumption taxes, foreign-visitor taxes, and so on.
In 2016 I gave an example of such a CBDC-based tax to the House of Lords. Given widespread sentiment that London is too overweening, imagine a populist redistribution tax whereby transaction taxes rise in wealthy districts. To bring about levelling up, politicians increase the taxation rate as you approach Trafalgar Square, up to 99.9% beside Nelson’s Column, or spend your money in the Outer Hebrides at 0.1% tax. Technology cuts two ways.
Professor Michael Mainelli
29 May 2021- https://www.economist.com/letters/2021/05/29/letters-to-the-editor
The Future Of Industry In The City Of London
Remarks to: National Liberal Club – Livery Dinner, Monday, 24 May 2021, London by Alderman & Sheriff Professor Michael
Chairman, Fellow Aldermen, Fellow Liverymen, Ladies & Gentlemen.
The Real Time Club, a group of computer geeks I once had the privilege of chairing, has met at the NLC regularly since 1967. I may have spoken at this venue many times, but I have never had the honour of addressing NLC members.
Alderman Tim McNally asked me to speak on the future of industry in the City of London, so I am doubly pleased to begin by addressing livery members of the Club who start with a solid grounding of the City.Continue reading
Well, the Elf went home, the weather warms, and all good brewing seasons must come to an end. We managed to squeeze in a final batch. This time it was a porter, although my nephew Sean points out, strictly, they should always be a porter. At 6.8%, it packed a punch, fermented on coffee and barrel-matured on cocoa with a touch of cinnamon and ginger. After 10 days of fermentation and a month in the barrel we cracked it last night (anzapfenned it as we say in our household).Continue reading
Learn To Fear Flemish In An Afternoon
Our family is full of amateur linguists. Dotted round we have fluent Italian, German, French, Dutch, and Japanese speakers. Some family members dabble in Chinese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. A few even claim English proficiency. Many of us enjoy Duolingo, with Luis van Ahn’s great Guatemalan back story. Some of us even pay for it.Continue reading
Two Nights At The Old Bailey Watching Movies – “Life Is Wonderful: Mandela’s Unsung Heroes”
“Life is Wonderful: Mandela’s Unsung Heroes” is a documentary film by Sir Nicholas Stadlen, former judge of the High Court of England and Wales. He captured the personal experiences of the last remaining trialists and their defence lawyers, sharing the human stories and the legal arguments used in the Rivonia Trial. A wide team of people organised a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for participants to understand the complexities of the times and to engage with Sir Nicholas Stadlen, who had much to share that did not make the final cut. Then we had a ‘second in a lifetime’ event…Continue reading
Since September, our lovely niece, my German goddaughter, has been stuck with Aunty and Uncle here in London. As she is a fan of Harry Potter and cooped up in the spare room ‘under the stairs’ (well, more accurately ‘beside’ them), she was rapidly dubbed our ‘house elf’ by those of us of the Scooby Doo era. Upon learning that she was untutored in the ways of beer (and German?!, have my in-laws some peculiar form of non-home-schooling???), naturally I resolved to educate her. Digging deep down at the back of our fifth floor garden shed (sic) I pulled out the old beer-making kit which had tutored my own children in the ways of fermentation and spoilage. Thus, in a spirit of cooped-up covid-19 entrepreneurship, a new business has been born…Continue reading
All Lit Up For Christmas – Leadenhall Market, Bow Lane & Cheapside
Magicians say you should never reveal the secrets of what goes on behind the scenes, but I can share some cheer with a tale about last month’s recording of three Christmas lighting up ceremonies for the City.Continue reading