Chancellor’s return to 1948
There are a number of striking assertions by the Office of Budget Responsibility, whose forecasts underpinned the chancellor's Autumn Statement.
One is that by 2018-19, when the OBR expects the budget to be in surplus, as a result of a projected fall in the annual deficit by a remarkable 11.1% of GDP, government's "consumption of goods and services - a rough proxy for day-to-day spending on public services and administration - will shrink to its smallest share of national income at least since 1948, when comparable National Accounts data are first available".
This is pretty amazing. And it is because, on the OBR's analysis, around 80% of the reduction in public sector borrowing is "accounted for by lower public spending" - by what we have come to call austerity.
To be clear, these are predictions, not this moment's reality. And they would require a government after the 2015 election to stick to this administration's targets for taxing and spending, and translating those targets into budgets for individual ministerial departments.
And the hypothetical nature of those longer-term targets are made clear in the Treasury's Autumn Statement book, because it does not - for example - make any provision for Nick Clegg's cherished, £755m-a-year policy of providing free school meals to the youngest school children beyond 2015-16.
Treasury argues for tax cuts
Last night the Treasury published a two-page summary of new analysis it has carried out on the "dynamic" effects of cutting taxes.
What it shows, says the Treasury, is that the cuts the chancellor has made, and is still making, to the rate of corporation tax will, over 20 years:
UK economy and Tesco diverge
Tesco this morning announced that in the three months to 23 November, underlying or like-for-like sales in the UK were down either 1.4%, or 1.5%, or 1.6%, depending on which of the three blinkin' measures published by the giant grocer is the most reliable.
There is no point in getting into the nuances of the calculation of this measure of sales, since they all tell the same story - sales down.
UK education: Average won't do
The impression created by the OECD's triennial assessment of educational performance - its Programme for International Student Assessment, or Pisa - is that the UK is a slightly lazy and spoiled rich kid, that does a bit of last-minute cramming to scrape a pass, but disappoints relative to its economic advantages.
Or to put it another way, the performance of UK 15-year-olds is pretty average in respect of outcomes - bang on the international average for maths and reading, a bit above in science - but that doesn't look great, given that the UK spends well above the average on education and its students are significantly richer than in many countries where attainment is much higher.
So how much will energy bills rise?
So how much is actually coming off energy bills as a result of the fiendishly complicated shuffling and reworking of various initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and reduce fuel poverty?
Well if you take the average 9% increase in dual fuel bills announced by the biggest supplier British Gas, owned by Centrica, that increase will be cut to circa 6%, and there will be a £12 rebate on top - so the 9% increase in effect becomes 5%.
New City same as old City?
Yesterday I tried - not desperately successfully - to imagine a world outside of the day job, because I was feeling in need of a speedy reboot and re-charge.
This morning I need to break my fast of financial news, temporarily at least, because there were two developments yesterday in sagas that have been woven into the fabric of my recent life.
Bank and Treasury cool mortgage market
Amid concern that a housing market bubble may be in the making, the Treasury and Bank of England have today removed an important incentive to banks to supply cheap mortgages.
They have done this by modifying the Funding for Lending Scheme. This was launched in July 2012 and in the first 11 months saw 28 banks borrow £17.6bn from the Bank of England, at an interest rate often as low as 0.75%.