Archive | Global Downturn

What’s it all about, Alfie?

Politicians were quick to adopt the term “Great Recession” coined by economists who refused to use the D word – depression. Six years after the beginning of the crisis, Christine Lagarde warns that “we see continued weakness in the global economy. Countries are still dealing with the legacies of the crisis, including high debt burdens […]

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’08: A case of Wilful Blindness

IT’S OFFICIAL. The experts who guided the global economy were flying blind. They failed to see the financial crisis coming because “The macroeconomic models available at the time of the crisis typically ignored the banking system”. The confession – a case of what lawyers call “wilful blindness” – appears on page 10 of the OECD’s […]

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How to Decode the Depression

To understand the mechanism that drove the global economy into depression, substitute “land” for “housing”. All the analyses refer to housing crises around the world, and the related financial symptoms like the sub-prime mortgage racket. But these terms are intended to disguise the site of the problem – the way in which we make money […]

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The Knives are Out

The people in power are finally beginning to panic. Knives are being sharpened. Early next year, once the new US President is installed, those knives will be plunged as the experts in economics seek the scapegoats for their historic failures. This is no comfort for the millions who have been made scapegoats for the failure […]

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Beware the Rules of the Game

If a bookmaker decided he wanted to buy a savings bank and use the deposits of customers to gamble on horse racing or the performance of Indian cricketers at Lord’s, what would government do? It would outlaw such a “commercial” venture. But governments in Europe and the US allowed this to happen with the Big […]

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A Depression, After All!

It’s taken central bankers four years, but they have finally conceded that the western economy is locked into a depression, not a recession. What they have yet to admit is that their policies will protract the crisis. The rest of us need to prepare for a drawn-out trauma with no end in sight. Ben Bernanke, […]

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Cannibalising the Western Economy

Is the world becoming short-sighted? So begins an investigation by Andrew Haldane, the Bank of England’s Executive Director of financial stability. The answer is No! China is now investing for the future. The West, meanwhile, is cannibalising for all that it is worth: a bankrupt system determined to squeeze the last cent out of the […]

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Buck-passing and the Bankers

Politicians who were responsible for the financial crisis that struck in 2008 have executed a successful campaign to shift responsibility on to “greedy” bankers. By focusing reforms on the financial sector they divert attention away from the way we are governed. This ensures that the next property cycle will terminate in 2026, with an almighty […]

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Don’t Call it a Conspiracy!

All is not what it seems. Sometimes that’s because the powers-that-be conspire to withhold information. Rarely does a Wikileaks come along to spill the beans. But then there are those cases which are very much like a conspiracy, but need to be treated as if they were conspiracies. The depression in the western economy is […]

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Depression? What Depression…

British workers will endure a protracted decline in living standards, according to Bank of England Governor Mervyn King. Not since the run-up to the Depression of the 1930s have employees suffered such a grim prospect. And yet, when I signalled that this would be a depression – in my 2005 book Boom Bust – I […]

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