Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Does it actually matter?

Most of this crisis remains way above the heads of your average local council's pension-proof bin inspectors, traffic wardens and Feng Shui advisers.

For the rest of us left alone in the wealth creating economy, it will take years (and a new government and possibly the undoing of much of the EU) to return to a system of reality in finance and investment. Expect the retirement age to go up to 80.

Otherwise there are many reasons to think that the present crisis could do some long overdue good if it can restore a sense of perspective to the relationship between borrowings, earnings and the ability to repay. The major victims look like being bankers, and the major winners are bankers who got lucky enough to have remained just viable enough to last long enough pick over the twitching corpses of their their less fortunate colleagues.

This dose of reality will however highlight the probability that the UK is uniquely poorly positioned in global markets, despite Broon's blathering. That said, the fact that we have little or no productive industry might not be so bad since there is no money left for anyone to buy things with anyway.

But the farm was pretty much bet on "financial services" - a brilliant industry that managed conjure fairy money from the 5th dimension. The remarkable thing was that the bubble burst mostly without the people doing the traditional thing of trying to get their cash out of banks that didn't have any. The bubble burst almost entirely due to the parade of naked emperors within the finance industry deciding to state the obvious for themselves.

And this says it all very nicely...

All of which raises intersting issues about the extremes that still apply in the US economy. Al Quaeda could not have possibly hoped for a better outcome.

And this explains the banker's role with perfect precision...


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