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Another Anglo Disease convert in the FT

by Jerome a Paris Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 04:47:32 PM EST

In the next few years, I expect the UK economic miracle to be exposed for what it was: an overlong joyride on the back of an overlong asset price bubble. The UK economy is about to undergo a downturn at least as large as that of the US – maybe even worse, because of an even more inflated housing market and because the financial sector constitutes a larger share of gross domestic product.

(...)

Perhaps the worst thing will be that working in finance will no longer be regarded as cool, as it has been over the past 15 years.

Finance no longer cool? This terrifying prognosis is coming from no less than über-"reformist" Wolfgang Munchau, who has further apocalyptic comparisons:

The adjustment ahead will put the previous 10-year performance of the UK economy into some perspective. My own guess is that Britain’s heavy reliance on financial services and housing, until recently seen as a great strength, will in future be seen as a structural weakness, similar to the French labour market or the Italian public sector.

Not that it matters, of course, that France has created more jobs than the UK over the past 10 years, and that more of these were in the private sector in France, "French labour market" is the worst insult around for him and his ilk. There you have it - the Anglo disease is at least as bad as the worst France can throw even before recession has actually hit. What are they going to come up with in the near future? The mind boggles...


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was telling us no later than last week that the cause of tax evasion (you know, as in breaking the law) is high taxes...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 04:48:12 PM EST

Earlier work:


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:12:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently punditry is always 20/20.

However - it's interesting for Kremlinologists to realise that the Party Line has now changed.

It's not yet clear what it's changed to - although I wouldn't be surprised to see a regrouping followed by a few casual suggestions that 'reform' will save the world from 'recession.'

But there may, temporarily, be confusion in the ranks until common wisdom coalesces on some new kind of silliness.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 05:10:03 PM EST
ThatBritGuy:
But there may, temporarily, be confusion in the ranks until common wisdom coalesces on some new kind of silliness.

I don't think that, this time, they can put Humpty Dumpty back together again.....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 05:24:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But it's not like they've ever tried to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. They just lie about the fact that he's broken. The question is thus whether it will now be so crushingly obvious that he's broken that they can't deny it anymore? I would not assume that from the outset.

And even if they can no longer (credibly) claim that there is no problem, they can still claim that competition is magic and will automatically solve the problem that doesn't exist, or they can try to sow doubt and spread confusion. In other words, even if the first hand of denialist cards no longer plays well, they still have some three or four hands to go, where they can pull off a victory or at least delay their defeat.

This is not the beginning of the end. At most, it is the end of the beginning.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:00:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
The question is thus whether it will now be so crushingly obvious that he's broken that they can't deny it anymore? I would not assume that from the outset.

Well, I think it's possible that an alternative emerges - it is emerging, I believe - that is so gobsmackingly obvious we won't believe that we ever did it any other way.

As the designer Naoto Fukasawa puts it:

"My motivation is to find the simple answer that everybody knows, but which doesn't yet exist..."

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 07:29:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One could conjecture that ET has become required reading amongst a growing proportion of the punditry class.  Or one could simply find them becoming better at reading the  financial entrails.  But the mind boggles at thinking they might come up with similar solutions to those some propose here.

But a step forward may still count as just that.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 05:17:32 PM EST
Finance no longer cool? This terrifying prognosis...

Yay!  Bring it on!  .-)


"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami

by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 05:44:54 PM EST
That would actually be a good thing. Then all the people who're in it because it's cool will bugger off and leave it to the pros.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 06:27:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or in the case of the NatWest Three, the Cons....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 07:20:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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