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...