Thursday, 17 March 2011
Columbia University Professor Frederic Mishkin is a renowned expert on banking, finance and monetary policy. I heard him present to the Lowy Institute for International Policy yesterday about the GFC and its aftermath. "It was actually much more of a shock than the Great Depression", he said. "Only the active involvement of central banks to the limits of their authority prevented a catastrophe!"
Australia, Chile, and China were the only countries to come through relatively unscathed. Compared to the U.S., Australia didn't have to make sub-standard loans, we had fewer financial institutions, the right commodities, and principles-based supervision by our central bank which worked!
Mishkin says the future now depends on the "path of fiscal debt in the U.S., particularly around promises we can't keep", and "whether the Europeans get it!" Weakened independence of central banks, and lack of discipline in debt-restructuring will mean recovery will be slow.
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
What does it feel like when you can no longer trust the security of the ground beneath your feet? Japan has shifted 8 feet to the left of where it once was. Tens of thousands have been swept aside. Impossible images on our TV screens. Nuclear reactors melting down. It must surely seem like the end of the world in Sendai Prefecture right now. Is this the act of a jealous god? No, rather the cause and effect of dynamic geo-tectonic forces. Our planet is still forming. Certainty changes in the blink of an eye.
Thursday, 3 March 2011
Has anyone noticed how the recent uprisings in the Middle East seemed to correlate with the Christchurch earthquake at exactly the opposite side of the planet? Could this be the Gaia hypothesis at work - the idea that Earth acts to maintain its homeostasis in response to our collective consciousness?