Extraordinary to reflect that I have lived long enough to see communism die and then the capitalism that replaced it too; to see the nation state and the empire wither away in Europe, and now to return in Asia, and that I have managed to do this without getting very old at all.As various big UK names hit the skids, naturally, action is being taken to see if financial institutions can renormalise everything. Short Selling was one way institutions seemingly alchemized increased profits (“fertilizer”) out of falling prices (“manure”). Now it’s off the UK menu until next January.
Can the various other ripping wheezes that have inflated fantasies all round get us all back to where we thought we were?
Striding towards canary Wharf from just below the horizon, come various other Bogeypersons, threatening the way things have been:
- An increasingly embattled dollar, withering as the oil-based reserve currency.
- New energy world order, with big fresh competitive demand from the East, in which state owned big players marginalize the cosy old “Seven Sisters”
- Debt crisis — stoking trillions of housing loss into mushrooming US public debt, the eventual burden supercharged by desperately socializing AIG insurance losses as well as FM/FM bad debt.
- Climate Change adjustments about which it becomes increasingly difficult to pretend
PS (h/t Kendall Harmon) the NYT reports that the US treasury is likely to pick up the tab on foreign banks’ US debts... Richard Lindsay of HSBC says “this is a positive step forward but it won’t solve the problems of an overleveraged industry...” Hmmm.