The archive is catalogued by 'Politics', 'Economics', 'Mockery', 'In other news' and 'On other things' 


"Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world" - Henry Kissinger

and yet...

"Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences" – Robert Louis Stevenson

Gavyn Davies asks if the global slowdown is temporary. No it's not

In response to an FT Blog by Gavyn Davies on 3rd May 2015, entitled 'Global growth report card - is the world slowdown temporary?'

"The extent of this growth slowdown has surprised economic forecasters, given the boost to global growth that should have stemmed from lower oil prices, and the aggressively easy policy stance in all the advanced economies"

The extent of the slowdown may be a surprise to economists who believe that a model of the economy that doesn't include money, banking and/or debt is any more use than a chocolate fireguard. It may also be a surprise to people who believe that wealth can be printed or that aggregate demand is a cause rather than an effect.

The slowdown is not a surprise to economists like Professor Steve Keen, any of the Austrian school, the growing number of people using complexity models, more than a few analysts, traders and private investors, or pretty much anyone who suspects that a) there is no such thing as a free lunch, and/or b) the tooth fairy was really your Mum and Dad and they had to earn the money that mysteriously appeared under your pillow.

Aggressively easy money policy may be a useful tool to solve a short term liquidity problem - but we don't have a short term liquidity problem, we have a number of long term structural issues, built up and aggravated by a long list of things that include: 

1. Mountains of debt that governments have no intention of ever paying back

2. Financial repression policies like ZIRP and now NIRP, that encourage companies to engage in financial engineering rather than capital investment and wealth generating activities

3. Ridiculous concepts like 'trickle down' and 'the wealth effect' that are intended to distract attention from their real effects - I.E. a massive transference of spending power from savers to borrowers, from people to government, and from the poor and the middle classes to the rich

4. The most irresponsible and inept group of politicians and central bankers in history, who lack the spine and the wit to face up to our problems

So my answer to your question Mr Davies is:  No, this is not temporary. This is the next stage of the crisis that came to a head in 2008, which was papered over rather than solved, and which is now resurfacing. The cause of this crisis was, and is, debt - borrowing won't solve it.

John McDermott is impressed by Ed Miliband's machismo. Oh dear

Philip Stephens patronises China on behalf of Washington