Monday, September 29, 2008

All is changed utterly

Firstly apologies for the lack of updates, the impact of the emerging crisis left me somewhat at the eye of the storm, and though there was much to write about, the speed and scale of the events left me too busy to comment. In addition I was scheduled to make a keynote speech at the Lithuanian economic forum, and this left even less time to devote to commentary.

This is not to say that there has been nothing to talk about.

The complete capitulation of the near century-old Wall St. investment bank model was more sudden and more complete than anyone could have expected- even those of us that have warned that the US had been playing with fire for some time are still staggered by the scale of the collapse.

The after shocks- including the forced consolidation of the British banking market and the growing problems in the European banking market are likely to continue for some time.

We still can not put a number on the scale of the problem. Sufficient to point out, perhaps, that the proposed Paulson bail out of $750 billion represents a number larger than all but about five of the the entire economies of the countries of the World.

It will be many years before the actual liabilities crystallise into the final bill, but it is quite clear that British, as well as American, tax payers will be bearing these new burdens for decades to come. The consequences for the Western economies are serious and will be long lasting.

Amidst all of the tumult, the rational voice of Vince Cable- the leader of the Liberal Democrat Treasury team- stood out. Having largely predicted the direction, if not the scale, of the crisis it was hard not to draw the contrast with the hapless Alastair Darling and the shrill posturing of the Conservative's George Osbourne. I am quite sure that there are many people, and not just amongst the Liberal Democrats, who fervently wish that Dr. Cable was in charge of the Exchequer!

Meanwhile, I will return to the coal face of trying to build an investment business in a world where so many revered institutions have ceased to exist in the forms in which we knew them, and that several centuries-old names have disappeared completely.

1 comment:

adolfo said...
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