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Showing posts from June, 2010

Faraway Countries

Apologies for the hiatus in blogging- caused by total lack of time.
To restart the thread I wanted to move away from UK politics- I have much to say, but I am still considering the best way to express my thoughts on the future direction of the Liberal Democrats. In any event the coalition is running smoothly for the time being, and there are more urgent issues to address overseas.
Political upheaval in the newly independent states of Central Asia do seem to make much impact in the minds of Western newspaper readers, but occasionally, the five Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan do make occasional news, albeit in a rather tangential way. The average person may have heard of Kazakhstan, if only because Sacha Baron Cohen chose to make his generic East European a Kazakh- even though most Kazakhs are not European, but rather east Asian in appearance. Perhaps others may have heard of Uzbekistan because of the campaigns of Craig Murray who, when Britis…

Crying Wolf?

Market volatility, especially in equities and currencies, has once again become an issue. Questions over the stability of the Eurozone come on top of indications that the Chinese economy may be overheating. The sabre rattling by North Korea has only added to the sense of unease.
To an extent I see a certain folk memory of the Great Depression driving this unease. After the Wall St crash of 1929, a short term stability was restored, but over the next two years the original liquidity crisis, caused by so much stock being bought on margin, became a solvency crisis, as those wiped out in the crash gradually "restructured". In May 1931 the Austrian bank, Creditanstalt went bankrupt, and the crisis which had begun on Wall St. began to destroy the global banking system.
The current policy makers, led by Ben Bernanke, are close students of the history of the Great Depression. This is why they have been so aggressive in injecting liquidity and solvency where they think it is most need…