Thursday, 8 December 2011

Happy Holiday

With many of the Western economies unable to stand much in the way of oil price increases and many of the Middle Eastern countries unable to cope with much in the way of oil price reductions the basics are not looking good.

At the same time China needs to keep trading to keep its economy on the go and to enable their balance of payments surplus to fund the need for savings and growth. The same Western economies recently run on consumerism, debt and many with balance of payments deficits cannot continue on this basis.

Elsewhere, it is being pointed out that the Euro crisis is not simply about debt. It is about gross distortions and imbalance in the balances of payments as well. To do something about the debt will impact on the balances.

The whole lot has been kept going by free and unlimited flows of capital in a global market and these are dictated not by national interests or indeed rational markets but by the need to rack up the figures and keep things moving.

So some are saying that just as other things will have to change so will the whole notion of free capital flows and unchecked financial operations, much of it tax light or free. But the means to do this are beyond most governments.

Also, some governments see their role is to defend these free capital flows because of their local interests and the influence wielded by those running the companies involved.

Consequently there is little coordination of policies despite all the meetings and the spin as politicians frantically try to put together deals to keep the various shows on the road.

The chaos mongers are taking bets on which is the next big one to go in the world of banks and finance. There are a select group of leading candidates any one of which could cause a major panic and lead to bigger but not better bail outs and the rest.

Enjoy the festive season.

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