Thursday 30 August 2012

"D" Is For Danger

A couple of items caught the eye today, not directly related but very much connected with each other in various ways.  One was a late catch up on Nicholas Shaxson in “Treasure Islands”, who has returned from his break.

It is that there are three “D” words that are at the centre of most, if not all, of our financial and economic troubles.  They are Deregulation, Desupervision and Decriminalisation.  The consequence is that they have let the people in charge of money and finance out of their cages.

The consequence is another “D”, that is Destabilisation and the idea that because of those three it will never be possible to put things to rights, that is we are reduced to a world of turmoil, conflict and uncertainty.

This short piece is taken from a rather longer one by William Black on “New Economic Perspectives”, a site given to long critical articles by well qualified people.  Some sites, such as Naked Capitalism, have it at the top of their “look list”.

Nicholas Shaxson’s particular area of concern is the operation and function of tax havens and the centrality of their role in the present running crisis.  This includes the City of London.

The other item came from one of my favourites on the “look list”, Zero Hedge” that some see as the wilder shores of expert opinion in that it is often unrestrained in its comments and conclusions.

This one, longish but not too long, has the engaging hypothesis that Europe is being subject to an unstoppable process of pauperisation.  Personally, I had noticed and chatting in the newsagents this morning learned at first hand some of the horrors now going on in Cyprus, in ancient times one of the richest places on earth.

Also around the web this morning was the persistent view that here in the UK, apart from a limited amount of specialist coverage in the rapidly readership declining “quality” press, there is almost nothing coherent being said about or giving information on the wider European or World situation.

Richard North in EU Referendum suggests that beyond the web or on it, one way to find out at least something is in the German Press.  Looking at that I discovered that the gold medal winning German hockey team in their celebrations managed to do E500,000 worth of damage to the MV “Deutschland”, an Art Deco and well appointed cruise ship used for hospitality by the German Olympics Committee.

With the Germans at the centre of and perhaps critical to any key decisions on what will be what in Europe in the future this was not encouraging.  Chancellor Merkel is in China, which at present is engaging with the West.  Whether this is for mutual support or for China to pick the bones is a question.

This is not the place to get into a debate on the rights and wrongs of the debates on the alleged Chinese voyages of 1421 and 1434 and Gavin Menzie’s theories, see a lot on Wikipedia and the web for all that.  But in the 15th Century and since there were major withdrawals of Chinese engagement with foreigners.  Could it happen again?

But then, anything can happen.


  1. "Europe is being subject to an unstoppable process of pauperisation."

    Only a few years ago I read an article in an investment magazine which said that Europe will soon have to compete with the rest of the world for food, energy and raw materials, but doesn't yet seem to understand what this implies.

  2. I think the more pressing danger is if (when?) the Chinese domestic real estate boom/bubble ends what effect will that have on China's ability to buy foreign bonds (especially US ones), and their ability to invest abroad.

    The prospect of a bust in that market is quite terrifying: I don't think it is possible at all to predict the outcomes.