Terry Smith, chief executive of Tullett Prebon, one of those “financial sector” companies that scare me to death, because I don’t really understand what they do, Terry Smith runs a blog too, and his latest posting is well worth a read so are his other musings; so good in fact that I have added his blog to my list of wisdom eschewing sources – see ‘Blogroll’ on the right hand column. That he mentions the Avengers is evidence enough that he must be a jolly good egg to boot.
Most of our ills, it seems to me, come from incompetent, hubristic mismanagement of our resources by our politicians and the simple greed of corporates; if that is now obvious to you, then hurrah!
How to replace / improve / punish our “managers” is up to philosophers, journalists, comedians but finally, you and me.
Oh, and by the way, I do realise that nobody is reading this but it does reduce my blood pressure …
Anyhow, onwards and upwards, a summary of Terry’s current musings mixed with a few of mine follow:-
Nothing “real” has been done for Greece despite the latest “bailout being hailed as a success’;- her debt level appears to have gone from 140% to 130% of GDP – wow… Quite how this happens when Britain and the Euro-zone has increased Greece’s debt by offering loans of a further £21bn. Beats me – ah well…
The ‘global’ credit Credit crisis occurred 3 years ago – however British public & private debt has still not been dealt with by our disfunctional politicians – we are talking about inactivity since 2008; they have had 3 years and yet nothing of any significance has been done. Interest rates at 0.5% are simply postponing the day of reckoning for those British private individuals who over-borrowed £1.3 trillion quid and still and rising. An indication that nothing has been learned is the simple fact that 300,000 people have obtained interest free mortgages in the last 2 years – incredible; this means that when interest rates go up again … <left intentionally blank> …
The real culprits – i.e. borrowers; individuals, private companies and the government (Ed: but isn’t that everybody..?; Yes, that’s correct!; Ed: Oh, er, oh dear me …), have NOT paid the price yet. Interest rates are at historic lows yet no real understanding of past stupidity has been realised.
The biggest issue for our government is public sector pensions which are simply untenable; yet this has, at best, been dodged and kicked into the long grass that has not yet even grown. The grass will be have to be mown by our children’s children so it seems.
If I hear another politician say that we doom mongers are ‘talking down’ the economy – I say poppycock! The economy is going down the toilet all on its own and the government is not helping one bit; It is going to happen anyway.
Norway is a shining example of how we should have been governed since the 1970s (“managed” is perhaps better) because it treated its oil revenues as a welcome one-off surprise and banked most of the dosh for the future benefit of the Norwegian people, whereas we, Thatcher that is, just frittered it all away whilst at the same time selling our water supply and electricity grid to the highest bidder – criminal behaviour, unbelievable! Norway is perhaps the strongest, most stable, most morally mature country in the world despite being overwhelmingly secular <just had to get that one in … hehe>. It’s far from perfect perfect but we have many things to learn from Scandinavia.