Showing posts from March, 2020

End of the age of distraction

Politics & government in UK & USA are dominated by people who’re skilled in the arts of communication, persuasion & distraction & little else. Persuasion skills are useful when campaigning for election, to persuade voters to think a certain way & vote for certain policies. Persuaders have had a good run, convincing people to vote for Brexit, Trump & the CONservatives. Trouble sets in when the persuaders have to engage with reality, assuming responsibility for events in the real world, confronted with tricky facts and unpredictable risks. Distraction techniques can’t obscure reality forever. Covid19 pays no attention to anonymous briefings, slogans or meaningless announcements. It must be confronted quickly and credibly by capable leaders grappling with complex issues & the messy details of real life. Trump, Johnson & their camp followers can’t conjure up slick answers for the Covid19 virus, nor for the tricky details of Brexit trade agreements & te

Fear we ago again, another financial crisis looms

The Covid19 pandemic is the 2nd major crisis in 12 years. Many businesses & people have just about recovered from the financial crash of 2008. Another major panic, so soon after the last encounter with disaster, forces a rethink of priorities in all aspects of life. The financial crisis of 2008 was followed by a “top down” tsunami of money issued by central banks, for capital markets, bondholders & institutions. This largesse was deliberately targeted away from ordinary people, for fear of undermining incentives for work & enterprise. The benefits of the wall of money were supposed to trickle down to the population from increased spending & investment by holders of financial & asset wealth. In practice there is a limit to how much of everyday goods & services anyone can consume. Wealthy asset-owners splashed their cash on classic cars, art-works & real estate. The value of expensive assets rose to stratospheric levels while workers, citizens & small