The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Brilliant must-read by former RBNZ advisor Terry McFadgen

A real cracker of an article over at Macrobusiness that I mostly agree with. Indeed, I came up with one of the ideas he suggests for the US (see my 2009 Financial Times op-ed on debt-for-equity swaps here). There is one potentially serious error of logic with the overall thesis notwithstanding my sympathy for it: the global economy is not North America and Europe. Harvard law graduate McFadgen seems to completely overlook this point. As the CBA table below shows, over the decade or so to 2009, NA and Europe only accounted for about a third of total global growth. And this share falls every day as these economies stagnate and the developing world steps up to plate. The adjustment taking place is, I suspect, much more about a shift in the global centre of economic gravity far away from the North Atlantic countries to the developing powerhouses that are replacing them (eg, China and India). What this in turn means for liberal democracy is indeed a worrying question.

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