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Exploring the economic downturn

Alistair Burnett Alistair Burnett | 15:05 UK time, Friday, 13 March 2009

What if the economic system is really broken?

The World TonightThat's a question we'd been asking ourselves on The World Tonight over the past few months and we've now started airing in a series of reports by our economics correspondent, Jonty Bloom.

The idea for the series, which we've been running each Friday since 27 February, (you can listen here) came from discussions Jonty and I had been having over how to provide an original approach to covering the economic downturn story.

The purpose of programmes like The World Tonight, is both to report and analyse the news.

As the economic downturn has gathered pace in the past few months, though - with the succession of stories on rapidly deteriorating economic figures and indicators - it has become increasingly challenging for us to find new and original approaches to analysing what's happening.

As opposed to reporting the facts of the story on the day-to-day basis.

For sale sign in a shop windowOne theme that has struck me was the underlining assumption of the politicians, business people and economists we have been speaking to, that the economy would eventually recover and growth would resume. The common assumption seemed to be that the way banks work will need to change and financial regulation will be reformed, but the basic way the economy functions would not change.

But what if this recovery does not happen? What if the present economic system just doesn't work any more and it's more than a cyclical downturn?

Given the view of many economists that we don't know whether the stimulus measures being employed by the major economies at the moment will work, it seems a reasonable question.

We decided to focus on the British economy first and Jonty's been exploring three areas over the past three weeks...

• Whether the British need to wean themselves of their addiction to easy credit secured on the expectation of ever-increasing property values
• Given the problems in the financial sector, whether Britain needs to increase the share of manufacturing in the economy
• Whether a more balanced economy would result from personal wealth and opportunity being more evenly distributed

Next, we aim to look at what ideas for the future of the global economy are coming from other countries in the G20, such as India and South Africa; and we'll also be looking at what new thinking there is on whether a return to business as usual in the economy is sustainable given the current strain on the world's resources.

We'd be interested to know what you think.

Alistair Burnett is the editor of World Tonight

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Alistair Burnett:

    What if the economic system is really broken?

    That in reality the economic system is in serious need of repairing and, in some places it is broken..But, it can be repaired...


    -Dennis Junior-

  • Comment number 2.

    "The common assumption seemed to be ... the basic way the economy functions would not change."

    Yes, basically all everyone (with the possible exception of the exceptional Vince Cable) is just pretending to do things whilst actually just hoping that the whole thing will go away.

    The whole weekly rounds of Gordon vs Dave is just, in reality a "bumfight", a circus to divert us from the fact that there is no bread and they know not where to get it from any more.

    Clearly, for example, several banks have failed and are "bust" in the "usual" sense, but the "rescues" are fake and done to keep the faeces in the air, away from the proverbial fan.


  • Comment number 3.

    There is a world of difference to wanting a recovery and being able to make it happen.

    The cycle of boom and bust has been present in economics for a very long time, no matter what model operates. This crash is quite different however in that it was lead by the wealthier sectors of a GLOBAL economy supported by consumers but unsupported by INDUSTRY, the manufacturing and production that was essential to satisfying demand.

    The wealth was largely inflated in credit via over valuation of properties, bolstering poor wages in the lowest sector, and in encouraging investment in shares. None of these things create wealth unlike production which does. Productivity was built around performance targets on "paper" gains, not on units of production.

    Hence inflation was hidden behind "credit" amongst the masses and only required time before it would burst and destroy the whole system. This wasn't a credit crunch it was deceitful economics, pretending inflation was in check because wages were not rising (but bonuses were amongst the already wealthy). Certain financial leaders should be shot.

    We will not recover from this until we understand that you cannot fool with basic economic models and get back to a REAL understanding of what goes on and why.

  • Comment number 4.

    Whether a more balanced economy would result from personal wealth and opportunity being more evenly distributed?

    Wonder what you've made out of that one, it's pretty old one, reoccurring in various timelines and models, some more, some less successful.

    Have you been considered and dropped that show into torrent?

    ***

    Well, to share an opinion about those underlying, fundamental problems.

    Economy is run by criminal syndicate(s), Madoff had misfortune to incorporate one of those and Stanford chipped in to show that we have some diversity, not to mention trillions US government misplaced in eye of the doomsday… is there no one to whistle that whistle?

    Collusions, interest groups (as big as nations) running amok, enforcing monopolies with any means necessary.

    Our economic system is nothing but one corrupted junkie with a King Kong on his back and media should treat it as such, in interest of well-being, yet it rather parrots some of those remarkably irresponsible (fearmongering) agencies.

    Someone whispers about gloom (or about a fall from a cliff, if you prefer), give it a couple of hours and we'll have horde of clones on our hands, google news sorts them in numbers so it's easy to examine the behavior of such devious phenomenon.

    Bunch of corporate channels, same news and same lousy director with nothing good on his mind.

    Germany found dead ducks; the virus was confirmed in UK, are we stacked with tamiflu yet?

    Do we have a buyer for our 55 billion bucks worth(less) missile surplus?

    You know these folks are ready to commit a mass murder for personal gain; they would conspire to meet their goals and keep their monopolies.

    I'd say we are mature enough to allow alternatives, so that people may choose between air, gas, hybrid, electric, ion, hydrogen engines.., for sample example sake.

    Healthy competitions, innovations, revelations, leaps in science.., rebirth if you will.

    The problem is, we're dealing with people who are ready to mass murder for self gain.

    How in the world we end up in the 'unipolar' era of fear and terror just to end up in fully grown global era of fearful and notorious 'great recession' (sic).

    These fearmongering groups are nothing but atavisms, just bring them to light and let the renaissance begin, we didn’t have one in a while.

    One way or another, those who invested in murder will pay.

  • Comment number 5.

    I am sick to death of hearing about the bad penny G20 Mastermind competitions where a bunch of academics pontificate on which one has the best grasp of creative economics. Not one of these "egg heads" knows why the system collapsed and so not one has the map showing the way out either.

    The only mantra you will ever hear from the rich is "prosperity will be shared as the economy grows". What they never tell you is just how much it has to grow before they'll give you one extra bean. These bandits are totally uninterested in sharing and caring. They have obscene amounts of money and still they crave for more just in case someone comes along to try and knock them off their perches.

    This is the rule of the status quo. the public faces may change but the private ones are never seen and never change. It is time for the great global public to take over and the easiest way to do it is to make money absolutely useless. Barter, exchange, give and take, gifts, donations - anything to prevent the tax man from collecting, and the rich man from laughing at us. We need to get out of our obsession with ownership and become really free again. If what we have is civilisation then to **** with it.

  • Comment number 6.

    Sorry about the delay. I think that it's very interesting how the economic bubble has burst. And I feel a bit sorry for all the people who have lost their money.

    But doesn't this just prove that the communist maxims were right all along? That the strength of capitalism is built on a self-righteous economic fantasy, which once it runs out of steam/oil/has the mat pulled from beneath its feet will tumble, and man will it!

    For all of those years those self righetous bankers patted themselves on the back, and paid themselves huge conglomorate bonouses, now let them have a taste of their own medicine.

    I'm sorry if I sound a little bit abrasive, but after what I've been through, it's hardly suprising?

  • Comment number 7.

    It does make me wonder why nobody seems to have taken the approach of analysing the current economic crisis by looking at similar historical situations.

    And by this, I don't just mean previous recessions, but previous banking crises, as that is what we are facing now. Although we are in recession, that is a result of the banking crisis, and there have been several banking crises before this one.

    I read an article titled titled "The banking crisis - where are we now", which can be found at the following link:

    http://wwfp.net/weekly-articles/recession--the-uk-economy/26-february-09.htm

    which looks at the current situation and compares it to previous banking crises that have occured and in particular looks at various economic measures and the likely effects on these.

    It makes for an interesting read and peraps a more accurate portrayal of events.

  • Comment number 8.

    I would not seek solutions or place blame in tried and failed models since they've already shown why fallibilism can be deployed in any and all timelines.

    I'd rather seek answers for failures of governments and media to exercise their freedom with regards to the interest groups which brought us to the state we're in and which use any and every mean possible to constraint such very basic freedom.

    Interest of group is economic gloom.

    Interest of group is to ensure that strategy of tension is deployed on several locations around the globe, be it on Sea of Japan or in Persian Gulf or…

    Interest of group is to instigate religious hatred.

    Interest of group is to destabilize Middle East.

    Interest of group is to control the oil sources.

    Interest of group is occultism and mass murder.

    Interest of group is to start a war.

    Interest of group is to make people ill.

    Interest of group is destruction of Israel.

    Interest of group is to take an area and build biggest concentration camp in the world.

    Interest of group is to control the media.

    Interest of group is to spy on people.

    Interest of group are dimwitted people.

    Interest of group is to seed fear among people.

    Interest of group is to spread terror among people.

    Interest of group is to kill electric cars.

    Interest of group is to lobby for another group.

    Interest of group is to control judiciary.

    Interest of group is to take water from the people.

    Could go on, yet it should be enough to illustrate remarkable moral decline, on so many levels! Again, how in the world we've end up in actuality where groups such as these are the mainstream? Those should be confined and marginalized for what they really are, yet they have such strengths that we can see their manifestations in national policies.

    How in the world we exit the era of fear and terror just to enter the equally disturbing and fearful era of economic gloom and 'Global recession'?

    And our backup, oh, it's the 'catastrophic climate change' of tremendous proportions, the one we should all be afraid of?

    Let's see how hard that G20 interest group will try to prove us wrong, let's see if they come up with single bright idea which would give a single spark of doubt when it comes to apparent need to remove the administration(s) and replace them with true public servants.

    From 9/11 to 7/7 tremendous crimes were committed, we will not move foreword until those 'interest groups' which mass murdered hundreds of thousands of people for personal gain are brought to justice.

    imo, as ever.

  • Comment number 9.

    Many in the BBC are on very shaky ground. They seem to think the microphones and transmitters are there so we can hear their brand of philosophy. What is wrong in reporting the news? Leave us and those we elected to do the thinking. You just get on and read out the facts or get a job with a newspaper rather than use public money to put across your own angles.

    There needs to be a clear distinction made between news programmes and these kinds of philosophical features. I also feel that BBC journalists who want to impose their "original approaches" on the rest of us should be sacked.

    It’s about time we reclaimed the BBC and wrested control away from unelected nobodies who insist of acting as judge and jury to our country.

  • Comment number 10.

    @#9

    Are you speaking about status quo? We have it already.

    Are you sharing threats in light of seriously disturbing facts, we have those too.

  • Comment number 11.

    Re Manufacturing

    I feel this has been a key area of the debate that everyone has missed. Britain is far too dependant on the finacial sector, Manufacturing has been constantly debased, we have lost the ability to innovate and invent.

    Many say we have lost manufacturing jobs to the far east becasue we cannot compete. We cannot compete on labour costs, that is obvious. But manufacturing techniques in China and India rely on cheap labour. We can compete when we use innovation and technology to manufacture products.

    But why bother when money can be made by sitting at a computer screen gambling?

    We need a government that understands manufacturing, not run by accountants. Problem is there is not a party currently that seems to understand the need for balance in the economy.

    Simple really, remember the saying about eggs and baskets? Not really a new lesson is it?

  • Comment number 12.

    A few days ago I (info at -
    http://www.gaw-associates.com/inc/blog.html )
    received permission from the PM's office to publish an online petition. It was a bit rushed (probably drunk again) so there are some spelling mistakes (thanks for spotting them Lindz). I asked for a correction but the webmaster says that can't be done once it has gone live.
    However, the proposal is as follows:-


    We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Review the Income Tax arrangements for Executive Pensions.

    We believe that any pension above £250,000 per annum paid to anyone (public sector or banking, whatever) is immoral and cannot be justified. We call on the PM and Chancellor of the
    Exchequer to introduce a special tax of 80% on values between £50,000 and £100,000 and 95% on all values above £100,000 pa.

    (Obviously, anyone NOT paying UK tax should not be allowed to collect any pension in excess of a state pension.)

    Should you agree (even in part) then your signature would be much appreciated. The link is as follows:- http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Gross-Pensions/

  • Comment number 13.

    At last, things are becoming clear within the housing market.
    Perhaps for the first time, their seems to be almost complete agreement: Loan sizes do materially affect house prices.
    Now that the FSA are clamping down on excessive mortgage advances, the estate agents and their cohorts are complaining that doing this will result in sizeable house price reductions. By saying this they have just demolished their own argument that there can be no relationship between loans and house prices! Maybe now, good sense can prevail. Maybe stability in the housing market can, at long last, arise.
    Peter Hendry, Nottingham, England
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 14.

    The issue of the world's imploding economy is obvious very complex, with a number of causal factors contributing. One of these is developing nations' fascination with plastic money, i.e. easy-to-get credit and a main contributor to this is the fact that employers today deposit salaries/wages in bank accounts opened especially for this purpose (ostensibly on the grounds of better security). The banks then give credit to millions of ingenuous people, running them into debt in the classic "I owe my soul to the company store" mode...The banks are guaranteed to get paid - with interest - while countless Joe Blokes believe they have finally hit the jackpot, even obtaining deferred payment terms on their purchases!
    It's all a deadly combination of ignorance by purchasers and exploitation by the financial system...
    Literally,EVERYONE is to blame!

  • Comment number 15.

    #14

    "Everyone is to blame".

    Certainly we should have had every opportunity to call a halt to the experiment with monetarism via the ballot box, except for the fact that not one political party has offered an alternative. Certainly "middle class greed" has been as rampant in the past three decades, as the working class greed was (allegedly) in the seventies. Certainly Thatcher's "own your own home" philosophy was an early example of causing a massive "credit" problem. Certainly selling off the family silver created the illusion of "get rich quick" via stocks and shares. Certainly employment and industrial relations law have kept the "greedy working classes where they should be" (according to Thatcher's creed). Certainly an inadequate minimum wage has had a negative impact on earnings potential for the majority of lower class workers who have been forced into credit just to survive. Certainly New Labours departure from honesty and integrity in management (started by Thatcher) has fueled the deceits hidden in performance statistics.

    So who isn't greedy? Well the working classes have no one speaking for them any more and so I guess take home pay of less than £170 a week from a full time job is hardly "good". They haven't contributed to the "credit bust" except out of necessity. The rest have had a jamboree that has lasted for so long they have forgotten basic principles of economics. Will they really pay for their gluttony because they should do?

  • Comment number 16.

    Eliot Spitzer's career was curtailed when his private phone records became public knowledge... no doubt leaked by his (many) enemies. He was an effective Attorney General, breaking with traditional deference, he has taken up civil actions and criminal prosecutions relating to corporate white-collar crime, securities fraud, Internet fraud, and environmental protection. Would the Enron scandal ever come to light without him?

    This is his latest discussion point: AIG and The Inside Job mainlining public money into the banks...

    The Real AIG Scandal. It's not the bonuses. It's that AIG's counterparties are getting paid back in full.
    By Eliot Spitzer

    http://www.slate.com/id/2213942/

    The appearance that this was all an inside job is overwhelming. AIG was nothing more than a conduit for huge capital flows to the same old suspects, with no reason or explanation.

  • Comment number 17.

    @14
    "Literally, EVERYONE is to blame!"

    That's bonkers. I am sure there a few people with inside knowledge that have walked away with billions. I somehow think they are slightly more culpable than people being thrown out of their homes...

  • Comment number 18.

    Of course the economic system is broken. Even if some sort of market recovery is cobbled up then it can hardly be claimed that it's all due to capitalism working after the trillions of taxpayers money that had previously been used to bail it out!

    The crisis is really political not economical! With no mainstream left wing anti-capitalist party around none of the deluded masses hear about any real alternative and are therefore ingrained with the idea that it's all down to the likes of incompetent bankers and not the prevailing system of which bankers are the main lifeline!

  • Comment number 19.

    #16 & #17

    The exposures by Spitzer deserve greater coverage than they get. In the AIG case we see a list of all the usual suspects, wealthy companies being given public funds whilst the working person is asked to take pay cuts and slashed working hours if they can hold on to a job at all. All of this because for a generation dishonest and feckless politicians, lawyers and big business owners have indulged in "fantasy economics" at our expense. This has been the greatest insider scandal ever but where are the heads that should be rolling?

    People really need to get wise to what their sweat actually does. People really need to get wise to where their allegiances should be. The game should be well and truly up for divide and rule tactics as people begin to realise just why they are watching their homes repossessed after decades of hard work.

  • Comment number 20.

    Nick (18),

    "The crisis is really political not economical!"


    "...our country is not being destroyed by bad politics, it is being destroyed by a bad way of life. Bad politics is merely another result."
    -- Wendell Berry

    "A change of heart or of values without a practice is only another pointless luxury of a passively consumptive way of life."
    -- Wendell Berry in "The Idea of a Local Economy"
    And,

    "Though I can see no way to defend the economy, I recognize the need to be concerned for the suffering that would be produced by its failure. But I ask if it is necessary for it to fail in order to change: I am assuming that if it does not change it must sooner or later fail, and that a great deal that is more valuable will fail with it. As a deity the economy is a sort of egotistical French monarch, for it apparently can see no alternative to itself except chaos, and perhaps that is its chief weakness. For, of course, chaos is not the only alternative to it. A better alternative is a better economy. But we will not conceive the possibility of a better economy, and therefore will not begin to change, until we quit deifying the present one."
    -- Wendell Berry

    Thoughts in the Presence of Fear

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Peace
    bae
  • Comment number 21.

    To add my thoughts to 18 and 20.

    The economic (or to be precise, political) experiment with monetarism and Milton Friedman's ideas have failed abysmally, and yet here we have a brainwashed generation of economists who appear trapped in the "there is no alternative" mantra of Thatcher. She was "not for turning" if you remember, even if the toxic brew turned out to be a paralytic poison that would kill all known common sense dead. To Friedman and Thatcher production could have been on some distant galaxy as long as it produced, produced, produced, and the market, grew, grew, grew. Consume, consume, consume, you know it makes the only sense.

    The "locked" belief in a stock market driven machine has survived in spite of the many warnings that it did not, and cannot, work. Did any of these economists actually read the basic rules of economics about supply, demand, and the effects of taxation, protectionism, and multi-layered corporate interests? Or did they all nod off during these all important lectures? Economics embraces dogs of all sizes and shapes, even the mongrel with no pedigree but a determination to survive. But no, we go with the dog eats dog circus until the only dogs that remain are large, immobile, have a voracious appetite but no food and so start chewing at the very structure that put them where they are.

    Constant consumption just makes you fat and greedy.

  • Comment number 22.

    Unfortunately as one of the few European countries with projected long-term population growth and a national aversion to building social housing, we'll see plenty more property inflation and associated credit bubbles and busts in coming decades, with ever fewer property-owners using their existing equity to expand their property holdings while the rest live in ever more squalid rented accommodation. It's the British way.

    As for manufacturing, it's dead in (hopefully) high-wage economies like ours, and good riddance. If Britain wants to keep ahead it'll have to invest in its human capital, not in redundant fantasies of a thriving factory sector. Sadly using our accumulated national educational assets to maximise our collective brainpower seems not to be the British way.

    Redistribution of wealth, of income or at least of opportunity - still monstrously unequal in our self-destructively class-fixated society - is not just desirable but essential if we're to escape the above traps. We need to stop these absurd property booms, by building affordable homes and limiting leveraged property accumulation in the hands of a greedy minority. We need not just a few gifted innovators but a well-educated population if we're to hold our own against low-pay countries who understand the value of education, and aim to get ever more of it. The old British way isn't good enough.

  • Comment number 23.

    #22: davep01 wrote:
    Hey Dave,
    Here are clips from your post:
    "...As for manufacturing, it's dead in..."
    "...stop these absurd property booms, by building affordable homes..."
    "...We need well-educated population..."
    Sound like utopia to me:)

    1. If manufacturing is dead the economy is dead. Moving manufacturing to China benefits China and few investors who gets better return on $ thanks to cheap labor.
    2. Property boom is result of plenty of cheap credit not lack affordable housing.
    3. The problem with education that it takes a lot of effort to drive young person to school. You cannot expect majority of population doing science/technology.

    The real problem that West let capital run into 3rd World (China/N.Korea etc). These countries going through industrial revolutions. Industrail revolution doesn't sound much but it is actually very brutal process that resulted in many real Revolutions. That what our liberal hype oriented news don't show to us.
    Industrial revolutions triggered when Innovations/technology make economical to consolidate small one family farms into big properties that use industrial agriculture rather than manual labor.
    It triggers chain reaction when more and more small farmers cannot compete with industrial farms and go bust.
    1000's and 1000000's farmers lose their land and forced to cites to supply manufacturing with low skilled cheeeeeeeeeep labor.

    Once China & Co let West capitalists invest into this revolution our manufacturing was doomed. West cannot compete with it. Because West expect benefits, pensions, insurances, vocations etc while Chinese expect only enough $$$ to live till next salary.

    I yet to see single argument why it is good for West.

    Education unfortunately doesn't solve a thing.
    It is next to impossible to steal a factory with all suppliers and after that grab a market. It is very easy to steal technology while government (china) shields you from any responsibility.
    While our liberals make us “globalize” aka accept and welcome “free flow of technologies and ideas and jobs” from west to east. China & co extremely nationalistic and see this flow as prove of their supremacy and restoration of historical balance. They don’t let anything to flow from east to west except goods.

  • Comment number 24.

    How come the world has not gotten an answer to these economic melt down,that is wounderful.Some one should come up with a better theory that will help put things better cos people are dying ,nations are crying ,business are folding up by the day and already made theory failing us .Where has all the monies gone to,Who is now better with these thread? Life has come once again with it's unending lessons.

    Genesis Igbokwe
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]
    Nigeria.

  • Comment number 25.

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  • Comment number 27.

    Ras Tafari greetings all economic students,
    Concerning the Global economy and the G20 meeting in London, it is our considered vista that no plan economic or social can have a firm foundation unless supported by faith and a strong degree of spiritual and cultural education, please comment on the proposals we have made for the G20 meetings before the meeting.

    I if any student is able, please access the impact of the policies outlined.

    In order to combat the forces of evil who have invested Her Majsety's Government, the six Ethiopian manuscripts from the Royal Collections was taken to the UK in 1868, by a British Army led by General Sir Robert Napier, they were looted from the church of Madhane Alem, they contain the Books of Life see Rev 20 v 12, and explain what happens to the human soul when it departs from the Boody.

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  • Comment number 31.

    Mr Burnett,

    I've travelled to a number of countries, both developed and developing, over the past few months as part of a research project to do with the current global economic crisis. The current system does appear to be really broken as you put it - the expected extent and timing of the damage however varies incredibly from country to country.

    In India for example, the sentiment amongst some leading economists is that while things are worse off economically than they were last year, there is no major cause for concern. This is primarily driven by the notion that India is largely a low cost service exporting market. China on the hand is badly affected on a number of fronts - exposure to significant dollar currency risk, plummeting product exports to name 2 major issues.

    I am currently in South Africa and the sentiment here appears ridiculously optimistic. This seems largely driven by confidence in the statements of the South African reserve bank governor and more recently the post-G20 comments of Trevor Manuel, the South African finance minister - both of whom believe that South Africa is relatively well-insulated from the crisis (i.e. affected but not severely). Still this did not stop them begging for aid from the developed nations - see the Africa at G20 cartoon on the Wonkie economics and political cartoon blog for a lighter look at the African G20 requests. Needless to say this South African view is quite misplaced in light of the country being a resource based economy dependent largely on raw material exports for growth. It remains to be seen just when and how badly the crash - particularly in local housing prices will play out. The hype around stability is likely to be exacerbated by the current elections which are being held later this month - it would be interesting to see how the tone changes to a more realistic one from May.

    Recent local economic analysis on how holding the IPL cricket in South Africa this year is going to save the country from a negative growth scenario this year is laughable. I, for one, look forward to getting some solid international viewpoints from the BBC on the economic crisis in developing countries.

    Sizwe

  • Comment number 32.

    The global economic system IS broken in many ways, but that's not to say it can't be fixed.

    Dr. Heizo Takenaka, the scholar who is credited with rescuing Japan from its 'Lost Decade' is brilliant, and recently gave some prescriptions for global economic policy. We obviously have a long way to go, but there's hope.

    I came across this video and on the site's blog, I see that in the wake of the G20, they'll be other global commentators on the subject like Leif Pagrotsky who was instrumental in helping Sweden out of its bank crisis in the 90s. It's definitely worth checking out:

    http://bigthink.com/heizotakenaka/a-global-economic-policy-prescription-from-dr-heizo-takenaka

  • Comment number 33.

    The whole problem stems from the inability of the BBC and parts of the media to place the blame firmly on the shoulders of this unelected patsy (of TB)... PM and of course the last PM(TB...what a legacy to leave) it is not entirely unexpected and par for the course that at the time of all these outrageous expense claims the BBC are trying to bring in fox hunting again into the news as a smokescreen ( as usual )How many actual (exclusive)stories have been broken by the BBC genuine real exclusive journalism exposing this Governments total failure.If Thatcher was earning 400k for two speeches would it be reported as TB has been.?

  • Comment number 34.

    Has anyone counted the amount of times Brown has said "Global solutions for Global problems" does he honestly think if he states it often enough he will start to believe it himself and does he think the people of this Country ( despite the BBC coverage ) will come to any other conclusion than having this unelected unwanted individual ( along with the majority of his.. hangers on ...)removed at the first opportunity?. Blair Brown came to power promising an end to sleaze and have done everything to prove that was complete and utter untruths.They presided over the most appaling term of office and Darling Brown have the audacity to slag Fred the shred that other carbunkle on the back of the British Taxpayer of today and of the future ( as this outrageous activities will have to be repaid likely for Centuries )

  • Comment number 35.

    Oh my, seppuku and there goes the man who could sunk half of Congress and beyond.

    http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/edboard/archive/2009/04/22/rationalizing-a-wall-street-suicide.aspx

    Guess some will be relived, sad choice though, sad choice after series of sad choices.., eh.

    Strange days ahead.

  • Comment number 36.

    Among the main turn around in all recessions is,

    High interest, to slow inflation and over heating economies at an appropriate time. This point was ignored for six years and may ten years to see any correction.

    The high majority of all individuals in key nations, buying power wise, has over extended themselves threw over loose credit limit and terms. Many think hey, if they give me this amount of credit I can afford it. This was not the case it was profit driven without common sense from lenders and borrowers. The extended time this was allowed to happen may well have exhausted the credit wise who play huge roll in restarting an economy. What is left if people who if they can pay there debit acquired have little to no money left but to sustain them selfs week to week for the next five to ten years.

    Think of lenders as harvesters of crops and farm land management. Think of borrowers as of crops to be cultivated and harvested for profits. With over farming and poor land conservation practices.

    What we have economic wise is the same practices that brought about the great prairie dust bowel in the USA during the 1930's and lasted for ten years until good land management practices was applied. Which will equal far more world wide stringent economic practices and over site in the world of investment and profit taking markets.

    In real pricing of products few could afford one-third of what they have in the best of times. To better picture this if all products sold and made was exclusive to a nation individually imagine what the products would cost. The is the base line of true credit and affordability in spending.

  • Comment number 37.

    GLOBAL TO SPHERE GEO-ECONOMICS

    The Geo-Spheres

    The basic idea was for the (AIE) American Israeli Empire to be the manager state over the global economics of the world with the (NYSE) New York Stock Exchange the center of economic investments and trading with other world branch markets of the (NYSE), the (IMF) International Monetary Fund, and World Bank, made up of member countries representing around (90%) Ninety-Percent of global gross nation product, (80%) eighty per-cent of world trade and (66%) Sixty-Six Percent of the world’s population is based in the (AIE) with the entire monetary system based upon the (AIE) dollar. Along with providing the base world currency, center or economic trade, the (AIE) would be the World Police Officer, drawing on military assets, provided from member countries, with no restraint upon its authority, with over (300) Three-hundred military bases of operation scattered around the globe, basically, the (AIE) would have Global Domination, as a benign Manager State. But, instead of the (AIE) benign Manager State, Global Domination, as the (AIE), divested itself of its industrial base using (NAFTA) the North American Free Trade Agreement as its vehicle of creating an industrial base of cheep labor outside the geo-military-economic center of the Global Economic System, with the power to maintain control of that state, what was created were (Spheres of Power), the (BRIC) Brazil, Russia, India and China, Along with United Kingdom, Germany, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Mexico.

    (SDR) Special Drawing Rights

    Each Geo-military-economic sphere and its vassal states will have to create their own individual structures, based upon the needs of their geo-military-economic needs, while at the same time interrelating globally with other Geo-Sphere-military-economic entities, with separate economic markets, interrelating with other Sphere markets based upon an (SDR) Special Drawing Rights, The new banking currency know as the (SDR) Special Drawing Rights, A super-sovereign reserve currency managed by the (IMF) to be used in both creating and controlling global liquidity, and thereby significantly reducing the risks of a future Geo-Economic while enhancing crisis management capabilities The idea is to replace the (AIE) dollar as the international reserve currency ending the flagrant double standards set by the (AIE) Federal Reserve which is not bound to the harsh terms set the (IMF), and are not forbidden to print more cash to support internal demand, fueling inflation and undermining not only the financial stability of the (AIE) but currency of other nations, the (AIE) at present does not have to ask the permission of anyone to print billions to stimulate (AIE) producers. Even though these steps increase inflation in the (AIE), and, what is more, they devalue other countries' assets denominated in (AIE) dollars, such as the (AIE) central banks' reserves. Were as the supra-national currency that would be controlled by a reformed (IMF), an account of (€ 186.2Bln) One-Hundred-eighty-six- billion Euro, account based on shares held by each of its (185) One-hundred-eighty-five, (IMF) member nations, which would replace the present, (AIE/$) Dollar based reserve currency system, ending the long-standing unease in many countries about the reliance on the (AIE/$) dollar for the bulk of world trade, investments, pricing commodities, and bookkeeping and stored foreign reserves, letting each Geo-Sphere manage their economies more efficiently because the (SDR) value would not be influenced by the needs of any one sphere, each to regulate its own finance and trade based upon a know value, of standardized currency with each other. In line with a proposal was made by The Russia Federation, (PRC) Peoples Republic of China and Kazakhstan, the most powerful emerging economies, the (BRIC) Brazil, Russia, India and China, Along with United Kingdom, Germany, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Mexico, currently support and are insisting upon radical and reform of the (IMF) by changing the system of distribution of votes in the (IMF) in favor of the most rapidly developing countries, which play a substantial role in the global economy, revising the international groups role and harmonizing it with the current global financial architecture, which would help augment the (IMF's) funds and make its loans more easily available to countries that need them.

  • Comment number 38.

    THE UNITED KINGDOM THE COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS

    The most powerful emerging economies, the (BRIC) Brazil, Russia, India and China, Along with United Kingdom, Germany, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Mexico. On (August 20th, 2009), The United Kingdom the Commonwealth of Nations will be voting its own future, in the (21st)Twenty-first Century, Germany has parted with the (AIE) American Israeli Empire both over (NATO)the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the war in Iraq, and (Af-Pak), along with giving no support to a Chryler Motors bailout. Indonesia lays in the China Sphere of influence, South America, has been so brutalized by its North American master it would welcome Russian Military, or anyone but the North American Yankee.

    On (August 20th, 2009), the decision must be made is the United Kingdom the political pawn, the vassal (52nd)State of the (AIE), or is it going to maintain its independence, and control of its geo-military-economic zone. Or, become a vassal state spending Trillions of Pounds and British lives in what could be decades of years in warfare within the Islamic Crescent, with a much greater risk of attack, as the distance across the channel is far less than two wide oceans.

    An emerging peace time economy of the (21st)Century, or a country locked into unnecessary military spending over decades will have to be voted upon.

  • Comment number 39.

    'But what if this recovery does not happen? What if the present economic system just doesn't work any more and it's more than a cyclical downturn?'

    Was there a follow up on this one?

    Let me share a thought about irresponsibility and fearmongering which led us to this pitiful state.

    First time Buffet spoke of 'economic gloom' google news aggregate showed it was bestowed by thousands of carriers.

    His last 'gloomy endeavor' was 'dispensed' in far lesser numbers.

    Yet, it seems that depression left too much impression, now we'll need a really grand boost of confidence, is there anyone to hand it out?

    Throughout history we've learned well what happens when 'conscious words' shape reality in the 'unconscious' part of population.

    As the 'calm heads' were able to recall some of the old lessons, such as 'paradox of thrift' is, the economy suddenly started to recover. However, we are yet to see if the immense irresponsibility of the 'gloom talk' came to reason in nick of time or way too late down the timeline.

    I've said this before elsewhere, the same administrate which released fear and terror on 9/11 thought that the best way to fix things and keep the world at bay was more fearmognering and attack on 'freedom from want'.

    Not to speak about the darn flu, the same ol' script of the same old.., I'll stay polite.

    Here's something I'd really like to know, how in the world can people, people who are more or less aware of the foul play at play, expect that this same administrate can or even wishes to fix anything? I really want to hear a decent answer on why would these people stay in charge after everything they've pulled to place us in harms way? Anyone?

    Law and order approach will serve us best.

    If the crime was committed, investigate it and bring the criminals to justice.

    If the fraud was committed, investigate it and bring the fraudsters to justice.

    It is as simple as that, imo, as ever.

  • Comment number 40.

    "Given the problems in the financial sector, whether Britain needs to increase the share of manufacturing in the economy"

    Yes! Bring back manufacturing, with government funds backing it all the way. The U.K. is not rich in natural resources for export. Locally made goods should be promoted. And the jobs would help those who can't make it into university take care of themselves. Not everyone is cut out to wear a suit and push paper around. And what about more schools for the trades?

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    I've just read all good news for Lockheed, striking success it said, well, I'd say that Lockheed should start producing leisure skyships for new generations instead of wasting money on propaganda.

    BBC should know better.

    Where in the Europe we do not have corruption, bribery, treachery and collusion to produce/sell military goods? Where?!

    I'd say that BBC should focus on crisis, seek its origin and report the findings.

    One way or another, those who invested in murder will pay.

    Snake Eyes

  • Comment number 44.

    Q & A

    Q: When will it stop?

    A: When we take the streets and/or find another way to remove the filth from our government(s).

    Q: Is this vast depression called 'global recession' natural occurrence?

    A: No, it is unnatural occurrence, its agenda is/was to instigate revolt and help people remove the filth from their governments.

    Q: Is outcome of such agenda plausible?

    A: Yes, in due time even such strong 'oligarchies' as those imposed in USA or China or UK or Russia or Burma or Croatia or Italy… will fall.

    Q: Is this 'socioeconomicomical' engineering under control?

    A: No, it is as controlled as containment of facts about controlled demolition of WTC 7, although some people still hold belief we are in line with 'equilibriums' of this and that kind.

    Q: Who will take control?

    A: Public, via public servants [emphasis added]

    Q: How long will we have to endure before the dawn?

    A: As long as necessary for people to wake up and ensure the free world for the little ones who are leaving heavens to experience this lovely playground called Earth.

    Q: Is there a way to reach the goal and install the four freedoms without nonsense and deadly unrest of unwanted kind?

    A: Yes, dial 911.

 

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