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Ed Webb

UK riots were product of consumerism and will hit economy, says City broker | Business ... - 0 views

  • the rioting reflects a deeply flawed economic and social ethos… recklessly borrowed consumption, the breakdown both of top-end accountability and of trust in institutions, and severe failings by governments over more than two decades
  • an over-consuming west has borrowed and spent the surpluses of the increasingly productive and under-consuming East
  • Saving needs to be encouraged, and private investment needs to be channelled into asset creation, not asset inflation
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  • material values are only for the rich. The poor should get religion, etc. Marx understood the issue
  • Surprised it is from a City firm, especially one that encouraged its employees to leave the UK to avoid the 50% tax on bankers bonuses in 2009/2010. Now they are calling for more public investment
  • Blimey! What a terrible shock. Looting the result of consumerism, excessive advertising and a me-me-me society! I wouldn't have been able to work that out for myself. Two and a half cheers for Thatcher's 'There is no such thing as society. There are individuals and there are families.' So, we are now reaping the benefits of the legacy of the Thatcher/Reagan years. But how do we reverse a whole generation's worth of incredible greed, selfishness and vaingloriousness?
  • The full note isn't about the riots, it's more some ideas for reforming the UK economy. Ideas like investment to create assets rather than creating asset price inflation are valid, the same for the need for widespread public investment in infrastructure and housing.

    It's all useful for discussion, reflection and analysis but I expect the messenger to get shot to pieces in the comments below.

  • it has often struck me as ironic that on a planet of presently limited usable resources the measure of individual success is the one who can afford to consume the most. if a group of people were shut in a room with a finite supply of food and a choice of who stayed in the room i imagine that the individuals who were able to consume the least would be the preferred choice of companions.
  • The overall pattern has been that an over-consuming West has borrowed and spent the surpluses of the increasingly productive and under-consuming East.

    Increasingly productive East because Western CEO's have shifted production there to take advantage of cheap labour for short term profit.

    The West took centuries to build its wealth but this wealth has been given away in only a couple of decades by the process of globalisation. So far, the CEO's of big organisations have got away without being blamed for the disastrous globalisation process but I hope if we're going to examine causes of social malaise, that sooner rather than later, we turn the spotlight on their incredibly short term personal 'cashing in' at the expense of us all.

Ed Webb

Tied to a drowning man - Opinion - Al Jazeera English - 0 views

  • Unlike the Soviets, who had the good grace to implode pretty much alone, collapse of the United States could bring down the international capitalist system along with it.
  • Globalisation has drastically tilted the balance of the struggle between labour and management in favour of trans-national corporations. In the US, the result has been five decades of falling median wages. (Total wages, on the other hand, have soared, with the rich and superrich raking in more than ever.) Easy credit provided a Band-Aid to rising income equality during the 1980s and 1990s. When the housing bubble burst and the credit markets froze in 2008, American consumers - who drive 70 per cent of economic activity - went from feeling poor to being poor. Un- and underemployed, they couldn't earn money. Their credit lines cancelled and curtailed, they couldn't borrow it. Forced to live within their increasingly limited means, the formerly middle class stopped spending.

    And here we are. Gross domestic product would have to be at least 4 per cent on an annualised basis to start to bring down unemployment. The actual figure is 0.8.

  • Everywhere you look, there's terror that the world, by tethering itself to the once-invincible US monolith, has handcuffed itself to a fat, drowning man—one who's about to suffer another heart attack.

    The central bank of China, the communist-in-name-only nation that holds $2tn in its foreign exchange reserves—more than two-thirds of the total—plus $1.2tn in US Treasury bonds and notes, is loudly demanding that the US cut its deficits.

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  • Companies aren't hiring because there's no demand. There's no demand because companies aren't hiring. So much for the magic of the marketplace.

    Corporations are hoarding so much cash - cash that could drive recovery if it were invested in expanded and new lines of business - that even banks don't want it anymore. Bank of New York Mellon Corp. took the extraordinary step of charging a fee on deposits of amounts over $50m. "Since the beginning of the year, US bank holdings of cash are up 83 per cent, or $890bn, to $1.98tn," reports The Wall Street Journal. Banks have more money than they know what to do with. "Consumer loans, by contrast, have grown 0.2 per cent, or $1.7bn."

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