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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bye Bye To The Way Things Were And Are?

Our DirectionImage by B Tal

Anti-regulation, free marketers, this post is for you. If you are in favor of ratings agencies and hedge funds carrying on as is, this post is for you. If you are a banker or a trader happy with the previous incentive reward system, this post is for you. Bye, bye to the way things were and are now.

After a rocky and delayed started, the G7, then the G8 and the G20, and then multilaterals etc. all started to sing the same tune: there must be a new global financial architecture. Of course, there are divergent views on what that should be. And yes, it is true that the EU itself cannot find one voice on this matter.

But one thing is for sure - everyone agrees that what "was" will not "be"; what "was" does not work.

Somewhere not "here" and not "back there" but "elsewhere" will be found.

What that new "elsewhere" and "what will be" depends on
  • What happens between now and the next meeting. Does the global economy deteriorate more. Does the global banking system fall further into decline? Are more financial scandals and Ponzi schemes exposed? etc.
  • The willingness of the private parties to cooperate with the Governments and regulators to find a middle ground. It is wise for us to all remember that whether or not we like it, governments do have power to make and implement unilateral decisions. Dialogue between the regulated and the regulator for a middle ground is always my preferred modus operandi
The G20 will meet again on April 2, 2009 to discuss the new global financial architecture.

Want to know what world leaders are thinking? Well the EU and the UK just met in a precursor meeting.

Read this BBC Article: EU Heads Back Financial Clampdown. Watch the video of Prime Minister Gordon Brown contained herein.

Between now and April is going to be very, very interesting. I'm keeping a close eye on this. Are you?
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Anonymous said...

Your post pretty clearly expresses a concern of mine. The world has turned a corner and the successful will be those best able to negotiate the bend. I know you are bored hearing me mouth off about China, but I had not clearly said what is my bother. I have a theory, based on evolutionary realities, which states that those best adapted to particular circumstances are usually the worst adapted to any change in the circumstances. China has been the King Kong of the last decade or two, having become the world's export machine. America has become the world's import machine. That tandem is broken and America's trade deficit is collapsing as they start to live within their means. I believe the fulcrum for modernising China is broken. Where we really differ is that you believe the fix is on the way. I believe the bureaucrats are not ready to change because the are correctly afraid of the people and distrust them. The rural assistance programme is a big step forward, but it comes after decades of mistreating the farmers. The bureaucratic mindset is shown by the fact that the emphasis is on building infrastructure. I could be wrong and the bureaucrats could save China, but they have not done so in the past. The country really blossomed when they stepped out of the way and allowed the people to thrive, albeit in a controlled environment. My best guess is that a decade from this, the Chinese will still be trying to figure out what went wrong. I know that it is critical to Jamaica's future that I am proved wrong, but I am pretty sure that the economic circumstance which allowed them to thrive for two decades have been nearly fully exploited. Their economic, political and social flexibility are now about to be tested.
There, I have said my piece. I will try to listen more in future.

Deika Morrison said...

It's true that I would prefer to focus on the optimistic view rather than the pessimistic view. It is also true that having visited China - companies, multinationals operating there in Shanghai - and also having exposure to more of the government side in Beijing, I am quite confident that the way the West sees the world is not the way China does or has. China's lens is very different. It is an ancient culture built on a strong value system. It is not just it's political preferences. It's much more than that. So, if it were any other country, I would wonder about ability to make it through this period. Tomorrow, we can go through that list. The map of the world may fundamentally change as we know it. But China isn't going to be the one being swallowed up. But that's my two cents :)

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Reasoning The Reasons by Deika Morrison is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.