If It's Broke, Don't Bother Fixing It
I mentioned that Piers Morgan brought this up the other night before the SOTU and nobody seemed to know what he was talking about. It seems the Cameron government did everything the confidence fairies and bond vigilantes demanded and it wasn't enough to restore confidence and lift "uncertainty." So mere Austerity will not suffice -- perhaps a re-opening of the poor house? Re-instituting indentured servitude?
Britain's gross domestic product took a surprising turn lower in the fourth quarter, the Office of National Statistics said Tuesday.
Economists had predicted a 0.5 percent rise in Britain's economic output October through December. Instead, the ONS said the GDP dropped 0.5 percent.
The ONS also revised the third quarter gross domestic figure from a gain of 0.8 percent to a gain of 0.7 percent.
The ONS said reversals were widespread. Construction grew greater than 2 percent in the third quarter and fell greater than 2 percent in the fourth quarter. Business at hotels and restaurants fell from 0.8 percent growth in the third quarter to a decline of 0.5 percent. Growth in transportation, storage and communication grew 2 percent in the third quarter and fell 0.8 percent in the fourth. Business services and finance, flat in the third quarter, dropped 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter and in the public sector 0.6 percent growth in the third quarter flipped around to a decline of 0.2 percent
Meanwhile, Dday reports:
In a sometimes contentious call, Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission representatives Phil Angelides and Brooksley Born acknowledged that we might still be in a financial crisis, and that their report should not be seen as the last word on an event that still has the capacity to significantly damage the global economy.
Brooksley Born, who as head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under Bill Clinton urged more regulation of the derivatives markets, responded to a question from FDL News on whether we’ve seen the end of the financial crisis. “I do think we are still in somewhat of an economic crisis,” she said. “We may well be in a financial crisis, we don’t know that yet. We don’t know how solvent a number of institutions are.”
The good news is that the global elite are all in one place as we speak, noses to the grindstone, hammering out the solutions at the World Economic Forum:
The point about Davos is that it makes everyone feel wildly insecure.
Billionaires and heads of state alike are all convinced that they have been given the worst hotel rooms, put on the least interesting panels and excluded from the most important events/most interesting private dinners.
The genius of World Economic Founder Klaus Schwab is that he has been able to persuade hundreds of accomplished businessmen to pay thousands of dollars to attend an event which is largely based on mass humiliation and paranoia.
Oh sorry, I forgot. It's all about them. And they are all very insecure and vulnerable:
“Being a CEO can be a lonely existence in terms of trusting ears and advice, so they come to Davos to meet and talk one-on-one,” he says. Davos had become a “self-help” group, where CEOs trade information and feel solidarity in a hostile world. “It’s a bit like Weight Watchers,” he quips. “A place where CEOs can get support.”
That's not to say they aren't concerned about the outer world:
But what is striking is that this veneer of micro-level optimism goes hand in hand with a gnawing insecurity about the macro picture. This is partly because CEOs are uneasily aware that hostility towards elites is rising. And while much of this has been focused on bankers, continued high levels of unemployment have prompted wider concerns about a bigger backlash in the west.
Just a guess, but somehow I doubt they're considering actually doing something about that unemployment. Whining about being unappreciated and figuring out ways to punish the parasites is more their style. I wouldn't look for any solutions from this crowd.