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Friday, 16 April 2010

Earth and Froth

In the past few days tectonic activity in Chinese Tibet and in Iceland has again displayed how puny is the human economy in comparison to elemental natural forces.
China has had to make heroic efforts to get even basic supplies to a remote mountain region.
Northern Europe has been shut to air traffic due to volcanic dust.
News of the dust cloud has - appropriately - taken many of the UK headlines away from the sad little 'debate' of three machine politicians. The least-known of the trio was able to come over as the freshest. The other two did a rather more polite re-run of their timewasting weekly yah-boo bilateral confrontation.  They have been at it so long that they have lost the capacity to surprise their audience.
The derided eurorat Clegg was able to present a different face and as an experienced lecturer and speaker he was not fazed by the occasion. One can expect his star to fade now that its supernova phase has been observed.
The really interesting question is whether or not the Icelandic dustcloud will outlast Clegg's moment of glory.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Soros Adrift?

It is reported that George Soros has donated a significant sum for the establishment of a unit at Oxford which is intended to review the intellectual basis of Economics and the reasons why its practitioners failed to predict the credit crunch.
The motivation is excellent: the outcome is likely to be deeply disappointing; because the people chosen to define the project are themselves inner-circle academics who failed to predict the crisis.
The money would much better have been allocated to some of us who predicted the crisis, and explained analytically why it was inevitable.