Thursday, September 24, 2009

A letter to the tragic man

Dear Gordon Brown,

Thank you.

You have displayed vanity and carelessness in dealing with the press, not great sins by any measure, but ones punishable by a great deal of booing.

I like you. Your policies have been fair and well thought out except for the bit when you kept spending during boom time, mortgaged off our public services and introduced redistributive policies that buried more than they lifted out - this was was not the point:

You did your thinking, followed procedure, cracked a few skulls and finally your hour came.

Except it didn't. Sitting on your chancellery toilet you could not have dreamt of the power you would actually wield, over health care, academics, the press, minor niches of world important events. We were finally to get the sensitive philosopher king we had asked for. Except he came with big clumping fists and a strange propensity to open his mouth after every sentence, perhaps drawing breath, perhaps waiting medium-like for the ghost of William Ewart Gladstone to speak through him and save you from your next verbal thud.

You succeeded a magician. A nasty one, a callous one and to all intents and purposes a shit and while we know you got him where he is today by graciously stepping aside, a magician he remained. Whirling you in circles and wowing the World except for his whoopsy in Iraq.

He left you with a seething pile of electorate who were ready to take the scalp of anyone who came after him. We need you, the great grey man, a man of extraordinary abilities but not enough vim and polish to make you the final article. You are so painfully one of us - the Great British nearly man - we just have to tear you down. Blair took us away from ourselves - poof to all that talk of driving Europe and dancing on the world stage - and in bringing us back it's necessary that we torture you mercilessly with all our own self-revulsion.

You are therapy. Please don't take it personally and commit suicide.

We just would not know what to do.

Yours Sincerely,

The Fluffy Economist

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Narrowness of Greenspan

I find Greenspan's view so narrow. The idea of regulation is to admit human nature and guard against it with appropriate systems, doing this well and with balance is of course not easy, but he's essentially putting his hands up and saying "We're all greedy bastards so let's go fuck ourselves again. With chainsaws. And why not up the ass?"

One aspect of regulation is that it limits the role of speculation in the economy. This is healthy. Why should 35 year olds looking after the interests of the quality of their next family holiday determine how so much of resources are allocated. Economics, after all, is about incentives and the current (soon to be former) system gives these guys too much of a strong play. It's such an imbalance, I find it amazing that Greenspan continues to support anti-regulation. He's no doubt a man with exceptional qualities but his restricted view speaks of precisely the fuck up that maybe not individually him, but his generation presided over.

It's so good they're on their way.
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