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2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
Where did our money go?
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Khaleej Times, October 20, 2012
 

I was drawn into these thoughts following a recent visit to the UK. Their citizens seem to be grumbling they haven’t enough cash in their pockets with their government pressing on with austerity measures.

Yet the Chancellor, George Osborn, observes that as inflation has fallen slightly most people are better off than a few months ago. But other observations show the average person is spending less (perceiving hardship) so actually accumulating a little more capital: but one cannot directly eat, drink or smoke capital.

Further, in the UK, real wages have not kept up with inflation over the past two years so the people are feeling poor. I felt the UK represented a microcosmic image of most developed countries across the world — hence this opinion piece.

I know that since the breakup of the ‘Gold Standard’ in 1933 we have lived more and more on credit — some would say better and better as our debt increased: they cite better housing (bought through mortgages) and newer cars (bought on credit). But such debts can’t continue unabated, we must pay them off from our incomes, and if our incomes are eroded by inflation and the growth of everyday prices then some of us will surely become bankrupt. Lives will be shattered as foreclosures grab houses and cars. Always it is the poor who are preferentially deprived through the actions of banks and government.

There are many arguments between economists as to the benefits of following the directions of Keynes and the monetarists; allowing prices to determine everything as suggested by the Austrian School (such as Hayek), or even to concur that Marx developed excellent economic arguments by determining both a product and a money cycle. The Australian Professor, Steve Keen, debunks many of the standard theories in favour of the mathematics of chaos. He notes that most governments are throwing money at the Marxian tri-party of producer-banker-buyer. So governments are giving away our money to the banks rather than directly relieving debtors.

This messy business is keenly felt in the UK as it struggles at the edge of the EU/Eurozone problems. There are difficulties with the major international banks who work out of ‘the City’, and with the resistance of High-street banks to lend to new businesses. Meanwhile, many medium and large businesses in the UK are cash rich and who, like many individuals, are simply hording cash. Few know what the future economy will look like, so saving is the order of the day. Meanwhile most small businesses and entrepreneurs are starved of cash as the banks will not offer funds.

I have some sympathy with Big Business — it is they who create the potential for us all to demand goods. And it is our demand that equates to economic wealth, not supply. So it all begins with us as individuals. We demand goods, and use money to lubricate the process. Then having acquired stock we may process it, add our value, and sell it on to others who are demanding.

What we must guard against is greed. Marx decided it was not good for society to accumulate capital as a goal; on the other hand, using capital as a lubricant was a valid use of money. I am not so sure that the increasing bailouts by governments are really useful, as later this debt must be paid-off. It is not yet guaranteed that we are returning to a Keynsian growth scenario, as Krugman would have us believe. Nor is the Austrian School modern mainstream, as collectively we have too weak a belief in allowing free pricing to determine outcomes.

So, yes, the UK is a microcosm of the woes of many countries at the present time — its income disparity is increasing, as in many developed nations (their Gini coefficients are increasing). My own country, Germany, looks to be a rock solid economy, but one may observe difficulties in policy theory and application. And the EU, as well as other large economic blocs in the Americas and Asia, faces micro and macro difficulties. I do not see any immediate resolution until we have removed the general debt as Steve Keen proposes. That will take a long time and there will undoubtedly be many more downturns.

 

Frank-Jurgen Richter is founder and chairman of Horasis, a global visions community.


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