Greetings earthlings……i was wondering how to kick off 2011 but was a bit stumped. I mean what’s new? Same old, same old. So i had a look back at my first post of 2010 and figured I’d say the same thing again but maybe add some colour this time. So here was my conclusion a year ago:
“When I look back over the last decade and forward to the next, it seems as if the same themes will recur:
– Financialisation of Economies: Can we remove the yoke of derivative financial instruments from the real economy?
– Technology: Will social media enable the development of a networked based economy?
– Global Politics: Can we move to a multi-polar world without the necessity of the United Nations as a de facto world government?
– Climate change: How do we manage the change in our climate and the resulting shifts in population and its attendant baggage?”
So we saw the Fed continue to print new money and hand it to the banks so they could pay out decent bonuses again. All that new cash managed to pump up the stock markets to new highs and generate hot money flows into commodities and emerging markets thus creating quite nicely the set up for new bubbles. What could the Fed have done? Just directly credited the bank accounts of every citizen thus boosting bank deposits and giving people money to actually spend into the economy or pay down debt.
Oh well, maybe next time.
2010 has seen China flex its international muscles and appear more focused on international relations. And of course Vladimir Putin has been flexing his too but that’s more for Russian domestic consumption. But clearly there’s been an acknowledged shift in influence with the BRIC countries all putting their hands up. Europe has been a huge mess with Auntie Angela having to clear up after the big party. 2011 will see more shifts as power moves from the USA and spreads all over the globe. I guess it doesn’t help when you national debt is $14trln and rising (great site by the way). How this all plays out will be very interesting but I imagine we will see another crisis within the US insurance market and more derivative catastrophes. There will be huge write offs and if someone owes you a lot of money you may be collecting thin air…..that’s the problem with land…you can’t take it away.
And 2010 was officially rather hot. Well tied with 2005 and 1998. Weather was quite unpleasant all around and the severe flooding in Pakistan, China and now Australia and Brazil. Don’t mention the big freeze in the US and Europe. There’s no answer to this really. Either we bite the bullet now and take action or we’ll just have to adapt and buy a Sealegs amphibious boat (dec: I am a shareholder in Sealegs).
So I think really it’s more of the same for 2011. It’s going to be a year of adjustment before the big one in 2012. We have an election here in NZ in November which might be interesting if we can get financial reform into the debate. Maybe all the politicians should have to watch this film and then discuss (more on this in my next post). Buckle up!