The falling empires

The end of the British establishment

From politics to finance Britain’s old order has lost its way
The Union Jack
There are still corners where the ancient regime thrives. For all the well-publicised troubles of some of her immediate family, the steadying figure of Queen Elizabeth has kept the affection of her people and sustained the monarchy as the guardian of national unity. To adapt the 19th century essayist Walter Bagehot, she has not allowed the daylight to tarnish the magic.
…The rise of nationalism in Scotland and Ukip’s success in promoting English identity politics speak to a union of nations that is losing the glue of Britishness. Some, such as the historian Linda Colley, suggest that this was always going to be so. Britain, after all, is an invented state, forged since the 18th century through imperial adventures, shared Protestantism and common enemies. Mr Bogdanor’s answer is a new constitutional settlement — a redistribution of power between, and within, the four nations of the union to match the social, economic and cultural realities of the times.
Continue reading at Financial Times


How addiction to debt came even to China

Huge increases in private sector credit preceded many financial crises


In an update of work on debt and deleveraging, McKinsey notes that between 2000 and 2007, household debt rose as a proportion of income by one-third or more in the US, the UK, Spain, Ireland and Portugal. All of these countries subsequently experienced financial crises. Indeed, huge increases in private sector credit preceded many other crises: Chile in 1982 was an important example of this connection…

The world desperately needs new ways to manage its economy, ones that support demand without creating unmanageable rises in indebtedness. If the affliction is now affecting China, then it will have befallen all the large economies. With debt continuing to rise, it is likely to spread further. In the absence of radical reforms, the world economy depends on generating fragile balance sheets. Better alternatives are imaginable. But they are not being chosen. In their absence, expect crises.

Continue reading at Financial Times


The Implications of China’s Growth Slowdown

Slowing Chinese growth could have repercussions that extend well beyond the economy.

If China does face a prolonged period of economic difficulty, the political repercussions could be volatile. Continue reading at The Diplomat





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