Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Why not just throw bucketloads of money out of ice cream trucks?

Joe says "Why not just throw bucketloads of money out of ice cream trucks?" (a comment left on a blog). Why not indeed? Especially if this is the way things are going to turn out.

What are the cultural implications for American borrowers and consumers? Will it really be so bad, that it can impact on how a section of school going kids perceive of their country and their economy in the future? The pace of changes in the past one month will give enough work to economic historians, academics updating textbooks and future policymakers. There has barely been an opportunity for all of it to be recollected at tranquility - as one senior editor remarked.
How are policymakers dealing with the changes - even as they overhaul and initiate historic decisions - as a WSJ article recounted said there is no time for second guessing. "The test for all political leaders now is whether they can rise to the priorities this bewildering time has thrust upon them..." - a Guardian edit has said.

A thought or two on the monolithic multilateral organizations -
Always in times like these, we wonder why multilateral institutions like the World bank and the International Monetary Fund could not move faster and more decisively on systemic risks threatening global economy or bubbles in the financial markets? And what about the Bank of International Settlements? When central banks come together in a rare coordinated fashion to cut rates to stem the crises - we can expect the BIS to put its thoughts on the unprecedented turmoil in recent history - it is a little odd that we haven't seen any specific comments from Basel in the light of the current crisis. As the world's oldest financial organisation established in 1930, one would have expected BIS to remain ahead of the curve as it were, at a time when 'trust' is the biggest casualty in a crisis of such proportions. The BIS is a forum to promote discussion and policy analysis among central banks and within the international financial community, a prime counterparty for central banks in their financial transactions and a trustee in connection with international financial operations.

Tail piece: In my opinion bigger economies should show more sophestication in handling crisis than the smaller ones. The British government invoked the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 to freeze the British assets of Icelandic banks. Read a Guardian edit called Icelandic Storms on the same. Instinctively I feel that classifying a country under a terrorist legislation may not be the most graceful way to address the situation. After all there is a diplomacy angle to the issue here.

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