© 2019 by Henry Thornton. 

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January 26, 2020


Even while queuing to enter 'Forget Me Not' we knew we were in for something different. This message was reinforced as we were repeatedly told that once the doors were closed we could not leave. Pupp...

January 25, 2020

The Honours have been distributed, the fires have been somewhat tamed with the help of heavy rain and cooler weather, Melbourne has been blessed by heavy rainfall with red dust from central Australia. But the damage from the fires is horrendous and is a long way from b...

January 19, 2020


The Stephanie Lake Company

image: 'Colossus' - The Stephanie Lake Company 

A circle of dancers in black costumes and with bare hands and feet, lie on the floor of a Carriageworks theatre. Flickering shadows, momentary music, voices, silence; the movement of a foo...

January 18, 2020

Increasing numbers of economists and journalists are questioning the RBA’s arguably nutty rate cuts.  I am reminded of a discussion in the RBA’s Executive Committee many years ago when the boss got down to tin tacks. ‘I’ve read the act carefully. I can’t be sacked unle...

January 12, 2020


Choreography and direction: Dana Gingras

in coproduction with Animals of Distinction

The intensity of this Canadian dance and media coproduction is almost unbearable. Animals of Distinction (AOD) has the core proposition that you can obtain critical knowledge by...

January 11, 2020

Relatively quiet wind, some rain and cooler temperatures have helped calm the bushfires around Australia.  This gives the firefighters some respite but still working to burn off dangerous scrub and put out some of the burning bush. When intense heat and strong winds oc...

January 5, 2020

For several weeks - or is in months - bushfires have been raging in various parts of Australia. Western Australia, South Australia, New South Australia and Victoria have all suffered enormous fire damage. People have died, stock and wild animals are dead or wandering a...

January 5, 2020

The Gentlemen

Director: Guy Ritchie

If you like a caper – and no one does ‘caper’ as well as director Guy Ritchie (think ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’) – then get thee to a movie cinema for this is vintage Ritchie.

Matthew McConaughey plays gentrified marijuana ba...

December 29, 2019

Jo Jo Rabbit

Writer, Director and Actor: Taika Waititi

At the beginning of ‘Jo Jo Rabbit’ fanatically screaming crowds – plus a Beatles soundtrack – have you suspecting that you are viewing footage from the Beatles at the height their popularity arriving in some European...

December 29, 2019

Happy new year, gentle readers, and every good result for you and your loved ones in 2020.

Readers will be aware of my unhappiness about the state of the Australian economy and the lack of coherent advice likely to greatly improve matters. Today I report on the first su...

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The next financial crisis ... is inevitable

The weekend AFR's article reporting the GFC work to save our financial system was interesting. RBA chief Glenn Steven is reported as saying something like: 'We flooded the system with liquidity'. (An action recommended by Bagehot all those years ago.)

Coincidentally, this week's Economist looks at the global equivalent under the heading 'Has finance been fixed?'

It concludes: 'Policymakers have made the economy safer, but they still have plenty of lessons to learn. And fracturing geopolitics make globalised finance even harder to deal with. A decade after Lehman failed, finance has a worrying amount to fix.'

Deep within the article is a statement I have not heard before.

'The Fed acted as lender of last resort to the world, offering foreigners $1trn of liquidity.

[other sources say total swaps were more like $ 11 trn]   Since then, offshore dollar debts have roughly doubled. In the next crisis, America’s political system is unlikely to let the Fed act as the backstop to this vast system, even after Donald Trump leaves the White House.'

This is a truly scary remark.

Comments welcome. Contact Henry here.



Who is Henry

 Henry Then...

"Henry Thornton (1760-1815) was a banker, M.P., philanthropist, and a leading figure in the influential group of Evangelicals that was known as the Clapham set. His 'Enquiry into the Nature and Effects of the Paper Credit of Great Britain (1802)' is an amazing performance. "...it anticipates in some points the analytic developments of a century to come. No other performance of the period will bear comparison with it, though several, among them Ricardo's, met with much greater success at the time as well as later... He was one of those men who see things clearly and who express with unassuming simplicity what they see."

This is the judgment of Joseph Schumpeter, one of the twentieth century's finest economists, in his monumental 'History of Economic Analysis', Allen and Unwin, 1954, p.689.


Henry Now...


Henry Thornton is the nom de plume of a prominent economist. Like his predecessor the modern Henry Thornton has been a banker and an advisor to M.P.s although he is not a politician himself. He is no evangelist but is keenly interested in a wide range of economic, social and political issues... 

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