© 2019 by Henry Thornton. 

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Henry Thornton

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." 

Specialities: Economist, Corporate, Sport, Politics - domestic and international

September 26, 2018

Gender inequality in the news again, 28/9

Gender inequality in the news again, recently on Credlin, today in the OZ, presented in both places by John Slater of the Menzies Research Centre.

'What might McManus make of an industry where top ranking executives are paid in excess of $36,000 more each year than their female counterparts? Or a business where female executives are outnumbered by males by 2.5 to one?

'That is the width o...

September 8, 2018

When God is reduced to The Cosmic Therapist and we combat the culture wars' defeat of Christian conservatives with a middle-class moralism that prescribes being happy with oneself and nice to others, as Rod Dreher's The Benedict Option  argues, we are bringing knives to a gunfight

Review of The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation
by Rod Dreher
Sentinel, 2017, 288 pages, $30.99


July 16, 2017

The best account of the rise and fall of asset prices is by Hyman Minsky. His 'financial instability hypothesis'  is the best way to understand why modern economies have self-contained booms and busts. In modern economies, an often long period of 'Tranquility' with sound finance is followed by a period of financial excess and severe asset inflation. The asset boom is followed by an asset bust that in a severe case leads to dee...

July 10, 2017

We apologise for late posting of this contribution. Technical factors baffled Henry's editor for three days.  And please forgive the sillyness of a frustrated writer.


Big meeting of G20 in Germany. Our current PM, Mr Trumbull, shook hands with US President, the Donald Trumple, who looked pretty baffled about who it was who'd bailed him up. Mr Trumbull also reportedly spent an hou...

June 24, 2017

The Turnbull government has taken another step 'forward' - or is it - with the Senate approving the Gonski 2.1 package of new higher spending on school education. (2.1 because extra money was needed to bribe cross bench Senators but sadly Catholics remain unhappy and many will vote Labor or Hanson at the next election.)

Trouble is, as in so many other areas, more money is not the main issue.  'Now we shall focus on improving st...

August 21, 2016

Another big week of private sector economists and businesspersons pleading with the Turnbull government to behave like a serious government.  Paul Keating’s heroic effort to turn the budget deficit into a surplus to head off ‘Banana Republic #1’ cannot be overemphasised.  Now we are definitively heading to ‘Banana Republic #2’ and this means our children and grandchildren will be left with a pile of debt they cannot repay. So...

August 20, 2016

Henry's editor, Pete Jonson, has recently decisively wound back his corporate involvement. He is now fulfilling the promise he made to himself as a young part-time landscape painter that he would, later in life, spend more time painting. This time has arrived; and Pete has been painting seriously for several years now, gradually devoting more and more time to this most pleasurable activity.

Pete recently opened his first exhibi...

August 14, 2016


Crocodile tears are being shed for Australia's too buoyant exchange rate, which keeps trying to creep upwards despite interest rates being cut to levels that threaten economic stability.

Henry regrets that the RBA did not take seriously his early 2013 call for a tax on capital inflow, available here.

Such a tax would have meant that a lower exchange rate could have been achieved without cutting interest rates by a level...

August 6, 2016

Some nice economic/politicio analysis today, gentle readers, though not from the government. Alan Kohler says: 'banks are going to have to return interest rates to normal without having declared victory in their fight against low inflation and falling investment. It will be one of the greatest failures of public policy in history.

'Only when they release capitalism from the distortions of negative real interest rates and printi...

July 31, 2016

Now Grace Collier has joined the battle to kill the Turnbull/Morrison/O’Dwyer attempt to tax superannuation of well-to-do Australians. Her most powerful point is to quote Kelly O’Dwyer and Scott Morrison asserting superannuation earnings would never be taxed by a Liberal. For example: “We on this side have given an undertaking not to muck around with superannuation … We understand the importance of certainty when people are sa...

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