© 2019 by Henry Thornton. 

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December 6, 2019

Edward Snowden’s dad and a mate of mine are on the same page: Ed Snowden is “the greatest American patriot since Paul Revere”. My pal added, in a letter not long ago, “I hope that he runs for president one day.”

Other people – connected people – tell me that Snowden is...

October 17, 2018

When bad stuff happens, look to your inner Adolf

Things are crook in Tallarook, says my friend and economics mentor, Henry Thornton.

Henry recently provided on his blog a longish list of the bad stuff that happens these days. 

We might have to add, however, some further i...

October 5, 2018

“Social credit” surveillance is not just China’s future. It could be ours.

 Courtesy Google Images

The ABC’s China correspondent, Matthew Carney, recently delivered a chilling report on mass surveillance in communist China, 'Leave no dark corner'.

Carney described Beijing...

November 25, 2017

Oliver Stone interviews Vladimir Putin. Reviewed by Gary Scarrabelotti

Among the most important geo-political questions of our time: What is Russia? Who is Putin? Where are they headed? 

The Putin Interviews, directed by Oliver Stone;  Showtime Documentary Films in fou...

August 26, 2017

Invariably the “peak” revolutionary moments in history are but a curtain raiser.

 A little while back an article appeared in The Australian entitled “Abbott ‘outsiders’ argument pollutes same sex marriage debate.”

It’s author, Chris Kenny,claimed - contra Tony Abbott -...

August 1, 2017

This book is a proud tower of prophecy built on shaky intellectual foundations. It is easy to be taken in by this book because the writing is so smooth, clear, engaging, even seductive and because the author is widely read and flashes brilliant insights. Deep down, how...

July 6, 2017

Boardrooms believe they have mastered the “Theory of Everything.”

Margaret Court makes a fair point. Alan Joyce is using Qantas as a corporate “bully pulpit” from which to propagate – and to elicit consent to – a biological falsehood: the notion that two men (or two wom...

July 3, 2017

Seeing, but not recognising, your enemy

Peta Credlin should have known.

As the former chief of staff to former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and before that Deputy Chief of Staff to Malcolm Turnbull, she more than any one should have known who were numbered among Tony Abb...

May 31, 2017

It’s not something we want to hear.  Retired chief of the defence force, Admiral Chris Barrie, has claimed that “complacent” Australia was unprepared for war and that world political leaders were “sleepwalking” towards one.

Barrie’s reference to “sleepwalking” echoed th...

May 13, 2017

Daylight robbery.


For whose children this great work of education?

About Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s “Gonski 2.0” and the funding of schools public and private: something is missing.  It’s odd that a major policy announcement on schools funding could be made with...

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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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