© 2019 by Henry Thornton. 

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December 20, 2019

Check out Pete's 2018 exhibition of EcoArt here.

Geoffrey Blainey

Oil paint on canvas

550 cm X 750 cm

Signed bottom left, 2019

Geoffrey is the artist's great friend, in my view one of the great historians of Australia with a wonderful feel for matters economic.  As well as...

October 17, 2019

Modern Crucifixion

 Oil on canvas board

24 '' x 16 "

Signed, Left Hand Side

Cardinal Pell's trial, where he was declared guilty by a jury of pedophile actions, was a deeply curious event. I expect appeal before by three judges will present a more believable judgment o...

September 8, 2019

Stick to ‘tax and spend’ plan says Labor President Wayne Swan. An amazing statement reported on the front page in large print by the Weekend Australian. This seems to Henry a suicide note from the Labor Party, and good luck to them.  The government is not without its p...

July 6, 2019


Two rate cuts in quick succession gets cash interest rates to an alltime 1% low, much lower than in the severe recession of 1990/91. The word ‘panic’ is bandied about.

Not much room for further cuts if it turns out Australia is facing a really bad recession. ‘We...

June 26, 2019

‘Investors Are Glum, Even With Stocks at All-Time Highs’ writes Akane Otani in the Wall Street Journal.

This comes from the digital version of the WSJ, which apparently can be available free, though I could not wait for minutes to find out. A complementary article in th...

June 1, 2019

‘Everyone’ it seems is worried about inflation. Today I’d like to introduce you to a draft chapter of a book written by Pete Jonson, founder and frequent contributor to Henrythornton.com.  A major problem is that inflation is very damaging but now, after nearly 30 year...

May 20, 2019

Like many other Australians I was stunned at the performance of the Liberal-National government on Saturday. Not entirely surprised, however. Several weeks ago, I said: ‘Federal Election on, 18 May, and the Thornton family is not conducting its regular election party d...

May 3, 2019

Australia’s Federal election grinds on. Labor’s Bill Shorten keeps making promises he will not be able to keep.  Mrs Thornton today said ‘It’s a Pork barrel election. Scott Morrison tries to hold the line on Pork and the virtues of modest government spending, paying do...

April 14, 2019

Federal Election on, 18 May, and the Thornton family is not conducting its regular election party due to dining with our friends from Malaysia. Here is a tip. Trump beat the favourite Hilary Clinton. British voters chose leaving the EU despite the clear expectation tha...

March 30, 2019

Budget day next Tuesday. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is expected to announce a surplus (thanks to large exports of coal and iron ore), tax cuts and some nice bits of cash splash. Plus there is the possibility of a new coal fired power station in Queensland.  A nice packa...

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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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