© 2019 by Henry Thornton. 

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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...

August 13, 2016

So much damage to such a vulnerable cross-section of our global village was probably the thing that stayed with me after viewing World Press Photos 16 at Brisbane’s Powerhouse. Though this exhibition included more than just those resonating and candid shots of children...

August 12, 2016

Broken by Darwin playwright Mary Anne Butler starkly highlights love, death, grief and the randomness of life’s path.

Having literally no set surrounding the intensity of emotions being conjured on stage in Broken is probably the next best thing to having the infinite...

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 wi...

August 3, 2016

We were quickly allowed to exit Tanzania into the no man’s land before Kenya. The queue before the Kenyan customs post was short, and soon we were sitting on chairs before a uniformed custom’s official. Vision and mission statements for customs and immigration were pro...

August 1, 2016

Written by Angela Betzien. Directed by Sarah Goodes.

The Hanging makes frequent allusions to the iconic Joan Lindsay book/Peter Weir film Picnic at Hanging RockThe Hanging's school girls however are modern-day girls who run away from a highly prestigious boarding scho...

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 Liber...

July 26, 2016

The first step was to meet the guide who was to take us on the Tanzanian part of the safari.  Hussein turned out to be pleasant, extremely knowledgeable about the parks we visited, the animals and how they interacted with each other and the signs they gave to humans wh...

July 24, 2016

Love and Friendship.

Adapted from Lady Susan, a novella by Jane Austen. Director: Whit Stillman

Love and Friendship is based on a novella written by a 19-year-old Jane Austen.

Financial security is definitely the theme that dominates Love and Friendship, for in Austen’s...

July 1, 2016

Will the UK leaving the European Economic Union hurt or improve the UK economy? Will the Brexit precipitate further exits and create real problems for the EEC. Henry grapples with deep uncertainty.

So far, economic implications of Britain’s likely exit from the European...

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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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