© 2019 by Henry Thornton. 

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October 7, 2019


Directed By: Todd Phillips

Written By: Todd Phillips, Scott Silver

There are some cultural icons you feel should hit the earth as they intend to continue.

As far as the ‘Joker’ goes, that would be as the delivery of a psychopathic baby in full grease paint with an hy...

September 29, 2019

Birds of Passage

Director: Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallegos

Did you see Director Ciro Guerra’s film ‘Embrace of the Serpent’?

It was an extraordinary film – like a reversal of 'Heart of Darkness' – where the ‘gringos’ push into the Amazon region seeking rubber ‒ and then...

September 22, 2019

Sydney Theatre Company presents The Real Thing

Written by Tom Stoppard

Directed by Simon Phillips

How many centuries have we mortals tied ourselves in knots trying to fathom love?

Tom Stoppard in ‘The Real Thing’ creates playwright ‘Henry’ to fathom that very thing: ‘I don...

September 15, 2019

Sydney Contemporary 2019

I walked into the wonderful space that is Sydney’s Carriagework and Barry Keldoulis ‒ Director of run-away success Sydney Contemporary ‒ is standing at the door smiling gently. On congratulating him, Barry responded “I don’t do much”. The unders...

August 25, 2019

Caroline, or Change

Book and Lyrics by Tony Kushner

Music by Jeanine Tesori

Director: Mitchell Butel

A gospel/rhythm and blues musical in downtown Darlinghurst. Not only is the music glorious but the soul of ‘Caroline, or Change’ resonates with the quest to live a life of...

August 18, 2019

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Director: Quentin Tarantino

I’d almost decided to begin my essay on this latest (and apparently last) Tarantino film by saying farewell to the auteur director and his signature, fetishised worlds of gratuitous, cartoon-ish violence and hyper...

August 11, 2019

Mirka Mora

How fabulous is the work of the late artist Mirka Mora and that bohemian lust for life she exemplified? And how fabulous are the citizens of Melbourne who either donated to a fund or bought her work directly for donation so that Mirka’s legacy could be kept a...

July 31, 2019

Opera Australia’s Whiteley

Composed by Elena Kats-Chernin

Libretto by Justin Fleming

I’m a ‘sortov’ Whiteley fan. I find his work beautiful but very much tinged by an opium-saturated imagination. Should this also tinge my opinion of his work? Admittedly it always has a li...

July 14, 2019


Director: Bong Joon-ho

(Bong Joon-ho's ‘Parasite’ won the Palm d'Or at Cannes Film Festival 2019)

Bong Joon-ho’s film ‘Parasite’ is as much about economics as it is about relationships.Themed by one critic as a film about South Korean ‘late Capitalism’, ‘Parasite...

July 7, 2019

Mystify: Michael Hutchence

Director: Richard Lowenstein

Lowenstein’s film ‘Mystify’ is sad. It traces Michael Hutchence from little boy in a troubled family to romantic youth, to rocketing  star, to fading performer, to a man who was seen by many in the world as the spoi...

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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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