© 2019 by Henry Thornton. 

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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...

April 28, 2017

Globalisation and its social price.

Here is an absolute must read before the second round of the French presidential elections on 7 May.

It’s an article in City Journal by Christopher Caldwell, author of Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam an...

April 24, 2017

Antonio Gramsci: the master intellectual behind post-socialist Marxism.

With no God everything is permitted … even capitalism.

If, during this Eastertide 2017, you want to understand where Australia is headed culturally and politically, you could not do better than read...

February 28, 2017

The wilderness pregnant with prospects.

Abbott is back – this time with power and conviction.

On February 23 Tony Abbott launched the book Making Australia Right published by Connor Court and edited by the distinguished James Allan. The book is a collection of essays fro...

December 27, 2016

Christmas is wonderful because it confirms a childlike cosmology.

Christmas is about God or nothing.

The phrase “God or nothing” hit me as I visited a vast shopping mall the other day in search of a mobile phone repairer.

The mall is the cathedral of our times....

December 22, 2016

The other Paul — a cooler, harder edged Paul — joined me yesterday for lunch over The Oz.

He is not a regular.  He seems reticent of joining the usual gang when they gather, tub-thumpingly, at my table.

Anyway, there were just the two of us on this occasio...

December 16, 2016

On the fragility of human judgments.

A typical Saturday: morning walk; spot of gardening; café luncheon; The Weekend Australian.

(I would never ruin my little treat on sacred Saturday by opening the pages of the SMH, even less The Age, still less The Canberra Times.)


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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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