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Economic conditions for Australians, November 2008

Here at Lightbulb we are no friend of churnalism. It misleads, rots brains, produces stupidity.

So instead of regurgitating writing by others (ie churnalism), our preference is to include links to good writing while providing analysis or commentary. After all, Lightbulb is a magazine or journal style of publication, not a daily.

This preference flew out the door this morning. It took flight on reading a very timely, succinct and nicely illustrated piece by Jim Belshaw on the economic conditions for Australians today. Belshaw provides a snapshot on a paper delivered by Ric Battellino, the Deputy Governor of Australia's Reserve Bank.

kutzman_death-of-moneyFIRST ARTICLE: Belshaw served in the Australian Government as a senior public service in the 1970s and 1980s, usually in departments where he could apply his academic credentials in economics. He is a prolific and reliable consultant, writer and blogger.

As his shingle is no longer that of a practising economist, his post has a tongue in cheek title - A non-economist's crib to Australia's economic outlook - part one. It's in his Management Perspectives blog. Lightbulb looks forward to his next installment. [UPDATE: see Part Two.] 

SECOND ARTICLE: Still in flight and on economics, another highly recommended post is New Business Paradigm Needed.

Written in mid-October 2008, it provides a background to the financial sector's meltdown. There is some focus on New Zealand as Jason Kemp the author and blogger lives and works. Kemp is a broadly skilled management consultant, with a degree in law and strengths in marketing, CRM and IT. He works with many clients in Australia. Both Kemp and Belshaw take a multi-disciplinary approach in their consulting assignments.

In Kemp's article there is a link to a journal article in the New Left Review published in March-April 2008, and titled The Subprime Crisis. It is an deservedly long academic paper by Robin Blackburn, a historian and sociologist. Iit is the best piece of writing we've read this year on more recent factors for the meltdown.

wall_street_bailoutBlackburn's research for us reconfirms the foresight evident in The Death of Money: How the Electronic Economy Has Destablized the World's Markets and Created Financial Chaos. This was an arresting 1993 book by US author and analyst, Joel Kurtzman.

Kurtzman currently resides in Los Angeles and is Senior Fellow and Publisher of The Milken Institute Review, part of the Milkin Institute, an economics think thank. Among his other credentials he is a former editor of the Harvard Business Review and currently on the editorial board of MIT's Sloan Management Review.

THIRD ARTICLE: Ending our flight and bringing us to a landing is Mikhail Gorbachev's piece on the Global Financial Crisis. It was republished last week in The Australian Financial Review. Commenting on the financial industry sector's bailout support given in October 2008 and earlier, he gives a cautionary warning:

  So this is the bottom line: cutthroat capitalism for the majority and “socialism,” -- government help -- for those who are already rich. Yet, three or four years down the road, with the acute phase of the crisis behind us, these same people will be telling us that raw capitalism works best and that we should free them from regulation. Until the next, even more destructive crisis?

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Disclosure: The author has known and worked with both Jim Belshaw and Jason Kemp since about 1993.They and Joel Kurtzman are all in the author's Linkedin connections. 


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