"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Getting Close to the Edge


EXTRACTClearly, the UK economy is bumping painfully along the bottom and can you predict with reasonable certainty that it is set to do so for at least the next decade. Welcome to the stagnation years. But only a fool, or Tory chancellor, could have failed to see this coming. It was inevitable that implementing massive cuts during a period of increased unemployment and a general downturn in world trade would have such a result. The UK’s overall output was 4.3% lower in the first quarter of 2012 than it was in the first quarter of 2008, just before the recession started.
As a further sign of the times, the pound hit a two-year high against the euro - at one stage it bought more than €1.23 on the foreign exchanges. Yet the rise in sterling was not a vote of confidence in the UK economy, but rather a collective vote of no confidence in the euro zone. Cheaper foreign holidays, yes, but more expensive UK exports to Europe. The pound was also stronger too against the US dollar, thanks to last week’s weaker than expected US growth figures for the first three months of 2012 - that had slowed to an annualised pace of 2.2% in the first quarter of the year from 3% in the final three months of last year. Less, anyway, than the minimum of 2.5% growth that had been widely hoped for.
Confronted by such dispiriting economic data and trends, and absolutely no rational reason to think it will suddenly be thrown into reverse, we might get to enjoy in the relatively near future the phenomenon of a triple-dip recession. Maybe it is time to blow the dust off those texts books on economic history.

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