Another resigned-in-tone guest column from Morgan Stanley's great Stephen Roach in yesterday's Financial Times. Somewhere along the way, he says, the message of The Bust has become mangled beyond comprehension:

This crisis was, first and foremost, about the unsustainability of macro imbalances – imbalances within and between nations – as well as about the egregious flaws in policies, regulatory structures, and risk-management practices that allowed these imbalances to take the world to the brink.

[...]

Recent policy initiatives offer little reassurance. Cash-for-clunkers in America and cash for roads in China are emblematic of a penchant for quick-fix stimulus actions that risk compounding existing imbalances.

US authorities cannot resist opting for another dose of excess consumption – despite the fact that the consumption share of real gross domestic product remains at a record high of 71 per cent.

Nor can the Chinese wean themselves off investment-led growth – even though the fixed investment share of their GDP appears to have surged beyond the already unprecedented reading of 45 per cent in mid-2009. Far from rebalancing, an unbalanced world once again appears to be compounding existing imbalances.


I had been wondering what this situation as described by Mr Roach reminded me of. Then it came to me: the poor facsimiles represented by any number of karaoked covers. Worse, the originals themselves often had few redeeming qualities.

Consider it the Mariah Carey Effect.


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3 comments

  1. "Cassandra" // 10/10/2009 08:17:00 PM

    that video is perfect, one of a whole genre of mangled lyrics.

    OT - has it ever occurred the French how much oil they'd save if they just nixed the silly lunch thing, and let moms suffice with two instead of four school runs, and all the other attendant back-and-forth??

    And no shortage of Q7 X5 SLK999 et "Range" Chelsea tractors in my part of the world to make the stomach turn....

  2. Paul // 10/12/2009 09:59:00 PM

    Ouch!

  3. Anonymous // 10/12/2009 10:23:00 PM

    @Paul - Simon Cowell says "rough diamond"

    @Cass - it is much easier spending 2.5bn euros instead and getting every mother to buy a spanking new Renault "Zap" (or whatever it ends up being christened)->

    http://www.gizmag.com/france-two-billion-electric-car-charging-stations/13041/

    -RJH

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