John Kay is one of the UK’s leading economists. Most recently Kay chaired the UK government’s Review of Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision-Making.
Over the last 50 years the world of finance has been revolutionised. In no other discipline is theory and practice so intimately related.
This impasse looks like the result of a hasty set of calculations on what might happen, which is, among others, the results of the recent change-of-guard in Cyprus on the one hand, and of the hardening stance of Europe on the other hand.
George Osborne halves growth forecast but insists plan is working.
The European Union has run out of steam. First constructed to defuse tensions following two world wars and help create a bigger and deeper marketplace, it was then refurbished as an aspirational club to which poorer southern European and former Soviet Bloc countries could belong.
I found myself recently spending almost three days with an extraordinarily diverse group. Of the eight people with me, there was someone from Canada, America, Argentina, Japan, India, China, Germany and the UK; we ranged in age from 27 to 58; and in terms of specialism there was a psychiatrist, an international ice hockey coach, the head of HR for a global IT company, a couple of entrepreneurs and the provost of a major design college. I cannot image a more diverse collection of people spending time together.
The financial crisis marked the end of a long period of growth in the developed world. This year at Davos the mood was of realism and growing recognition that the going ahead would require more resilience and fortitude than anything many executives had previously encountered in their careers. It’s going to be a long haul.