Thursday, 8 September 2011

Catch 22-3

As politicians, journalists and (two-handed) economists furiously debate the merits of yet another round of quantitative easing (QE-3), one question is: Will the currency devaluation it generates make the economy more competitive globally? And what happens to that competitiveness if or when other countries follow suit?

The dilemma facing decision makers right now is like something out of Catch-22 (the scene where Yossarian explains his outlook on life to Danby).

"From now on I'm thinking only of me."

"But, suppose everyone felt that way."

"Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn't I?"

(We don't need no) regulation

A banker argues the case against further regulation:

"Don't you guys get it? Even if you're right and complaints against banks have hit a high, and even if we are giving Triple A ratings to sub-prime mortgage investments once again, and even if we do find ourselves being investigated for Libor manipulation, and even if we are the only guys creaming it while everyone else is trying to make ends meet... regulation just isn't the answer. Regulation simply hurts the economy. Which none of us wants. Right?

So go easy on yourself. And us."