She’s known mainly for being ultra-polite and proper, God bless her, but even Queen Elizabeth II reached the point at the end of last year when she couldn’t restrain herself anymore from asking, while visiting the London School of Economics, “How could no one have foreseen it?” “It,” of course, was the catastrophic banking/financial breakdown that had come to its terrifying climax the previous September – almost one year ago now – and plunged most of the world into grave economic troubles, her own sovereign realm definitely not excepted.
Putting Her Majesty’s query in another form, How did economists get it so wrong? Or, if you like: What were they thinking? Whichever way it is stated, the issue is no doubt a complicated one, not to mention rather embarrassing for that profession of economists from which one might still assume that the best answers might ultimately come. And by now they are coming: the previous two hyper-links, in fact, take you directly to major pieces on the evident failure of modern economics by Paul Krugman (in the New York Times Magazine) and by Francis Fukuyama (together with Seth Colby).
But all of that is in English and so readily accessible. (Well, you’re going to have to subscribe to The American Interest if you want to read all of the Fukuyama/Colby piece, but the Krugman is all there and is really a “must-read.”) For our EuroSavant purposes, let’s consider instead an analysis piece just out in the French newspaper-of-record Le Monde by editor-in-chief Frédéric Lemaître: The crisis puts back into question economists’ knowledge and status. (more…)
Word comes here from Hospodárské noviny, the Czech Republic’s leading business newspaper, that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has found herself to be poorly served – poorly served indeed! – lately by her government’s financial ministers, to her considerable and personal cost. HN’s article (no by-line) reports that the value of Queen’s stock market holdings has recently plunged by 37% “in the past days.” That corresponds to a value lost of 1.2 billion – but fans of the Queen should not freak out too much, since that’s 1.2 billion in Czech crowns, corresponding these days to around £37 million. It’s still a considerable sum, though, I have to admit.
And why is this being reported in a Czech, rather than a British newspaper? Well, the HN report does cite as its source the Daily Express. But I could not find anything on this subject on its site, even by entering “Elizabeth II” in that search-box up-top there. (Yes, I did subsequently click on the “SEARCH” button over there on the right. Nada.)