Category Archives: economics

214. Three years of Roads of Stone

past and present high street rye east sussex england by roadsofstoneThings have been slow around here, for a little while now, and in more ways than one.

I’ve had less time for running, and less still for writing. I’ve been unfit, distracted and slow.

And yet — there’s been real progress, too, hidden not far beneath the surface.

Our 95,000 visitors this year may have found only 22 new posts to read, but it’s been a momentous year of change, both in London and abroad.

the old mill horsham sussex england by acirfa virtual tourist comThe great crash formed the backdrop to the year, but it was in America that destiny was decided.

A changing political landscape marked the 2008 US election and the new opportunities that brings, for America and the whole world beyond.
Continue reading

213. The price of risk – a City of London view

gherkin tower42 finsburysquare from citypoint london england july2009 by roadsofstoneHigh flying, adored
What happens now —
Where do you go from here?

For someone
On top of the world
The view is not exactly clear

Evita — Rice & Lloyd-Webber (1976)

I spent much of the summer visiting financial institutions in the City of London.

The fallout from last autumn’s global economic meltdown is still drifting through our streets. The world didn’t end last October, but it felt a close call at times.

For the moment,  it seems as if the worst is behind us. The dust is clearing slowly, and yet in the City uncertainty still clouds a faintly growing optimism. For many in the Square Mile, waiting out the storm a while remains the wisest game of all.

When recovery comes, what will it look like? Or is it here already, lurking in the lunchtime swagger of those traders who survived the carnage, and the evening calm of bankers working now for different masters?

summer 2009 clouds over the city london england by roadsofstoneLooking back, the causes of this crisis are clear to see. It was all about the price of risk.

In 2007, the City thought it had abolished risk, or at least knew how to measure it.
Continue reading