Wednesday, February 25, 2015

wisdom from unexpected places

Everyone has an opinion on the economy and its future. The trick is sorting the wheat from the chaff. I was surprised to read this in an interview in Saturday's Guardian with Crispin Odey, hedge fund king who manages £9bn of asset, who was giving his generally gloomy assessment of the weeks ahead,

'There is also a sense, Odey continues, that politics are moving faster than markets – as in Greece, where he sympathises with a country that no longer sees the point of continuing the “charade” of adding unpaid interest to an unpayable debt obligation. “It’s Leviticus. It’s the whole idea of jubilee,” he says. “Jubilee was every 50 years in Israel. All debts were written off because otherwise the financial economy strangled the real economy. God got it right.”'

You can read the whole interview here. It's striking not only for its gloomy tone but also for Odey's ability to take the long view of financial trends.

To hear a hedge fund manager calling for a jubilee and suggesting that 'God got it right' is as surprising as it is refreshing. It is not only right to point out that God's economics are better than ours, but also to assert that the financial economy strangles the real one. This is what's been happening for a generation; and we are still living in the fallout of when such arrangement crashes around our ears (as it did in 2008).

Truly wisdom is found in unexpected places!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It would be fascinating to debate the practicalities of how Jubilee really worked. I imagine that the lenders were fairly careful about who they lent to and how much - it would be spectacularly daft to lend to a bad risk in the sure and certain knowledge that you would end up writing off the loan. The whole principle must have forced a more cautious lifestyle.