Risk Rap

Rapping About a World at Risk

In The Hall of the Mountain Kings

The tenor of this years Davos Conference is markedly different from years past. As recently as last years gathering of the worlds power elites, the agenda of the annual World Economic Forum was keen to address the smoothing over the rough edges of globalization in a post scarcity world. Those rich in capital, ideas, power and connections assembled to devise solutions to the worlds dilemmas with the practical medicine of enlightened capitalism. The weltanschauung from the halls of these mountain Kings and Queens has drastically changed with the turn of the year.

Gone are many of the deep pocketed investment bankers who in past years underwrote elaborate banquets and soirees to curry influence and to woo favor with the potentates of power. Gone is the insatiable appetite of the American consumer market that drove much of the conferees suppositions of the sustainability of a healthy global economy. The American consumer now lies prostrate like a Jolly Green Giant coated with an overdose of pesticides by a mad Iowan crop duster. Gone is the confidence of those who believed American pronouncements about the sustainability, soundness and correctness of its economic policies. Gone is a concerted spirit of cooperation among the nations and a belief to work together in a cooperative spirit to solve the problems that acutely ail the global economy. Unfortunately the ghosts of economic deprivation, acute political conflict and social dissonance still freely roam and continue to haunt the exalted halls of the mountain kings.

You Tube Video: Apocalyptica, Edvard Grieg’s, In the Hall of the Mountain Kings

Risk: economic, political, social

January 29, 2009 Posted by | classical, economics, politics, sustainability | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Redistribution of Global Wealth

Singapore’s Fountain of Wealth

During 2007 the collective value of Sovereign Wealth Funds increased 24%. In aggregate the funds hold a total of $3.5 trillion and are growing fast.

The source of this wealth is massive surplus trade balances as in the case of China, the world’s largest SWF. This is followed by Russia and Kuwait whose source of wealth is oil and natural gas. The $3.5 trillion in assets are greater then the GDP’s of countries such as Great Britain, France or Germany.

Consider the banking crisis in the west. Goldman Sachs estimates that credit losses will approximate $1.2 trillion. These staggering amounts of wealth accumulation and wealth depletion is a startling indication of how the earths axis of geopolitical power is tilting away from the west.

Risk: credit, banking, geopolitical

April 30, 2008 Posted by | China, credit crisis, sovereign wealth funds | , , , , , , | Leave a comment