The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

More signals of systemic shifts of influence from West to East

I have been reading ‘Civilization – the West and the Rest’ by Niall Ferguson.  He analyses that there are 6 core institutions or principles that account for the success of the West over the last 500 years, with the obvious implication that as the West falls, the answer lies in reduced advantage in those 6 institutions.

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“If you look at the troubles which have happened in European societies, this is purely because of the accumulated troubles of the worn-out welfare society. The labour laws induce sloth and indolence rather than hard work.”

One of the 6 is the ‘Work Ethic’ that Niall briefly describes as ‘extensive and intensive labor with higher savings rates, permitting sustained capital accumulation.’

It is ironic now that Jin Liqun, supervisory board chairman of China Investment Corporation, a sovereign wealth fund with $410bn, when asked to help out with the $1 trillion needed to bailout Italy’s government and banks: that was his answer.  How the tables are turning.

The ‘Work Ethic’ was one of the 6 institutions that kept the West ahead of the Rest on every measureable metric for 500 years until the 20th Century; until now.

I recommend the book, if you want more help understanding the larger picture unfold, beyond the daily market gyrations.

Written by Colin Henderson

November 12, 2011 at 21:04

Posted in Uncategorized

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