23. Unusually Uncertain
In Carl Sagan’s novel Contact, an unknown alien, encountered by Dr. Ellie Arroway, talks of Earth’s “astonishingly backward economic systems.” Abandoning the Great Moderation and Goldilocks economy, the world embraced Botox economics. Botox is a toxin, commonly used to improve a person’s appearance by removing signs of ageing. However, the effect is only temporary, with significant side effects.
As the global financial crisis rolled on, Financial Botox, a flood of money from central banks and governments, covered up unresolved and deep-seated problems. The prevailing thinking was from Will Rogers: “If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?”
Government spending, industry support schemes ...