Thatcher and Reagan: If you read this post, you’ll prove my point

 

So, Brian Blackstone of the Wall Street Journal was sent to Basel to cover the annual meeting of central bankers there last Sunday, and I’m guessing the event was a serious snoozer. How else to explain his writing a whole article about the remarks of one Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, a former (former!) ECB official, who apparently blamed Thatcher and Reagan for the world’s financial ails. Mind you, if you read past the first paragraph, you’ll see that he doesn’t really blame them, he blames their successors, and that his criticism is mostly trivial, cliched or incoherent. More to the point, who cares what he thinks. I suppose Blackstone was just relieved to hear the words “Thatcher and Reagan” amid the droning. Those names, at least, always get people to click on the link.

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  1. Profile Photo Member
    @ScottR

    The allure of your post was not the names Thatcher and Reagan, but Berlinski.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire

    Goodness, you’ve got me in a bind: Either I fail to defend my point, or I refuse graciously to accept a compliment.

    Verdict: Thank you.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Contributor
    @PeterRobinson

    Your phrase “central bankers in Basel” reminded me of “gnomes of Zurich,” on which–I’m in a hotel room with a moment on my hands–I just Googled. Know who originated the phrase? Harold Wilson, in an attack in the House of Commons on the Tory government of Harold MacMillan, which had just tried, and failed, to persuade the unions to swear off demands for higher wages:

    Traders and financiers all over the world had listened to the Chancellor. He had said that if he could not stop wage claims the country was facing disaster. Rightly or wrongly, these people believed the Chancellor. On September 5th, when the TUC [Trades Union Congress] unanimously rejected wage restraint, it was the end of an era, and all the financiers, all the little gnomes in Zürich and other financial centres, had begun to make their dispensations in regard to sterling.

    What I found striking: the year, which was 1956. Britain had been at the mercy of the unions, in other words, for more than two decades before the 1979 election of Margaret Thatcher.

    Thatcher. Over to you, Claire.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire

    You know, I did know that! Why I knew it, I’m not sure. And yes, there’s a reason I’m All Right, Jack, which was released in 1959, was a success: Fred Kite had by then become a fixture.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire

    You know, I did know that! Why I knew it, I’m not sure. And yes, there’s a reason I’m All Right, Jack, which was released in 1959, was a success: Fred Kite had by then become a fixture.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Caroline

    If you write Reagan, Thatcher, Palin, or cats, I will click through.

    • #6

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