THE LORD MAYOR of London was in town over the weekend… and Bruneian intellectuals and top economists did not bother to attend a half-day forum in Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) in which His Excellency Alderman David Lewis gave his keynote address last Monday (October 13, 2008). Only a handful of interested audience were present… 😦
The Lord Mayor, who is also the United Kingdom’s Ambassador for Financial Services, touched on a number of crucial issues vis-a-vis current global credit crisis during his short, punchy speech. He also kindly suggested that Brunei ought to become a ‘tax-haven’ already as an International Offshore Financial Centre, given the solid political stability and the Abode of Peace as a truly peaceful country, amongst other advantages. 🙂
Incidentally, on that day one of the world’s leading economics gurus, Professor Paul Krugman of Princeton University in New York was awarded the Nobel Prize for economics science. And even he has praises for London ‘Economy 101’ school of thoughts:
In his New York Times Op-Ed column (published October 12 2008), Paul Krugman, rhetorically asked:
“Has Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, saved the world financial system?
O.K., the question is premature — we still don’t know the exact shape of the planned financial rescues in Europe or for that matter the United States, let alone whether they’ll really work. What we do know, however, is that Mr. Brown and Alistair Darling, the chancellor of the Exchequer (equivalent to our Treasury secretary), have defined the character of the worldwide rescue effort, with other wealthy nations playing catch-up.
This is an unexpected turn of events. The British government is, after all, very much a junior partner when it comes to world economic affairs. It’s true that London is one of the world’s great financial centers, but the British economy is far smaller than the U.S. economy, and the Bank of England doesn’t have anything like the influence either of the Federal Reserve or of the European Central Bank. So you don’t expect to see Britain playing a leadership role.
But the Brown government has shown itself willing to think clearly about the financial crisis, and act quickly on its conclusions. And this combination of clarity and decisiveness hasn’t been matched by any other Western government, least of all our own…”
Honestly speaking, what do I know about economics, anyways? 😉