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Showing posts with label Michael Graham Thomas Paine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael Graham Thomas Paine. Show all posts

June 28, 2010

These are times that try men’s souls

Business owners are wondering if we are heading for flat growth which means values of businesses may not be preserved from the same old, same old. With BP and Europe, we have had a busy first half of the year. Something to keep in mind is that there always seems to be something bad happening in the world. I have been reading forecast books written in the the early 1990s - one by Peter Drucker - and they all miss the Internet and the incredible increase in global connectivity. It has unleashed wealth for millions of people.
I was reminded of the gloom only forecasters by Michael Graham and liked his comments on Thomas Paine. Here is what he has to say about our troubled times:
No one would have thought, and I still can’t, of the mighty European Union with its (equivalent) $16 trillion economy being threatened by the over-indulgences and debt excesses of a handful of its smallest members whose combined GDPs total well less than $1 trillion. However, as with the banking crisis of 2008 – 09, excesses like these can be contagious. Hence, the need to beware of modern-day Greeks bearing debt and even after Greece’s rescue from the brink of collapse to question whether an emergency Euro 750 billion safety net for the remaining PIIGS (Portugal, Iceland, Ireland, Spain) is enough.
Yes, “Acropolis Now” could be presenting the 27–nation European Union and its 16–member Euro with a debt crisis threatening their very existence. The respected German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is one who believes it could be that serious. But, by the same token, could countries like Greece be canaries in the coal mine providing timely wake-up calls of much worse potential disasters needing to be urgently headed off?
 In another tumultuous era, Thomas Paine, the renowned American writer, began his 1776 pamphlet “The Crisis” with the words “These are times that try men’s souls”. Little did he foresee the incredible progress a stricken America’s was to go on to make in becoming the most magnificent wealth-building economy the world has ever known. And concomitantly to unleash human potential no other society may ever rival.
“Weiji”, the Chinese word for crisis has two meanings – danger or opportunity. No doubt which has dominated in China’s spectacular leap to modern-day world ascendancy? Yet not too many years ago, in 1997, an Asian financial crisis that included China posed destabilizing threats similar to today’s Europe. Instead, what followed was an astonishing recovery. And, if China and Asia, why not also the opportunity for constructive change out of crisis in our debt and deficit-riddled world?
By Michael Graham

Michael Graham Investment Services Inc. Tel: 416 360-7538 Fax: 416 360-5566 Web: grahamis.ca