Thursday, October 09, 2008

Musings on the global financial crisis

I am only doing one major post today, and that on another blog. In Australia and the global financial crisis I have tried to extend my analysis on the current financial fire storm.


There has obviously been a lot of coverage again today in the media and on blogs about the financial crisis. I will not attempt to summarise it all, much is ephemeral, just point to a few points.

The issue of trust, or the loss of it, continues as a regular theme, as does the need for more regulation in response. I agree with the first, but disagree with at least some of the arguments on the second,

The longer term implications of the crisis for global economic power is also now getting a fair bit of coverage as people look past the immediate issues. I have argued that the crisis will reinforce shifts. However, we also need to exercise care in terms of time horizons. The shifts we are dealing with remain longer term shifts.

Looking just at the Australian coverage, there is a degree of "aren't we good" that must be a bit galling to some international readers. We have done better than some others, and that is partially our own responsibility. But we have also been very lucky.

On a linked but different issue, I have suggested that in the midst of turmoil we need to watch the implications for our university sector. Overseas full fee paying students are not just a major source of export income, now one of the largest, but also critical to the financial viability of some of our major institutions.

Just to put this in perspective, if overseas student numbers were to decline by around a third as a consequence of the downturn (and this is possible), then some universities would face immediate financial problems.

In the midst of today's financial news, a new list of the top 200 global universities was released today. Those that are interested can find the list here. Only the Australian National University made the top twenty.

No comments: