Wolfgang Munchau tem no Financial Times uma apreciação sobre a economia britânica, Britain can no longer depend on being cool, não primando pelo optimismo - bolha especulativa no imobiliário, fragilidade do sector financeiro, e erosão da capacidade do país no domínio da engenharia e da ciência. A reter, como referência futura - a prosperidade económica de um país pode assentar, em grande parte, nos serviços? O comportamento futuro da economia britânica poderá contribuir com factos para a elaboração da resposta. Excertos que dão conta da linha de argumentação do artigo :
"Axel Leijonhufvud, the Swedish-born economist, once made an insightful observation about inflation targeting. It worked better in practice than it did in theory, he said. I feel the same about the UK economy. Given what we have long known – about the country’s relatively low productivity growth rate and the erosion of its scientific and engineering excellence – the British economy should clearly not have performed quite as well as it did for the past 15 years. Economic theory would suggest that this was not possible.
In the next few years, I expect the UK economic miracle to be exposed for what it was: an overlong joyride on the back of an overlong asset price bubble. The UK economy is about to undergo a downturn at least as large as that of the US – maybe even worse, because of an even more inflated housing market and because the financial sector constitutes a larger share of gross domestic product."
Um parágrafo intermédio:
"Perhaps the worst thing will be that working in finance will no longer be regarded as cool, as it has been over the past 15 years. Finance will be once again what economic theory always told us what finance should be: a necessary activity, requiring some technical skills, but rather dull in the absence of bubbles."
"The adjustment ahead will put the previous 10-year performance of the UK economy into some perspective. My own guess is that Britain’s heavy reliance on financial services and housing, until recently seen as a great strength, will in future be seen as a structural weakness, similar to the French labour market or the Italian public sector.
Funny that, given what we have been told about economies in the 21st century succeeding through services and the like. But then, economic fashions are subject to violent swings. As for the gap between practice and theory, theory may on occasion provide more lasting insights."