Poor old Ben Broadbent, second in command to the suave Canadian fellow Mark Carney at the Bank of England. Mark’s a chap who can fall out of a boat without making waves, unlike his deputy. In the hoopla about Ben’s perhaps unwise choice of words – did you know climacteric1 was a thing? his message got lost. but it’s pretty straight between the eyes. In an article for the Torygraph in the guise of Edgar Allen Poe’s Raven, the harbinger of doom says
compared the current slowdown in growth and wages to a lull at the end of the 19th century, when the height of the steam era was over but the age of electricity was yet to begin.
Today’s economy could be experiencing a similar trough as it passes the boom of the digital era and awaits the next big breakthrough, possibly with artificial intelligence.
Ben Broadbent to British economy – you’re over the hill, every which way is down from here for at least a generation
Oy vey. And among other things it’s good to know that the ermine is doing his bit2 for this incoming doom:
something similar happened in the late Victorian era. Towards the end of the 19th century, British productivity “slowed pretty much to a halt” after peaking, as it entered what he labelled a “climacteric” period.
The word “climacteric” is, according to Mr Broadbent, a term that economists have borrowed from biology and means “you’ve passed your productive peak”. It has the same Latin roots as “climax” and means “menopausal but it applies to both genders”, he said.
Mr Broadbent added: “I once got an economist to explain the origins of the word ‘climacteric’. As soon as he started talking to all these middle-aged men – about [how] it means you’re past your peak and you’re no longer so potent – they all said: ‘We understand’.”
Hehe. I understand that climacteric bit, after all I am no longer a productive member of society. For those lucky enough to have the choice, it comes from the age-old arc of a human life, poetically summed up by Carl Jung thusly: Continue reading “BofE’s Ben Broadbent inserts hoof in gob, message gets tossed in can”