Thursday, October 30, 2008


"First, all the countries that got access to the Fed’s swap lines are US allies, and all except Singapore are democracies. Russia may be part of the G-8 but it is outside of this club."

- Brat Setser, "At this rate the world's economy will be remade before November 15th".


The article is not about Singapore of course. I am amused, however, at how off-the-cuff the reference to Singapore not being a democracy is. There is also a remark that Singapore is considered a developing economy.

The article is pretty good though in highlighting that our traditional understanding of the global economy will shift fundamentally. The IMF has already moved in ways that are considered deeply non-traditional, economies like Singapore, Korea and Brazil are getting swaps at terms similar to G-10 countries, etc.

My 0.02 prediction will be that the focus of the world economy will eventually become more mulilateral, which is a good thing by my books. Perhaps it will finally drive home the fact that our global economy is truly global now.


Yu Sarn said...

"First, all the countries that got access to the Fed’s swap lines are US allies, and all except Singapore are democracies..."


"They're on to us!"

Khayce said...

I know. That's what I found most funny about the article.

Pendragon said...

What are we? A quasi-nepotic monarchy cum capitalist?

Khayce said...

We're a theocracy. Think about it.

Pendragon said...

You're suggesting that SG has deified the Singapore Dream of competitive achievements (namely the 5 or more Cs) and our rigged age and racial demographics, and they're what runs us?

I thought that was just the tool.

The hand that wields it, however...... our dictator? Or the various other parliamentary forces working behind the scenes?

Pendragon said...

I'm guessing. I'm not really clued specifically what's going on.

Pendragon said...

I guess that would be your next blog post? =P

Khayce said...

I may make it a full fledged post but here's a summary.

The crux of a theocracy is the selection process of the leaders are based on some article of faith. I certainly can't discern a process by which our leaders are chosen, much less test it for falsibility. I have to take it on faith how our leaders are selected and removed. So does the rest of Singapore.

In contrast with a dictatorship, the theocrat doesn't say "Do this because I tell you to." Instead, they say "Do this because -external power- tells you that we should."

It doesn't quite matter what this external power IS, so long as this external power is sufficiently large and inscrutable. In Singapore's case it is economic prosperity/stability but it can just as easily be the sun (as in the case of Japan) or God (as in the case for the Vatican).

Another interesting offshot of a theocracy is that natural disasters are a sign that the ruler has lost the mandate to rule. It doesn't matter whether or not the ruler actually has control over these disasters. Think of the floods of Ancient China and the mandate of Heaven for the Emperor. Think of the economic disasters of late, and everyone yelling bloody murder over the loss of money, and you'll see where I am coming from.

Before we go on, a meritocracy is entirely compatible with a theocracy. Think again of the Imperial Exam system of Ancient China.

Anonymous said...

Well, economic crises are not natural disasters. The leaders have some form of control. Which makes it look worse for them.