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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bretton Woods - No. Globalisation - Yes

Greetings …

I had the pleasure of attending the FCIB Conference in Budapest a couple of weeks ago. The key-note speech by the Chief Economist of Fortis Bank was amusing, interesting and informative. This was a veritable highlight. Some comments that stuck include; the USA resembles the Roman Empire before it fell, with a near zero savings rate and a $9 trillion debt burden. You can hear the silent cry of US residents – so we have no money, never-mind let’s go to the mall and spend some more of someone else’s money! The prediction is that – if we are all very lucky – the lenders to the US citizenry will not ask for repayment until about 2012/13. So we only have to deal with the sub-prime fall out for now.

The other point well made, amid many a chuckle, was that (i) globalisation, and (ii) technology have changed the rules for the world economy, so the Bretton Woods US consumer dominated model and the associated control mechanisms no longer apply.

Participation in the world economy has grown ten fold since 1990 (800 million American-European-Japanese participants to 6000 million citizens) and technology has made the world ten times faster. Business has been turned on its head by technology and open access, from a heavy asset based fixed address model to an intelligence-connectivity model. Nation states have lost control since intelligence and connectivity has no fixed address.

The positive spin-off for all world citizens has been enormous. Sustained and stable economic growth, low inflation and low real interest rates; despite the world financial crises companies in the real economy are still in good shape.

Were you at the FCIB conference I Budapest? If so, what were your impressions? If not, do you agree with the sentiments that I have poorly represented above?

Regards Ron

PS: Find out more about the FCIB on

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Invitation to join GCMG – No formalities required …

You are warmly invited to become a member of GCMG – in fact you are already a member. We do not need to know your name, or where you live, you need no qualification other than an interest in B2B credit management, which you obviously already possess. There is no fee to pay!

There are three types of member of GCMG, you are free to choose which one you wish to be and free to change category whenever you like.

The first type of member is a Spectator, who visits the blog from time to time and reads the content. Spectators sometimes pass on a link to friends and colleagues, or send a copy of an interesting item posted.

The second is a Questioner, who visits regularly and from time to time submits a question related to international B2B credit management.

The third is a Contributor, who offers answers and advice to Questioners via blog comments. Contributors are also encouraged to suggest books and articles that members may find interesting and to post reviews. Suggestions regarding new techniques and technologies are likewise welcome. Send an email to and your contribution will be posted under your name or nom-de-plume, as you wish.

All members are valuable, all are welcome.

Ron Wells

Note: B2B = business to business

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Comments published on behalf of the GCMG will appear here regularly.

The formation of the GCMG was inspired by the exploits of Credit Agent 007.24 Samuel James Bond Barrett in Central Africa in the mid-nineties. That amazing story illustrated the way forward for 21st century credit management.

Read the full story at

I’m also looking forward to reading your comments in due course.

Ron Wells