I am here at Abu Dhabi Airport. My flight was supposed to depart at 2.15am. It’s now 9am and we’ve been told the flight may take off at 11am. So you can imagine the state of the place and the state of me! There’s no point in getting angry at staff, who are trying their best to deal with a mega systems failure. There has been a collapse of the Etihad infrastructure: poor visibility due to fog, lights on the runways have gone out, crews are not able to make their connection and now there is a massive backlog of planes queuing up on the runways with no one to fly them.
Obviously, now that the backlog is into many, many hours, lots of the crew who could work are prevented from doing so as they would be over the acceptable working hours per week or month. Here in the business lounge after 12 hours, it’s like a refugee camp for people with lots of air miles, and the levels of middle-aged male indignation is rising ever higher. The Filipino stewards are doing their best, but they have about as much idea about what is going on as the rest of us. However, their Etihad uniforms makes them legitimate targets for customer ire.
This collapse this morning got me thinking about systems’ failures in general.
Running an airline and an airport that prides itself on being a transit hub is an extremely tricky business and – as everything is profoundly interconnected – when something small goes wrong, like fog in the early morning, everything can collapse. You’d hope that this would not be the case, indeed you convince yourself that this can’t be the case, but it is.
Systems can be very fragile and the difference between smooth organisation and total chaos is, in reality, very small. The possibility of contagion – in this case with flights, connections and crews – is everywhere. Like the ecosystem of a rain forest, each small change can have an amplified effect on activity somewhere further down the food chain.
Deeply unstable set-up
These changes, which on their own don’t seem to add up to much, can profoundly affect the health of some creature or plant. Similarly, the airline network with its web of connecting flights, each one depending on each other, is a deeply unstable set-up.
Financial markets are similarly integrated ecosystems and the question is whether they are becoming more – or less – stable……………………………
full article at source: http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2014/03/10/russian-roulette-in-an-unstable-world?utm_source=Website+Subscribers&utm_campaign=e3ce0a49c4-22112012&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_861a00f27d-e3ce0a49c4-266228133
Here is an excellent commentary by David Mc Williams on the current financial crises in europe .I find myself in agreement with most of his analyzes .His assertion that the answer to deflation is inflation and his knowledge of current German ideoligy is spot on as I am living here among them I can confirm that is what I am hearing from many Germans I talk to here in Lubeck
My own belief is we need a Financial Marshall plan for Europe
Pod cast here
By David McWilliams
Did you know 47 million Americans live under the poverty line and that figure has risen every year for the past four years? There are more Americans in poverty than at any other time during the past 52 years.
What about the fact there are the same amount of jobs in total in the US economy today as there were in 2000, and yet the population is 38 million larger? These are significant figures because the US economy is not creating jobs and, without jobs, these figures get worse. If they get worse, something will give.
Maybe the rise in US poverty is the reason why extremely rich Americans like Warren Buffett are imploring US President Barack Obama to tax the rich more. Maybe Mr Buffet reckons it is better to give away a bit of wealth now, than all of it in a massive political change later. We see the same thing in France, where the very rich are arguing to be taxed more.
full article at source: http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2011/09/21/world-is-on-the-edge-and-something-has-to-change?utm_source=WebsiteSubscribers&utm_campaign=275fecfcfb-Weekly_Roundup_10_August_2011&utm_medium=email
David McWilliams has posted a new article, ‘Too much regulation will stifle our
Yesterday the IMF published its fifth review of Iceland’s economy since the crisis began. The IMF declared Iceland’s economic progress “impressive” and disbursed a loan tranche of $225m (€136m).
Now if this sounds weird to you, it should do. This is the Iceland that defaulted on all its bank bondholders and this is the Iceland that the IMF warned would be cut off unless it paid all its foreign bondholders. Yet just two years later, the IMF declares that Iceland’s progress has been “impressive” and lends the country money!
full article at source : http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2011/06/08/too-much-regulation-will-stifle-our-banking-sector
Am I hearing right? Didn’t I hear this warning before wasn’t that what Sean Fitzpatrick said on our TV screens at the height of the housing Boom? I sent it because of light regulation we are in the mess we are in? I saw David Mc Williams’s latest TV appearance and I got quite a shock and the first thing that came to mind was well we have another Berti Ahern in a cupboard effort!
While I find myself agreeing with most things David says about the economy I do not agree with light regulation on the Banks and his new acting career might not be one of his better moves
David McWilliams has posted a new article, ‘Memo to ECB: print money ‘
Is the European Central Bank (ECB) Europe’s AIG?
In other words, will the ECB be left holding the can, having lent all this money to the peripheral countries in order to save rich banks in Germany and France, in the same way as insurance giant AIG was destroyed by the sub-prime market?
If you remember back to the Lehman crisis, it was the collapse of AIG that really spooked the world’s financial markets. It had recklessly insured most of the toxic waste of Lehman’s and other banks’ balance sheets – all the sub-prime mortgages and worse.
When they all defaulted, the damage went straight on to AIG’s balance sheet as the insurer of last resort.
The ECB in 2011 is beginning to look Like AIG in 2008. It is certainly also beginning to sound not like an institution that is in control, but an institution that is beginning to panic.
For example, speaking on Thursday, executive board member of the ECB, Lorenzo Bini Smaghi (who, despite sounding like a character from Lord of the Rings is actually an Italian economist) opined that high-debt countries must stick to the terms of their bailouts. If they don’t, they risk having their banks cut off from ECB capital measures. Surely this is not how central banks work?
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A good article well worth the read .
David McWilliams has posted a new article, ‘We’re being played for fools’
Where do you think the financial markets assess Irish risk? What countries are
we compared against? Surely we are still regarded as a European developed nation
when it comes to risk?
Think again. After – or more likely because of – our recapitalisations and
bailouts, the world regards us as a bigger default risk than […]
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