Terms Of Service
Quote Of The Day
Terms Of Service
Cite this page
Find James Buchan on:
James Buchan Quotes
A century ago, petroleum - what we call oil - was just an obscure commodity; today it is almost as vital to human existence as water.
For 50 years, nuclear power stations have produced three products which only a lunatic could want: bomb-explosive plutonium, lethal radioactive waste and electricity so dear it has to be heavily subsidised. They leave to future generations the task, and most of the cost, of making safe sites that have been polluted half-way to eternity.
The use of refined petroleum as fuel, which began in the 1850s, freed hundreds of millions of people from the toil of centuries, gave hundreds of millions more a life of ease and plenty, and, by allowing great cities to feed themselves from every corner of the world, multiplied the population of the earth fivefold.
The great disadvantage of getting older is to be obliged to relive the salient economic events of one's youth, with nothing learned and nothing forgotten.
There are signs that the age of petroleum has passed its zenith. Adjusted for inflation, a barrel of crude oil now sells for three times its long-run average. The large western oil companies, which cartellised the industry for much of the 20th century, are now selling more oil than they find, and are thus in the throes of liquidation.
The year 2008 was a reminder to those who had forgotten that there is such a thing as history and that the cycle of famine and feast in commerce, first identified in antiquity and well understood in the Middle Ages, was not suddenly abolished in modern times.
It is time to end the western policy of malign neglect. It is in the interest of the whole world to help tackle the actual grievances in Palestine, Kashmir, and in central and southern Iraq, and to help the region out of its economic backwardness.
Economists, like royal children, are not punished for their errors.
By pouring money and goods into devastated regions, foreign aid workers sometimes compound the disruption and debauch the survivors.
Nature is not simply a technical or economical resource, and human beings are not mere numbers. To suggest that one can somehow align all the squabbling institutions of science, environmental management, government and diplomacy in an alliance of convenience to regulate the global climate seems to me optimistic.
An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.
Saudi Arabia is a puritanical state that claims a monopoly of wisdom and virtue.
Financial crises are like fireworks: they illuminate the sky even as they go pop.
Bulls don't read. Bears read financial history. As markets fall to bits, the bears dust off the Dutch tulip mania of 1637, the Banque Royale of 1719-20, the railway speculation of the 1840s, the great crash of 1929.
When William the Conqueror commissioned a great survey of his English realm at Gloucester in 1085, the result was a work so thorough, fair, dispassionate, and wide-ranging that it seemed to the succeeding generations to have come from another world.
The truth is, of course, that history is not completed in modern commerce any more than philosophy is perfected in political economy. In other words, there is nothing timeless or God-given about filling stations and penicillin and plastic bags.
Up until the Depression, recession had a moral character: it was supposed to purge the body economic of the greed and excess that attends a business expansion.
Cause and effect, the riddle of all history, is a particular devil in financial history; and never more so than today, where entire classes of security are collapsing not on public exchanges and stock-tickers but because there are no markets to establish prices this side of nothing.
Is there any purpose to translating poetry? A poem does not contain information of importance, like a signpost or a warning notice.
When Gordon the Brown, in London in 1997, commissioned a great inquisition or survey of his new realm, the result was the so-called national asset register, which was immediately dubbed by the boomers of the UK Treasury 'the modern Domesday Book.'
Since the attack on the United States on September 11 2001, and the US retaliation in Afghanistan and Iraq, there must be few people who have not felt a twinge of nostalgia for the cold war.
Rarely in modern times has there been such a revolution in commercial sentiment as occurred in 2008, or such a display in government and business of panic and helplessness.
At the heart of banking is a suicidal strategy. Banks take money from the public or each other on call, skim it for their own reward and then lock the rest up in volatile, insecure and illiquid loans that at times they cannot redeem without public aid.
Suicidal violence is not the exclusive property of the Muslim world. Suicide bombings were a tactic of nationalist struggles in 19th-century Europe and Russia, the far east during the second world war and the Vietnam war, and in modern Sri Lanka.
Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born revolutionary who is believed by most Arab and Iranian observers to be the inspiration of the attacks in New York and Washington, is the best known of the Islamic militants to have emerged in the past 20 years and the least difficult to fathom.
Because bankers measure their self-worth in money, and pay themselves a lot of it, they think they're fine fellows and don't need to explain themselves.
Load more quotes
Quote Of The Day
Top 100 Quotes
BQ on Facebook
BQ on Twitter
BQ on Pinterest
BQ on Google+
BQ on Instagram
Quote Of The Day Feeds
Quote of the Day Email
© 2001 - 2019 BrainyQuote