It is true that America was built on the back of the railway, as trains lugged produce and manufactured goods to their markets and made money for all in the process. In the same way, investment is the lifeblood of all industries and without finance projects do not get off the ground. Fast trains and fast finance: how to a grow a nation quickly. There are, of course, dangers in anything that moves fast; fast cars crash and fast men play fast and easy with the truth.

To move a train with real speed, you need a well made and maintained track. There is an ongoing debate in America about building a real fast train in California, but residents are against in consideration of the potential noise pollution, and the dangers inherent in crashing at that speed. There have been some horrific accidents in North America involving trains derailing whilst carrying oil and wiping out entire towns; as happened recently in Canada. The faster things go, the more careful you have to be with all your protocols and safety checks.

The finance industry went too fast and ran out of control prior to 2008; and we ended up with a global financial crisis. From which, many European nations have still not recovered from; Greece, Spain and Ireland to name but a few. In the US, the Obama government has been forced to drip feed the currency for almost its entire two terms. Printing more and more money to prop up the economy, until finally, the patient is starting to feed itself. Fast loans can generate fast growth, but without the necessary checks and balances the economy can be on a one way street to hell.

The economy is best served by steady growth, like a train pulling a load up a hill. China has been an express train towing the world economy in its wake and, now, that growth is slowing. The engines have been reduced to a crawl and smaller nations, like carriages, are coming to a halt. The capitalist global markets have been holding onto the coat tails of a socialist market economy for more than a decade. What does that say about the health of our world economy? Is this train still chugging along under its own steam or have we been on a slow boat to China all along?

Too much fast food is bad for you and the western diet is addicted to the stuff. We have to ask ourselves what kind of nation are we growing right now and whether instant gratification is going to solve the problem? Our veins are clogging up with cholesterol and our economies are, likewise, not responding to fiscal stimulation; both need a health check.