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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The money supply, the stockmarket, gold and land

Here's part of an interesting interview with a hedge fund manager in 2003, reproduced in October 2005:

An old interview with Hugh Hendry (2003)

Hendry: What's happening today happened 300 years ago in the French economy when John Law, another Scotsman, was allowed to launch the first government-sanctioned bank, which replaced coins with paper money. Commerce boomed. Politicians recognized this correlation between issuing more money and people liking you. They issued more and more money, but it was a false promise. Nothing intrinsically was being added to the economy except promises, which could never be redeemed. Selling by speculators caused the stock market to correct. The correction encouraged the authorities to print more funny money. Ultimately, the continued pumping of liquidity destroyed the economy, the stock market and France's currency.


More recently, the U.S. came off the gold standard in 1971 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average bottomed in 1974. Over the next 25 years, the Dow goes up 20-fold because every period of economic anxiety brought forward an orthodoxy of generous liquidity. Money has to go somewhere. It seeks to perpetuate itself by going into a rising asset class. This time, it is financial assets. Just like the Mississippi stock scheme in 1720 and the South Sea Bubble in London at the same time.

Hugh Hendry set up Eclectica Asset Management in 2005 and like others I've mentioned before, seems to have discovered an enthusiasm for agriculture; Eclectica's new Agriculture Fund is detailed here.

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