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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Poll update

Early responders seem to prefer gold and silver to foreign currencies, as stores of value. As Shylock correctly pointed out, "thrift is blessing, if men steal it not", and the fear of inflation's theft appears to be greater than the promise of interest on foreign bank accounts. The "breed of barren metal" is winning at the moment.

Please vote in the polls opposite.


Nick Drew said...

Sackers, I'm sure you know already that the Hitch has long been an advocate of stashing gold away against the apocalypse (and guns, and bovril) - this man has influence!

Seriously: are you the man to answer my standing question about the end-game for McBroon's 'Enron economics' ?

Sackerson said...

1. No, and where do I find this Hitch? Is he the same who used Peter Hitchens' name until personally accosted by the great man? Marmite for me, I'm afraid.

2. Please elaborate, not that I promise to have the answer. I think we will one day have to revise this "prudence" tag, but much as I'd love to, you can't blame Brown for ALL our industrial decline. I fear a major economic crisis.

I look forward to your reply.

Nick Drew said...

Yep, that's your man: . If you haven't visited before you may be in for a shock: frequently NSFW.

The Enron question is this:

Brown is frequently held to be deploying 'Enron economics' and off-balance-sheet techniques - PFI/PPP etc. The implication is, (inter alia) he will come unstuck.

Now, we know what happened at Enron, and why and how it happened (well I do, anyway). My question is - what will be the timing, the trigger, the dynamics of the implosion of Brown's set-up? If there are useful parallels it would be interesting to explore them.

Sackerson said...

1. I shall add him to my reading list - I have a weakness for ranters. I am behind on my acronyms - NSFW = never stuck for words?

2. I am no expert on PFI, but Private Eye has done a lot on this and I think also ran a special pull-out on it. It seems to be (a) expensive, (b) involve us in long -term commitments that would be even more expensive to get out of, (c) sneaky, (d) because surreptitious, less scrutinised and therefore even MORE expensive. We must be the laughing-stock of the world's finance ministers, when they know that HMRC's own offices belong to a private offshore tax shelter.

Brown became rector of Edinburgh while a student, as a nose-tweak to authority, and perhaps, like Blair and other brittle authoritarians, he hasn't grown up yet. Many of my generation are as George Orwell said in Inside The Whale: "So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot."

Sackerson said...

...further to my last, I believe it's a maxim in investment forecasting that you don't give a price AND a timeframe. Dodgy accounting means there's an accident waiting to happen, but how, no-one can tell.

My URL reflects the fact that those who prepare well in advance for disaster can look ridiculous, like Churchill arguing for rearmament when there were 12 million people signed up to the Peace Pledge Union. I'm far from rich, so unlike Sir James Goldsmith I can't build a castle in Cancun, Mexico (or flee to Tuscany, or some fastness in Scotland); so I have a vested interest in preserving the social order. We need proper jobs and sound money, for starters. I don't think you can have that with big government.

Brits seem so dazed/uninterested re money, it's as though you were forcing them to learn differential calculus. Americans are bit more switched on. Have a look at "Grandfather Economic Report" and "Financial Sense" on my blogroll, as examples. I hope to learn more about how our system in the UK really works.

Sackerson said...

...and someone I used to look forward to reading in The Spectator, even when I knew virtually nothing about finance, is Christopher Fildes. Here is a good place to keep up with him: