Sunday, November 25, 2007
Long or short crisis? Inflation or deflation?
An interesting post from Michael Panzner, commenting on the views of derivatives expert Satyajit Das. The latter thinks we're in for a 70s-style inflationary grind, whereas Mr Panzner leans towards a 30s-style deflation.
I am reminded of Borges' short story, "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote". In this, a modern author attempts to re-produce the 16th century novel "Don Quixote" by Cervantes: not copying - writing it again exactly, but as though for the first time ever. Since Menard is writing in a different period of history, the same words have quite different meanings, implications and associations. To pen the identical lines today, spontaneously, would involve a monstrous effort. So Borges' tale is a wonderful parable about the near-impossibility of our truly understanding the mindset of the past, and how history can never be quite repeated, because the present includes a knowledge of the past that it takes for its model.
For those reasons, we'll never have the Thirties again, or the Seventies; but we might have a retro revival. And the differences may be as significant as the similarities.