Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Richard Daughty (the Mogambo Guru) refers to articles by Nouriel Roubini and Sharon Kayser, giving us debt -threat vistas of $1 trillion and $1,000 trillion respectively. Then he returns to Terry Pratchett's Discworld dwarves' favourite song ("Gold, gold, gold, gold...").

Two problems: one is, I can't visualise anything with many zeroes, so it's not real for me. More importantly, if there's a major meteor-strike financial bust (i.e. deflation), I'd have thought cash in hand is what everyone will want.

Unless a crazed government opts for hyperinflation. In which case, I'd rather have pallets of canned baked beans, boxes of ammunition and many brave, loyal friends. You can't eat gold.

But as with all truly terrible imaginings, the mind bounces off this like a tennis ball from a granite boulder, and we turn back to normal life with determined optimism.


dearieme said...

The stupidest decision I ever made was to sell my rifle and let my gun licence lapse.

hatfield girl said...

A culture that hoards for hard times, like the winter,using all kinds of delicious preservation techniques for all kinds of food when it is cheap and in season, is inherently more resilient than one where seasons in terms of glut and cheapness are abolished, and storage extends to a bought jar of jam.

There is a way, a drawing in of spending horns and living frugally, that is denied by urban and supermarket lifestyles. though it does seem to come with guns.


HG: ... and it's fun, and it marks the seasons. The further away from Nature we get, the crazier we become. I said years ago to a group of English teaching curriculum revolutionaries, that we think we're sophisticated and now can't even name the natural things around us. There was an embarrassed lack of comment, and I realised that one party or the other was mad.

Nick Drew said...

By this reckoning, just-in-time inventory management must count as the height of ... something or other


Hi Nick; yes, I do think that in general, we could reverse a little along the line from total jnterdependence back some way towards local and individual stock-building and self-reliance. We need to reexamine our systems for survivability.

Nick Drew said...

i feel an essay coming on, there is a lot of meat on this


You or me to write?

Read my latest today, especially the Market Ticker reference (

I sometimes think of that newspaper story some months ago, about the tribe (somewhere in Borneo?) that won't let anybody land and civilise them. They lasted this long, and certainly wouldn't be affected by a recession.

The Australian aboriginals coped without modernity for what - 40,000 to 60,000 years?

Also, interested (and gladdened) to read in the sophisto-despised Daily Mail today that they've scrapped the idea of building a traffic-easing road tunnel under Stonehenge. It lasted 5,000 years - how long would the tunnel last?

Maybe the Olduvai Theory isn't all bad news.

Nick Drew said...

well I shall have a go when the ideas coalesce, & would be interested to read yours on the same theme

(BTW, I seem to be excluded from the Market Ticker forum)


...but if you want to take a peek at the bleaker end, here's a link found via that thread:

My objections? (a) these are not options available to most people, and (b)collective action beats individualists.

Perhaps survivalism tends to the formation of new common-interest "tribes", but the atypical means by which these form may build-in certain social, psychological and demographic weaknesses.

In my view, we should do better to think about putting a bit more "winter fat" on our existing economic and social structures. It's all too lean at the moment.

As to the latter, we need to move back away from external towards internalised control, i.e. shared culture, morality, authority (as opposed to bureaucratically-controlled force). That's not to imply some sort of anti-immigrant line - the older indigenous generation and the older immigrants have quite a lot in common, I'd suggest; the real threat is the moral/cultural vacuum of PC permanent revolution.


Nick: can I suggest you have first crack, while the inspiration's on? For Market Ticker forums, you need to register, but it only takes a minute. Lots of vulgarity and rumour, but also technical stuff from professional traders and investors - I'm learning...