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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Flat Broke and Berserk

Stagflation? Who can say?
Paul Kasriel says no to seventies-style stagflation, for two reasons: oil supplies aren't being choked off, and unions are weak. He may be right.
But I understand that the Saudis are keeping oil production at an unsustainably high level, even though this is damaging the quality of the remaining underground reserves. In French wine-growing terms, this is known as "faire pisser les vignes". And given the Peak Oil issue, we're going to find that countries like Russia and Iran may use their energy supplies to further their own agendas.
As to union wage demands, yes, the brothers are no longer so united; but the voters may yet get together behind a politician who promises to maintain living standards. I predict this will be achieved by writing checks/cheques on the future, i.e. inflation. That's after the current bout of monetary deflation, of course.
Which brings us to currencies. It's a good week for readers of Julian Phillips: here he discusses how in rural India, the rupee is on a flexible gold standard to avoid the depredations of taxation and bribery; and here he looks at possible plans by G7 nations to place your money under house arrest, to prevent it fleeing the country.
Is this back to the 70s, or the 60s? As Wikipedia reminds us, "In the summer of 1966, with the value of the pound falling in the currency markets, exchange controls were tightened by the Wilson government. Among the measures, tourists were banned from taking more than £50 out of the country, until the restriction was lifted in 1979. "
Pursuing my "sell up and get a (possibly horse-drawn) caravan" theme, I note it's a tradition of the Romanies to collect large pieces of Royal Crown Derby pottery - beautiful, thickly patinated with gold, easily identifiable in the event of theft, and impossible to melt down. Soon it'll be time to join the raggle taggle gypsies, O.
Until then, I have to have a replacement car (they tell me Fiat stands for "Fix It Again Tomorrow"), so I'm off to a second-hand auto supermarket today. Let's see if there is any real sign of recession hitting big-ticket items.


AntiCitizenOne said...

May I recommend getting a VW Golf.

P.S FORD Fix OR Repair Daily.

Sackerson said...

Used OK?

Sackerson said...

... and the guy at the showroom said Lotus = Loads Of Trouble, Usually Serious

Anonymous said...

We used to have a Vauxhall Insipid.

AntiCitizenOne said...

There are no used Golfs.

They get more "worn in". Mine seemed to be made from recycled tank parts and just never went wrong.