Saturday, August 08, 2009

Bubble 3

It's getting to the point where things go worryingly quiet. First we had a speculative and debt-fuelled stock market bubble; then ditto a housing bubble; and now that the US/UK governments have swallowed the grenades of debt instead of throwing them over the firing-step, a government finance bubble.

I started this blog two years ago, because I thought precious few people sniffed what was in the wind - though I've since discovered that there are quite a few, mostly in the US, who did. I don't know why the UK is so poor at this, unless it's to do with not being used to retaining much of our income. Or a hangover from aristo-landlord days, of pretending to be uninterested in money but always expecting it to be there when needed.

But where can I go from here? There's not much point in continuing to cry iceberg when the ship's side is ripped open. Both Karl Denninger and James Kunstler are saying today that the disaster is far from over, the difference between the two being that Denninger still believes in fixing it with due legal process and decisive action, whereas Kunstler has no such hope and almost looks forward to the final scene because it will usher in a postmodern bucolic age and restore human values. (Kunstler's latest echoes what I've said recently, about drawing some cash for just in case.)

I feel like the Chinese philosopher who dreamt he was a butterfly and when he woke, was not sure whether he wasn't a butterfly dreaming he was a Chinese philospher. The sun shines (beautifully today), I have my teaching to prepare for September, I am proceeding with my plan to revive my IFA business. And yet these projects seem insubstantial, a soapskin full of emptiness.

For now, I have to go on with the assumption that Denninger is right - that when it gets bad enough, tough action will be taken and we'll pull through. That's the horse I'm backing. For I don't believe the proto-Marxist fantasy that a better society will rise out of a collapse, especially not on an overcrowded island like the one where I live.

Off on my hols again next week; and when I get back, time to tackle real life.


Brooklyn Sven said...

If I lived in the UK I'd be getting involved with the Transition Towns movement. Like Kunstler, these people may have it all wrong, but the effort they are engaged in has at least the virtue of being proactive.

It may also turn out that even if they fail to change the outcome for the nation as a whole, the mutual aid they can provide for each other under the worst scenarios may afford them a better than average results.

OldSouth said...

Kunstler suffers from that peculiarly American disease of seeing the world only from the attitudinal environs of the old East Coast circuit--Ivy League Schools, and life lived in the coastal cities between Washington and Boston. It's a different country twenty miles in from each coast, and he makes the typical mistake of thinking that those of us who live outside his bubble are all rednecks and rubes.

The anger being expressed at the members of Congress has not been manufactured by any lobbying organization: It is the real thing, born out of frustration and horror at the course our wonderful country has taken, and the arrogant refusal of members of Congress to listen.

These are not racists, or nazis. Some are Christian conservatives, but there are a lot of conservative Protestant Christians of all stripes throughout the heartland. They were not screaming racial epithets, they were not throwing things or brandishing guns.

They were trying to get their elected Representatives, who are deeply out of touch with life, to listen to them.

He also seems to think that somehow everyone will simply give up their lives away from the city, and consent to move back into concrete residential towers, in the name of some greater good.

He's deluded.

Denninger, on the other hand, sometimes gets hysterical. He's predicted the end of the world as we know it this coming Monday morning on several occasions in just the past twelve months.

He expresses righteous anger, and his call for an economy that understands that ethics are not optional, and that we will pull through, are more on point.

I still find Mish Shedlock and Calculated Risk deliver more insight in a more dispassionate manner--which in the long run is more useful.

And, Bearwatch: Keep it up, you are doing great work.

Cheers, and enjoy the holiday.

Sackerson said...

Brooklyn Sven: yes, I've looked at he Transition Towns idea. It makes sense to be more energy efficient, just in terms of saving money. Thanks for your visit.

OS: Many thanks for your heartening support. I do read Mish, but not CR regularly, must remedy that.