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 Post subject: Re: The coming financial storm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:17 am 
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Eschatologist wrote:
ps200306 wrote:
Eschatologist wrote:
The bigger issue is that we have not yet solved the problem of how to make 7.4 billion people happily productive. I don't know what the answer is.

Yet there are vastly fewer of them in poverty and vastly more in relative affluence than when I was born, and the global population has pretty much doubled since then.

Right. My 7.4 billion reference wasn't intended to make any point about the Earth's carrying capacity, just to step back and suggest/wonder whether the development endgame is a spreading of the same kind of vague social malaise affecting Western countries (and particularly the US) which seems to have at its root the problem that we haven't found a way to satisfactorily balance out employment effort and reward across the whole population - there are excessively-occupied people leading rich, stressful lives at one end and insufficiently occupied people leading poor, stressful lives at the other.

From a microeconomics perspective it makes sense but I don't think it maximises aggregate happiness.

The US is a particularly nasty way to deal with employment. It's not far from "be employed or starve", it's already in the "be employed or be homeless" state. The consequences of lack of employment (for whatever reason) are particularly harsh and that infects the psyche negatively. Where I work we has someone fired in the latest round of firings for being sick a little bit too often. That wasn't the stated reason (there isn't one), but it's the only one we can come up with, since he was competent, thorough, and the areas he works is short-staffed in his expertise. Shareholder profitability with no workers rights is a particularly toxic mix.

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 Post subject: Re: The coming financial storm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:57 am 
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Posts: 1336
Eschatologist wrote:
ps200306 wrote:
Eschatologist wrote:
The bigger issue is that we have not yet solved the problem of how to make 7.4 billion people happily productive. I don't know what the answer is.

Yet there are vastly fewer of them in poverty and vastly more in relative affluence than when I was born, and the global population has pretty much doubled since then.

Right. My 7.4 billion reference wasn't intended to make any point about the Earth's carrying capacity, just to step back and suggest/wonder whether the development endgame is a spreading of the same kind of vague social malaise affecting Western countries (and particularly the US) which seems to have at its root the problem that we haven't found a way to satisfactorily balance out employment effort and reward across the whole population - there are excessively-occupied people leading rich, stressful lives at one end and insufficiently occupied people leading poor, stressful lives at the other.

From a microeconomics perspective it makes sense but I don't think it maximises aggregate happiness.


Indeed - we are at an interesting juncture as we transition into the technological/information age, the farce of gross wealth inequality is becoming more apparent and less accepted, hence social cohesion issues are on the rise across the globe. Life may well be improving but the push to become a beneficiary is also rising which brings with it disruption on a grand scale.


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 Post subject: Re: The coming financial storm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:47 am 
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Joined: Feb 21, 2008
Posts: 4206
yoganmahew wrote:
Eschatologist wrote:
ps200306 wrote:
Eschatologist wrote:
The bigger issue is that we have not yet solved the problem of how to make 7.4 billion people happily productive. I don't know what the answer is.

Yet there are vastly fewer of them in poverty and vastly more in relative affluence than when I was born, and the global population has pretty much doubled since then.

Right. My 7.4 billion reference wasn't intended to make any point about the Earth's carrying capacity, just to step back and suggest/wonder whether the development endgame is a spreading of the same kind of vague social malaise affecting Western countries (and particularly the US) which seems to have at its root the problem that we haven't found a way to satisfactorily balance out employment effort and reward across the whole population - there are excessively-occupied people leading rich, stressful lives at one end and insufficiently occupied people leading poor, stressful lives at the other.

From a microeconomics perspective it makes sense but I don't think it maximises aggregate happiness.

The US is a particularly nasty way to deal with employment. It's not far from "be employed or starve", it's already in the "be employed or be homeless" state. The consequences of lack of employment (for whatever reason) are particularly harsh and that infects the psyche negatively. Where I work we has someone fired in the latest round of firings for being sick a little bit too often. That wasn't the stated reason (there isn't one), but it's the only one we can come up with, since he was competent, thorough, and the areas he works is short-staffed in his expertise. Shareholder profitability with no workers rights is a particularly toxic mix.


Based on having lived in the US how many years? Its funny how Europe seem to be full of experts on the US who never seemed to have lived there. Or if they have stayed in the US lived for a short time in some ex pat bubble.

The "homeless" in the US end up that way for exactly the same reasons as the dossers and (non professional) beggars I see on the streets of Dublin, London, Paris etc. Drink, drugs and repeatedly making the same stupid decisions. It aint due to "unemployment". Drunks and druggies tend not to be employable. In any country.

As for "starving" in the US. FFS. Most of the poor underclass in the US are overweight. Its got a very extensive welfare system. Which most middle class Europeans would qualify for based on net disposable income.

Its funny to talk to people in Europe about how happy they are with their life and work. I've yet to meet a French person (in France) who does not hate their job. Pretty much the same in Italy. Brits tend to be a bit more positive but the Irish overwhelmingly tend to consider work as little more than an irksome imposition in order to pay bills. Which mainly seems to be the mortgage. Which is why Ireland has no startups and no hi-tech worth talking about.

I much prefer the direct no bull-shit American way of work. If you dont fit you move on. And if someone on your team does not fit in you get rid of them. None of the arsing about you get in Europe. Either due to culture or the law. Its better for all concerned.

As for the coming financial storm. Well we just had a repeat of the late 70's stagflation doldrums so we are about due for an early 80's style brutal recession. Despite what the macro economists may think the real world economies are really only ever in one of three states: heading towards a financial crisis, in a financial crisis, or recovering from a financial crisis. The last recovery was the most anemic on record so we are well on our way towards the next financial crisis. Which will be the long predicted Baby Boomer Retirement Crisis Gotterdammerung. Which is when Boomers find out that you cannot retire on savings and investments in a ZIRP world. And pay as you go retirements systems require a 1/4 dependency rate to be solvent. Not 1/2 and falling.

The US given its boisterous political system and immense natural resources has a rosy future. The UK, Netherlands and Nordics not bad. The rest of the EU is fucked. Ireland doubly so as it is little more than a tax haven. Been to the Canal Basins (Grand and Royal) recently? Pretty much a foreign MNC enclave by this stage. Reminds me of the Shanghai Bund in the 20's. An International Settlement. The only thing missing is a SMC running the place and the consular courts. Although pretty much all the transactions there (1.5 trillion?) seem to be de facto extra territorial when it comes to legal jurisdiction so who needs explicit extraterritoriality. When was the last time the Irish regulators or legal system asked any awkward questions of the MNC's and their enablers?

Not exactly a sound basis on which to build a future national economy after the next inevitable crisis. So fucked. The lesson of history is that it is never a matter of if but when. And exactly just how nasty the what is.


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 Post subject: Re: The coming financial storm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:40 pm 
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jmc wrote:
Well we just had a repeat of the late 70's stagflation doldrums

Stagflation = stagnation + inflation. What inflation have we just had?

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 Post subject: Re: The coming financial storm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:35 pm 
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ps200306 wrote:
jmc wrote:
Well we just had a repeat of the late 70's stagflation doldrums

Stagflation = stagnation + inflation. What inflation have we just had?


We have had inflation in terms of increased money supply ($4t QE in US, £500bn QE in UK, €1.5t and ongoing ECB bond buying)


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 Post subject: Re: The coming financial storm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:01 pm 
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johnp002 wrote:
ps200306 wrote:
jmc wrote:
Well we just had a repeat of the late 70's stagflation doldrums

Stagflation = stagnation + inflation. What inflation have we just had?


We have had inflation in terms of increased money supply ($4t QE in US, £500bn QE in UK, €1.5t and ongoing ECB bond buying)


That's not inflation. Inflation is prices going up.

Inflation (except in assets) didn't happen because the increased money supply was hoarded/hoovered/absorbed by financial institutions.

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 Post subject: Re: The coming financial storm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Jan 4, 2012
Posts: 565
Eschatologist wrote:
johnp002 wrote:
ps200306 wrote:
jmc wrote:
Well we just had a repeat of the late 70's stagflation doldrums

Stagflation = stagnation + inflation. What inflation have we just had?


We have had inflation in terms of increased money supply ($4t QE in US, £500bn QE in UK, €1.5t and ongoing ECB bond buying)


That's not inflation. Inflation is prices going up.

Inflation (except in assets) didn't happen because the increased money supply was hoarded/hoovered/absorbed by financial institutions.


Some of that asset inflation affects all those who are investing in a massively overbought stockmarket (directly or as part of the portfolio of their pension fund)
It would be great if the sustained dilution of our currency did not inevitably lead to significant price inflation but I can't imagine how that could be possible.


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 Post subject: Re: The coming financial storm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:02 pm 
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johnp002 wrote:
It would be great if the sustained dilution of our currency did not inevitably lead to significant price inflation but I can't imagine how that could be possible.

How many more years of being wrong will it take to change your mind?

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 Post subject: Re: The coming financial storm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:06 pm 
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QE caused reinflaton of financial assets, stocks & bonds. Take away CB support for the markets and let's see what it all looks like. QE is just money printing for the elites.


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 Post subject: Re: The coming financial storm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:27 pm 
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Joined: Jan 4, 2012
Posts: 565
Eschatologist wrote:
johnp002 wrote:
It would be great if the sustained dilution of our currency did not inevitably lead to significant price inflation but I can't imagine how that could be possible.

How many more years of being wrong will it take to change your mind?


The same amount of years it takes for me to figure out how currency dilution without subsequent price inflation is possible!


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 Post subject: Re: The coming financial storm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:01 pm 
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Too Big to Fail

Joined: Aug 23, 2008
Posts: 3350
Location: Bogtrotterland!
Eschatologist wrote:

That's not inflation. Inflation is prices going up.

Inflation (except in assets) didn't happen because the increased money supply was hoarded/hoovered/absorbed by financial institutions.

or on today's world, the quantity goes down for the same price!
Shrinkflation, the shops are full of examples.

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 Post subject: Re: The coming financial storm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:02 pm 
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Posts: 4543
johnp002 wrote:
Eschatologist wrote:
johnp002 wrote:
It would be great if the sustained dilution of our currency did not inevitably lead to significant price inflation but I can't imagine how that could be possible.

How many more years of being wrong will it take to change your mind?


The same amount of years it takes for me to figure out how currency dilution without subsequent price inflation is possible!


Indefinite hoarding?

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People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.


Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
Book I, Chapter X, Part II,


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 Post subject: Re: The coming financial storm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:10 pm 
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This inflation debate never gets old. All I know is houses/rents are mega expensive again, and that's a huge inflation for a lot of people. How much NAMA property was bought by Wall St insiders - prime beneficiaries of QE, and converters of peoples homes into speculative vehicles.


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