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« Implications of Sapient Governance 6 | Main | On the debate - or a portion of it. »

October 02, 2008

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e sciaroni

This is so true. But these ideas will be derided by the vocal "experts" and our economy will continue it's long decline. Conditions will need to become much worse before real solutions are tried as a last resort.

Sukhbir Dadwal

Dr Mobus,

In general when you talk about the economy in this post and in prior posts, are you talking about the entire world or just the US? I do understand that the US' economy affects the world economy, But can you be a bit more specific as to who is to blame for the majority of this problem (ie US, World, Western Nations etc..).

murray g

well said. I write like this in New Zealand - when the papers take it! Absolutely on the......money!

George Mobus

Sukhbir,

In general I take the whole world into account since the financial system is global in scope. People in Europe and many parts of Asia, India, etc. have been just as imprudent as in the US and Canada.

And so far as blame is concerned it is hard to point a single finger. Certainly the Wall Street geniuses who came up with these various instruments should have known better. But so should their managers.

So should the mortgage lenders who loaned out money to people who clearly could not qualify under the historical rules. The sub-prime/foreclosure debacle was just a trigger event, not the basic cause.

We are all to blame for believing that our profligate lifestyles in the West could go on forever. We are all to blame for using credit to buy stuff we didn't really need. This isn't just a phenomenon in the US, although it is probably more pronounced here, it has become the modus operandi in most of the world. Borrowing against presumed future earnings as opposed to borrowing from past savings has spread to every nation, it seems.

And since the production of wealth has always been a function of energy flow, and now that flow is subsiding, we are not going to be able to produce the right kind of wealth in the future that will allow us to pay back the loans. The paper that supposedly represented wealth will simply vanish from existence since it was unreal to begin with.

So I can't be specific in blame because what is to blame is our attitudes toward work and wealth. What ultimately causes the pain we are going to suffer is the reduction in oil production and energy in general.

It's all a complex system!

George

George Mobus

Thanks murray g.

alex

great post, lots of important ideas.

in the conclusion you say, "Unless our leaders begin to show some gumption and start telling the truth, and start us down this path, there will be nothing left to salvage."

with the passage of this absurd bailout, isn't it about time we gave up on the political/corporate leaders and become our own leaders? if anything positive is going to happen in the future, it will be because WE made it so.

my blog is endofcapitalism.com

thanks!
alex

George Mobus

Hi Alex.

I suspect that as things get worse, people will cling more to their own chosen leaders. A lot will be revealed if Obama wins and things still decline. I expect there will be continuing failures in the financial markets in spite of the government's efforts. And the majority of people will just cling tighter.

On the other hand there are already a few wiser people setting up intentional communities working toward achieving energy independence from the centralized economy.

The wise shall inherit the Earth.

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