The end of what we think is normal.
War, economy, climate.
Coping with increasingly unstable world!
We ask what's real what's not?
Some of this may be controversial and upsetting.
The best, cheapest, most democratic, most possibly natural exercise (maximally antifragile): a high-dimentional (daily) walk. No two steps will ever be the same. No smooth surfaces. You concentrate naturally. No music. No shoes that fit like a cast and prevent you from “feeling” the terrain (vibrams, instead). You do better going fast, in a state of exhilaration, than going slowly, particularly when you run downhill. Best of all, you don’t know you are walking. I am lucky to have found a mile long round trip stetch. Best of all, your body weight drops like a stone…
We do not know exactly what to do about it, except to urge policymakers to STOP substituting QE for sound tax, regulatory, labor, environmental, and fiscal policies.
Due to the combination of the lagged nature of inflation in wages and consumer prices, the vital (if possibly more ephemeral than policymakers think) role of “confidence,” and the fact that each particular brand of paper money is competing with other currencies that are similarly mismanaged, the world is in a position today in which the major central banks see only the beneficial effects of QE and not the risks. Bonds that otherwise might be collapsing and repudiated are at sky-high prices with stingy yields. Reported consumer inflation is near historic lows. Consequently, central bankers think that what they got away with yesterday will also work today and next week. Investors either have not figured out that they are long seriously overpriced promises or think that they will all have the luck and perspicacity to reject such instruments before they plunge in price.
The reason we combined derivatives and QE in this discussion is that both are proud inventions of modern financial science, both have many of the characteristics of money-creation, and both are undertaken without any real understanding by public or private sector leaders of their nature, power, interconnectivity, and ultimate consequences. QE is exceptionally dangerous and way past its tipping point. We do not believe it can be unwound without serious consequences. Central bankers think (hope?) that it can be easily unwound at some future date, but they may not be right.
When the rejection of long-term bonds and paper money starts at some unpredictable future time, it may be fast and difficult to contain or reverse. History is replete with examples of societies whose downfalls were related to or caused by the destruction of money. The end of this phase of global financial history will likely erupt suddenly. It will take almost everyone by surprise, and then it may grind a great deal of capital and societal cohesion into dust and pain. We wish more global leaders understood the value of sound economic policy, the necessity of sound money, and the difference between governmental actions that enable growth and economic stability and those that risk abject ruin. Unfortunately, it appears that few leaders do.