24 March 2009

Restart the bubble

An interesting statement buried in the comments to Steve Keen's latest blog entry (which itself is worth reading as it discusses how neoclassical economics got us into this mess and how [if] it can be changed - as usual with the Keen blog, the comments are just as illuminating):

I have spoken to many whom I thought educated and found a pattern. Those in debt or those that stand to lose from asset deflation wants the bubble restarted.

... and those who didn't get into debt, saved prudently and/or bought some gold, don't want it restarted, I'd add. The observation is that the former are in the majority, but this doesn't mean they will "win". I think they are all waiting for someone else to start buying so they can offload their assets and get rid of their debt.

All this Government "help" going on at the moment is about restarting the bubble, which is another way of saying restoring consumer confidence, which is another way of saying let suck some other idiots in to boost up asset prices. The question is will it work, are people so desperate for the bubble to restart that they will believe and thus act, or is there just too much debt?

Before you answer that it is comeuppance time, consider this from February 1991 in "The case for gold in the 1990s" (see my blog of 7 Sep 2008):

The old remedy of inflating out of this predicament by issuing cheaper and cheaper money into the banking system simply will not work this time. The reason is simple – the country is already awash with too many debtors.

Well they got away with it then, maybe they will do it again. But maybe this time people are bit less trusting and a bit more exposed to alternative views via the internet.

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