26 January 2011

This Week on Bear radio: Cycles and Pre-destination

In this episode we discuss the idea that societies, and economies, are governed by both short and very long cycles of social mood and sentiment. If this theory of cycles (like those proposed by Kondratiev) are correct, then there is very little policy makers can do one way or the other to change economic outcomes. The grandiose visions laid out by the US President’s state of the union address are irrelevant to the economic and psychological prosperity of the nation. The ideas offered by the President’s political opponents are likewise irrelevant for improving the economy. These generational cycles also imply that the cause of the recession and “financial crisis” is deeper than a lack of regulations or risky investment behavior. It was the general bullish attitude of society which inevitably led to lax regulation and excessive risk taking. The next time there is broad bullish sentiment throughout society (80 or 90 years hence) then regulation will inevitably become lax and risk taking will again reach excesses.

We talk about how NO political leaders are championing the idea of state or municipal bankruptcies as a method to cure long-term budget problems. There are NO political leaders suggesting that the major financial institutions like CityGroup should just go bust and that bond-holders and depositors should lose their money. Instead, policy makers whine about deficits, stimulus, education and social safety nets.

Lastly, we explore the fact the Bitcoin is now reaching a new high, in alignment with other markets, with bearish implications.

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