Monday, April 12, 2004

Handbaskets, Hell, and your wallet

Executive summary: Sell.

Housing bubble stories from the Washington Monthly (fresh) and The Economist (last May). And even msnbc is getting on the bandwagon, although since their pages disappear there's no point in linking to it.

From one of last week's Daily Reckonings -
The idea that the average person somehow becomes an 'investor' simply by buying a mutual fund or a share of Yahoo is a myth and a fraud. He is not an investor anymore than a man who tries to make money at a slot machine in Las Vegas is a businessman. He may wear a suit and tie. He may carry a brief case. He may even tally up his expenses and net them against his income, but he's really just entertaining himself.

I only found out about the Daily Reckoning a few weeks ago. It's very well written, entertaining ("Like a vulture feasting on road kill, the gold market feasted on the auguries of inflation yesterday..."), appears to be good advice, doom and gloom with a flourish - but something's strange about it, which took a while to figure out (some people are slow). It's an every man for himself site, there's not a social conscience, no focus on how to avert the coming doom and gloom, except with regards to oneself. They have no problem with feeding the hindmost to the devil - behaves even more poorly as a political animal than he does as a rational economic one. And the world's financial markets are more and more driven by politics...on a global scale. It's a trend, unfortunately, that's gathering momentum...
...political change doesn't happen haphazardly. It's driven by economic change. And some regions are going to do better than others in the future. The questions are: which regions, why, and how do you profit?
When you're used to Andrew Tobias and Brad DeLong, it's a contrast.

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