At last, when 1929 is evoked, the objective can agree. This excludes Dick Fuld, formerly CEO of Lehman Brothers, who in his testimony to a US Congressional hearing self-servingly claimed (possibly to mitigate the litigation threat):

“No one realised the magnitude of these problems. I said what I believed to be true – that the worst of the impact to the financial markets was behind us. With the benefit of hindsight, I can now say that I and many others were wrong,”
But, of course, he is not alone amongst the experts in excusing his actions. And it is true that he did not make the rules of the game: principally, ridiculously easy money.

Yet today the cry, accompanied by visions of catastrophe if it is not forthcoming, continues for still more easy money. I am really not sure what world these mad voices are living in that they consider the actual state of affairs non-catastrophic but here is a small observation: the wheels already fell off. Iceland, for Heaven’s sake, is short of the foreign reserves necessary to import food.

Right now we are just looking for salvage – this is no repair job (please repeat so long as symptoms of denial persist). It is bad enough to be in a dire situation created by a macro-economic mismanagement that focused relentlessly on (the lack of) “core” inflation whilst ignoring rampant asset inflation as conveniently beyond mandates. But, look out, here comes the recession – linked but separate – to truly put the boot in.

Which brings me to the many research reports now tossing around the phrase “a generational opportunity to make money”. Nuance - it is firstly a generational opportunity to lose money. I concede freely that with a time horizon of five years it might be a good time to buy and forget. If you have the cash. But to make “generational” money long from here in under that requires luck, not skill.

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