The Market Burden

Illustrates the intersection of supply and dem...
Illustrates the intersection of supply and demand curves as the free market equilibrium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s post is actually only a short sound bite for further conversations to be developed in the future:

The real burden of the open and free market is the fact that it does not always behave and act in the way the market participants anticipated. [In other words, the market might be open and free but not perceived as fair – a real challenge when the clearance mechanism experiences the odd bottleneck moment, because in the long run, the market should and will always clear and achieve equilibrium].
The burden the market then bears is in the form of interference and regulation…
Counter argument always very welcome.
theMarketSoul  ©2013

Peak Debt – What Peak Debt?

Peak Debt is in essence the point at which a sovereign nation reaches its maximum indebtedness and cannot afford to service the debt anymore, thus prompting a reduction in the debt (principal).

So, Europe proved yesterday with the uplift of the EFSF (European Financial Stability Fund) from its current base of €440bn to €1tr (boosting it by 127%), that it certainly has nowhere nearly reached European Peak Debt.

Well, as long as the Capital Markets buy this solution, can make a profit and move on to the next wave of Debt delusion, who are we mere citizens and commentators to criticise the massive instability Big Government and a BIGGER EU causes?

We argued back in 2009 that you cannot solve a “debt crisis with more debt” and this sentiment still rings true today.  So when will they ever learn?

Yours forever indebted,

theMark(debt)etSoul ©2011

The Ice Age is Cometh

Originally published 4 October 2009:

Information Asymmetry is what drives the market. We alluded to this in an earlier blog posting (see Market Responsibility, Saturday, 18 October 2008). Yet we still hear the socialist agenda mention regularly that if it wasn’t for the recent government interventions to ‘save the market’, the market would have collapsed. We are sorry, but we just don’t buy this. Yes it is true that individual institutions in the market would have failed, but as a mechanism, the market would have wobbled and other participants would have picked up the distressed bits and pieces and carried on.

True, there was a crisis of liquidity in the system, with severe knock on effects, but as a mechanism for allocating resources, effort and reward, we still believe the market would have survived, with or without the ‘nuclear’ option intervention we saw. The moral of this tale is that unfortunately the socialist elite now believe and make the rest of the market believe that they hold the moral high ground and can dictate the agenda for the next several years. Oh well and so the pendulum swings…

Which was entirely a side track to the real intention behind this posting.

‘The Ice Age is Cometh’ was an article headline in the Radio Times edition of 16 – 22 November 1974. A friend of ours came out with the rank smelling edition of the Radio Times of late 1974, that he discovered stuffed in the chimney breast of his new home. Stuffed in that chimney-breast to obviously keep the cold draughts out, as according to the subtitle the next 1,000 years could be very, very cold, with an advance of the polar ice caps and glaciers. Did we blink or something? We will challenge the BBC to dig out the programme aired in the week of 16 – 22 November 1974 on BBC 2, so that we can be reminded how quickly the agenda and the focus can shift, if we take our eye off the ball and let information asymmetry spin the agenda out of our control.

And we suppose we cannot deny the evidence currently in front of our eyes. Polar ice caps are retreating, which is true if you focus purely on an evidence based approach to trying to understand the wider system. But do make your observations and emotive arguments from within the system, or do you need to step outside that system in order to be more objective. And what about intuition? On a purely intuitive level we believe the earth of GAIA is a self correcting system but we do not have enough evidence to conclusively prove this assertion.

So, in the meantime, we swing one generation to the next, waiting for the ‘Information Assymetrists’ (yes our new made up word de jour) to set the agenda and the morals of the market.

As a soul in this market arena we just keep on being amazed, day in and day out. Please just give us the ability to take the long view…

theMarketSoul ©2009

I blame John Maynard Keynes (JMK)

Ever since the Great Depression and JMK’s ‘The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936)‘, have we had more intense government interference and hence taxation in most advanced economies.  Thank you JMK.

But seriously, how much is too much?  There must be value in controlling fiscal policy, monetary policy and (social) employment policy, but is this being done in an integrated fashion and with ‘value maximising’ principles?

We at theMarketSoul Limited believe this not to be the case.

We prefer to take a leaf out of Joseph Schumpeter’s book and view the economic cycle as either short (1 – 2 years), medium (around a decade) and long-term (many decades).

The trouble with any form of economic analysis is that taking any temperature readings during any specific cycle is just that – A temperature reading.  Meaningless without being set in its proper context. We generally have a major problem in identifying where we are in any given long-term cycle.

It is only with hindsight and the historical perspective that we can truly determine where we were and where we thought we were heading.

It is our belief that we are (still) in the midst of a major paradigm shift, triggered by the innovation wave of the ICT revolution over the last 20 years.

We still have not fully grasped the consequences and full extent of this ‘drift’ to a new equilibrium.

As one of the unintended consequences we are currently facing up to a sovereign Debt balloon and are desperately trying to determine when we will encounter ‘Peak Debt’.

One of the popular libertarian ideals is to cut government’s stake as a percentage of total output of GDP.  We endorse this view, but it appears that at the end of the day (because we have forgotten what Laissez faire looks like); we’ll still need someone to keep the lights on, adjust the interest rates and collect our taxes.  All this in the name of job creation

theMarketSoul ©2011