Monday, 18 November 2013

Dreams And Nightmares

It is a pity that there is not a Nobel Prize or an equivalent for the most blundering and unwise political programmes.  That is those that not just fail to achieve the stated objectives but inflict serial operational and financial disaster on the sectors affected.

Lately, and in the last decade there has have been no shortage of contenders in the West.  Some of the shambles have seemed surreal.  So when an article popped up in the inbox about a "Pink Dream" it seemed that an internet glitch had mixed up serious economics with other things entirely.  But the Mises article in question was all too serious.

It is one of a run of interesting articles on doomster lines recently, one about the Skyscraper indicator of economic risk taking, another on the 1923 German inflation, arguing that it was the German politicians who were ultimately responsible and another about Obamacare and how unintended consequences are all too predictable.

The "Pink Dream" in question is a precious stone, a diamond in the highest category and very desirable.  At its sale it achieved a price huge beyond expectations.  This is something occurring now in other sales, notably fine arts an example being the Francis Bacon works.  It is also a feature of some property markets one being London.

As the train rolled into Victoria Station a kindly father was telling his son about the Battersea Power Station works.  It seems that there will be flats and to lodge an interest you have to put down £20,000 and then expect to pay up to a million. 

Not far down the river are more huge buildings going up.  Soon The Thames will become a man made Grand Canyon of new blocks and in each the units will be far beyond the incomes of any ordinary people or even many of the middle classes.  My only hope is that the grotty old mid 19th blocks and clock tower opposite St. Thomas's Hospital at Westminster will be flattened and replaced by something big, shiny and occupied by Boris Johnson's big spenders instead of the current big expenses claimers funded by taxpayers.

If we were all becoming richer it might be one thing, but alas we are not.  It is clear that many in fact are becoming poorer and will stay poor.  For the last couple of decades there have been pensioners with disposable income, this will not last.  Also, there have been wage earners with money to spare.  This too is about to go into reverse.  Then there has been a debt fuelled consumer boom, again about to end.

So all our pink dreams may be about to become very grey nightmares.  Waking up afterwards will not be any better.

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