Sunday 11 October 2015

Where Is It All Going?

Around the world there are many who are puzzled about why the demographics do not fit with demand or spending or wage levels or labour needs.  There are many and various explanations.  One favourite is that it is hard to predict what changes will happen or how quickly they proceed.

There is another factor that seems to be ignored, picked up from the Automatic Earth via the World Economic Forum and from Project Syndicate.  John Kay, an academic of some standing says that a great deal of what goes on and has gone on in the financial sector so loving embraced by world politicians is essentially embezzlement.

That is we have stolen from the future.  The key matter in the "bezzle" is that whereas the thief enjoys the proceeds as he or she takes the money in, the ultimate loser does not realise what has happened for some time.  And when it is clear it is often difficult to work out who has taken what.

In the period between the take and the realisation that the money has gone who knows where, there is an idyllic phase when the money is theoretical and the punters play the system for all that it is worth.  Booms, bubbles and rising GNP and the rest tell us that the world is good and we are getting the best.

In our modern world a crucial difference to the past is the nature, power and extent of computer power and its impact on all parts of the financial system.  The sums of money have become bigger, far more mobile and easier to hide.

So while they are there in theory and so many of our transactions tell us that it is all happening we have lost count of what is and what isn't.  When what isn't becomes the norm and we believe all our own fictions then it can and will go wrong.

Meanwhile at the Royal Mint a gold sovereign (in theory £1) will set you back £500.  What you might get for it in the future is an open question.

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