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One fundamental thing I think is the notion that the wealth the financial world 'creates' is, to a large extent, wealth it captures, i.e. that already exists. That kind of parasitic behavior can only happen in times of plenty - and the glorious years of the middle classes underpinned by plentiful and cheap energy are just the ticket.

As scarcity reappears, looting will no longer be an effective solution. Will it simply subside, or disappear, or will it try to create the conditions for its further existence (via wars, for instance), is the big question.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jun 24th, 2007 at 07:05:20 PM EST
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I still find the concept of wealth almost completely nebulous, so it's not clear what's being captured. Or created.

You and Linca have already made a point I was thinking about yesterday, which is that it's about the capture of free energy and resources rather than 'money.'

But I think during bubble periods there's a kind of financial indeterminacy. It's a bit like virtual particle creation in physics - you can create as many particles as you want, providing they don't last long enough to be noticeable. Sooner or later there has to be a real world accounting.

Similarly you can create as much virtual money as you want, as long as the markets are prepared to believe it's real. Eventually there's a crash, but a lot can happen before you get to that point.

The question I don't have an answer to is - is this a zero sum game?

As for scarcity - I'd expect war to be a more likely outcome, because some people happen to enjoy it, and others find it profitable.

It's hard enough to make a relatively simple change like enforcing mpg restrictions to avoid conspicuously stupid consumption.

When it's not about SUVs but about food, I expect the crowd to get nasty.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 25th, 2007 at 06:47:10 AM EST
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