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is that the Ponzi scheme applied mostly to assets, and not to wages and goods. If everything had been multiplied by 10 over the period, it would not have mattered - what was important is that some categories of things saw their prices increase by more than others.

Unsurprisingly, things owned by the rich (assets, especially financial assets) went up by more, and things of the poor (wages) went up less or not at all. Relative prices changed, and thus relative wealth (and power).

The fact remains that a large portion of the middle classes was bought off because its main asset (their house) went up at the "better" regime and it looked like they were doing fine after all. The problem is that they used that (fake) asset wealth to maintain consumption beyond their income level, and now this is all crashing down.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 15th, 2009 at 08:27:38 AM EST

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