Aren’t some people older than others? Aren’t some people smarter than others? Aren’t some people braver than others?
How about this: aren’t some companies older than others? Well, even if a company may not be very old, it can still work very well with smart people, especially if those people are brave, too.
Back in 2003, when many old companies were ignoring the risks of the global lending market (including the subprime mortgage market) as well as ignoring the geological realities of things like oil and natural gas and coal, some people were smart enough to look closely at the behavior of investors worldwide… plus brave enough to admit the obvious. One of the most obvious things is that fossil fuels are finite resources.
Another obvious thing was that if humans burn more and more fuel for decade after decade, then eventually there will be much less of those fuels. For economies dependent on oil, that dependency could get very expensive- and not just in terms of dollars, but also in terms of social stability, human welfare, quality of life, and even national security.
Another obvious thing is that all that burning of fossil fuels might heat things up a bit, right? Still, lots of people choose to argue about things like the possible causes of global warming, with some activists maybe protesting against sunlight and others protesting against empty oil wells.
Smarter people might actually predict in advance that burning huge amounts of fuel worldwide might result in a measurable rise in heat. However, it can take a lot of bravery to stop arguing about who to blame and admit that billions of people are involved in the global economy.
By the way, the global economy is just a phrase that actually means the actions of a whole bunch of humans. The global economy is not something that happens to us. It is something that we do.
Anyway, in early 2003, I published an article about the future of the global lending market, which just means the lending and borrowing of a whole bunch of people. I specified in particular the increasing risk in the real estate market of countries like the US, which had become so dependent on borrowing. I also forecast a continuing surge in global prices of commodities like oil and gold, contrasting that with the diminishing opportunity for gains in the US stock market.
In 2004, I published “The Real US Deficit: Oil.” In 2005, I published “Worth it’s weight in… Oil,” noting the practical priority of oil over all other global markets, as evidenced by the price increase of over 1200% from 1999 to 2008, while other commodities of lesser current importance, such as gold, went up “only” by a few hundred percent. So I took the old phrase “worth its weight in gold” and replaced gold with the commodity that everyone who has ever waited in line 5 minutes to get gas knows is far more important than gold: oil. Most people also know that oil is the source not only of gasoline and kerosine and so forth, but also plastic and many pharmaceuticals and pesticides.
As the years went by, myself and others continued publishing articles and giving lectures about the easily predictable future of things like oil prices, the US real estate market, the US stock market, and even things like the fact that the burning of fuels can result in the melting of ice, as in the case of oceans rising faster and faster. In addition to lots of publications and lectures, I recorded a video in 2006 (and uploaded it to the internet) which detailed the sequence of events that would predictably result in the collapsing of major financial institutions like banks, brokerages, and insurance companies. In 2008, that precise sequence of events was frequently referenced in the mainstream media as “surprising.” Major banks in the US, Europe, and elsewhere were facing similar troubles to those faced in similar circumstances, such as in Japan in the 1990s.
Of course, in Japan in the 1980s, many smart forecasters had been brave enough to publicly forecast what developed in the following years, too. As often happens with unpopular forecasts, when those precise developments which had been forecast did arise in the 1990s, the mainstream media in Japan called those developments “surprises.” Soon, the public poured their hopes in to promising reforms and then desperate rescue packages and then eventually a string of politicians with shorter and shorter periods between receiving public confidence at first and then later being blamed as incompetent or even as traitors.
Some things are easily predictable. For instance, burning fuel raises the temperature.
Also, smart people recognize what is obvious. But perhaps only smart people that are also brave would be willing to accept responsibility for adapting to what is obvious. Others may be surprised by the surge of heat in the summertime or in the direct sunlight at noon, and then may look for someone to blame for the surprising heat, such as certain politicians. In fact, that may just be the first stage of adapting. Making personal adjustments may come eventually for them, such as embracing the most obvious opportunities to make easy gains.
So, aren’t some people smarter than others? Further, aren’t some people braver than others? Well, aren’t some results more valuable to you than others?
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- Global Warming:the Warming Issue (socyberty.com)
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- Hold on to your hats (ritholtz.com)
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