Guest Post: Jessica Q Fox – Short the West

You don’t know me, but I’m a long time lurker on the Cat. I’m an engineer who writes Science Fiction (and you can find me on Amazon if you are interested: end of plug [Youtube clip here. Sinc].)

I recently read The Big Short by Michael Lewis. If you don’t know it, it concerns the origins and development of the GFC; the mechanics were quite clear, the government mandated high risk loans for housing, the banks complied, made the loans to people who weren’t going to pay them back and then, after slicing and dicing, on sold them. The book deals with a collection of individuals who came to realise the risk was being covered up by complexity and each decided to do something about it to make a profit. They effectively made bets that the thing would collapse and the loans would become a serious loss. And in the process made a pile of money. I guess everyone here knows this, but it’s essential background.

Some time back, there was an article in Catallaxy, about the future of the Eurozone, and it made it clear that the future was bleak, and a commenter (just who I cannot recall) wrote ‘Short Europe’ which struck me then as an interesting idea, though as a result of my ignorance of matters financial or possibly fiscal I had no idea how anyone might do this. I guess buying an option on French champagne for one Ozbuck a bottle in ten years time might do part of it, but there has to be a better way.

The Cat consensus, the odd troll excepted, would seem to be that Europe is screwed as a result of its atempt to turn itself into a bureaucratic state along the lines of the defunct USSR. After the recent US election it would seem that the US is trying to turn itself into a copy of Europe with borrowed dollars. Australia may or may not reverse the trend, but it can hardly be counted on. In fact, the conclusion that we are living at the collapse of Western civilisation would seem to be a coldly objective summary of the political situation. The lefties, however, do not concur. They think the centralisation of power and the closing down of freedoms is just fine.

The big problem all Cats face is what to do about it. We could try to reverse the trend, but there is a case for believing this is not possible. There doesn’t seem to be too much scope for using reasoned argument and economic arguments with the average Joe or Jo. They can’t see the connections and would rather focus on smaller things they can understand. Like ‘Free Stuff’.

Hence my suggestion for action: We emulate the sceptics and denialists of The Big Short. After all, they made a load of cash, and if we all make enough and slap it in a couple of foreign banks, we should survive even if the country or the whole of western civilisation goes down the toilet. We could be a Foundation in the sense of Asimov, preserving the bits in the hope of regrowing the West someday when the lefties have all starved to death.

I admit I have not yet worked out the details, which is why I offer it at this stage to the combined intellects of Catallaxy. We share a conviction that things are bad in Europe and the US and not very good in Oz. We share a conviction that as a result of a collectivist lunacy they are likely to get worse. How do we bet on it? It seems to be a win-win situation. If things get better and we lose the bet, what the hell? If things get worse and we win the bet, things get worse for the people dumb enough to let it happen but not for us, we’re swanning around Switzerland or the Caribbean or Shanghai. The the screams of the lefties as things go down the toilet and the discovery that they can’t get their hands on our money will be merely an added pleasure. And our trolls who dissent can take the bet on the other side, although I doubt they have enough money to allow the rest of us to do much swanning.

So how about it Cats? Think positive!

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114 Responses to Guest Post: Jessica Q Fox – Short the West

  1. The Old and Unimproved Dave

    Many a person who has shorted something has been caught out by a margin call in a brief rally. Can you really trust leftist elites to not manipulate something like this to squeeze out the shorts?

    “He who sells waht isn’t hiss’n,
    Must buy it back or go to pris’n”

  2. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Sinc

    This is an extremely interesting post. Can you make it ‘sticky’, please? ‘Below the fold’ at the Cat acts like a bit of a memory hole, and I believe that this post is of particular interest, will attract relatively few but (hopefully) very thoughtful comments from people wh really know what they are talking about.

    So I think this is worth making ‘sticky’ for at least a week or so. That way it stays on the front page for a while.

  3. And Another Thing

    Geez, I’d love to be positive about any of this, I really would.

    But say you made this pile of cash, would it be worth the paper it was printed on?

    Sometimes I’m just overcome by bleakness as I see the world’s leftists tighten the noose of redistribution taxes and micromanagement and meddling with the day-to-day lives of citizens.

    Political students become union officials and then parliamentarians without a clue about real work and real life.

    No wonder the country is being run by a pack of inept, dumb, social-engineering clowns.

  4. Will

    the GFC; the mechanics were quite clear, the government mandated high risk loans for housing, the banks complied, made the loans to people who weren’t going to pay them back and then, after slicing and dicing, on sold them.

    Most devastatingly, the rating agencies totally failed to perform their task.

    I read in the Fin Review how Australia largely avoided the GFC because it has a banking sector that was suspicious of new products (following the near collapse of Westpac some years ago) and the Australian Banks did not trust the rating agencies(!!!).

  5. Alfonso

    Indeed, the Community Reinvestment Act is common knowledge.
    However Goldman Sachs’ role in constructing and marketing mortgage CDOs based on the compulsory loan sludge and then market making complex CDS’s that bet against those CDOs, including $4 billion in ‘personal’ bets against by GS…..is not so well known.

    The projectile vomit irony is that Bush tried twice to have Congress repeal the Community Reinvestment Act…..it survived and not by Democrat votes alone.

  6. Will

    The Cat consensus, the odd troll excepted, would seem to be that Europe is screwed as a result of its atempt to turn itself into a bureaucratic state along the lines of the defunct USSR. After the recent US election it would seem that the US is trying to turn itself into a copy of Europe with borrowed dollars. Australia may or may not reverse the trend, but it can hardly be counted on. In fact, the conclusion that we are living at the collapse of Western civilisation

    I suspect that the “collapse of western civilisation’ meme is a bit overdone and hysterical. It is more likely to be like the European dark ages, when Islamic piracy reduced trade and standards of living declined 30%. It will take the collapse of the EU and the emergence of strong, competitive nation states to reverse.

    Unlike Europe, there is still much optimism for the USA. Like the Roman Empire, it can survive Emperors both good and bad, and the development of oil shale will provide an energy revolution that even the insane left cannot stop.

    The future may well belong to Asia, and Singapore’s per capita GDP is now sadly 50% higher than Australia’s. Much will depend on how China handles their internal political situation.

    I wouldn’t be too pessimistic, after all communism did collapse. It just might take a few more years for democratic socialism to fade away as well.

  7. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Base-level tactics, the minimum you should have

    The obvious, which everyone should have anyway in case of natural disaster food, lighting, fuel and water for at least a week.

    minimise debt so you can keep your dwelling.
    Have at least a basic ability to assist in feeding yourself (know how to grow veggies and look after chooks, perhaps a beehive or two, if you have an acre or so you can have some goats as well)

    Own and know how to use at least a few basic hunting implements (fishing gear, perhaps including nets, and at least a .22 rifle for small game)

    Have an ability to protect yourself and your immediate community (an effective neighbourhood Watch program is the obvious palce to start)

    Have a small stock of silver or gold.

    These are rock-bottom basics.

    JQF is talking a level well above this. I’d love to see our Trader’s view!

  8. sfw

    Russ Roberts makes the point that the banks and the banks owners and investors expected that the government would “Bail them out” and so there was no inclination to limit risky loans.

    I’d love to short Europe or even an individual country and make a motza, but how? Is what Soros did with the UK pound possible? He made a fortune but he had the power to influence the outcome.

  9. Will

    Hence my suggestion for action: We emulate the sceptics and denialists of The Big Short. After all, they made a load of cash, and if we all make enough and slap it in a couple of foreign banks, we should survive even if the country or the whole of western civilisation goes down the toilet.

    I would suggest that you will make most money by ‘going with the flow’ and becoming a rent seeking crony capitalist, like Goldman Sachs.

  10. Jarrah

    “But say you made this pile of cash, would it be worth the paper it was printed on?”

    This is the big problem, I think. If Europe and the US go down in fiscal flames, fiat currencies would not be safe. Indeed, if the conflagration is severe enough, then the systems that underpin property rights themselves would be under threat.

    And people who disagree with the consensus or dissent are not trolls, Jessica.

  11. Craig Mc

    Old Unimproved Dave has it. You need very deep pockets to play the long game in currency or stock markets. There are those who know others are playing the long game, and use short game blips to take them out.

    In the end, you’re really talking about emigrating. Wherever you send your capital is probably the place you want to live. Emigration is effectively nothing more than betting for/agin particular nations which is what this question is really about.

  12. dd

    Couple of points… I think there’s less consensus on this site about the future of Europe than you recall. There’s certainly vigorous disagreement about whether the Euro is a good thing or bad thing, particularly in situations like Greece.

    On the one hand, joining the Euro allowed them to go up to the eyeballs in debt; on the other hand, it is a method of enforcing discipline and market reality on them now that the damage is done.

    The Euro, in creating a massive single currency zone enables an enormous free trade zone, facilitates the movement of goods, services, people, and finance around that zone. So in theory it should be a good thing, and if done right, would be.

    The problem is that it created a temporary free rider problem (borrowing on other people’s credit rating), centralises policy-making, and has facilitated a massive bureaucracy at the centre of the whole thing.

    Judith recently mentioned that federations outperform single states. The Euro is a federation. However we are seeing, locally and globally, a rising danger for federations such as Aus, US, the Euro, and elsewhere; they are prone to the disease of massive bureaucracies, debt, creeping centralization of power, and reckless short-term policy. Still, creeping centralization is better than outright central control, but nonetheless is an everpresent drift, like the tug of undercurrents in placid waters.

    That’s the problem. Until federalism is resurrected as a viable system in and of itself – not just borne out of historical accidents but as a worthwhile system of governance – the great Federalist systems of today’s world will continue to drift.

  13. Mk50 of Brisbane

    DD:

    Until federalism is resurrected as a viable system in and of itself – not just borne out of historical accidents but as a worthwhile system of governance – the great Federalist systems of today’s world will continue to drift.

    And the shoals are ever-hungry for drifting hulls.

  14. Alfonso

    ‘massive single currency zone enables an enormous free trade zone’

    Alas, the very same conditions allow for the financial mixing of chalk and cheese cultural values which leads to arbitrage in social welfare mendicant “markets”. There is no ‘enormous compatible values zone’.

    The parallel universe joke is it’s seriously claimed the EU is required to stop Germany and France ever going to war again….with 3 feminised divisions.

  15. The trouble with gold is that Bill Shorten will work out a way to get his hands on it like the Turkish Government WSJlink

  16. Some pensioners have moved to SE Asia where the cost of living is cheaper.

  17. .

    If you can pick Europe’s fate you’re a genius.

    Remember this: the modern monetary theory and the chartalists is/are wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Currencies have collapsed after a reliance on seignorage. “But the Government can print it’s own money” works as long as the money is accepted in commerce.

    The early US currency collapsed. The US has defaulted on bonds in the last 50 years. Argentina collapsed. The Reichsmark collapsed. The Nazi, post rentenmark collapsed technically – hence why they invaded Czechoslavakia, to back it up with gold. The roman denarius was so debased it caused the downfall of the western empire, after long supporting unsustainable spending that high taxes could no longer afford after they drove fringe towns to the barbarians, commerce became inefficient, the pay of a roman soldier was debased so they had less motivation to fight or not desert. Any proto banking system the romans had was slowly killed off. Zimbabwe is kleptocratic the way it prints currency. The chinese silver yuan collapsed before communists won the civil war.

    That’s just off the top of my head.

    John Law’s ghost is a spectre of doom, not a friendly white ghost.

    You can never create value through seignorage, just impose a stealth tax to pay for unsustainably high levels of what is by then (or now) inefficient spending.

    All you ever do is destroy the currency, banking, exports and property rights system over the nation you are ripping off blindly.

    QE as a permanent solution of the US get out of gaol free card” of minting platinum coin and assigning it the value of a few trillion livres and paying off your own debts to yourself smacks of the Mississippi Scheme.

    The collapse of currencies is what gives the final testament to the confirmed inferiority of statism to liberalism.

  18. Simon

    I would have thought it was pretty much the same problems we have here in Australia. We need to de-politicize money and trade, remove many useless world governments and slim down those that remain. Someone mentioned ratings agencies earlier, they do work but they need to be used against governments too, crap governments need to know that nobody will invest in enforcing their rules and as such nobody will be lending good money either. This needs to apply to West even more than to the developing nations of the world. To blame markets in such a regulated world is either hopelessly ideaological or seriously disingenuous. If the German state wasn’t running surety for the Greek state who would have pushed that line of credit? Don’t blame companies for exploiting a “sure thing” made foolproof by politics. Short sighted governance is where this starts and ends.

  19. Alfonso

    Not wishing to depress the sovereign individuals further…the aim of the State is to eliminate convertible ‘paper’ currency.
    Your card gets topped up from street ATMs, they lose no tax to black market cash transactions, the perfect paper trail is perfect compliance and general control is awesome……your digital currency is only redeemable for that which the State deems it redeemable. It has the value the State decrees, you cannot flee.
    Not to say there won’t be a floating trading AUD for BHP.

    Coming sooner than advertised.
    You’ll have barter, life in a 3rd world jurisdiction or precious metals left……and one other, but I might need that.

  20. .

    Alfonso

    JC tells of a smartphone currency app…that kind of thing might change the way things are done.

  21. John A

    Hence my suggestion for action: We emulate the sceptics and denialists of The Big Short. After all, they made a load of cash, and if we all make enough and slap it in a couple of foreign banks, we should survive even if the country or the whole of western civilisation goes down the toilet.

    Sorry Guest, but you are advocating the Paul Eerdmans solution (“The Crash of ’79″) – modified ‘eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.’

    I daresay the same sentiments were being uttered in the 300s as the Roman Empire showed signs of crumbling at the edges. It took another 100 years for the collapse to manifest itself in Goths and Vandals climbing over the walls, but the internal vandals had already undermined “the glory that was Rome”.

    And no, Asimov’s Foundation series was very much about central control, massive bureaucracy, rigid totalitarianism, as was his Robot series. His objective was a new Galactic Empire, his methodology was statistical determinism. All perfectly Leftist.

  22. Entropy

    One of my offsiders regularly buys gold, and is slowly exiting out of shares. And when I say buys gold, I mean actual little ingots on a regular basis. I keep threatening to sneak around to his place with a metal detector late at night, because we have all decided he buries them around his backyard like Ralph Blewitt.

  23. Skuter

    Remember this: the modern monetary theory and the chartalists is/are wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Currencies have collapsed after a reliance on seignorage. “But the Government can print it’s own money” works as long as the money is accepted in commerce.

    Indeed. The state theory of money is the weak point of MMT/chartalism. Without that, their argument is gone. When a population starts to question a currency as a store of value, the end game begins. When a population decides it doesn’t want to use that currency as a medium of exchange and the unit of account, the currency, and with it societal order, collapses.

  24. Chris M

    The trouble with gold is that Bill Shorten will work out a way to get his hands on it

    Molon labe….

  25. wreckage

    And no, Asimov’s Foundation series was very much about central control, massive bureaucracy, rigid totalitarianism

    If he was in favour of such a system, it’s a bit ironic that the central “fact” driving the fiction was that centralisation inevitably, mathematically, led to collapse.

  26. wreckage

    I wouldn’t short the US. It has a strong Federation (not in the John Howard sense), and its population is holding steady (expanding slightly due to immigration).

    Europe on the other hand? I don’t know how bad it might get. But it might not, either. There are still some states there acting in their own self-interest, despite the high rate of institutional suicide.

  27. JQF

    I understand the general negativity here. After all, it’s all about trying to win a bet against crooks who will cheerfully welsh on the deal if they can. The heroes of the Big Short were worried that the guys they made their bets with would go broke, what we are up again is worse.
    What is harder to understand is the optimists. ‘There is a deal of ruin in a nation’, or words to that effect. But the general trend of decline I would have thought manifest. And not just the inevitable relative decline; if you want to predict the fate of a nation, look at its education system. Australia’s has been in decline for a long time. It has followed the US in this regard, as has the rest of the Anglosphere. I know a bit about the education of engineers, and it ought to be getting better given the internet, but it isn’t.
    I understand that we are looking at events on a time scale that is of the order of a human life span here, which is why most people can’t take an interest. Somebody ought to. It used to be the job of the universities, but they have almost ceased to exist except in name only. Remember Harvard sacking its president for suggesting that perhaps male and female minds might be different on average? And that’s supposed to be the best in the world. Anyone who thinks we’ll muddle through has his head up his bum.

  28. Keith

    A writer of witch stories wants to embrace the dark ages. Hmmm. Is this a wind-up ?

  29. JC

    Jeesica

    Word of advice.it’s really hard to short the EU when the central bank is basically set on a path to inflating out of the crisis.

    Shorting is a hazardous strategy unless you’re really nimble and quick as government don’t like their assets getting the shit booted out of them.

    This is a time for paired trading. I’m thinking of a short France long Italy strategy at the moment as I think the Frogs are in for some serious trouble going ahead.

    But I wouldn’t try net shorting for any length of time as you end up with one’s sexual organs handed to you on a platter…(sorry to be so coarse but it kinda fits the discussion)

    Europe is going down, but it’s going down in a way that won’t be easy to trade. In fact it could 20 years of bumbling around from crisis to crisis before it goes down the gurgler.

    Then again it may not.. Italy for instance is making some pretty interesting reforms although it needs to tackle the labor market a bit more.

    I’m not as negative as some people on Euroweenieland over the short term by the way. In fact I’m long the Italian index, but I could nix the trade in a second.

    Japan for instance is a basket case of debt. However after the recent election of a government promising reflation I bought a few stocks. Honda Motors is a big posy of mine.

    So being negative to a trader doesn’t always mean trades are the same direction.

  30. TerjeP

    The EU does lots of stupid stuff. But the real drag on the EU economy is the huge array of anti market measures imposed at the national level by national governments. Be it wage regulation, excessive spending, excessive taxation (France), excessive borrowing (Greece), bank bailouts (Ireland) etc. Any nation within the EU and using the euro has loads of latitude to implement pro market policies and prosper as a result. The EU is often a drag but minor compared to domestic politics and domestic policy inertia. Leaving the EU and the euro might theoretically be a good idea in some instances but it doesn’t at all guarantee any improvement in domestic policy. In fact it’s probably a distraction. Although deepening ties with the EU is also a pointless distraction that many governments seem to engage in.

  31. Jessica,

    I would very much like to repost this, with my own commentary, at Counting Cats in Zanzibar, keeping in with the theme of cats…

    I have a heavy UK readership so it may help get the idea a wider readership.

  32. JC

    Any nation within the EU and using the euro has loads of latitude to implement pro market policies and prosper as a result.

    Terje:
    Are you on heavy duty tranquilizers before going into the operating theater for brain surgery?

    Have you ever bothered to read the EU charter?

    Check it out. Check out the labor practices portion as an example.

    The EU is a menace. It’s actually pushes down socialism to the states.

    You’re really not very good at this sort of stuff, or just being oppositional for the sake of it like you do at leftwing sites too.

    No normal human being would suggest what you have.

  33. wreckage

    A writer of witch stories wants to embrace the dark ages. Hmmm. Is this a wind-up ?

    First witches, now trolls?

  34. wreckage

    True, but EU labour laws have actually liberalised IR in some areas, like the UK.

  35. JC

    Wreckage

    Examples please.

    The EU charter on Labor laws actually codifies rottenness. If the UK was even more rotten.. it hardly means the EU gets a pat on the back.

    I’m sceptical of your comment too.

  36. TerjeP

    I’m not overly inclined to defend the EU Charter. And I’ll freely admit that I’ve not read it exhaustively. However I’m hard pressed to see it as the substantial source of poor economic policy in EU nations. Please feel free to point out specific sections of the text that suggest otherwise.

    http://www.eucharter.org/

  37. Tel

    Word of advice.it’s really hard to short the EU when the central bank is basically set on a path to inflating out of the crisis.

    * Start a green business, borrow a lot of money, profit.

    * Borrow money, buy a house, grow potatoes.

    * Ask Putin for Russian citizenship.

    * Buy gold, bury gold, teach yourself to withstand a lot of pain for when they come around to get your gold.

    Hmmm, might stop now.

  38. wreckage

    JC, talking to a guy who was manufacturing in the UK, the freedom of movement afforded to workers means they can get cheap, hard-working EU labour, and the left can’t do a damn thing about it because of the EU regs requiring relatively free movement of people across borders.

  39. JC

    Go read it and come back,if you have questions.

    You come out looking like a first rate moron making the claims you did in the first comment and then saying you haven’t read the charter.

    The charter is basically the operating constitution and it’s basically rank socialist swill of negative rights and inscribed demands used to push down on member states.

  40. m0nty

    I wouldn’t trust the denizens of the Cat with money, Jessica. They are terrible at predictions. If they had bet all your dough on the recent US election, you’d be homeless and destitute right now because they were hopelessly wrong.

    US stocks are tracking now at almost where they were at the height of the Bush bubble. Obama has been great for Wall Street. Shorting would have been a terrible idea after the GFC.

    We could be a Foundation in the sense of Asimov, preserving the bits in the hope of regrowing the West someday when the lefties have all starved to death.

    As mentioned above, Asimov isn’t really the right reference there. Walter M. Miller is more apposite.

  41. JC

    Wreckage..

    You don’t need Brussels for that.

    The eu is basically a menace and the prme reason Europe is in crisis.

  42. .

    Huh? Don’t you mean positive rights to flush toilets, not negative rights like no laws against free assembly?

  43. JC

    Oops yea positve rights… I got confused as I see them as negative :-)

  44. TerjeP

    Go read it and come back,if you have questions.

    I think that’s directed at me. But I have read the charter and I don’t have any questions. What I said is I have not read it exhaustively. As in I might have missed a bit. If you want to assert that it is the major source of dud policies in the EU, rather than domestic politics, then cite a bit of the charter that makes your case.

  45. Viva

    Well well – Doomsday Preppers Catallaxy style!

  46. Alfonso

    “Any nation within the EU and using the euro has loads of latitude to implement pro market policies and prosper as a result.”

    You sardonic troll, you.
    The micro managed devastation of small business (the major employer) by EU regulation is beyond Monty Python.
    Like your UK immigration laws do you?

  47. Grey

    I think it would be marvelous if we find an island – perhaps the size of Taiwan – where all the libertarians could go and establish utopia.

    I would say it would take 18 months before one half of the island would be attacking the other half of the island with sharpened sticks for not being libertarian enough.

    They would also be sadly deficient in basic services as no one would do the basic jobs on which civilisation depends. As evidenced by the constant and uncountable hostility shown to cleaners on this site. Even they hadn’t butchered each other after 18 months, after 2 years the inevitable break-out of epidemics would finish them off.

  48. JC

    Fuck off Terje

    You come here make the laughable assertion that the EU has been gods gift to Europe… I send you to the charter which you said you haven’t read and now want me to make the case. Huh? How does that work you dolt.

    You clown.. It’s you that needs to make the case the EU has had a positve impact.

    Explain to us how the labor law section of the charter helps member countries attain liberal labor markets.

    As I said and will repeat the EU charter helps push down on already toilet bowl socialism.

    You need to explain how it doesn’t, you clown.

    Go!

  49. Craig Mc

    Grey thinks Singapore has collapsed.

  50. Tel

    Grey, an experiment like this you mean:

    http://mises.org/daily/1865

    Been done, got invaded by statists, under the Federalist thumb these days unfortunately.

  51. JC

    Greys

    If you have nothing to add to the discussion either fuck off or go to the kitchen, close the doors and turn on the gas… You’d be more useful.

  52. Fred Furkenburger

    Here is an interesting and relevant short doco. Sad but with a potential for it to come to pass:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GG1rFA_QEk

  53. Grey

    Grey thinks Singapore has collapsed.

    Well if you like Singapore so much, go and live there. Alternatively maybe we could find a small peninsular in Australia that you could start up your New Singapore.

    Although I would have thought Confucianism and Libertarianism would be an uneasy mix.

  54. Grey

    OK, all those Libertarians who want to do the garbage collection in New Singapore please put your hands up.

    Now don’t tell me you all want to be economic modellers – but who will you model?

  55. NoFixedAddress

    JQFox,

    Totally agree.

    The ‘West’ is totally stuffed.

    make sure you have enough ammunition!

  56. Gab

    WTF is Grey raving on about now?

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Oh nevermind, not interested in his ramblings that simply take up space here.

  57. JC

    Moderator

    Another leftwing idiot has blown a gasket. (Greys). Any chance of sin binning the moron until the medication starts working?

    (They all seem to eventually go crazy here… and they’re so spiteful too.)

  58. Tel

    They would also be sadly deficient in basic services as no one would do the basic jobs on which civilisation depends.

    Governor Macquarie declared a “user pays” system of turnpikes for the major Sydney roads back in 1811 and I believe he contracted out both the maintenance and collection to private groups (but I admit I’m having trouble finding exactly who):

    The Farmers of the several Tolls throughout the Colony are hereby accordingly authorised to instruct and direct their respective Toll-Gate Keepers to enforce the Orders and Regulations contained in the Proclamation herein alluded to,under Date the 30th of March 1811, on the subject of Tolls, and not to permit any Horse or Carriage to pass through them without the Owners or Riders paying the Dues therein prescribed.

    So “Farmers of the several Tolls” is to all intents and purposes a PPP right?

  59. Tel

    Alternatively maybe we could find a small peninsular in Australia that you could start up your New Singapore.

    My understanding is that this would require a change to the Australian Constitution, but if that can legally be overcome then count me in.

  60. Grey

    So “Farmers of the several Tolls” is to all intents and purposes a PPP right?

    A true believer – but is that situation so very different to before the French revolution and the practice of tax farming – where the crown gave the right to collect its taxes to powerful leading families who could sell these concessions like property? Not a very ideal system and very inefficient. In the case of colonial NSW I am guessing those tolls were as much about raising revenue for the consolidated funds and not purely for road maintenance.

    In any case, in more recent NSW infrastructure projects, its difficult to see how they could be commenced in a purely libertarian society. But I expect you will prove me wrong.

  61. Grey

    Tel, how about Jervis Bay – already Commonwealth territory. Kick out the Navy, send in the Libertarians.
    Temperate climate, nice beaches, you should be able construct a secure fence around the perimeter to keep out the Looters and the Moochers

  62. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Ghey:

    Well if you like Singapore so much, go and live there.

    I’m trying, dammit. Singapore’s my favourite place (outside Australia) in the world. Fantastic weather all year round, cheap except for accommodation, brilliant food, well-governed, bugger-all crime, well educated population devoted to trade and business, and I have a lot of friends there.

    I’d move to Singapore in a heartbeat if I could get a job there.

  63. Grey

    I’d move to Singapore in a heartbeat if I could get a job there

    What would you say to New Singapore I am building in Jervis Bay?

  64. DaveF

    Maybe cut a deal for Groote Eylandt. There are only 1,500 or so people living there.

    I don’t know if aboriginal communities are up for free wheeling capitalism though…..

  65. Mk50 of Brisbane

    I have spent several years of my life at JB already. The fishing is good.

  66. JC

    Why don’t you move Greys? Why should we move? Why don’t you and the inner city leftwhining enclaves all fuck off to Tasmania and leave us all alone.

    In fact we’ll bequeath you the state and it’s “finances”…. (their financial dynamics are actually in worse shape than Greece if it wasn’t for the other states support them).

  67. blogstrop

    The correct assessment of the genesis of the GFC is something that our local media never tell the people. Once the parameters were laid down, the financial institutions had to deal with it, which meant process & onsell the shit sandwich they were given by the activists and politicians. Were they supposed to just lie down and die at that point?
    I agree with Mk50 as to “ordinary folks” practical measures, but JC as usual will see opportunities for traders. It seems a bit cynical to me to be planning ahead to “short” the system and walk away with the windfall rather than continue to try to overcome the shortcomings of our media dominated political system and see a return to sensible management.
    I have said often that there can be no properly functioning democracy without an honest media. That is true of markets too. If we cannot overcome the dominance of the “free stuff” and fifth column media, we will be following Mk50’s prescription, not whatever PM line (there will be no xyz under a government I lead) we have to listen to down the track.
    Jarrah’s bleats about troll being incorrectly defined is abysmal. If he doesn’t know, as well as we all do that there are trolls here who disagree purely for the sport of it, and admit it, then you are quite right to ignore his comments and speed on toward something of more value.

  68. Tel

    What would you say to New Singapore I am building in Jervis Bay?

    You ain’t building squat, and no one would trust you to run it anyhow. Once the place was successful the other states would demand the Commonwealth levee income tax and they would be within their rights to do that. Search on “charter cities australia” and the concept has been discussed to death already, so don’t pretend it was even your idea.

    If you have evidence on how Macquarie’s turnpikes operated then please link to it, if not then your guesswork is as good as any other, but not much good all told.

  69. J.H.

    Well Jessica, in a crisis, and Socialists never let a good crisis go to waste. The Socialists would simply pass regulations and laws to take your shorted money, land, assets or whatever, for the “greater good”. If they had political ascendancy, they would simply nationalize your success and live off it themselves.

    Better off investing in weapons, networks and Alliances…. Good ones. That way they have to take it from your cold dead hand first.

    If you really want to destroy Socialism… Abandon most forms of taxation. Get rid of the money pool that attracts the rent seekers. All it buys is the welfare state and big government…. and nothing much else.

    However, finding a Political party willing to emasculate itself of power at this point in time is nigh on impossible…. Even fiscal conservatives would pause gollum like at the precipice… They will not chuck their preciousssss into the flames either.

    Sigh….. So? Cheap weapons and good allies. Where do we start? ;-)

  70. Jarrah

    “there are trolls here who disagree purely for the sport of it”

    That’s true, but Jessica seems to think – unfortunately like many others – that simply disagreeing is trollish behaviour, or that holding certain viewpoints is being a troll. That’s rubbish, and you know it.

  71. 1. “There is a lot of ruin in a nation”.
    2. “The market can stay irrational for longer than you can stay solvent”.

  72. JQF

    No I don’t think that Jarrah, and I don’t count you as a troll. I like the arguments that go on here. And thank you to everybody for their comments, it is every bit as much fun as I hoped it would be. You are a bright lively bunch. Don’t stop now, lol.

    To clarify, my apocalyptic tone was me being dramatic. I don’t expect Oz to collapse in my lifetime, but I do expect a drop in our standard of living. If you want to predict the future of a country, look at its education system. Ours is stuffed. My boss wanted a circuit design realised in microelectronics. It is being done by a Peruvian in the US, the Australian contender refused to sign an NDA on the grounds that he thought all IP should be free. ‘He wants us to pay him to steal our ideas,’ was how my boss put it. With these attitudes, what hope is there of things improving? And the president of Harvard was sacked a few years ago for conjecturing that male brains and female brains might, on average, work differently. Nobody was concerned with whether it was true (It is, and I should know) only with whether it was PC. That’s the best university in the world according to the rankings.
    So I see the long term trend as definitely down, even in the USA. Maybe we can get rid of the lefties, but there are a lot of them in the media and the universities, so I am not optimistic.
    And incidentally I’m not trying to promote my books which are for young adults, not the typical Cat, judging by most of the writing styles, lol!

  73. blogstrop

    Jarrah, you just don’t give up. Disagreeing is something we all do. But quite a few here (fortunately some on holidays) disagree determinedly for the hell of it. Don’t make me add you to the list.

  74. wreckage

    1. “There is a lot of ruin in a nation”.
    2. “The market can stay irrational for longer than you can stay solvent”.

    QFT.

  75. Tel

    My boss wanted a circuit design realised in microelectronics. It is being done by a Peruvian in the US, the Australian contender refused to sign an NDA on the grounds that he thought all IP should be free.

    The problem with an NDA is that a lot of them can be used against you at arbitrary future times with very little justification. Like putting your head in a noose, if you should ever want to work for anyone else.

    ‘He wants us to pay him to steal our ideas,’ was how my boss put it.

    Sounds like a hair-trigger litigator. Personally I’d rather be paid a little bit less, and also spend a lot less time in court defending myself. The stress and head-banging ain’t worth the hassle. If people I work with demonstrate that they don’t trust me, that’s often a good reason for me not to trust them.

  76. stackja

    “enough money to allow the rest of us to do much swanning.” Is that Wayne Swanning?

  77. TerjeP

    Fuck off Terje

    You come here make the laughable assertion that the EU has been gods gift to Europe… I send you to the charter which you said you haven’t read and now want me to make the case. Huh? How does that work you dolt.

    I never made any such assertion. And I said I “have” read the EU charter. However I don’t read it every day and I might have missed something or forgotten something or made a mis interpretation. So I gave you an opportunity to make your case. Either you can’t or else you don’t want to. Whatever. I don’t really care either way.

  78. Tel

    In the case of colonial NSW I am guessing those tolls were as much about raising revenue for the consolidated funds and not purely for road maintenance.

    I’ve tracked down that Macquarie set up a Sydney turnpike trust and a appointed turnpike board to operate this trust. Almost certainly it operated along the models of the various UK turnpike trusts that existed at the time.

    The trusts operated as a separate corporate structure (with regard to accounts, etc), not entirely private because the charter was imposed by act of Parliament, but it could accept private investment, and presumably pay private dividends. Most of the roads of the Industrial Revolution were built by turnpike trusts, and the trust was held responsible for maintenance, etc.

    Very similar indeed to a modern PPP.

  79. Grey

    The trusts operated as a separate corporate structure (with regard to accounts, etc), not entirely private because the charter was imposed by act of Parliament, but it could accept private investment, and presumably pay private dividends.

    Presumably or else it might considered a form of, gasp, socialism.

    I am guessing turnpike trusts must be a sort of fetish amongst libertarians, I confess they are a bit new to me. Since I know nothing more than is on wikipedia, I will say only that prima facie you seem to be construing turnpike trusts as you would like them to have been, rather than what they actually were.

    The proposal to turnpike a particular section of road was normally a local initiative and a separate Act of Parliament was required to create each trust. The Act gave the trustees responsibility for maintaining a specified part of the existing highway. It provided them with powers to achieve this; the right to collect tolls from those using the road was particularly important. Local gentlemen, clergy and merchants were nominated as trustees and they appointed a clerk, a treasurer and a surveyor to actually administer and maintain the highway. These officers were paid by the trust. Trustees were not paid, though they derived indirect benefits from the better transport, which improved access to markets and led to increases in rental income and trade

    I don’t think you will see Macquarie Bank or associated spin-offs clamoring for a slice of that particular pie. Incidentally arguably you could say turnpike trusts also represented a form of enclosures and as such resented by the lower orders since they were forced by the state to pay to access routes they had traditionally used for centuries. So an example of state imposed socialism requisitioning the hard-earned currency of the poor, only one step away from Stalinism.

  80. .

    What a load of shit. They largely successful in America. America has legislatures, not Parliaments. They were community owned, like a Bendigo Bank branch.

    Grow the fuck up, grey, and stop lying to yourself.

    You fucking lying chimp. Didn’t you reckon Mal Brough was going to die of shame by now? Spinning faster than a Dredel on Hanukkah.

  81. .

    they were…

    don’t point it out.

  82. Jarrah

    “No I don’t think that Jarrah”

    My apologies, it certainly seemed that way from your phrasing:

    The Cat consensus, the odd troll excepted … And our trolls who dissent

    Moving on to someone who does think that…

    “But quite a few here (fortunately some on holidays) disagree determinedly for the hell of it.”

    Yes, blogstrop, I’ve already agreed with you on this. However, the ones who disagree NOT for the hell of it aren’t trolls. The point being, just because someone disagrees isn’t enough of a reason to call them a troll.

  83. DaveF

    TerjeP I think that link to the EU charter is a bit old going by it’s look.

    But nevertheless I dived in and checked the obviously toxic provisions.

    And approve.

    The document is a nothing. A waste of space. A specious document where every right is “in accordance with the rules laid down by Union law and national laws and practices.”

    So of course it is innocuous, or as you phrased it:

    However I’m hard pressed to see it as the substantial source of poor economic policy in EU nations.

    I’m hard pressed to see it as the source of economic malaise as it doesn’t go further than motherhood statements that are hedged with ‘well national law is more important’.

    It’s a nothing. The EU Commisars are the ones issuing diktats to the supplicant nations in the EU.

    Defend them mate.

  84. TerjeP

    DaveF – what do you think does more damage to the French economy, the EU commission or the French national government? I hate lesser of two evil type arguments but it seems to me that the French government is the bigger menace to the French economy. That doesn’t mean the EU commission isn’t harmful but I think it’s too often the scapegoat for what are in reality problems caused by poor policy choices nationally.

    The EU consumes just over 1% of GDP which is tiny relative to that consumed at the national government tier.

  85. DaveF

    Gee citing the EU waste at 1% is a bit obtuse.

    The cost isn’t the actual money spent but the rules they force through. Each national government has to pass them to remain in the damn thing.

    A rule on the shape of bannanas? yes we can
    A rule on sausage content? Yes we can.

    Your point about the French government is fair. However that is an argument against the EU which mirrors the French for certain ‘rights’ which would be labour laws and similar.

    To their credit the French don’t enforce -however were forced to place in law- the EU smoking rules.

  86. DaveF

    The peoples of Europe, in creating an ever closer union among them, are resolved to share a peaceful future based on common values.

    Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage, the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity; it is based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. It places the individual at the heart of its activities, by establishing the citizenship of the Union and by creating an area of freedom, security and justice.

    I missed the preamble before.

    A gem.

  87. Ken

    A basic question: There’s two possibilities:
    a) Statism is inevitable because of human dynamics: people who don’t want power aren’t motivated enough to put time and effort into stopping those who want it. This is classic economic theory: it’s not worth anyone’s effort to fight a 1 penny/person tax to subsidize 1 person a million dollars, but it’s worth $999,999 to the one person who’s going to get the million, to see it happens.

    In this case, just figure that societies will always go through cycles (tides?) where Statism ebbs and flows, as state which succeed enough to have excess wealth, will see it diverted into non-productive schemes. Then those states ossify and get taken over by ones with less ossification.

    b) Statism is not inevitable – one could create a society (somehow) that will succeed where none ever has in history. And I’d like to point out that ‘way back when, there was (at most) a tribe, with no common property (or hardly any property at all).

    I put it to the readers: what do they believe is fundamental human nature, based on historical data?

    Perhaps Libertarianism is somewhat like Communism – only possible with a New Man? Or is it not?

  88. Lazlo

    I’d move to Singapore in a heartbeat if I could get a job there.

    We are going there in May for a week or two. Would love to hear your recommendations..

  89. .

    b) Statism is not inevitable – one could create a society (somehow) that will succeed where none ever has in history. And I’d like to point out that ‘way back when, there was (at most) a tribe, with no common property (or hardly any property at all).

    This is bullshit.

    If the state based TABORs applied Federally to the US Government as well as some of the states, they’d probably be a strongly libertarian inclined society.

    But that was the sucker punch. Eastern Europe has embraced libertarianism since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Even in digrisme Germany, the Libertarians can get 10% of the vote.

  90. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Jervis Bay? We have a beach house and a bit of good productive land there. Don’t all rush.

    Interesting how people reach into history pronto to catch the lessons of the longue duree. Romans, French Rev, African tinpots, and Federations. History ain’t cyclical though (sorry Vico), it’s just history. Useful for exampling, but who’s got a crystal ball? Anyway, as Jessica says, it will all take ages yet and if it’s 100 years the long run kicks in for us personally before total monetary collapse. Just feather and protect your nest where you can, keep fingers crossed, and trust that a phoenix always rises from ashes and ruin.

    I wouldn’t be too pessimistic, after all communism did collapse.

    Optimism is always good.

    I’m listening to Jacques:

    1. “There is a lot of ruin in a nation”.
    2. “The market can stay irrational for longer than you can stay solvent”.

    So pay down your debt except on things you value and hang on tight.

    There will always be an international upper middle-class of people with capital, insight and the willingness to shift gears. Join them if you can; otherwise MK50 offers a few clues for the worried well.

  91. Fisky

    There have to be laws against leftist speech, and soon, otherwise the predicted collapse of the West is inevitable. A ban on Leftism is our only hope.

  92. Blogstrop

    Victor Hansen’s article Bush Reconsidered.
    Covers a lot of items including the GFC, and makes some useful comparisons between the way Bush’s efforts have been portrayed and the way Obama gets a free ride from the media. This issue, this deeply rooted cultural illness, is still at the core of why we think our way of life, our previously much more cohesive society is at risk.
    The same applied to Reagan and Ford. Both were portrayed as idiots by the media, while sober reflection later casts an entirely different light on their intellects and their presidencies.
    Now, if I just finish with a sentence that includes the word troll, Jarrah will jump in again to explain for the umpteenth time that disagreeing is not trolling.

  93. TerjeP

    DaveF,

    The 1% is merely the direct fiscal burden of the EU and I agree that a complete assessment of cost ought to include an account of the consequence of dysfunctional or pointless rules. For example the banana directive is clearly mad (although some accounts suggest it has been repealed or rendered inoperative). The following link tries to outlines the major EU directives and many of them would seem to entail transition costs more than recurring costs. For example there is a cost associated with going metric but it is not a recurring cost. There is a cost associated with implementing an open access regime for television but it is a one off cost not a recurring cost.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_Union_directives

    All rules have a cost. They also sometimes have some benefits. It would be good to have an objective tally of the costs and benefits of all the EU rules but it would also be good to have a tally of the costs and benefits of national government rules.

    I’m quite comfortable with my assertion that whilst the EU produces many needless burdens the primary malady in the EU relates to domestic national policies. The 30% payroll tax in Greece, the highly regulated labour market in France, the bank bailouts in Ireland etc.

  94. Grey

    What a load of shit. They largely successful in America. America has legislatures, not Parliaments. They were community owned, like a Bendigo Bank branch.

    Grow the fuck up, grey, and stop lying to yourself.

    You fucking lying chimp. Didn’t you reckon Mal Brough was going to die of shame by now? Spinning faster than a Dredel on Hanukkah.

    Well I am only going on wikipedia. It sounds a little bit like the NBN. The government makes a decision that transport infrastructure (in this case information transport) needs improving. It sets up an entity to undertake this, the entity (here the NBN) can source money from the markets backed by the security of the taxpayer. It also can force everybody to use its infrastructure – whether you want better internet or not, if you want to use the internet you will have to fund the NBN.

    I am pretty sure I would never suggest that Mal Brough would die of shame as I doubt I would have ever considered it likely he would have a sense of shame. I suggested that there are strong indications that he and James Ashby had had contact long before the series of meetings supposedly in March. I expect Mal Brough only fessed up to the March meetings as Steve Lewis was privy to them and even though Lewis is fairly Coalition friendly he didn’t want to appear as a liar before him. Whether Mal Brough will ever be forced to fess up to this is another story, I expect not. It doesn’t matter – we have Gillard, you have Mal.

    Frankly you would have been doing us a favor if you have pushed Gillard out before she made it into Parliament and here we are providing you with a golden opportunity to bump Brough. I am surprised you haven’t grabbed it with both hands – you had a perfectly acceptable alternative candidate.

  95. blogstrop

    Just feather and protect your nest where you can, keep fingers crossed, and trust that a phoenix always rises from ashes and ruin.

    Malevil, a post-apocalyptic thriller by Robert Merle, shows rebuilding at a basic herd-breeding level, and the re-emergence of the dangerous, “charismatic” political figure. Careful when ordering, most copies around the traps seem to be in French!

  96. .

    Well I am only going on wikipedia. It sounds a little bit like the NBN.

    You’re an imbecile.

  97. .

    It doesn’t matter – we have Gillard, you have Mal.

    I don’t “have” Mal Brough anymore than Gillard has integrity.

  98. Nuke Gray

    There are two points I would like to raise, and the first is a point I have raised elsewhere- what defines our States? An academic claimed that the States effectively can’t secede from Canberra, but what if, for example, WA declared that it’s border stopped as far north as Broome, and the Kimberleys were no longer part of the state of W.A.? This might be unlikely, but wouldn’t the Kimberleys then be free to form a new nation?
    Secondly, the QI tv show has spawned some books, and in one of them, it mentions a border dispute between Egypt and Sudan that involves two pieces of land, with both of them claiming a valuable seaside strip of land, and neither wanting the arid strip of land inland. Maybe one could set up a new nation there, stuck between two muslim states.

  99. Alice

    This isnt any interesting post

    “We emulate the sceptics and denialists of The Big Short. After all, they made a load of cash, and if we all make enough and slap it in a couple of foreign banks, we should survive even if the country or the whole of western civilisation goes down the toilet.”

    You dung beetle. I dare say it was already the cause of the GFC that landed europe in the trouble its in.
    Big arsed banks shorting the place. The problem is not the place – its the big arses on the banks.

  100. Grey

    Secondly, the QI tv show has spawned some books, and in one of them, it mentions a border dispute between Egypt and Sudan that involves two pieces of land, with both of them claiming a valuable seaside strip of land, and neither wanting the arid strip of land inland. Maybe one could set up a new nation there, stuck between two muslim states.

    This is so clever I haven’t a clue what it is trying to say. I need some sleep.

  101. JC

    All rules have a cost. They also sometimes have some benefits. It would be good to have an objective tally of the costs and benefits of all the EU rules but it would also be good to have a tally of the costs and benefits of national government rules.

    I’m quite comfortable with my assertion that whilst the EU produces many needless burdens the primary malady in the EU relates to domestic national policies. The 30% payroll tax in Greece, the highly regulated labour market in France, the bank bailouts in Ireland etc.

    You really don’t get it do , you Terje. It seems that it’s beyond you to understand the points being made.

    The EU rights charter basicially helped to underwrite the socialism going on in these countries from labor to product markets.

    And that’s just the EU charter.

    The calls for tax harmonization was another of the other countless examples.

    You call yourself a libertarian. There is the British Independence party which is essentially a libertarian grouping that rails against the EU.

    What is there that you disagree with what they say about the EU, Terje?

    You daft idiot, the cost of the current bailout of European governments literally towers over the one or two piddly benefits accrued from the EU, which were probably an accident anyway.

  102. .

    Terje

    A common market didn’t require the EU monstrosity in Brussels.

  103. Nuke Gray

    Grey, I am speculating that if this is unclaimed land, then some libertarian group could claim it- if they wanted to live stuck between two muslim states.

  104. JQF

    Thanx for the advice, guys, particularly Mk50, JC and Lizzie. Some of it was pretty much doom and gloom stuff. Jaques may well be right, abandon hope all ye who don’t like government. Simon and Blogstrop among others have worthy and noble ideals but no clear plan to accomplish them. Fisky wants to implement the Fisk doctrine, a fine and noble ambition, but I don’t quite see how he is going to get it up. I like the idea of shifting the lefties to Tasmania, but again, there are some practical details missing on how to get them there.
    And thanks to Alice. You do a good gibber. Don’t ever change. So far my fictional witches have been nice bright people who have discovered how to access advanced technology, but Alice has inspired me to go back to MacBeth. How now, thou drunken, black and midnight hag? To recognise yourself in my next Witch series book, just count the black warts. :)
    All up, it doesn’t look good. I figured I ought to be able somehow to make a bet for a few hundred bucks now, with fair odds to collect a motza fifty years from now possibly in gold or silver. When I shall still be young and sweet compared to Alice now. And Alice will have been recycled into canetoads.
    I have a couple of shotguns, Mk50, one of which I propose to use to blow the bum off a fox. This is the administration of justice for what it did to the family chooks last month. I suppose it would do just as good a job on anyone intending to steal my life savings.
    The idea of emigrating has crossed my mind; I travelled around the world with my dad when I was a kid, and much of the world is nice where it hasn’t been spoiled by loonies with deep convictions and a strong herd instinct. But I like Oz, and seeing it invaded by alien memes is not all that different from seeing it invaded by alien soldiers, except that you can’t shoot a meme. At least, not with a gun.
    Time to get back to my writing, where brave heroes and tough heroines can succeed in a world almost free of cant and hypocrisy and lunatics. That’s why it’s called fiction.

  105. Will

    I like the idea of shifting the lefties to Tasmania, but again, there are some practical details missing on how to get them there.

    offer lots of free stuff

  106. TerjeP

    A common market didn’t require the EU monstrosity in Brussels.

    Yes I know. The EU has been an excessive over reach. But that doesn’t change the fact that domestic national policies have been and continue to be the bigger burden.

  107. Gab

    but Alice has inspired me to go back to MacBeth. How now, thou drunken, black and midnight hag?

    Harsh but fair….and lol-worthy.

  108. TerjeP

    JC – you are not paying attention. But then you never do. I won’t bother repeating myself however as you’re not worth the effort. If you don’t get it then go back and read what I actually said instead of what you imagine I meant.

    Regarding the UKIP I’m looking forward to meeting Paul Nuttall, UKIP MP, in just under three weeks time. I’m keen to hear his views. I generally like UKIP.

    Regarding tax harmonisation there is only one example in reality which is the minimum VAT requirement. If you’re going to blame the EU for ideas that get talked about but not implemented then all layers of government ought to be judged in the same light. ie by the worst crack pot ideas that they once talked about. Further tax harmonisation is nearly impossible within the EU framework and I doubt it will ever happen. If it does happen then obviously that is a bad thing.

    If we want to blame the EU for the rigid labour laws in France then we need to explain why labour laws in Denmark are highly flexible. It makes more sence to blame the French government.

    http://www.investindk.com/Establishing-a-business-in-Denmark/The-Danish-labour-market

  109. blogstrop

    Simon and Blogstrop among others have worthy and noble ideals but no clear plan to accomplish them.

    Thanks a lot. Just because I didn’t add to your stockpile of ways to “short the system” doesn’t mean I have no ideas to do with my stated goal to “continue to try to overcome the shortcomings of our media dominated political system and see a return to sensible management.”
    But the thread’s not about that, really, and in any event, Fisky’s plan is probably as good as mine, at least as far as being provocative in this blog’s context is concerned.
    I’ve stated often that the media generally, but the ABC in particular, are warping the democratic results. How you go about remedying that can vary from de-funding the ABC and SBS, taking over Fairfax (likely to happen) or getting Fisky to string them all up from lamp-posts. Perhaps that last one sits happily with shorting the system.

  110. Dan

    Is this the “short Europe” reference?

    ———————-
    Brilliant article. Conclusion: short Europe.

    DrBeauGan

    19 Nov 11 at 6:50 pm

  111. Hendaye Cross

    Why would you want to be long money when the time comes? When money is no longer decreed it will cease to exist. What we need to short are our egos, starting with our wants. Because when the crying is done there will be nothing left to want. In fact we won’t even get our basic needs met so shorting greed wouldn’t hurt. It would be a good idea to get used to life without shoes too, and clothes. So shorting shame will help. For those too proud to short their egos they should consider shorting carbon. Because as carbon life forms made in the image of the Piscean god – money – they are, history.

  112. wreckage

    My advice would be to up-skill and pay down debt. There is no true security for true societal breakdown, but trade-connected economies don’t implode. Even Rome, with the means of food production undercut, took decades to go under. The nearest analogy would be if diesel fuel and all substitutes ceased to exist.

    So: own your house, carry no debt, cultivate wide networks with knowledgeable people in diverse careers. If you believe in an imminent demise, move to as rural a location as will allow you to carry on in your best-paid career path, preferably an acre or four in a high-rainfall area. This hedges your bets. No point choosing subsistence before you have to.

  113. Penndragon

    A friend and I have been down this path before. Predicting the crash or turning point is barely half the battle. You have to get the timing at least partly worked out. We got the commodities boom but a few years early and in the meantime the markets decided mineral prices were going to tank forever – seems insane now. We wanted to short sell alternative energy companies on the back of the global warming fraud, but you need the timing or you can wait years and then there is the risk of governments bailing them out (Solyanda might have been good). So people any ideas on timing?

  114. John Mc

    LIke the share market you can’t pick the timing. We may have another boom while still carrying shit loads of debt. We’ve done it before.

    Like the share market the only rule is “all booms must bust, and all busts must boom”.

    Short cycle, we’re coming out of a bust so you should probably expect an upturn. Long cycle, the west is on the end of a 250 year boom. There will be more countries like Greece over the coming decades.

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