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!