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Re: This Requires Serious Discussion

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  • Fri, Mar 06, 2009 - 08:43pm

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: This Requires Serious Discussion

Hi Sam,

Well, I wouldn’t calm down in general, but I’d perhaps calm down as pertains to this specific Denninger post. As DrK says above he is an emotional fellow. I think it was last week or the week before that he had some kind of red alert post that ended with a youtube clip of ceaseless atomic detonations. I’ve no doubt that much of what he warns of will come to pass, but he often attaches highly specific dates (like today!) to such events, which are usually the result of some kind of personal affront he is feeling with regard to something political. That’s where I either stop reading him or take him with a massive grain of salt.

In general, I think Denninger misses the bigger picture and actually has a philosophy that runs counter to much of the spirit of this site. Obviously, he’s a financial/investment/economics wonk, so I can’t hold too much against him for never including the other two E’s, but in the end such an exclusion weakens the breadth and insight of his analysis. After all, reality includes and is greatly influenced by the other two E’s. A lot of wonks forget what Taleb frequently points out, that economics is part of something called life and not that life is part of something called economics.

Where he potentially runs counter to the spirit of this site is the feeling I get from him that he thinks that there are just small problems in need of tweaking, and then everything can go back to normal. In a fundamentalist way, he thinks government is the only source of the world’s problems. And overall he seems quite content with what I would call a hyper-financialized world filled with investment exotica. Clearly this isn’t the world most people on this site envision and, by all measures today, isn’t the world that will exist in the future. That’s where I think he’s behind the times.

As far as pensions, various retirement funds, and social security goes. We don’t need Denninger to tell us they’re toast. Ask yourself this question, how could they not be toast? They’re all ponzi schemes essentially. I don’t think it’s crazy to think that social security pay-outs by the gov may cease to exist within five years time. There’s simply no money anywhere anymore because it was all electronic and paper wealth to begin with. Years ago I wanted to stop paying my FICA because I knew I was never going to see any of that money.

Retirement and investment have to be seriously reevaluated right now and actually require the creation of a new lexicon.