The Permanent RecessionO
Mod Note (Andy): this was originally posted on 6/19/12
I was out to dinner the other night with a few friends. Each of us work in some variation of finance and have had a decent level of professional success in our young careers, on paper at least. I'm in PE, two of my friends are traders, and one is a consultant.
Despite our relatively good fortune, we all noted that we feel like we're living under a dark cloud that will never dissipate. The figurative cloud in question is, of course, the ongoing global recession.
I'm sure we're not alone in this feeling, In fact, I'm positive. The idea of a double-dip, or worse, comes up at just about every all-hands meeting we hold at my firm. Europe is falling apart, the US' fiscal situation isn't any better. There are no real signs that things will ever really improve.
Is this the new normal? Will it get better? Or are we totally screwed? I started to do some digging to see if there was anyone out there who could put all the pieces together for me to give an answer. I think I found someone with an answer.
His name is Chris Martenson and he paints a deeply troubling picture of the future using hard data.
I'm sure a few of your have heard of him before, and I'm sure a few of you have dismissed him. What I'd ask is that people hear his arguments and look at the data objectively and come to their own conclusions.
His thesis revolves around three main themes:
- A debt-based economy with a currency requires perpetual growth
- Peak oil is not a theory but a fact-based reality that will lead to major economic consequences
- We have exploited natural resources to an extent where new resources are more costly to retrieve and less effective than those already depleted
I plan on diving into each of these concepts over the next few weeks and the idea of the permanent recession more generally.
In the meantime, the video below is Chris Martenson giving a summarized overview of his thesis. In it, he lays out each of his arguments and backs them up with user friendly charts and hard data. I recommend monkeys take some time to watch the video and look into the ideas.
Finally, an open question to the group. Do others have the same feeling that things simply won't get better? If you're more optimistic, why? If you agree, what led you to that conclusion? And lastly, what'll you do about it?