Sorry, got another one of those "I can't help it, the news is driving me crazy" posts today-
Everybody is commenting on "the economy" these days. It ain't looking good, as everybody knows. Oodles of people blame it on- oodles of things. I need to add an oodle.
We know about Peak Oil - in spades. Yep, sooner or later, we DO have to hit the end of oil- because we do, after all, have just one planet we can stripmine. Lots of quibbles are possible - oh, we'll find another Prudhoe Bay soon - probably under the Greenland icecap, or the Ross Ice Shelf. Ha ha.
Today, though, we have clear evidence of an unreported, unrecognized "peak" - the actual cause of all the credit collapses going on. And you heard it here first.
We have hit the peak on readily available - fools. Idiots. Patsies. Dupes. Consumers.
Take a look here; NYT- end of spending. Basically - in the USA, in 1989, most of us were "saving" around 10% of our income. The rate is currently - negative.
There are no more savings to stripmine- which is what the credit guys have been doing for decades ("hey, borrow a little more-cheap!- you can always pay it off if you get in a crunch...")
And, to everyone's astonishment- people are reacting. By - not using their credit cards anymore. Living within their income.
The ramifications, for "business as usual" are HUGE.
Even the analysts are starting to get it.
Also today - NYT Markets fall... did you know something like 2/3 of our economy is in the "services" sector? That means stuff where no physical goods are made, or change hands - it's things like the barber, your accountant, the dry cleaner, restaurants- where someone is doing something for you that you COULD do for yourself. Guess what? More people are doing stuff for themselves. (Because they have no money- you think Exxon Record Profits of $40BILLION AGAIN could have anything to do with that? We've talked about their record profits in this blog before- here.)
I've always suspected there was a limit to the "taking in each other's laundry" economy. Something very much like Doug Adams "Shoe Event Horizon." Doug was not dumb.
What it truly amounts to - is a catastrophe for the business world that has so long relied on sales of hyper-inflated real-estate with only imaginary value; SUV's which fill a need -oh, that NO ONE has; and plastic gizmos (thanks Colin) with a) no concept of physics, and b) no concept of human behavior - it's the loss of the target market. Suckers. Ok, not the loss-
But quite possibly the Peak. Sooner, and more certain, than Peak Oil - and with no imaginary new resources under ice waiting to be exploited-
Peak Patsies - is upon us. The end of constant growth; the end of expansion.
Peak Fools. Peak Chumps. Peak Suckers. After decades of uncontrolled strip-mining of this limited resource- the veins have finally given out. The great Patsy Mines are in trouble.
Peak Consumption - perhaps is a phrase that will fly, in the long run. Or Peak Gullibility, if we're feeling cranky.
Wow. Buckle your seat belts.
SGL's comment made a point I'd intended to put in here, and forgot in my hurry to zip off to a chore-
The Patsy Pool has long been considered infinite. We'll never run out of fools - is a favorite saying of pundits across the ages.
Ah, but you see- that's exactly what we've always said about... oil....... North America........ oceans..... and the atmosphere. They're too big to ever be affected by our tiny actions.
It's one more "infinite" resource where we've hit the end; and the ramifications are huge.
And- we need to differentiate between "stupid" - and "fool". I ain't dumb; but I've for sure been a fool, and been fooled; more than once. :-)