Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Marking the passing of laissez faire?

I wonder how many people realise just what a fundamental change to society -- and not just to the economy -- will come about because of the collapse in faith in laissez faire currently underway in America and other developed economies.

Granted, I say this as someone who has been describing the irrational belief in the perpetual rise of house prices as the core element of a bubble mentality since, well for years (for over a decade, in fact). But, the problem runs far deeper than that.

The maintenance of bubble mentality requires, demands, a core of supporters and believers to rally the cry, to pressure, browbeat, cajole, bribe and manipulate (or sideline or silence) everyone else into going along for the ride. Some do it consciously, others unconsciously.

But, it has happened time and time again. In fact, in my own lifetime I have lived through more than a few bubbles, to the extent that I now don't doubt, I will live through more. It seems to be the human condition, at least in for our generations.

These are big themes. In many ways, they go to the core of my book, Spinbound. So, obviously, I can't cover them all in a momentary musing on another "black day" in our markets, but on days like this, many people feel the events need to be marked, acknowledged in some way.

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