Tuesday, April 29, 2008

[world predictions] and the fundamental interconnectedness of all things

It struck me, reading Sackerson on Marc Faber's take:

...In a real downturn, the United States (and other developed nations) would stop importing so much oil...and so much merchandise from China, which would have the consequence of reducing energy consumption by China too.

... that it really depends whom you're reading, meaning from which sector of the workplace. To listen to an economist you're lost in commodity prices, hyperinflation and the like. But come from a different angle - trade, for example, and the slant is different:

The idea that, by freeing trade, immigration and investment wealth could be optimized at low cost is a fantasy beloved only by academic economists. In reality, globalization of immigration, investment and trade each involves tradeoffs, and the tradeoffs are different, since each has different characteristics.

I ran this article past our Trade Min today and he largely accepted the take, especially:

Freedom of investment is another principle that in practice causes difficulties. The problem is that economics does not exist in a vacuum from foreign policy. In natural resources, for example, the normal ambition of most Third World governments is to seize control of any minerals discovered on their territory. Given that tendency and the existence of companies controlled or effectively controlled by governments hostile to Western interests, free foreign investment is a chimera.

In other words - autarky. Cityunslicker has an interesting comment on the downgrading of supermarket stock which also has to be considered.

The purpose of this post is not to discuss either trade or finance. It is that coming from different angles, the conclusions might well be different. There needs to be a more holistic approach when pundits punditize, methinks.

2 comments:

SACKERSON said...

James, as I have very little money at present, the meaning of all the economic stuff for me is how it's going to affect our family's life in a decaying ex-industrial city. I fully agree that what happens to the small green pieces of paper is not of primary importance, but it may be a prime mover.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Like that verb - "punditize".