Friday, July 10, 2009

Mustn't grumble

I meet many successful entrepreneurs in my ramblings around London, and elsewhere, far wealthier and more talented than your humble correspondent. However, virtually all of them (with one or two Austrian exceptions) are saying the same thing.

"It'll turn round, Jack, it always does. Just hang on a bit longer, mate, and it'll be right, just like it always is. Stop worrying. C'mon, things are getting better. People are still buying Frappucinos and starting to go on holiday. I reckon house prices are levelling out, too. I fancy buying another Merc. Most people are still in jobs, and will be next year. Might have to stay in this house a couple more years, tighten the belt a bit, but stop worrying. It always comes back..."


You've probably heard the same thing. To be honest, I've stopped playing my usual record to these people of saying that this time it's different, because all the other 'recoveries' since the 1970s, were created by re-inflating the previously collapsed bubble. But after ten years of 10% inflation, in the Brown Bubble, and forty years of inflating upon the non-gold dollar, there is no re-inflating this monster.

I used to say "We're heading for the Japanese experience, except we're without a work ethic or savings, though our government is just as stupid."

This is the line that most people walk away from me on. In most business people's experience, in the UK, we've had about five or six horrible recessions since 1970, and all of them have lasted about one year, to 18 months, with the possible exception of Her Blessed Margaretness's recession in the early 1980s. But this is thought acceptable, because it put the unions back in their box, and even this one was over by about 1984. The 1970s were pretty terrible, too, with recessions every other year, but once again this was sorted out by Her Blessedness.

But if you put up a picture of a ten year or even a twenty year recession/stagnation/depression, as they're still experiencing in Japan, with failed stimulus after failed stimulus, the image is severely unwelcome and people just walk away muttering. No one wants to know. And no one wants to hear. Because, "it'll come back, it always does."

So, tired of being labelled a mono-maniac, outside of this website I am going to say nothing more to anyone. I'll work out my own way through this mess and stop offering 'helpful' advice that nobody wants to hear. I shall smile, and although I won't actually say "you're right, it'll probably all be over by Christmas", I'll look like I'm thinking it, just to make the lives of those around me more bearable.

You see, I am an Englishman. I mustn't grumble.

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