Thursday, January 24, 2008

Up a Panic Gear: "Get Out Now"

The rock is picking up speed... Moving firmly away from FT territory, economy musings get picked up by the local rag today. The headline in the Real World reads "GET OUT NOW". The text goes like this:
Experts are warning homeowners to get out of the property market before a massive crash wipes more than £100 million off the value of Sussex homes.
The record-number of comments include a fair mix of "scaremongering!" vs "ha-ha" and "good", but that's not the point here. The point is that the bursting of the bubble is reaching down, out of the FTSE sky, and into the lives of "real" people like a Monty Python foot.

Don't forget: This bubble came about not from managers over-spending, but from people at the bottom of the pyramid* not being able to pay money back. There are plenty of people down there who aren't quite in the same position, but aren't FT readers. Panic depends on an information gap. That gap's now being filled with fear. And when people are scared, people hang on to cash. (On the bright side, inflation should fall of its own accord...)

* Pyramid, yes, even though the argument goes cyclically: "consumption -> demand -> supply -> production -> jobs!". It's a "pyramid-cycle" because money comes out of the system at each level. There is no such thing as Perpetual Motion.

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