Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Present Financial Crisis Is For the Wimps

Downwards graph
The following passage from Against The Gods by Peter L. Bernstein. (The beginning almost reads like Harry Potter)

"This was a dark time, one marked by a series of ominous events: Watergate, skyrocketing oil prices, the emergence of persistence inflationary forces, the breakdown of the Bretton Woods Agreements, and an assault on dollar so fierce that its foreign exchange value fell by 50%.

The destruction of wealth in the bear markets of 1973-1974 was awesome ... After adjustment for inflation, the loss in equity values from peak to trough amounted to 50%, the worst performance in history other than the decline from 1929 to 1931. Worse, while bond-holders in the 1930s actually gained in wealth, long-term Treasury bonds lost 28% in price from 1972 to the bottom in 1974 while inflation was running at 11% a year."

The effects of the 1973-1974 crash was felt world-wide and the impact lasted some 20 years. See here.

Why is everyone panicking now? It is not as if the world has not seen this before.

What do we have now?
Oil prices are down ... dollar is holding (actually going up - see here) ... The World Bank and the IMF are going strong ... inflation is actually falling (oh I see! deflation!)

Or are we condemned to repeat history for ever?

Note: the picture used here belongs to "duchesssa". To see more of her photographs visit her gallery.

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