Sponsored Content
« Mid-Morning Art Thread | Main | CNN Instant Reaction Poll: Let's Go Brandon. »
March 02, 2022

Wednesday Morning Guest Rant [Joe Mannix]


When the Future Has No Value

A lot is going on the world - the SOTU, COVID, Ukraine, loss of liberty, rising police states, etc. This post is not about these things because they have been or will be covered. Rather, this post is about something more mundane but in my opinion very interesting: interest. It is the price of money with two components: risk and time. Interest is a sophisticated and fascinating concept not only because it balances the price of two things into the price of a third thing but because it is a practical manifestation of a fundamental human concept: the future. Mankind's discovery of the future was a seminal moment in our development of a species. Suddenly there was choice and there was the concept of deferred results.

Later on, we figured out how to put a price on the future. We are nothing if not remarkable.

After Volker sent interest rates to the moon to help deal with the Carter/Nixon inflation, Greenspan started to grind them down. Economic shocks like the Russian default and the Asian Financial Crisis saw the Fed (and to a lesser degree Treasury) start "backstopping" risk. The grinding down of interest rates was offset by the policy machinations that served to transfer risk - risk that was no longer priced by interest, at least not for the big guys - onto the public.

Then the dotcom collapse and 9/11 happened and the response was to grind down interest rates still further. It was in the early aughts when real interest rates for the big guys fell into negative territory. This accelerated greatly in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. Since then, real interest rates have been negative. In some countries, even nominal interest rates spent some time in the red. Negative real interest rates imply both that there are no risks and that the future has no value - or even that the future is a negative value.

When the value of the future is entirely rejected by the ruling power structure, what happens? I suspect that we are in the process of finding out. None of those people acknowledge (or maybe even understand) that the system they have built is a system that considers the future as valueless, but they have and it does. It doesn't discount the future, it repudiates it entirely. It's a null value. It doesn't even exist. How does one behave when there is no future? A reversion not to pre-modern but pre-human conditions. Bestial consumption of all that there is at this moment, actions reactive to the moment, a world comprised entirely of an eternal now.

This is not the fault of negative real interest rates, but I do think that negative real rates are a consequence of the same driving force. There is no future and increasingly there is no past, either. There is merely the avarice, vice, appetite and power of the moment, with no consequences and no timeline.

Such a world is impossible and our rulers' wishing will not make it so. This world of now that they have built will fail, and it will be up to the men of vision - men who remember that the future exists and must be won - to do what they have always done and drag people kicking and screaming out of the ashes. They would do well to remember that the future has a price and manipulating that price to zero or below is a very important signal that they're doing something very, very wrong.

digg this
posted by Open Blogger at 11:00 AM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
REDACTED: "Elon is showing off his qualifications for prezzy ..."

Democrat Party: "DHS Is "Trafficking" Children Into Sex Rings ..."

First Son: ""No Yellow", he finally declared. ..."

Chuck Martel: "Did Elon underestimate the Garland gnome? ..."

Jane D'oh: "No more word from him since the 40 minute thing ? ..."

JT: "Looks like I qualify for some of those $266,000 re ..."

Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas: " I've been trying to figure out where all the Ille ..."

Romeo13: "Uh, I just got a Calif tax rebate... sent me a Car ..."

Nevergiveup: "The list of people not paying your mortgage is pre ..."

Jerry Rivers: "finally, someone is going to take my place on the ..."

illiniwek: "" who is 'Aiding and Abetting Illegal Aliens'... w ..."

Nevergiveup: "The Israeli Press, which like the us press is most ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64