trenchant.org

by adam mathes
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Perpetual Volatility

At this point in my adulthood I should probably have an advisor who distributes my assets across a basket of currencies, short term cash equivalents, high risk equities, low risk bonds, cryptocurrency I don’t understand, global real estate trusts, pretentious art, and 1980’s X-Men comics.

I don’t.

Also I don’t know if I believe in the economy because for my adult life it has either been “one step away from massive recession and or great depression” (2002~, 2008~) or “high as a kite via crazy asset bubbles” (199x-2001,2004-2007, 2015–?) and I studied enough history to know that the boom/bust cycle was actually the norm until the great depression brought in major financial reforms, but then the US government repealed Glass-Steagall, enabling further consolidation in the financial system and setting us up for perpetual volatility.

I was thinking about this as I watched the first episodes of Stranger Things with my wife, who does not quite share my appreciation for 1980’s pop culture. (Probably because she was busy doing smarter things as a child, like reading books, while I watched Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends re-runs for the 100th time.

I didn’t really appreciate the 80’s when I was living in them, but in retrospect, they were probably the apex of post-war Pax Americana and the last decade before the exponential growth in computer technology made us all feel perpetually unready for the future now, even though I’m probably as qualified to be a cyberpunk post-apocalyptic hacker hiding in a national library as anyone.

Anyway, my wife prefers 90’s culture over 80’s, which led to me monologuing –

“The 80’s were great. All the 90’s had was the repeal of Glass–Steagall and the commercialization of the internet, both of which are directly leading to the downfall of Western civilization.”

Anyway, I think that’s a good line and I hope everyone uses it in conversations.

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