Friday, August 14, 2009

My Investment Losses Have Nominally Zeroed Out

As of today, for the first time since the beginning of the crisis, my financial portfolio has recovered all dollars invested, in other words, my investment losses have nominally zeroed out. There's yet some way to go until the returns get back to decent historical yearly yields, but this is good news anyway.

The two segments of society that I don't thank for the recovery of my nominal losses are the political system and the media. Most people in these two segments get an F when it comes to devising rational and efficient policy responses and providing me with balanced and sensible information. I bet that, when people will look back at this episode some years from now, what they'll see will look like a swine flu scare elevated to the power of one million.

What worries me now however is what will be the result of all the awkward and politically opportunistic economic policies adopted by governments around the world. As summarized by Rogoff (HT Mankiw):

Within a few years, western governments will have to sharply raise taxes, inflate, partially default, or some combination of all three.

To have predicted when the financial crisis would have happened was task for a demigod. To predict that fiscal irresponsibility and cartoonish Keynesianism will wreck the economy, this one is as easy as taking candy from a baby. Don't believe me? Just read any good monetary economics textbook, for example this one.

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