Scrooge McDuck on inflationary pressures and investment.
Overheard on a London Trading Desk – “This has been the worst month of my life. It’s been worse than a divorce — I’ve lost half my money and have the same goddamn wife.” Funny, at least from the Colombo perspective. I was also Googling around and I found these old videos of Scrooge McDuck teaching his nephews about money supply and economics. The best part is the end. He asks his nephews if they understand and they say ‘No, but it sure sounds like a good deal.’ Then he takes a three coin commission and their piggybank – THE END. Whats happening in the West is, after THE END, it turned out that people money was invested badly.
My family had a house in Washington DC, after I’d moved out. I remember driving round that complex, row upon row of identical homes with a Safeway or occassional green in between. You could ride down the highway for hours outside of the beltway and turn of in any direction into concrete cloverleaves of starter homes.
I was living in Montreal, during the summer, because it’s beautiful. I hadn’t learned enough French to work, so I was telemarketing – one of the most useless and soul-deadening jobs in the world. We called hundreds of people a day selling them … credit cards. Now, these people had five or six credit cards already, but there was still money to be made in collecting more debt from them. In fact, we were told to solicit ‘balance transfers’, meaning moving debt from an old card to a new one. There were people out there with like 15 – 20,000 dollars in debt. I was like, WTF? Like, those were standard. You’d also be amazed at how many people actually have the last name ‘Butt’.
I was at a baseball game with Ron and they offered us credit cards. He took one and it had like a $20,000 limit. We were both in school. We each had a few thousand worth of technology and about 30 bucks in our pockets. We were eating rice and kim-chi for dinner. But those were the days.
Of course, there’s a deeper history behind it, as Scrooge McDuck explains in his discussion of monetary theory.
Scrooge McDuck on the history and evolution of money
What I took away from Scrooge was that – while his advice to invest in the stock market looks silly now – money still needs to circulate. A bicycle has to keep moving or it falls over.
And if the Great Depression is a clue, this sort of thing can be steered out of with strong leadership (Go-bama!) and massive infrastructure investment. If the US dumps a New Deal type investment into Green Energy then we should all be fine. That is, we should squeeze a better future out of this pinch.