Links Emerge Between War on Terror, Climate Change and Asset Prices

This morning…our fingers froze at the keyboard. We were suddenly struck by an irony so immense we could scarcely breathe, let alone type. Or else it was a hangover. We had to loosen our collar…sit back…and relax for a minute.

The world seems to be in the grip of three immense frenzies at once, we realised. Each one is breathtaking. Each one is awe-inspiring. And each one is a monumental humbug. Each part of this hysterical trinity has tres partes of its own…one part truth…one part lie…and one part complete absurdity. And each one supports the other, reinforcing one delusion with another, even bigger one.

In the New World, a recent poll showed that Americans thought the war on terror was the single most important issue on the planet. While back in the Old World, a similar question drew a different reply: it is global warming that the Europeans worry about. Meanwhile, all over the world, from Manchester to Mandalay, everyone believes he can get rich without working; all he has to do is to buy a financial asset and watch it go up in price.

It is this last fantasy that interests us most, here at the Markets and Money headquarters. Every sentient being on earth seems to have come to believe that it is money that matters most…and the way to get money is to speculate. Asset prices only go up, he believes. And each one believes he has some special gift that permits him to choose the one that goes up most. Seeing neither error nor risk in this proposition, he then proceeds to leverage himself – borrowing money either for consumption (Americans) or speculation (Chinese) so that he can take advantage of it.

What results is a huge splurge of spending – on consumption in North America…and capital investment in Asia. This frenzy of activity, of course, brings about a huge increase in the consumption of resources – notably oil.

Meanwhile, a hypothesis has conveniently arisen: Increased usage of fossil fuels raises the worlds CO2 levels…trapping heat. The authorities, naturally, rush to ‘save the planet,’ conveniently alarmed by the plight of polar bears and penguins. How can they help? They can raise taxes! Yes, global warming is to be remedied by a global tax on fuel, so as to raise prices and discourage users. Who will collect and redistribute the tax? If you guessed the Girl Scouts or the Kiwanis Clubs you are a naïve moron. The tax will be collected by governments, the largest of which is also the largest user of fossil fuel…and the greatest contributor to the alleged danger.

Bill Bonner
Markets and Money

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind Markets and Money.

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4 Comments on "Links Emerge Between War on Terror, Climate Change and Asset Prices"

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Dr Coles
My point in all of this is that CO2 does NOT cause climate change; I am not arguing that a change in the climate might be occurring. The climate on earth changes all the time and that global change is caused by the Sun (a new NASA finding). All life on the planet is carbon based, CO2 is part of our food chain, and it is not a pollutant. The biggest “green house gas” is water vapor. If climate change is caused by human activity then we would need to start eliminating life on the planet, yes this is absurd,… Read more »
Miles Shapiro
We at Connecticut Real Estate and Construction have not the time to waste while the G8 deliberate picayune details about what sorts and how much of greenhouse gasses are allowable, and who was going to conform or not. One might ask, what is the hurry? The hurry is: we humans are in the process of destroying our planet. Global warming is the single most significant environmental crisis the world community has ever seen. The 2007 G8 Summit in Germany will focus on the reversal of global warming. President Bush, of course opposes this proposal. Like his strategy in the Middle… Read more »

It took you guys how long to work this out?

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