A very good series screened on ABC (Australia) recently called Addicted to Money. If you want to be prepared for the future, I highly recommend that you get a copy and watch it. It is a commentary on the Global Financial Crisis that looks into history – both financial and social – and shows how predictable it actually was.
Segue into my education soapbox and you will see – particularly in the last episode of the series – a great indictment of the education system (and for that matter every other part of modern western civilisation).
The episode points out that the “finest minds,” the most “educated” (should it say schooled?) people on the planet were not able to predict the financial crisis.
In the big crunch, the pinnacle institutions, the biggest brand names of modern schooling all lost their shirts in the GFC. For example, according to the series the credit crunch cost:
- Harvard 11 billion dollars
- Stanford 30% of its value
- Oxford more than 100 million pounds.
Quoted on this fact, Professor Robert Reich, Former US secretary of labour said of the “brightest minds” who were in charge at the time, “They were not wise, they were not talented. In fact, they were quite stupid!”
According to the series, the so called “smartest guys in the world” hadn’t a clue that the credit crunch was imminent.
In fact Professor Ian Goldin quoted in the documentary pointed out, “the overwhelming majority, I’d say 99% of the profession, didn’t see the economic crisis coming… one has to wonder about the profession.”
If these guys couldn’t get it right, then what hope is there for the rest of the schooled masses? Of course, even successful street smart investors like Warren Buffet got caught out too. However, there were people predicting the GFC, like the schooled and educated (experienced) Marc Faber.
Back before 2007 Marc Faber, looking at conditions, financial and history cycles predicted the end of the credit bubble.
In 2006 Marc Faber said on ABC Inside Business about the boom market at the time:
It doesn’t change the fact that it is an imbalanced boom and it’s driven largely by credit creation in the US, leading to overconsumption, leading to a growing trade deficit, current account deficit, the accumulation of reserves in Asia and a global boom. But it is nevertheless an imbalanced boom and one day there will be a problem, certainly with the US dollar. The US dollar is a doomed currency.
There were others too, but they are in the minority of public investment commentators.
I guess my gripes with the education system are only a tiny part of the problem. The existence of an mass education system like ours is just one of the symptoms of an empire in decline.
Perhaps it is just one of the great excesses of an empire at its greatest heights to believe that its great wealth was due to scientific management of people, rather than the hard work, effort and cooperation of.
Schooled western countries such as America and Australia are being brought to bear by the so-called uneducated peasants of China and India. In reality, what they are is un-schooled, not un-educated. And as their rapidly growing economic power shows being un-schooled is certainly not a bad thing to aspire to.