Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Entitlement and Delusions

The welfare queens and kings of Wall Street have already decided to start partying like it were 2007, never mind the trillions of dollars that have been forced upon taxpayers to keep these toxic dumps afloat. But, the underlying chutzpah at these places is enormous, along with the natural sense of entitlement that accompanies it. So what if we screwed up, so what if our products were garbage, so what if our products add negative value; we are entitled to the compensation, because we need to have the 'best and the brightest.' If this is the cesspool you get by hiring the best and the brightest, I wonder what would mere mediocres have done?

The OPEC ministers sing the same tune saying that a fairly high price of $50 is not good enough and is 'undermining economy.'
The wizards of the government economy in Alberta are not too different either as they are borrowing in the hope that the recession will go away if they wait for long enough. It's the same sense of entitlement- higher commodity prices- irrespective of the the macro economic situation. Well, here's a question. If $50 oil and $3.5 natural gas ain't going to cut it in Alberta, what happens if the prices again halve from here on? Can someone say the definite collapse in the mid east asset markets and Klein style cuts in not too distant future. Natural gas btw, is now down to around $3.2 and likely to fall further. We have been tracking natural gas since January and its slow but steady decline from $5 or more to the present levels. What this is doing to the drilling levels in the province and corporate profits will be discussed in another post.

At a more local level, thousands of 'landlords' are wishing that the recession goes away. They can't/won't/don't reduce the prices that reflect the current market conditions and hope that the prices will bounce back to a level higher than the current values. Again, it's a strong hope and delusion, built on the underlying entitlement of 'higher prices' for 'my real estate holding'.
The economy has changed since 2007. Many companies are talking about a permanent and new 'baseline' for sales, production and consequent growth.
The economy of last few years was a mirage. It ain't coming back, neither are the prices of assets that were used to foment this mirage.
A lot of people, currently on EI and the governments willing to take on more debt will recognize that despite the loads of apparent green shoots that appeared in last few weeks, nothing fundamentally has changed. The economy still stinks, no matter how much perfume is applied to it to make the stench go away. It simply can't be fixed by a culture of entitlement, and believing in the ideas of unfounded hope.
Debt deflation is here and it can't be wished away.
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