Monday, November 29, 2010

The final bubble....... And the empire falls

Man has come a long way since the epoch of modern day history but even today if one views the world from the heights of the Acropolis or from the shallows, it becomes amply clear that not much has changed, humanity is still slave to the natural laws of cyclicality and creative destruction, which means that no strong how strong the global power is it paves way for another global player to rise to supremacy. If anything that has changed is that the time at ascendancy has become smaller. What's more the reasons of fall are similar and the fluttering attempts to maintain supremacy exactly the same.

Let me emphasize that the rise of any empire is governed by economics of wealth and albeit that also becomes the reason of it's fall. As by now you must have gauzed about which nation I am going to talk about in this article so let me take you back in time to relive some other great powers in medieval-modern human history. It should be interesting to note that the fall from divinity is swift contrary to the popular perception of a gradual decline. Let's start with the mighty Great Britain, not so long ago it controlled an Empire that was greater than the dream of the great Macedonian Emperor and the scourge of that Fascist Dictator and it all fell apart in the blink of an eye. After the end of the WW II Britain was burdened under that same four letter word that broke the back of every empire "Debt"; wonder why are they all four lettered. The cost of managing it's empire became unbearable and it all began to fell apart starting with India. More interesting is the fact that the harbingers of this was omnipresent as they are today, as the debt burden of Britain started increasing in the midst of 1930s due to the Great Depression, it's military expenditure started declining and then there came a tipping point when the cost of servicing it's debt exceeded it's military expenditure and I think that was the end game for Britain although the chapter was filmed at a later date. This relationship is not a freaky statistic correlation but a part of a well thought out analysis. What this indicated is that the empire has overstretched the limits of expansion and the Marginal gains from any further expansion is negative and hence it can only go down from here.

It's similar to any war wherein when the marginal cost of servicing an overstretched army becomes negative, the army can go no further and the whole thing trips over. In the real world everything acts at the margin, for a period of time nothing seems to happen and then suddenly something shakes the world. The realty is that the world is a mixture of Newtonian and Quantum laws, just as an electron is excited to the next higher level only when a certain amount of energy is given to it in a similar way actions of market participants keep on fueling an event till that slight marginal input makes it to explodes.

Today the current power is moving on a path that has been traversed by every known superpower in the history ever since Nero. Some two centuries back Rome faced a similar dilemma wherein it had stretched it's forces beyond their marginal peripheries and soon suffered with ever increasing Trade and Fiscal deficit; sounds familiar!! read more......

Ofcourse to fund this twin deficit the empire was soon engulfed under a quantum of debt, coupled with deflation due to the bullion hoarding..... and then came the final blow; to get out of this debt and deflation trap the currency was debased and so was the empire...... Today the characters remain the same, what has changed is only the face and the writing is on the wall, all it requires is a stamp of time.

1 comment:

Himani said...

Himanshu, The essence of the article is good, but I feel like crowning you the next Gloom, boom & doom king, leaving Marc Faber behind. Comment specific for your concluding paragraph.
best,
Himani