The Great Reckoning Was Greatly Exaggerated Until Now

Then follows a sales pitch, and if you've ever followed market, trading, or investment advice, there's a GREAT RECKONING!!! every few months at the very minimum and if it's not a general one, then it's in a niche like gold stocks, tech stocks, or whatever.

I've seen the hype over decades.


The last Great Reckoning was the Great Depression of 1929, when you had common folks liquidating all assets and lined up in literal soup lines. We're just over 90 years from that and in terms of economic downturns and recessions, nothing has really come close. Even WWII didn't come close, ending up a financial boon that ushered in unprecedented national prosperity for decades. America had tightened belts and already lived frugally, many died, but it brought so many job opportunities that even little ladies were taught to fly all species of military aircraft, including the fighters, ferrying them to where they needed to be for eventual delivery.

...It has also been quite a while since global communication went global, rudimentary as it was for a long time.

How do you integrate all of that? Well, by 1928, humans had the technological ability to communicate rapidly across the seas by telephone, likely a one-off skit at the time—I don't envision anyone just picking up the phone and dialing Europe. Compare that, in contrast, to a factory in the UK that gets a purchase order via ship in the 1800s and has to risk a lot in the dark to produce the products, package, and put on a ship; and he's not really assured that the purchaser on the other end is even still there—or economically viable to pay—anymore. And then payment takes another month to get back. Risky as hell. Insurance must have been crazy expensive if even available.

...It would be interesting, if available, to analyze trans-Atlantic communications via rudimentary telegram during the 1929 Crash from August to October and then ensuing years. Was the actual telephone used a lot by then? I doubt it but don't know for sure. One thing can be certain, however, and it would be that all communications were official and filtered as to political imperatives, because nothing ever changes in that regard and communications across national boundaries were surely A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY!!!

My own gut feeling is that as communication got better globally, faulty or even misleading information became far less important as bandwidth and speed got better. I think that humans tend to default to "well, that's the best information we have," and then do their best with it. But that introduces the exacerbating problem of investment. If you later get new information after already investing time, resources, and political capital into the old information, one might be motivated to stick it out to see if it sticks anyway. Reelection draws nigh.

In general, advances in global communication in terms of speed and bandwidth (amount of information) has helped bankers, investors, and businesses to all take on less risk, avoid total busts, make decisions that require less cost, financing, and insurance. This trickles down to the employees, their personal stability, and the longevity of their benefits and pensions.

It's good stuff.

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Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2022, contains over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More
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