Friday, 31 December 2010

lords of finance (again)

I know I bang on about this book endlessly, but the thing I have been thinking about it for the last month is this: we look back at the Great Depression as a thing which started with a crash, and that was a nightmare, and then it took ages to get over it. When you read the book, what you see is a series of shocks taking place over a number of years, after each of which people - bright people - thought the problems were over, and then there would be another one. The really bad stuff wasn't the stuff that happened immediately.

Then I think: Eurozone.

In addition to these thoughts (depressing, worrying thoughts, in a nutshell), I also think that there is a comical tendency in a lot of pundits to be gloomy about everything, and that if you're a halfway competent historian you should at least remind people that loads of people have always thought everything's going to hell in a handcart. The boy got eaten by the wolf in the end, but I sort of mostly reckon that most things for most people will be better in the future than they are now, like they mostly always have been. They might not be, and let's not use it as an excuse for complacency, and I might not be among the people they will be better for, but they always have been before, and I like those odds.


(Last night I dreamed. Can't remember the details, but there was definitely food poisoning. Now must help cook for twenty people.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes it's like that old economists' joke: "He predicted five out of the last three recessions."