Contributed by petem
“Society and civilisation as known in the 1960’s and 1970’s was now completely lost for all time. Inflation had brought about the destruction of economies of all the countries of the world. Even the communist bloc could not stand up to the rising prices and drop in the value of currency as greed and ambition slowly destroyed the unity which world peace had secured. With the destructions of an economy in any country, then the banking system also died so that the movement of money was frozen. Money itself could no longer buy goods and so on until the people, who had not starved to death began to barter for food”.
Excuse the poor grammar and structure please. This was the opening to a short story I wrote around 1977. I went on to develop a post apocalypse world where oil was the key bartering currency and was controlled by those who had the skills to maintain the crude pipeline flows, refining, and distribution. No need for managers, boards or shareholders, just skills.
Sound familiar? Mad Max the 1979 movie? Close? No cigar though. All this proves is that I, like many others I am sure, recognised the above scenario from what was happening at the time. The clever people were, of course those who came up with the Mad Max synopsis and convinced backers to fund the film. They succeeded because they made a profit from it.
So what was happening back then? The Cold war was in full swing with the 1973 oil embargo and inflation, during 1975 peaked at 26.9%. (I remember only too well working in a sales office taking phone calls from customers who wanted to buy stuff and adding 25% to the prices they’d paid just a month previously, now that is genuinely scary. That was in 1980 when inflation peaked at a more reasonable 21.9%).
So with all these things going on in the background we all got on with our lives and managed. Just like we always do. Maybe you remember those times too?
And now look where we are. That nice Mr Heath got us into the Common Market with the promise it would make us all better off and Britain a better place to be. Mrs Thatcher came along and sorted everybody out. Pity about the manufacturing base although our union friends may also have had a wee hand in that too. Scottish oil came along and the benefits were spent on… well nothing useful for the long term. Black Wednesday and the ERM. On that fateful day, I got on a plane in London at lunchtime with interest rates about 10%. By the time I got to Edinburgh the rate was up to 15% although it settled back to 12% later.
Let’s face it, we certainly knew how to create complete shambles of record breaking proportions and blow loads of tax payers money in those days. Does that sound familiar?
But like all things, records are there to be broken. Not content with the much worse 2008 crash we are now approaching a crash of significant record-breaking proportions, which may well make Mad Max look like a reality, which we just can’t aspire to.
There has to be an answer to this. I don’t see anyone one tackling the underlying issues, which need to be addressed. I don’t see anyone coming up with a solution, which will avert another crash. I do see a growing danger that we’ll end up with a world record mess, which will devastate the economies of Europe, the USA and Australia at least. Ouch.
I have another question, which I’d like answered. Who, apart from George Soros, has all the money lost during all of these crashes and adjustments, (insert suitable euphemism to personal taste here) etc.? I know it isn’t me nor anyone I know. It must have gone somewhere? Colossal amounts. Mountains of cash. It just couldn’t just disappear.