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Mapping The Fugly Future with David Collum

user profile picture David Collum Feb 18, 2011
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In the course of his info-scouting, Chris has conversations with many different thinkers. Some are well-known to you; others perhaps less so. An important objective of our podcast interview series is to expose our listeners to the variety of voices and points of view that Chris considers when developing the perspective that he brings to his reporting.

David Collum may be a new voice to many of you. Like Chris, David came to the field of macroeconomic study from a scientific background. Again like Chris, his published observations and predictions have begun to amass a readership built on respect for his emprical approach to projecting the future. For those of you unfamilar with David's work, we think you'll enjoy having this insider's ear to his recent recorded discussion with Chris, which covers a wide range of topics.

In short, David sees a world where market risk has been removed (through misguided government intervention), leading to perverse behavior. In many ways, we are repeating the sins of past empires – and he warns us that history has a much higher incident rate of soverign insolvency than we may want to believe.

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In this podcast, David and Chris discuss: 


How our financial system has stopped pricing risk, creating dangerous asset bubbles and  bad incentives, and resulting in truly detrimental decision-making.


    We're not yet taking the rational steps to correct the system.

    As with our recent interviews with Joe SaluzziJim RogersMarc Faber, and Bill Fleckenstein, David ends the interview with a look forward: History is repeating itself, and we are approaching an inflection point that will be forced on us by economic & natural limits. Real risks are increasing; the most concerning are a bond market revolt, resource shortages. and social unrest. Rampant inflation and taxation will likely define the next decade. At our current trajectory, if we don't take great steps to change our behavior, things have a high probability of ending poorly. 




    David B. Collum is a professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University. In addition to his academic interests, Dan authors an annual macroeconomic assessment. He recently published his 2010 Year In Review: Fugly Gives Way To Muddling.

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