Friday, February 27, 2009

File Under 'Urgent!' and Do Nothing

Some years ago I had a file labelled 'Urgent! Action Now!' Into this I had tossed things that were, indeed, urgent. But the fact that they had been tossed into the file at all indicated another aspect - they were, in my mind, too hard, in fact, insoluble. Filing them was a way of making myself think I had achieved something whereas I had, of course, achieved precisely nothing. Then we moved house. The file vanished and I forgot about it. It turned up several years later. I opened it fearfully, the problems inside had all gone away. Doing something was the same as doing nothing as far as these insoluble problems were concerned. That, it seems to me, is the story of the present crisis in a nutshell. The problem is insoluble. American sub-prime was just the beginning; now we have Europe's own sub-prime in the form of the collapsing eastern European economies. Everybody is running around crying, 'Urgent! Action Now!' and then tossing things into a file. The non-solution is to lose the file. Move on from this collapsed and absurdly unstable form of turbo-capitalism and start again. When we hear that message, the recovery will have begun. Don't hold your breath.


  1. Bryan, that is totally brilliant.

    Best regards

  2. Yep leave the market alone and it will deal with the great price correction itself, not so much "magic" or "invisible" more, inevitable?

    I think the long dark winter has made us over pessimistic, now the sun is threatening to come out, a spring clean is in order.

  3. Hi Bryan, great post

    a chap called Edmund Conway said some interesting words in a similar vein in the Telegraph yesterday:

    who knows where we're all going to be in a few year's time?

    Perhaps I'll be forced to fight in gladatorial battles with giant mutants in a large dome shaped arena in the middle of an irradiated desert whilst Tina Turner looks on and laughs.

  4. Bryan, I don't want you to panic but it's time to abandon ship, if this ain't the only true indicator of deep, deep doo doo's then what is.
    I suggest not via Ryanair however, £1 per pee is too much.

  5. Perhaps you should try a Churchillian 'ACTION THIS DAY'?