Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market Real Estate Crash The Next Shoe To Drop – Part II - Chris_Vermeulen
2.The Coronavirus Greatest Economic Depression in History? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.US Real Estate Housing Market Crash Is The Next Shoe To Drop - Chris_Vermeulen
4.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications and AI Mega-trend Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Are Coronavirus Death Statistics Exaggerated? Worse than Seasonal Flu or Not?- Nadeem_Walayat
6.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications, Global Recession and AI Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Fourth Turning Accelerating Towards Debt Climax - James_Quinn
8.Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Britain's FAKE Coronavirus Death Statistics Exposed - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Commodity Markets Crash Catastrophe Charts - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
Will Fed‘s Cap On Interest Rates Trigger Gold’s Rally? - 30th May
Is Stock Market Setting Up for a Blow-Off Top? - 29th May 20
Strong Signs In The Mobile Gaming Market - 29th May 20
Last Clap for NHS and Carers, Sheffield UK - 29th May 20
The AI Mega-trend Stocks Investing - When to Sell? - 28th May 20
Trump vs. Biden: What’s at Stake for Precious Metals Investors? - 28th May 20
Stocks: What to Make of the Day-Trading Frenzy - 28th May 20
Why You’ll Never Get Another Stimulus Check - 28th May 20
Implications for Gold – 2007-9 Great Recession vs. 2020 Coronavirus Crisis - 28th May 20
Ray Dalio Suggests USA Is Entering A Period Of Economic Decline And New World Order - 28th May 20
Europe’s Coronavirus Pandemic Dilemma - 28th May 20
I Can't Pay My Payday Loans What Will Happen - 28th May 20
Predictive Modeling Suggests US Stock Markets 12% Over Valued - 27th May 20
Why Stocks Bear Market Rallies Are So Tricky - 27th May 20
Precious Metals Hit Resistance - 27th May 20
Crude Oil Cuts Get Another Saudi Boost as Oil Demand Begins to Show Signs of Life - 27th May 20
Where the Markets are heading after COVID-19? - 27th May 20
Silver Springboards Higher – What’s Next? - 26th May 20
Stock Market Key Resistance Breakout Is Where the Rubber Meets the Road - 26th May 20
5 Ways To Amp Up Your CFD Trading Today - 26th May 20
The Anatomy of a Gold Stock Bull Market - 26th May 20
Stock Market Critical Price Level Could Soon Prompt A Big Move - 25th May 20
Will Powell Decouple Gold from the Stock Market? - 25th May 20
How Muslims Celebrated EID in Lockdown Britain 2020 - UK - 25th May 20
Stock Market Topping Behavior - 24th May 20
Fed Action Accelerates Boom-Bust Cycle; Not A Virus Crisis - 23rd May 20
Gold Silver Miners and Stocks (after a quick drop) Ready to Explode - 23rd May 20
3 Ways to Prepare Financially for Retirement - 23rd May 20
4 Essential Car Trade-In Tips To Get The Best Value - 23rd May 20
Budgie Heaven at Bird Land - 23rd May 20
China’s ‘Two Sessions’ herald Rebound of Economy - 22nd May 20
Signs Of Long Term Devaluation US Real Estate - 22nd May 20
Reading the Tea Leaves of Gold’s Upcoming Move - 22nd May 20
Gold, Silver, Mining Stocks Teeter On The Brink Of A Breakout - 21st May 20
Another Bank Bailout Under Cover of a Virus - 21st May 20
Do No Credit Check Loans Online Instant Approval Options Actually Exist? - 21st May 20
An Eye-Opening Perspective: Emerging Markets and Epidemics - 21st May 20
US Housing Market Covid-19 Crisis - 21st May 20
The Coronavirus Just Hit the “Fast-Forward” Button on These Three Industries - 21st May 20
AMD Zen 3 Ryzen 9 4950x Intel Destroying 24 core 48 thread Processor? - 21st May 20
Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - 20th May 20
The Credit Markets Gave Their Nod to the S&P 500 Upswing - 20th May 20
Where to get proper HGH treatment in USA - 20th May 20
Silver Is Ensured A Prosperous 2020 Thanks To The Fed - 20th May 20
It’s Not Only Palladium That You Better Listen To - 20th May 20
DJIA Stock Market Technical Trend Analysis - 19th May 20
US Real Estate Showing Signs Of Covid19 Collateral Damage - 19th May 20
Gold Stocks Fundamental Indicators - 19th May 20
Why This Wave is Usually a Market Downturn's Most Wicked - 19th May 20
Gold Mining Stocks Flip from Losses to 5x Leveraged Gains! - 19th May 20
Silver Price Begins To Accelerate Higher Faster Than Gold - 19th May 20
Gold Will Soar Soon; World Now Faces 'Monetary Armageddon' - 19th May 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Coronavirus-stocks-bear-market-2020-analysis

Entropy, Why the World as We Know It Is Dying

Stock-Markets / Financial Markets 2010 Mar 09, 2010 - 02:33 PM GMT

By: David_Galland

Stock-Markets

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleBy David Galland, Managing Editor, The Casey Report

The concept of entropy is one of the most useful terms for understanding just about everything. While it has its origins in natural law – thermodynamics, specifically – the concept holds true pretty much across all closed systems.


In the simplest of terms, every closed system will ultimately degrade toward a state of maximum entropy.

I’ll use the current political system of the U.S. as a convenient example. When American democracy was first shoved out of the nest by the founding fathers, it was new, fresh, and energetic. It took the world’s breath away at its boldness and unlimited promise, and set the wheels turning on tangible change across much of the world.

Before the ink dried on the Constitution, however, the degradation began. From the beginning, the country’s political operations fell into the hands of a strictly limited number of parties, which quickly coalesced into just two. Since then, they have essentially shared power, with only minor differences in policies between the two. Simply, absent a disruptive external force, the closed political system quickly matured into an institutionalized “sameness” that all but assures no serious challenges – leading, ultimately, to the certainty it will degrade to only a shell of its former self.  

It was, perhaps, because of his own understanding of natural law that Thomas Jefferson was heard to remark, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

That doesn’t mean I am advocating revolution – just pointing out the fact that any closed system, no matter how well constructed, will degrade. To expect the United States of America to avoid this fate is to expect the impossible.

Switching to a corporate example, I used to be a regular buyer of Toyota cars. They were well made, innovative, and suited my changing needs over the years. And I wasn’t alone – in 2007 they became the world’s largest automobile maker, with a global manufacturing and distribution system that made them appear dominant. Behind the scenes, though, entropy was at work. 

In 2008, when the time had come to lease a new car, I reflexively headed over to the local dealer fully expecting to drive off with yet another Toyota, just as I had done several times over the previous decade or more. But as I walked around the showroom, it was impossible not to notice that the company had lost its edge. The cars on offer were not only more expensive than the competition, but even the newest models had that “so yesterday” look about them.

Surprising even myself, I walked out and ended up leasing from another company. I remember vividly at the time saying to my wife that we should short Toyota’s stock. Of course we didn’t – but if we had, it would have been a good play, as you can see in the chart of the company’s stock price here. Note that Toyota’s share price peaked in 2007, almost concurrently with it becoming the world’s largest car company.

As I said at the onset, you can see entropy at work in virtually every closed system. Consider the U.S. dollar, which became the world’s de facto reserve currency as a result of Bretton Woods. What an amazing advantage for the United States – this unique ability to provide the world’s central banks with their primary reserve component! And to have all the world’s commodities dealt in dollars. In short, the dollar became the centerpiece of the global economic system.

It was, of course, damned to entropy, with Nixon’s ending the dollar’s gold backing just being part of the natural progression. And if he hadn’t done it, one of his successors would have – due to some “emergency” or as a “temporary” measure, or some other flimsy political cover. Regardless, the degradation of the currency gained speed and, systematically, it’s been all downhill since.

You may also want to think about entropy when pondering the Chinese miracle. No question, China is having a heck of a run. As James Quinn writes in his article “Is China’s Recovery a Fraud?” in the February edition of The Casey Report, in 1970 that country’s GDP was just $92 billion. Today it is $4.9 trillion!

“Unstoppable!” cheers the punditry. The Chinese leadership, whose capable hands are very much on the levers of the macro-economy, are cut from special cloth, they add.

In answer to that, Quinn points out that despite China being an export-based economy, purpose-built to supply goods to a U.S. population engaged in a mad rush to spend themselves into debt and default – which is to say, an economy now only a memory – there is currently 30 billion square feet of commercial real estate under construction in China.

I’m not sure if bowling is popular with the Chinese, but with all that spare space, some enterprising individual might want to consider promoting it as the coming thing. Roller rinks? Indoor laser tag centers?

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., we the people are no longer content with a free-market system that embraces periodically burning down the house in order to rebuild stronger and better – a system which has been proven to create wealth, and lots of it. Instead, we are hell bent on adopting the closed economic system of a socialist model where everything and everyone is tightly controlled.

On that point, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal titled “No Exit in Sight for U.S. as Fannie, Freddie Flail” sheds light on the continuing degradation in the free market that used to underpin the nation’s hugely important housing sector…

Fannie and Freddie, for their part, remain at the core of a housing-finance system that inflated a dangerous housing bubble. After prices collapsed, sending shock waves around the world, the federal government put America's housing-finance system on life support. It has yet to decide how that troubled system should be rebuilt.

On Dec. 24, Treasury said there would be no limit to the taxpayer money it was willing to deploy over the next three years to keep the two companies afloat, doing away with the previous limit of $200 billion per company. So far, the government has handed the two companies a total of about $111 billion.

 (Full story here.)

Can’t you just smell the entropy? The results are not just predictable, they are evident – just look around.

As investors, it is, I would contend, important to understand the notion of entropy – and to watch for it in your portfolio companies, in your bureaucracies, and, on a more personal level, your relationships and your health. On that last point, the human body is very much a closed system and so, as we all are too painfully aware, will degrade until it ceases to exist.

You can slow the degradation by taking care of yourself. But it’s also worth remembering that it’s a one-way slope, so enjoy yourself while you are fit and able to.

While it’s impossible to halt entropy, what you can do is take action to protect yourself and your assets from its effects. That’s what the editors of The Casey Report do best: recognize and examine emerging trends in the economy and markets, and help investors take advantage of the opportunities that arise from them. And profits are everywhere if you know what to look for – even in the worst economic crises. Click here for more

© 2010 Copyright Casey Research - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules