World Made By Hand

Posted 11 Oct 2008

Going from the West Coast to Toronto for my presentation at the Cambridge House Investment Conference is not so bad but the pitiful performance of the airlines is only to be expected. 

Needless to say because US Airways was late and Delta was extremely unhelpful I spent the night in a small shop in Laguardia airport after taking a taxi, at my own expense, from JFK while my room at the Fairmont Royal York stood empty.  But how annoying are the airlines!

Fortunately I made it to Toronto with my suitcase that followed me several hours later in time for my presentation.  I even got to chat with some readers which made my day.

The extra time did allow me to finish reading World Made By Hand by James Knustler.  The novel was a quick read and flowed quickly.  The world envisioned does appear possible.  Keep in mind that oil is cheaper than water.

I would not consider the novel a must read and it barely met my expectations.  The amount of marijuana consumed by all the characters is almost funny but I doubt it reflects on the extra-circular activities of Mr. Knustler.

If you are an avid fiction reader always on the prowl for the next book then I would recommend getting a copy.  However, it is by no means a must read.  Some of his other work on peak oil is much better.

Gold is at $847.30 and oil at an almost unbelievable $77.70.  That makes the ratios 10.9 and 9.17.  Despite all the volatility the ratios appear to be getting closer to normal.  Seasonally oil is weak now and gold is strong so it will be interesting to see what happens by the end of the year.  Gold buying for the Indian wedding season, Christmas and Chinese New Year is bound to be fierce given the low spot prices.

A good reason for a commodity based currency is it allows for better allocations of capital that result in sustainable development.  Of course, America screwed that up big time with the Federal Reserve and is now going to reap the whirlwind of faulty monetary policy.  I would relate some of the forecasts from the conference but they are pretty grisly. 

For example, a PhD in statistics who did forecasting for life insurance companies and hospitals is forecasting that within the next couple years the leading cause of death in the United States will be rioting.

Anyway, things are getting a little dicey and I would recommend preparing in a way that meets your risk tolerance.