Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

The Age of Self-Preservation


Many acting on survival instincts.

At the end of 2007, I offered that we were ending the Age of Aspiration. And recently I have read several commentaries suggesting that we are now entering an Age of Austerity. While it doesn't have the alliteration (or is it the assonance?) of either periods, as I look around the globe, I would offer that while austerity is occurring, what we are entering is something much more primitive - and that is an Age of Self-Preservation.

Whether it is at an individual, corporate, municipal or national level, I am seeing actions that are fraught with raw survival instincts. Whether it is individuals and corporations hoarding cash, or Iceland not guaranteeing the deposits of overseas investors, what I see happening at alarming pace is the migration of "all for one and one for all" to "every man for himself."

Fear does that. And not just to individuals, but to corporations and governments.

I don't profess to know where this goes. Protectionism? Foreign exchange controls? Immigration reform? Export tariffs? Choose your issue.

As I offered last week, self-preservation introduces new risks related to "collective" organizations, whether they be the EU, Basel II, GATT, NAFTA or even NATO. And even within our own economy, I expect that the tension between national and local interests and the divisions between the haves and the have nots will only become more pronounced.

I share all of this, not to be an alarmist, but rather to suggest that the rules are changing - and quickly. And prior assumptions no longer hold.

If others are going to focus on self-preservation, then the sooner we realize this, the better prepared we can be.

And again, austerity is far too nice. Austerity is me spending less at my own expense. Self-preservation is fundamentally different. Self-preservation is me keeping as much as I can for me - even if it means at your expense.

And unfortunately that's where it feels like we are headed, as individuals, as a nation, and as a globe.
< Previous
  • 1
Next >
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos