Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Another from the vault

Sad I deleted my archives. From 2009:


And what be goldbugs culpability? They resemble anarchists: strongly motivated to be on the vanguard for a variety reasons, but ultimately selfish and probably mistaken for apocalyptic systemic implosion remains a tail event. In this view , gold remains "a trade", and not an end to itself. More irksome, a bet on Gold may be "right", but it - betting as it does upon the acceleration of pus manufacture, feels (to me) somehow uncivic-minded - a wasteful employment of intellectual energy that might be set upon making what is systemically and socially un-well, better.

Exactly right. Put another way, if you are bullish on gold, you are bearish on America, civilization, and the fate of those around you who keep their money in the bank. It's not a hedge against inflation--it's a bet on the inevitability of failure.

In craps, the casino dice game, there are two main bets available to you. You can bet the "Pass" line, meaning that you are hoping the person rolling the dice wins. Or, you can bet "Don't Pass," betting that the shooter will lose.

The odds on a "Pass" bet are 1.414% against you. The odds are 1.402% on the "Don't Pass."

Mathematically-minded players occasionally bet "Don't Pass," due to the slightly lower house edge, but in a real casino, you will quickly be shunned, taunted, bad vibed, and possibly get punched in the face.

Getting punched is a low probability event, but not low enough to justify (to me) the .012% edge you gain by betting "Don't Pass." Also, it's like a 95% chance everyone else you are gambling with will think you are an asshole.

Gold is the same deal. Even if you are right, you are an asshole---and the slim protection you get probably doesn't overcome the negative expectation that someone will punch you in the face. 

1 comment:

  1. I'd say it's a worse bet than all that. Gold, in any post-apocalyptic scenario, is a sucker's bet. What's better for barter? Bullets, antibiotics, liquor, painkillers, and, of course, women. (Because, when things get really bad, you can eat women. Try that with gold).

    And, if I recall correctly, gold prices were at an all time high last year, and yet, government debt STILL outperformed gold as an investment. Hmmph! Looks like trust won out over solipsistic narcissism.