A few weeks ago, Miguel Franco, mayor of the Mexican town of Tepatitlan (about 60 miles NE from Guadalajara) gave, with the typical candour & honesty of those lands, his diagnosis about the financial crisis. More or less, he said the there is no such crisis, because more money is being made from business everyday “today there´s money & the day after the guys from the stock market say that is gone, who ate it? The money is still there and they’re not going to cheat us”.
This rather curious statement brought upon him (as you could expect) a storm of jokes and critics, but, truth be said, despite his apparent simple-minded reasoning, this Mexican Mayor has rubbed the salt in the wound of one of the aspects to take into account in light of the present economic turbulence.
It’s true. Everyday more money is being “made”, there are more products & more economic activity. Until, suddenly, a group of investors say that the stocks sold on the market no longer have the value they used to, and, as obvious consequence, the whole world faces the threat of a recession.
The real question here is: what the hell happened, for example, with Citigroup? Nearly two years ago, this financial company had a stock value of 277,000 million dollars, on the other hand, this last week its price had plummeted to merely 6,000 million. This means that 271,000 millions vanished on thin air, but why?
The painful answer is that Citigroup never really had a value of 277 thousand million dollars. This number wasn’t backed by concrete reality, but by the supposed profits foretold by the “financial analysts” (a mixture between sorcerers and businessmen). So, when their “cotton candy” castle came trembling down, the investors loudly crashed their heads in the hard, unmerciful real world.
The crash in the price of the stocks of Citi & a bunch of other companies who have lost as much as 90% of their value, constitutes an indisputable proof that our present economic system is standing in bare air, holding from illusions, cheats and hopes, which becomes really dangerous in generalized fear times, as those we live in.
They’ll never admit it, but not even the economists had a full idea about how deep is the crisis; which were its causes and how much it’ll take us to get out of it. Hidden behind their baroque math & unintelligible concepts, they’re just as confused as we are.
We need to understand, once and for all, that the economy is not, and can never be an exact science. The financial system is more like an enraged horse with meth addiction. We can try to tame it, but we’ll never fully succeed.
Here’s just one example. The Money Exchange market alone moves more than $ 1,350 TRILLION dollars every year (3.7 trillion every day). That’s just too much money to track and see if the counts match.
We live in the middle of an economy moving at the speed of light and the only things we can do is using our common sense and hope that the waters return to their level, because, at the end of the day, the tempting stock exchanges & world economy are just illusions, just a Mirage.