The real problem though is that the article itself is pretty fluffy, below the author's usual standard. I don't think there's much to gratify intellectual curiosity here, or news that there's a cryptocurrency craze. All this has been discussed on HN well past the point where we just recycle.
Just look at what banks are lending for these days. It's mostly mortgages. By giving people money just to transfer ownership of unproductive assets we've created a speculative asset boom which has had all sorts of downsides for productivity.
I don’t think it’s clear that low priced mortgage rates are a net negative.
Why are loans being originated for properties with values that have decoupled from realistic wage multipliers? That’s an important fianance question.
What I was trying to get at was that the lending of money to bid up the prices of those assets beyond prices that can be justified by their income earning potential is unproductive.
Venezuela's problems are entirely self-inflicted. US sanctions have very little effect on the worth of their money. Spending vastly more than they make, in part because of their incompetence at running an oil industry, is causing the hyperinflation.
The second part about the Berkeley city council proposing a dumb idea is a "dog bites man" story. It's not news when they suggest doing something dumb. It's only news when they try something crazy and it ends up being a great idea.
Is there a comprehensive answer? I can only shrug.
that depends on what you mean by 'decently placed'. the right decently placed numbers can win you 400 million dollars in the lottery.
i own a house, and i made a 'decently' placed bet and my home increased from 250k to 330k in 5 years. in theory. 80k is great, but over 5 years is no whear near what an engineer can make during that time. and i did PRETTY good.
anything else, you are talking about winning the lottery.
For those too young to remember, paragraphs exactly like this appeared in the late 90s before the dot com bubble burst.
When the shoe shine guys start talking stocks, it's time to sell. Same with random people talking ICOs. http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive...
It's not postmodern. It's predictable.
It's strange, because Matt's articles are usually worth reading slowly and digesting.