Brewer's Droop #262
I’m getting rather concerned about the decline in journalistic skills.
Most “writers” these days seem obsessed with adjectives. For example, financial markets don’t “ease off” they “crash”. Cricket teams don’t have “bad spells” they “choke”. With the drought in the Cape we face “cholera” and “open war on the streets” as Day Zero supposedly gets closer. It’s all a bit over-the-top I find.
A couple of days ago The Argus carried a headline which read CONSUMERS LOSE IT ALL ON CRYPTOCURRENCIES. Now I’m not a huge fan of cryptocurrencies but really, come on. That’s more than a little bit on the maniacal side don’t you think?
And as if that wasn’t enough the reporter, Joseph Booysen, added a sub headline: SCAMS, EXTREME VOLATILITY DRIVE INVESTORS TO BRINK OF BANKRUPTCY.
Now there may be some evidence of this for some sad people with no common sense but it’s far from the whole truth. It’s scaremongering and has precious little basis in fact.
What the writer is saying is that if you borrow money to invest (in anything come to think of it) that’s not just a bad idea, it’s sheer stupidity.
I have no compassion for anyone who rents a house he can’t afford, leases a couple of expensive cars, sends his kids to top-end schools and then borrows money from someone, goes to a casino and puts the lot on red at roulette – then loses. It’s exactly the same thing.
You cannot, simply cannot, invest in, say, Bitcoin if you don’t have the cash to do so. It’s as simple as that.
But banks are at the root of it all. They prefer you to invest with them at 8% a year (which is far, far from being enough) and then encourage you to spend more at Christmas or an overseas holiday so that you’re truly under their control. That is, in their debt – probably forever. So those with lower IQ’s look for other, hopefully profitable, options – and who can blame them?
The article interviewed Neil Roets who heads up a debt counselling company. He says he was “surprised at the number of consumers getting into financial trouble by investing in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ripple – then applying for counselling.”
I’m not surprised at all because it’s not just Bitcoin that’s causing their grief – it could be any one of a number of debts they shouldn’t have had in the first place – so it seems rather unfair to give cryptocurrencies such bad press.
Another consultant, Ina Wilken, said that people do not heed the often-repeated advice not to try to make a quick fortune.
She went on; “there’s no way to get rich quickly, except through hard work and curbing unnecessary spending” which, apart from sounding trite and Dickensian or something from a communist manifesto, is a statement of the bleedin’ obvious.
The article went on to say that the “spectacular returns achieved by the popular cryptocurrencies had been followed by equally spectacular falls.” Well, yes, that is true if you look at a quick snap-shot of time, rather like the stock market. But you’ll have a hard time convincing my mate that he made a big mistake, especially when he started investing this time last year at $1,000 and has since banked millions – has a new Porsche and is buying a yacht. Right. Big mistake.
The banks have a pathetically weak argument against cryptocurrencies (which, of course, inspired the article when they say “your money’s safe with us (at 8%)”. Oh really? Try telling that to those who tried getting their cash out of banks when there were spectacular runs on currencies and shares. Governments had to step in to “support” those things we call currencies. There have been a lot of them.
And what really irks banks and their cohorts (governments) is that they have absolutely no idea of how to deal with a cryptocurrency. They make nothing out of it you see – and that’s the real story.
Maybe that’s why the blockchain idea is becoming so popular – there surely must be something better than bank-manufactured paper (which has no more “value” than crypto), it’s called debt – which fuels inflation of course – and those morons telling us “you must work harder”.
I’m not saying that cryptocurrencies are the answer but they’re starting to look like an interesting option – and attacking them (as did The Argus) seems to me to be fuelling even more interest, which is what they’ve tried to discourage after all. They may very well fail in their quest to cosy up to the financial instutions.
It’s about time we took the cane from the cupboard and gave the bankers and their sycophants a damned good thrashing.
BY THE WAY
I’m no longer writing my fortnightly articles on Bizcom. It took a lot of thinking about but I’ve decided to concentrate firstly on my business (Brewer’s Advertising Database Applications) and secondly on this blog (so please recommend me to your friends and share liberally) together with other freelance writing in my spare time.
Hope your 2018 has had a wonderful start, and be cautious about making ANY investments.