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Investment Bankers on Resource Depletion

A listener sent me this link to a report from Barclays Capital on the topic of resource depletion. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Barclays Capital:
Barclays Capital is a leading global investment bank. It is the investment banking division of Barclays plc which has a balance sheet of over £1.2 trillion (2008 BARCAP figures). Barclays Capital provides financing and risk management services to large companies, institutions and government clients. It is a primary dealer in U.S. Treasury securities and various European Government bonds.

And here's the first paragraph of the synopsis of the Barclays Capital report:
Resource scarcity is the single most important social, political and economic factor of our era and will remain so for the foreseeable future. We are depleting the global stock of natural resources – in the broadest sense of that term – at an accelerating pace. This process is creating negative feedback in the shape of rising real resource prices and a degenerating ecosystem, in turn catalysing changes to the fundamental structure of the economy. The rise in per capita consumption has been vastly accelerated by rising prosperity in the developing economies. The scale of the potential increase in aggregate demand is large enough to warrant doubts that it can be satisfied. In many, if not most, instances, the more accessible stocks of resources have already been exploited. Increasingly, future demand will be met only by utilising the less productive and more marginal stocks. Given the pace of economic growth in the developing world, the supply/demand balance in most resources becomes critical within a one to two decade timetable. For some resource sectors, the prospect of complete exhaustion within this timeframe is a realistic scenario if hypothesised deposits and technological advances disappoint. Resource scarcity is likely to wreak significant changes to the global economy, ending the long trend of decreasing volatility in growth and inflation. These changes have profound implications for investors as consumption and investment patterns adjust to the new reality.

link: http://www.barcap.com/sites/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=b605360dbeafe010VgnVCM2000001613410aRCRD


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 13th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
Holy Cow!
This is huge, KMO! An investment house's admissions to resource depletions and their economic effects. I'm stunned to actually have have an Investment Firm step up to the plate like this. It's almost like Jared Diamond is their chairman of the board.

The news itself isn't really a surprise for anyone who has followed your discussions, but it's refreshing to have a major corporation acknowledge it, rather than deny it and take the cornucopian stance.
Sep. 13th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
Just read the whole thing
Hey KMO,

Much more than just acknowledging resource depletion, paragraphs two and three are just as good if not more powerful. They are starting to point out the inherent flaws in our economic system. It even goes further and calls to name four demons of illusion with respect to investment and challenges it's customers to see through the illusions of the standard investment model.

I'm very impressed. This might be worth a portion of a podcast episode. Especially if you could get someone from Barclay's on the show and then follow that up with someone like Ellen Brown, Catherine Austin Fitts, or similar. This is a great discovery. Kudos to whoever brought it to your attention!

Sep. 13th, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Just read the whole thing
It sounds to me like the New World Order scarcity threats aimed at making us accept fewer resources, a lower standard of living, and perpetual war.
Sep. 13th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Just read the whole thing
That's an interesting take, Ellen. If I understand you correctly, you don't necessarily see this report as a good thing that will catalyze meaningful changes in lifestyles towards sustainability. Instead, you think that the financial powers are telling the masses to get used to having and using less of everything so that the rich elite can have unhampered access to key resources.

I hope I didn't mis-interpret your statement, I'd love for you to elaborate a little more.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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