We often tend to think of our global economic system as some kind of abstract entity (arguably as a result of how it is reported and framed in our media), as reflected in the language and terminology that is used- terms like: stocks and shares; debt and equity; derivatives, futures and options…
(As Alan de Botton quips in his book ‘The News: A User’s Manual’: ‘It isn’t only the scale of the economic machine that can silence us, but also its complexity. Only a minuscule percentage of the populations of developed countries have any solid understanding of the workings of the economic system they exist within. Most of us will struggle to grasp quite what might be going on within essential terms like arbitrage, Basel 1 and 2, cyclically adjusted current budgets, price/earning ratios or quantitative easing.’)
However, as this map that notes the highest valued export (or ‘commodity’- another economic term…) of each nation in the world- it is worth reflecting on the fact that all of these assets are essentially physical materials that are derived from nature.
Whether directly, in the case of fossil fuels, plant and animal foods, or minerals and natural fibers; or indirectly as products such as textiles, manufactured goods and electronics, all of which depend on natural physical inputs.
Because, as has been bluntly stated elsewhere- without nature there is no economy.
There can be no future(s)… (or options, derivatives or bond instruments…)