George Osborne, the Chancellor got up early this morning in order to reassure the London Stock Exchange, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and, later today, Wall Street and the US Fed. Having proclaimed only a few days ago that we faced a financial crisis if the country voted to leave the EU, he had a hard job.
Whether he succeeded or not it is impossible to say because the value of the pound was already recovering after its plunge over the weekend. The financial market is always stronger than governments. Led by a relatively small posse of individual investors who back up their opinions with their own money, the financial market as a whole is not only more powerful than governments but moves quicker — whether sensibly, panicky or euphorically.
But what the financial market doesn’t realise is that there’s an even greater power behind the scenes — the laws of physics. Like all other physical systems the world’s production and trading network is automatically seeking a condition of least effort — that is, of maximum efficiency. Thus there’s a deeper trend to an efficient stabilized state going on permanently whether or not decisions of governments or markets happen to be helpful or not at any instant of time.
The size of the ultimate stabilized state is fixed by only one physical factor — the amount of energy inputs. The fantastic expansion of energy inputs that started with deeply mined English coal at the beginning of the industrial revolution has now largely drawn to an end for a variety of reasons.
We’ll be somewhere near reaching it when China has more completely monopolized the production of consumer goods for the whole world even as the world expansion continues to slow down. This, probably, will include the factory production of modular homes — a growth sector of business that is now starting in America and Germany.