Revolution in Egypt and Where to Be When Black Swans Appear
by Bill Bonner
Not much action in the stock market on Friday. Gold didn’t do much either.
The big news was that Hosni Mubarak called it quits. After supporting him for 3 decades, the US threw him under a tank. Almost everywhere except the Mubarak household, people rejoiced. We were surprised they had an opinion, one way or the other.
We got emails from strangers telling us what a “hopeful” development this was…or how “free elections” might be coming next.
Typical was the report in The Washington Post:
“Mubarak became the second Arab leader in a month to succumb to his people’s powerful thirst for freedom.”
“Thirst for freedom?” If Egyptians were thirsty for freedom they must be like camels. They only need a drink of it once every 30 years. Mubarak ruled for three decades. Egyptians went without quenching their “powerful thirst for freedom” through the ’80s, the ’90s and the ’00s. Apparently, they only needed to bring the cup to their lips this year.
Many spoke of the “jubilant crowds” and the “idealistic youth” behind the peaceful revolution.
We were tempted to mention the jubilant crowds that attended the execution of Louis 16th…or the idealistic youth who gathered to jeer at Nicholas II when he and his family were shipped off to Yekaterinburg, where they would be murdered, along with their valet and even the cook.
Mubarak left office on Friday. The army took control on Saturday. On Sunday, the generals dissolved parliament.
Revolutions don’t always turn out well. The French Revolution was a good time to be in England. The Russian Revolution was a good time to be almost anywhere other than Russia. Even the American Revolution was a good time to be elsewhere too. And then, when Americans finally got their freedom from Britain they almost immediately began shackling one another. Tax rates had been only about 3% when the English ran the colonies. Now, the federal rate is 11 times as much. And for every injustice done to Americans by the English there must be 100 they have done to themselves.
But revolutions happen.
Where should you be now? We don’t know. But we suggest that you have a bolt hole somewhere. A refuge…a getaway…a family stronghold…