At the End of the Day

orwellmicIf you want to know something useful, you’re better off watching QI than IQ

Genius is rarely intelligent, and intelligence is rarely creative. No wonder we call practical efficacy ‘common sense’. Such sound thinking is apparent among well over 50% of the population. But the policies we get are formulated by the 3%. The result is never-ending incompetence.

The Dollar is rallying despite Congress having negotiated a new, higher deficit ceiling; so Janet of the FOMC is quietly Yellin’ that there may be a rate hike in December…as a ploy to keep the Buck strong. Over at Wolf Street, is aware of how utterly and insanely down a deep rabbit-hole of counter-intuitive excavation this is. He offers us the intriguing graph below which shows the decline in long strong-Dollar positions as the Fed has stumbled from one falsely-read interpretation of the US economy to another:

$positions51115The simple message of this chart is “the mainstream no longer believes the bollocks”. Hats off to Richter for once more plonking a reality check onto every investors’ desk.

However – holding that thought – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has penned this piece in the Maily Torygraph, the headline to which is, ‘I’ll eat my hat if we are anywhere near a global recession’.

The header and the content beneath it are not so much hostages to fortune as prisoners of ego. For such an obviously cultured and intelligent bloke, AEP’s conclusions show barely a glimmer of insight. We are heading for a rolling global correction on multivariate levels, only one of which is fiscal economics. This is a 1911-14 interregnum period: some discern it, some don’t.

Rôti de chapeau sur son lit de fausse aurore is a dish everyone should try at least once in their lives. We only, after all, learn from our mistakes.

“2010 will go down as the year the global economy broke free into a new era of strong growth”. So wrote Will Hutton in the first Observer edition of 2010. He’s been trying to live it down ever since. I knew him socially a few years ago as an amusing and searingly bright bloke….and yet he wrote that when every last indicator suggested he was off with the fairies. (Will being a Labour supporter, I’ve always suspected this was a last throw of the dice to help return the unelectable Gordon Brown to power).

But all that said, I think I discern a pattern here. The link I suspect is that between high IQ and daft ideas. The Camerlot government has hired Beijing to oversee and advise on its nuclear power updates. Would you give that job to a nation whose workforce seems unable to manufacture a ballpoint pen without the clicking mechanism breaking within three days? Personally, I think the designers of Chernobyl and Fukushima should’ve been asked to pitch as well….so we could, you know, get a broader perspective on the choice of imminent SNAFU involved.

Margaret Thatcher had an exceptionally high IQ, but she thought bankers were fine people and charitable with it. Yet she knew the old (and true) story about J Paul Getty having a public payphone installed at his house for guests. There aren’t a lot of dots to join up on that one.

Harriet Harman, I’m told, has an IQ above 150 – close to Mensa level. But over five decades during which virtually every behaviourist idea at the core of her belief system has been discredited, she steadfastly thinks within the same box of matches. At the age of 65, she still cannot grasp the meaning of natural equality, the Rule of Law, and the silliness of unfettered sexual desire. But then, she does share the same genes as Lord Longford. Further comment is unnecessary.

Here is a sobering thought on which to close the day: there is zero correlation between creative genius and IQ: but a very high one between IQ and both insanity and early dementia.

It bears thinking about. In fact, the inability of so many highly intelligent people to think about anything beyond their convictions requires more thinking about than most things the highly intelligent never think about.

“There are some ideas so absurd that only an ‘intellectual’ could believe them” – George Orwell