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Old October 4 2012, 01:09 PM   #50
Re: Would the Neutral Zone have better without the 20th century charac

Timo wrote: View Post
Why would we assume Offenhouse managed his own portfolio, or more exactly, failed to arrange for its management after his death? He specifically says he needs to contact a bank on the issue, and also that he needs to contact a lawyer.

I just can't see the merit in your argument. Wealth that is well over five hundred years old still definitely exists today, having survived and thrived through various disasters. Heck, wealth from land may be thousands of years old and still producing nicely for the rightful heirs of the ancient owners. Wealth managed dynamically has no obvious mode of ceasing to exist, other than the caretaker ceasing to care.

Offenhouse might well have been right about his wealth remaining for all we know - it just doesn't make him opulent any more, as life in luxury has become trivially cheap. Or his caretakers may have ceased to care when they realized the wealth would do nobody any good any more. Or then there indeed was an unpredictable major disaster at some point that robbed Offenhouse of his wealth. But all of these things would be unexpected and unlikely in the mere three centuries he was out of the circulation, considering how stable things have been in the past few thousand years. Or ever since the 1500s, anyway.

What about the starship Enterprise interiors should give him the hint that his world has collapsed? From what he sees, the United States of America is still going strong and now controls the universe, albeit under funny names and dressing in fashion one would expect of the French. There's nothing really exotic there to suggest otherwise.

Timo Saloniemi
You cannot design a complex contract system that guarantee that somebody will manage your capital while you are out for three centuries. Why? Because you'd have to put any eventuality into the contract, you have to rely on current laws that may very well change in the future and you have to pay fairly high fees in order to make it sure that there will always be somebody who will want to manage your wealth after the former one dies/quits.
Even under decent property rights there are always ways to cheat and any of his "stewards" has a pretty high incentive to steal from a sleeping man who can not defend himself. If you have no lobby and have to rely only on the law you are already in deep shit and if you are not even around to defend yourself, well, stocks, bonds and money market products are stuff that can be stolen far easier than land.

BillJ wrote: View Post
Why are you insisting on injecting facts into this conversation?
I already pointed out that the extremes of the distribution are irrelevant, the average matters. Basic statistics, you failed at it.
If I had time on my hand I would dig out some old empirical evolutionary economics papers or search for the data myself but I am pretty sure that the average lifespan of publicly traded companies is less than half a century.
The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer. - former US Secretary of State and unconvicted war criminal Henry Kissinger
horatio83 is offline   Reply With Quote