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David Collum, an old friend of this podcast, is the Betty R. Miller Professor of Chemistry at Cornell University, but he may be better known these days as a wicked funny commentator on the economy and financial markets. He writes an annual end-of-year wrap-up and forecast, which I interrupted him working on when I hauled him over to Skype to yak about the current situation. There’s some weird Skype background noise at a couple of places in the recording. It doesn’t last more than a minute or two, so hang in there. Kinda sounds like the Exorcist tuning up a couple of demons-from-Hell in an elevator shaft. There are apparently strange forces in the Skype-o-verse.

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About James Howard Kunstler

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James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

9 Responses to “KunstlerCast 297 — Yakking With David Collum of Cornell U as Markets Reach New All-time Highs”

  1. Walter B November 30, 2017 at 11:10 am #

    I love your chats with David Collum as well James, thank you once again for bringing this to us. It is a real sad shame that we cannot get people like you and him to appear magically on television screens across the nation to discuss ideas and express opinions instead of the mindless drivel and herd controlling propaganda that is spouted endlessly on that worthless media today. I suppose that this sorry reflection is a result of the change from our day in being taught how to think and today’s agenda being programmed NOT to think.

  2. thenuttyneutron November 30, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    I was greatly amused by your discussion of the media. “Russia meddling” on CNN makes me lament for them to go back to covering the Malaysian Air 370 story. God only knows how many people got sick of that shit on CNN in 2014.

    • 100th Avatar November 30, 2017 at 5:30 pm #

      The 24 hour Deepwater Horizon coverage was as absurd as it gets. Watching fluids bubble. Unreal.

  3. 100th Avatar November 30, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    An added bonus is Collum’s distinct voice. He speaks like an American from the 40’s or 50’s. If he would only say something like, “Say fella, what’s the big idea?”
    It’s as if a sane person from our not too distant past has been channeled to our present and invited to pass verdict.
    I totally agree on his assessment of Trump.
    I think the host thinks his “golden golem blah blah blah is more clever than it is.
    Let it go.

    • Walter B November 30, 2017 at 6:50 pm #

      My guess is that Mr. Kunstler never really liked Donald Trump , is not really happy that he is now the US president, and is even less happy about the fact that there never seemed to be a better choice in the first place (cheated out Bernie perhaps aside). If I am correct than he feel pretty much as I do, except that since President Trump has gotten into office and has continued to speak like a real human and has been assaulted by both sides of the Donkey/Jackass paradigm, I at least grow more fond of him every day. Screw those sellout politicians! Them first and the heck with us seems to be attracting more than a little bit of bad karma, doesn’t it? As it should.

      Mr. Collum is obviously wise and well spoken, even if he speaks somewhat like a real human being and not a TV screen bobble head. I love the guy and I look forward to hearing from him again soon.

      • 100th Avatar December 1, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

        I understand where the golem thing is coming from.
        He’s a creature. Subhuman. Controlled.
        A mythological hero.
        A metaphor
        I get it
        But does that deserve ridicule?
        The golem’s mere presence is making the institutional evil doers lose their minds.
        A far majority of Trump voters wanted this bull unleashed in the shop.
        F it all

        The golem serves a purpose
        It doesn’t deliver paradise

        • Walter B December 2, 2017 at 5:56 am #

          You are confusing Golem with Gollum,


          In Jewish folklore, a golem is an animated anthropomorphic being that is magically created entirely from inanimate matter. The word was used to mean an amorphous, unformed material in Psalms and medieval writing.


          Gollum is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien’s legendarium. He was introduced in the 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit, and became an important supporting character in its sequel, The Lord of the Rings. Gollum was a Stoor Hobbit of the River-folk, who lived near the Gladden Fields.

    • Zoltar December 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm #

      Good content, but David Collum does sound like the world’s worst Jimmy Stewart impersonator.

  4. lsewell June 27, 2020 at 7:56 am #

    Only in America does it take 11 days for bread to go stale.