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Dr Tim Morgan is a leading exponent of the view that the economy is an energy system, not a financial one. This was set out in the report Perfect Storm, when Tim was global head of research at leading international finance firm Tullett Prebon, and in his book Life After Growth.

Since that book was published in 2013, his focus has been on modelling the economy as an energy system. His model – the Surplus Energy Economics Data System (SEEDS) – produces results that differ radically from models which accept the premise that energy and resources play no more than supporting roles in an economy shaped and driven by money.

His research can be found at:  https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
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.

30 Responses to “KunstlerCast 344 — Chatting with Dr. Tim Morgan of Surplus Energy Economics” Subscribe

  1. diamondlou May 27, 2021 at 8:24 pm #

    No comments left? That’s odd…

  2. Sam Vimes May 27, 2021 at 9:14 pm #

    As always this was a fascinating conversation but the main thing I took away from this was the guest’s vociferous objection to the idea of “extrapolation” of data or trends (and rightly so) when it comes to economic forecasting, energy and the financial system, whilst at the same time he clearly supports the idea of manmade climate change, which relies heavily on the idea of the extrapolation of data and modelling which has almost never proven to be even remotely accurate. Cognitive dissonance perhaps? Nevertheless enjoyable and informative as always.

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  4. Paul May 28, 2021 at 9:30 am #

    Ah-ha, indeed.

    “Just because you can understand ‘money’ doesn’t mean that you are also understanding the ‘economy’; though they are closely related, they don’t mean the same thing at all.”

    Jim, thank you for what is for me a very timely interview with Dr. Tim Morgan. Last week I finished reading his book, published in 2013; though published nearly a decade ago, it remains a very helpful guide to a better understanding of how the real economy is a function of energy primarily, and not money.

  5. thirdcoastlegend May 28, 2021 at 10:48 am #

    Gail at Our Finite World has a new post up about the faltering world economy:

    https://ourfiniteworld.com/2021/05/27/dont-expect-the-world-economy-to-resume-its-prior-growth-pattern-after-covid-19/

  6. DurangoKid May 30, 2021 at 3:56 am #

    On the issue of inflated stock prices, many corporate executives rely on stocks for compensation. They have a strong incentive to buy back the company stock to diminish the number of shares relative to the value of the company’s capital. Not too long ago this was considered stock manipulation and a form of fraud. Essentially the executives are being rewarded with a larger share of the company without actually having to increase the quantities of stock. The value of the stock has less to do with the company’s capacity to turn a profit and more to do with the idea that money is a proxy for wealth.

  7. Perimetr May 30, 2021 at 8:03 pm #

    Need a little better definition of “money” please. Fiat currency — printed on paper or created digitally — has no intrinsic value and can be created in unlimited amounts.

    However, precious metals — in particular gold and silver, which have served as money for millennia — do have intrinsic value and cannot be created in unlimited amounts, rather they must be mined and refined (using lots of energy).

  8. Paul May 31, 2021 at 12:53 pm #

    “Research set out in this repor [Perfect Storm], suggests
    that the global average EROEI, having
    fallen from about 40:1 in 1990 to
    17:1 in 2010, may decline to just
    11:1 by 2020, at which point energy
    will be about 50% more expensive, in
    real terms, than it is today, a metric
    which will carry through directly into
    the cost of almost everything else –
    including food.”

    It is now 2021. Where can the latest data on the current Energy Cost of Energy be found? In light of the obvious inflationary price trends in food, building materials and other stuff, there tremendous face-validity to the idea that economies the world over may be at or very close to the drop-off point.

    • Tim Morgan May 31, 2021 at 11:06 pm #

      My model (SEEDS) has ECoE at 8.9% for 2020, and 9.2% for 2021.

      This is referenced regularly at my site, and I’m working on ways to make this information accessible.

      Inflation as generally reported references CPI, meaning it excludes asset price inflation.

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    Full credit to Dr Morgan in trying to make sense of our economic world. I just wish that logic would be conveyed to the Fed chairman. Anyway, great podcast!

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    Full credit to Dr Morgan in trying to make sense of our economic world. I just wish that logic would be conveyed to the Fed chairman. Anyway, great podcast!

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