Long-Term Charts 3: Markets Since The Dawn Of Civilization

Tyler Durden's picture

We have looked at US markets since Independence and Western Markets since The Middle Ages; but to really comprehend how far we have come, we need to press back to the dawn of civilization. 5000 years of interest-rates and commodity history and a trend is very clear as epochal events drive volatility.


Markets Since The Beginning of Civilization


Commodity Prices


Interest Rates



H/t @Macro_Tourist for these increble charts

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jbvtme's picture

the currency of the aztecs was cacao beans and cotton fabric

CPL's picture

Four currencies on the planet today.

  • Oil
  • Tabacco
  • Alcohol
  • People

Only three of them will be around after the summer.


jbvtme's picture

i'm short humanity.  using the 3x: fkt

HyBrasilian's picture

 "CIVILIZATION" only dates to 3k BC???????????????????????????????


Yeah ~ I guess... [won't win me any +1's from the 'FUNDAMENTALISTS' ~ but WTFever ~ I'll try NOT to be hurt too much by it]...

Urban Redneck's picture

That's when the banksters invented derivatives, hence the dawn of "civilization" - then there was a later dark age when barbarous relics were invented by terrorists.

SafelyGraze's picture

these charts do not show the historical values of Love, Respect, and Virtue

all of which have increased to spectacular levels in the modern age

HyBrasilian's picture

  "That's when the banksters invented derivatives, hence the dawn of "civilization"


WOW! ~ Then that pretty much puts it on a timeline par with the earliest accounts written [upon later council] in, 'THE OLD TESTAMENT' [what an amazing coincidence!]...


Tall Tom's picture

Earliest Historical Records place the start of the current "civilisation" at about 10,000 Years ago.




I am sorry that you are a LITERALIST and do not understand the literary application of allegory..


For instance Jesus' Parables were allegorical.


So I will award you a couple of Uparrowssince the Arrows mean something to you.


But perhaps YOU need to stop TRANSFERRING your own failures of understanding upon others.


Do you have that type of introspection? Or am I wasting my breath?



HyBrasilian's picture

You're wasting your breath... [Especially if you're using 'RELIGIOUS' scripture to determine your outcome]...


The most simple 'carbon dating' excavations [even in North America ~ unexcavated 'mounds & 'StoneHenges'], PREDATE the 'Clovis Indian' populations to BEFORE 12,000 years ago...


The ancient 'Bhagavad Gita' annals [of India], predate even THAT by many thousands of millenia... Frankly ~ I'd estimate 'ALL OF IT' [discovered evidence notwithstanding] to be many hundreds of thousands of years prior...

Which basically means... Our [present day] 'exceptionalism'... Is not even close to being what it may have been in the past [& THEY fucked it up too]...


Alas ~ Ultimately ~ It's a waste of BOTH of our time debating these findings here...


Leaf of Tree's picture

Water is the most valuable currency.

Flakmeister's picture

Sure as hell ain't priced that way... but the real fun in Asia is only just beginning...

HyBrasilian's picture

BOTH OF YOU... Please?


While I agree 100% [with regards to the 'precious' nature of H2O ~ both physically & spiritually]...


In practice ~ & in modern day... It's only predicated on a 7+ billion world [HUMAN] population [more or less ~ unless people REALLY get thirsty &/or need to supercool a whole lotta sh** that I don't kno about]... IOW ~ Get the fuck OVER your 'EXCEPTIONALISM' bias before sh**ting words out...

HyBrasilian's picture



OK ~ I'll play...

Explain to me how... SAY... a 50% reduction in world population [ACROSS THE BOARD ~ & perfectly aligned with present day]:

- country & metropolis dynamics

- race dynamics

- gender dynamics

- 'relative' race dynamics

...would factor into your ASSESSMENT [feel free to elaborate ~ because I know of no BOUNDARIES to ZH comments ~ Fuck me ~ you could write a whole report & just attach the LINK by .pdf if you'd like]...

Here ~ I'll SAVE you the hassle...


Your ASSESSMENT is based on the PRESENT WORLD POPULATION [& 'groath' prognostications]...

Which, [as you are]... Are, most likely, biased & 'OBSOLETE'...

Good day Sir!

Flakmeister's picture

Go play in the traffic...

Or find somebody who give a fuck about what you post...

Your style emanates a stench that I thought ZH was free of....

HyBrasilian's picture

No engagement then [on the issue]?... It figures...


"Go play in traffic" is the DEFAULT reply used by the 'would be' ivory tower bunch... My PREVIOUS inquiries remain unanswered...

Frozen's picture

Gotta have that debt-crack-cocaine

NOTaREALmerican's picture

So, basically, BTFD.

Winston Churchill's picture

On a long enough timeline , most are now dead.

max2205's picture

Most people have a 20 to 40 year trading window.....hope you ride the right wave

swass's picture

I love how the dark ages followed the last similar rise in commodities.  This is very encouraging. 

TrumpXVI's picture

Yup...dat 1% growth rate is a bitch.

Dr. Engali's picture

So what you're saying is we are seeing rates we will never again seeing our lifetime, or our children's lifetime.

LawsofPhysics's picture

After the die-off, yes.  The unfunded liabilities are still very much walking around doing stupid shit.

Tall Tom's picture

Now that was a Wake Up call. That is the way that your Government views your children.


Most children are brought into the World without any planned provision from their parents. They are unfunded liabilities from a Financial perspective.


That is a curious perspective and one that is fundamentally lacking as it is void of love. Fortunately that is not the way most parents are. There would not be a Human Race otherwise.


I never thought of it that way...until I read your statement.


The consequence of unfunded liabilities is Eighteen years of enslavement as one must make provision for their offspring.


Now extend that reality to the macrocosm of the Nation and its unfunded liabilities and you will understand the predicament clearly.


Do we kill our own children if we cannot provide for them?  No as we have love for them.

Does the Nation kill the people if they can no longer provide for them?

Without love that is the most expedient action to the predicament and it is to be expected.

MsCreant's picture


Whatever you do, buy. Or it all fall down.

El Vaquero's picture


machineh's picture

What direction does that 500-year stock chart (posted yesterday) slope?


'The road goes on forever, and the party never ends.'

BTFD ... bItCHeZ!


ebworthen's picture

We're going to need more resources, or fewer people.

MagicMoney's picture

I think the chart shows monetary inflation rather than a shortage of goods. Hence why it shows interest rates as part of comparison. The charts show falling interest rates, increasing money supplies that suppress interest rates. Interest rates are the price of money itself when trade in money markets.

MagicMoney's picture

There seems to be some correlation between interest rates and commodities. When the supply of money increases, money becomes trashier. Commodities rise in prices. As Mises said interest rates are the discount of present goods versus future goods, or something like that. Too bad Keynesians/neoclassicals don't really know the role of interest rates, they think it's there only to regulate consumer prices. Hemmm.. How much of the commodity prices driven by inflation? IE printing money. What are the real interest rates?

Flakmeister's picture

So what fraction of the rise in price of oil since 2005 is due to cost push inflation and how much is due to "classic" monetary inflation?

Tall Tom's picture

Well Oil Production from Shale and Tar Sands is expensive and costs about $70 per Barrel to produce.


Since Oil is trading at nearly One Hundred Dollars a very rough estimate is that 70% is due to Cost Push Inflation and 30% to Demand Pull Inflation (Base Monetary Expansion.)


But it is good to understand that there is a Differentiation of causal factors when considering the price of Oil. 

Flakmeister's picture

Not a bad guesstimate, but you understand it is all about the cost of a marginal barrel of new production and the proper benchmark is Brent not WTI....

Personally,  think it closer to 80:20, but no point in quibbling over it...

kralizec's picture

Nice timeline.  Is this supposed to make us feel better or worse?

Crisismode's picture



If you have to ask . . . . then it really doesn't matter.


thomasincincy's picture

Need to add the crucifixion to give a perspective.

Just sayin...

Tall Tom's picture

Which one? The crucifixtion of Jesus? Or the crucifixtion of the Central Banksters after it collapses?

(We cannot add that just yet. But it is coming soon.)

Leraconteur's picture

"Markets since the beginning of civilisation"

"we need to press back to the dawn of civilization. 5000 years of interest-rates and commodity history"

Good thing there was never a massive nation-state-dynasty in Eastern Asia for any of your timeline...that would make the entire infographic and article irrelevant if there was such a society that was ignored, especially if it happened to have been a wealthy one for any length of time when compared to the societies mentioned, particularly in the distant past when its weighting upon your indices would have been amplified.

besnook's picture

nothing over the edge of the earth matters to the flat side of the eaerth.

forwardho's picture

Yes the addition of the minor dynasty known as China would negate their conclusions.

Well, Ive heard people refer to them as Klingons, but I do believe they share our planet.

This is tripe, and that is being generous.

Leraconteur's picture

Yes, their commodity prices and influence upon them are irrelevant in an article citing a 5,000 year trend in said same.

Lots of fail to go around.

hobopants's picture

In Western eyes China is a resource to be exploited and not a country. Nevermind that almost all of our trade centered on the place since alexander opened up the silk road, and you know, the huge impact it has had on western economies since the portuguese figured out they would trade anything (even gold) for silver. We tend to ignore things that don't fit into our narrative of understanding the world, and then said things promptly bite us in the ass.

besnook's picture

the chart for easter island isn't as optimistic.

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

Many economists today discount that societies influence now, why would they acknowledge it's past now?

Teknopagan's picture

What did edward the first of England do in 1291 to stabilise interest rates

chump666's picture

That is an amazing chart ZH!

The great commodity squeeze of the future leading to a major conflict?

Radical Marijuana's picture

So, overall, life tends to get more expensive,
but that is on a wild roller coaster ride there.