Economy featured

Loss Aversion

March 15, 2023

Recorded March 7, 2023


On this Frankly, Nate reflects on his experiences in the financial industry with the cognitive bias Loss Aversion and the ways it may manifest to the coming material throughput declines during The Great Simplification. Why do losses feel so much stronger to us than gains – even when we have an overabundance of wealth? Can being aware of this evolved psychological trait diffuse its intensity? How does this affect our ability to perceive and plan for the reality of less available energy and resources in the future?

PDF Transcript

Show Notes

00:25 – Loss Aversion

00:56 – Salomon Brothers, Lehman Brothers

04:52 – Psychological responses to the Great Depression

06:23 – Identity and in-groups

06:57 – Supernormal stimuli

07:25 – Green New Deal

07:43 – Renewables are useful but can’t power current civilization

08:13 – Material limits to happiness

08:51 – Deep Time

09:05 – Biodiversity loss


Teaser photo credit: Crowds outside the Bank of United States in New York after its failure in 1931. By World Telegram staff photographer – Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection., Public Domain,

Nate Hagens

Nate Hagens

Nate is a well-known speaker on the big picture issues facing human society and currently teaches a systems synthesis Honors seminar at the University of Minnesota ‘Reality 101 – A Survey of the Human Predicament’   Nate is on the Boards of Post Carbon Institute, Bottleneck Foundation, IIER and Institute for the Study of Energy and the Future.  Previously, he was lead editor of The Oil Drum, one of the most popular and respected websites for analysis and discussion of global energy supplies and the future implications of the upcoming energy transition. Nate’s presentations address the opportunities and constraints we face after the coming peak of global economic growth. On the supply side, Nate focuses on the interrelationship between debt-based financial markets and natural resources, particularly energy with and the unique (and so far unplanned for) risks from the coming ‘Great Simplification’.  On the demand side, Nate addresses the evolutionarily-derived underpinnings to

Tags: building resilient economies, material throughput, powering down, Resource Depletion