No such thing as virtual real estate – The Property Chronicle
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No such thing as virtual real estate

The Macro View

We live in a world of virtual reality: virtual conversations, virtual relationships, virtual work, and virtual leisure. Artificial intelligence is on a mission to replace us all with avatars: bright, shiny versions of ourselves. Central banks have been busy creating a virtual financial world, comprising virtual balance sheets, virtual creditworthiness, and virtual financial asset prices. Governments, for their part, have chimed in with virtual budgets, virtual guarantees, and virtual promises.

According to the dictionary, virtual is “almost or nearly as described, but not completely or according to strict definition”. Hence, a mirage is a virtual oasis and a VAR-disallowed goal is a virtual score.

Melanie Reid, a columnist in the Saturday Times magazine – a must-read in our house – describes her virtual life as a tetraplegic, following a riding accident more than ten years ago. Her latest column articulates her belief that, within a couple of years, people will be begging to spend three days a week in the centralised workplace again.

The first problem with virtual is that it nearly satisfies us, but leaves us wanting more

The Macro View

About Peter Warburton

Peter Warburton

Dr Peter Warburton is director of Economic Perspectives Ltd, an international consultancy, and managing director of Halkin Services Ltd. He was economist to Ruffer LLP, an investment management company, for 15 years and spent a similar length of time in the City as economic advisor and UK economist for the investment bank Robert Fleming and at Lehman Brothers. Previously, he was an economic researcher, forecaster and lecturer at the London Business School and what is now the Cass Business School. He published Debt and Delusion in 1999. He has been a member of the IEA’s Shadow Monetary Policy Committee since its inception in 1997. He is a contributor to the Practical History of Financial Markets course run by Didasko, an education company, at Edinburgh University, and teaches occasionally at Cardiff Business School.

Articles by Peter Warburton

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