I have found since starting to become actively interested in these matters 3 years ago my own view had changed considerably and the signposts to a critical analysis of the current system seem more in evidence now. Whether this is because my own framework of understanding is more developed or because I am now just finding what I am looking for because I have a predisposed bias to finding what I want to find I don’t know I was involved in an online discussion about House prices on the Motley fool web site back in Feb 2009, My thinking has changed hugely and its an interesting read both the Cliff Dárcy article and the discussion that follows.
I am optimistic that peoples openness to hearing alternative views is increasing, I think people sense something is badly up and although the current culture is for quick solutions in a 2 minute sound bite 101 and that’s all you need to know Fox News sort of way. But I think we can provide some of that and I thing Satire needs to be directed at the subject and some poking fun in the great tradition of Radical Etchings and Pamphlets. I suspect these days Americans and Brits alike would struggle to get through Thomas Paine’s Common Sense in one sitting but remember that a lot of people would have got through it or introduced to it by group readings and discussions and that sort of thing whilst difficult to reintroduce into modern life can be done through social media. I have tried to do it with a few original songs and poems and by writing to people I am in regular contact with and who I care about.
The idea of Community approaches is well put by Robert Moore in this two-part interview with Sue Supriano on her Steppin out of Babylon series. This series helped me to seek out a lot of information I did not have the tools to search out before as my framework of understanding in many of the areas simply didn’t exist.
I posted a link in a Linked-in discussion on the Economist, a place I try to provide the other view to the mainstream economics and free-market exponents some of whom are happy to discuss things and some of who are still pretty shouty, part of what we do does involve kissing a lot of frogs to find our princes though.
I have just read this interesting Blog regarding the true nature of democracy and indeed if it has indeed existed anywhere in the past 6000 years.
The Author gives an interesting interview here to Sue Supriano of Steppin out of Babylon
there are two parts to the interview with Richard Moore the first an analysis of the present trend towards global corporate fascism the second an analysis of dispute resolution type approaches to local community problem solving and bottom-up policy formulation.
My take on these things In Music and Poetry,
Illuminati and Glitterati
Let Them Eat Cake
Baards of Wales Speak Out
at some point, there has to be Praxis in all of this not just platitudes and theory.
Have you seen these debt annihilation videos I have posted here before but in case you or anyone else has not seen them they are worth a look.
I believe the inflation question is amply covered in these videos ands I believe Steve Keen covers it too.
Do you dispute that when the debt is repaid to banks the money disappears? in which case which part of that process denies the proposition that all debt is money ( 97% of it at any rate, ) until it is repaid at which point it ceases to exist.
Cash money never expires but that is 3% of whats going around the system Gary, peoples deposits are as illusory as any other form of debt money they are book entries all you can really trust is what you can put your hand on and touch, whats under your mattress in your warehouse or growing in your fields or forests. The idea that the money becomes other peoples deposits does not
satisfy the qualification that all money is debt, for the deposit to exist in the other persons’ bank account it must be represented by debt in some else’s account hence 97% of all money is Debt by definition.
Money created in a steady state economy can be produced that is neither inflationary or created with the requirement of some one else’s indebtedness.
I am of the school that usury is wrong and I object to money founded on usury and the practice of usury this is not a religious stance but a philosophical one and also an ecological one.
As to Zero Maturity of money that doesn’t expire
Coleridge expresses it better than I could in Table Talk.
this from 27th April 1823.
The national debt has, in fact, made more men rich than have a right to be so, or, rather, any ultimate power, in case of a struggle, of actualizing their riches. It is, in effect, like an ordinary, where three hundred tickets have been distributed, but where there is, in truth, room only for one hundred. So long as you can amuse the company with any thing else, or make them come in successively, all is well, and the whole three hundred fancy themselves sure of a dinner; but if any suspicion of a hoax should arise, and they were all to rush into the room at once, there would be two hundred without a potato for their money; and the table would be occupied by the landholders, who live on the spot.
There are two kinds of Money Broadly Speaking. Cash Money ( the stuff printed for the Government)
and Debt Based Money The stuff digitally created by The Banks.
We can get into the panoply of financial instruments and derivatives bonds and so forth later but Broadly speaking there are two types of money neither of which is backed by anything.
What this money represents is trust in each other to provide a service or a thing. In effect the credit of society, this is a Common asset part of the commons, that which is made for the benefit of society and to which we all owe a duty of usufruct to foster and respect and preserve for each other.
True it is that the usufruct has been abused by Government and private banks in turn and together they are effectively two conspirators in the same misappropriation of the system.
Were the system husbanded for and on behalf of Civic society then it matters not if it is backed by old woolly socks, thin air or the yellow MMś in every fifth packet stamped with a smiley face. What is important is that enough oil is put in the engine to allow necessary exchanges to take place and commerce to function.
That 97% of this power is now in Private banking hands is I think we agree dangerous and wrong, placing it in the hands of a centralised and corrupt-able government is equally wrong but If, as, Positive money and the institute for public Banking advocate, it is in stakeholder accountable public trusts with democratic oversight then in the computer age we can have a system that does not function as a debt slave manufacturing machine that benefits only the wicked Wizard behind the controls.
The Secrets of Oz is a wonderful film, the Red shoes were Silver in the book and the Yellow Brick road is a metaphor for the Gold Standard, all explained in that wonderful documentary film by Bill Still.
Do take a look also at the videos I posted above I think they are well presented and state a sensible view of one solution. I read the link that you posted and I did not find that the Authors reasoning stood up to muster.
Money or reserves and the debt money that is created by the multiplier.
the money that is multiplied by treating the same basic money over and over as new money is only in existence as long as the debt exists that is the essence of double-entry bookkeeping, which is complete nonsense.
The Fed itself and the Bank of England are no less vested in perpetuating the myth, Gary.
The idea that Banks reserves at Central banks and deposits held from customers have anything to do with the debt money that banks create is pretty comprehensively discredited now various papers linked to here and elsewhere show that to my own satisfaction but of course, you would have to do the hard yards yourself to satisfy yourself. David has done a lot of the slog already but until one gets down to running some numbers oneself and challenging the faulty logic which you are re iterating on the back of your own fag packet or in a fancy spread sheet no doubt , one is always susceptible to the dismissive wave of the hand and charge that oh this stuff is to complicated for you non bankers and Non economists.
this post at Golem XIV blog reproduces Ian Hills excellent piece in the Glasgow herald it covers most of the bases very well.
I have copied the article below from the Glasgow Herald – its author, Ian Bell is one of the few columnists who challenge cause and effect other than the tinkering of lexiconic vanities adopted by most of his colleagues as a substitute for wisdom.
While the article is aimed at the Barclay’s Libor scandal, the morality of his critique could apply just as well to the 2007 meltdown and on through to the EU and Euro crises.
In essence, nothing has changed since 2007 – a fatally flawed system is using coercion to paper over its flaws and using blackmail to pressurise nations into accepting debts in order to perpetuate and continue for it to profit from the fraudulent practices it initiated.
In essence, the only progress that has been achieved since 2007 is the bill for the system continuance has increased beyond the nightmares of sanity.
Interest-rate fixing: A knife in the heart of capitalism
If you fancy a free market economy, or a society based on such an economy, best take care that your markets are not rigged.
If politics is the game, it helps if you can name a market that is – or ever has been – truly open, honest and free. Anything else is a fraud.
Britain has been drifting away from the old, comfortable compromise of a mixed economy for the best part of 40 years. It has been the casualty – or the beneficiary if that’s your taste – of a global ideological war. The state, the unfettered market, or some halfway house between the two? The scorecard says the neo-liberal version of the so-called Washington consensus emerged victorious, time and again.
So here we are. The prospectus offered was personal liberty, wealth creation, rising global prosperity and the rolling back of the oppressive state. In practice, it meant privatisation, labour “flexibility”, minimal regulation, market fundamentalism and the toleration of inequality. Those, said mainstream politicians of every stripe on every continent, would do the trick.
Nobody mentioned a bunch of crooks running riot, time and again. Nobody said they would abuse power and wealth at every turn in what amounted to a vast conspiracy to defraud. Nobody said that rigging the game for the sake of personal enrichment would become the point and purpose of the system. They preferred the old lecture explaining that vile Marxism “failed to understand human nature”.
So who still believes that the cost of petrol, food or credit, for nations or individuals, rises or falls because of the pure, dispassionate action of market forces? Speculative attacks, such as “aggressive tax avoidance”, are hardly in the spirit of the thing; the fiddling of interest rates is another malignity entirely. It strikes at the heart of capitalism. When prices cannot be trusted – for such is the effect – there is no free market.
In the case of Barclays, and perhaps 20 other household names trading on the public trust, that was the whole idea. The London interbank offered rate (Libor) and its European equivalent were supposed to act as guarantees that bankers’ claims matched reality, that they described accurately commerce between banks and, by extension, the wider world. For the sake of their bonuses and their bank, traders at Barclays decided to dispense with annoying, unhelpful reality. Time and again, for years, under the alleged instruction of “senior management”, they lied.
You don’t need to understand how Libor is constructed as a global benchmark, with highest and lowest figures discarded and averages compiled, to grasp what was done. Bankers were taken at their word. Instead of regarding this as a solemn responsibility, they took it as an opportunity, offered by suckers. The simple analogy is discovering, after a day at the races, that every nag was doped. Forget the casino economy: these characters were controlling the roulette wheel.
Financial journalists have been struggling to describe the fundamental nature of the fraud. In essence, it destroys their world. When Lehman Brothers went down in 2008 a few speculated, nervously, that capitalism itself was in deep trouble. Then the euphemisms began to flow: an excess of risk, recklessness, “complexity”, systemic failure, unpredicted consequences. Some could make it sound like just one of those things. Evidence that individuals were personally, knowingly culpable was soon overlooked.
The Barclays affair nails every myth, every protective lie. At Westminster, Labour and Tories alike have regarded it as their duty to remove or avert financial sector regulation. They have taken the bankers at their word in claiming that the City is too big and too important to be governed by meaningful rules. Even when forced to rescue banks, these politicians have refused to recognise the logic of their actions. No rivals to the institutions, least of all in the shape of a state bank, could be tolerated. The bankers were very clear about that.
The list of misdemeanours – crime is such an ugly word – has been growing since banks started to go bust and demand, with menaces, public money. State support to Britain’s financial sector, in cash real, printed or borrowed, now tops £1 trillion and the heart is being ripped from the welfare state to foot the bill. Earnings and employment for the commonality disappear while rewards for the oligarchy increase. Yet still they forge on, mendacious or incompetent by turn, serene in their self-regard, secure in their self-awarded wealth.
First they are obliged to own up, though apologies are few, for the PPI scam. Then RBS fails to fulfil its basic function for days on end because, it is alleged, of a failure to invest in computer systems. Then Barclays is exposed for systematic tax avoidance worth half a billion pounds. Then the banks, the entire tribe which claims an essential role in British enterprise, are revealed by this newspaper to have been mis-selling – the euphemisms never end – protection against fluctuations in interest rates.
The last of these, as we have reported and as the Financial Services Authority now accepts, was no mishap. Interest rate swaps were sold ruthlessly, knowingly, to thousands of small businesses who neither needed nor understood “the product”. The cost has put a lot of hard-working people out of business. Compensation, another billion or two, will follow in time, no doubt, supplied in the end by the customers who are never allowed to wonder about which “market forces” set the rate for a credit card or a home loan.
In the case of Barclays, the forces described by Adam Smith – who knew greed when he saw it – were impersonated by a few flash traders calling in favours, and by the bank’s participation, so it is further alleged, in an industry-wide ring. Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, the institution that will shortly resume control of this circus, summons up the full force of his rhetoric and calls such behaviour “shoddy”.
Barclays prefers to say its “standards” – it doesn’t say what those might be – have not been met. Bob Diamond, chief executive and former head of Barclays Capital, chief fixers of Libor, turns down one of his bonuses and counts that as an apology. He sees no reason to resign, cash in shares worth £22 million, or demand a year’s worth of salary and benefits just to leave the bank. Diamond’s total “package” of rewards for alleged success last year was £17.5m. The price of failure on his watch? Even after his bank is fined £290m, the CEO considers himself too important to quit.
This is not the tale of a few rogue traders pushing their luck. That excuse has worn paper thin. Plainly, the system is rotten, but so too is the ideology that underpins it, the belief that markets cannot – and must not – be controlled, the idea that every political choice must be subordinated to market imperatives, the blind faith in economic theory, if it deserves the name theory, first and last.
But let’s not complicate matters. We have been ripped off royally, whether as simple customers and taxpayers in the northern hemisphere, or as struggling nations in the developing world. The arguments for rational alternatives will go on. Meantime, don’t start believing a word about reform unless and until arrests are made.