“Money is not a force of nature. It is a concept, an idea, a figment of the human imagination. And it is real only to the extent that we allow it to rule our lives and our relationships with one another.” — TCGC
Right now, money — the most lethal concept every coughed up by the human imagination — has become the central cause of the world’s dysfunctional economic system. While money is supposed to act as a facilitator of economic activity, in a competitive capitalist society it has facilitated the concentration of wealth instead, thereby slowing demand and decreasing economic activity. Since the capitalist Ponzi scheme requires constant growth, the only way to keep the game going was for the haves to lend money to the have-nots so they could continue to spend while going deeper into debt. When the debt load of individuals became so great that it became clear that it could never be repaid, the only way to keep the game going was to lend money to governments so they could become the spenders of last resort. But now government debt has become so great that there is growing fear that countries defaulting on their sovereign debt could trigger the final collapse of the global financial system, thereby finishing the job that was started when homeowners began defaulting on their home mortgages four years ago. An indication of how serious the situation has become is yesterday’s declaration by the world’s major central banks, with the US Federal Reserve Bank in the lead, that they are ready to guarantee global liquidity by printing as much money as may be required. As to be expected, the stock market responded with a spectacular 490 point increase in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Don’t be deceived or falsely comforted. This is one last desperate effort to avoid disaster, but it will not succeed because it does not address the financial system’s fatal flaws.
Billie Joel reminds us of our recent fiery history in “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”