Here’s a must-read post by Aussie blogger Jo Nova – and it’s not on her usual topic climate change. The title says it all: The Ground Zero of Global Corruption: it starts with The Currency.
It’s like this. The governments and their central banks make as much free money from thin-air through fractional reserve banking and other methods as they can get away with — it benefits those who “spend that new money first”. They spend it at current prices, and pay it back later, after inflation has decreased its value. The people who pay the difference are those who saved and held money while its purchasing power fell. Speculators grow rich, while retirees and savers get poorer.
In a free market this would quickly lead to inflation, and people would rush to the only currencies the government can’t inflate (or “print” for free) — they’d buy and hold gold or silver and keep their purchasing power. Remember, gold and silver are the currencies that evolved in the marketplace over the last 5,000 years and are not directly under the control of government. (And “so?” you say?). The point is, if the prices of gold and silver rise fast, people would abandon bonds and get into metals instead, thus correcting the situation by making the printing and speculating game vastly less attractive while saving and production became more attractive. Essentially, people dump the government money and go for the competitor, which means the government (and or Fed) has to increase the interest rate and pay more for its money, and nobody wants that: God forbid that Governments or Banks should pay people a fair rate for borrowing “their” money.
Bonds and “treasuries” (US Treasury Bonds) are fancy words for loans to the government. But if no one wants to buy them, then the government has trouble raising funds for its massive pork barreling vote-buying schemes, and the investment bankers pay higher interest payments which takes all the fun out of Grossly Huge and Obscene Mergers, the SubPrime Parties and the High Frequency Festivals.
I had a similar awakening a few months back when I went to see Detlev Schlichter talk to a small group of (somewhat terrified) MPs about his book Paper Money Collapse in a meeting organised by the Cobden Centre. Here is Schlichter explaining why Ben Bernanke’s, George Osborne’s and the European Central Bank’s money printing experiment will only prolong the depression.