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It’s mad, but it’s not complicated

I imagine you’re having the same experience that I am? All around me, people are figuring out that the money situation may be mad, but it’s not complicated.
As the Big Dipper of financial bloggers, Ilargi, writes today, for example: “Stocks are plummeting once more all around the world, and if you think that trend will stop anytime soon, then you haven’t been paying attention. As long as there is maybe $1 of real money for every $25 dollars (or $100, or $200) of funny virtual money, stocks have a long way left to fall. Especially since what little real money is left tends to stay away from the crap tables. And that is what the exchanges – or make that the entire economy – have become”.
Illargi wonders, surely wisely, whether we properly understand what this means. “The funny money will disappear, no matter how hard its creators – the banks and governments operating in our societies – try to prevent that from happening. Nobody with assets that have some real value left will be willing to risk them in trades with what they know to be largely worthless counterparties. The only players staying at the table are the ones who are already broke. The only money left is the funny sort”.
This sounds depressing until you realise that you don’t need funny money to be active in the world. On the contrary, as countless social innovators already understand, the Law of Locality describes a near-infinity of opportunities to improve practical aspects of daily life. True, these opportunities exist outside the formal economy – but that’s more a problem for the formal economy than it is for human beings. Acting locally corresponds to laws of nature that don’t admit to action at a distance.

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One Comment

  1. Ajay
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 10:25 | Permalink

    Full unwinding is impossible. Even if it should happen, it should be spread over a couple of decades. Many parts of the world, specially cities, cant re-adjust quickly.
    It can be argued that even Gold is worthless as a form of money. In such a scenario, only agricultural commodities will carry value. If we are to continue functioning as societies, rather than descend into anarchy, then deleveraging from “funny money” should be allowed by Governments.
    Markets have, and will find solutions. The scenario you have painted will happen if Governments continue messing with their economies to show they are acting on it, and try to prop up the system that was evolved to present false growth to their populace. Such attempts will only lead to anarchy. God forbid, this many turn true in a few parts of the world, but i’m sure there are enough wise men alive to prevent it from happening worldwide.
    Dreams of many a Designers, of elgatarian, sustainable local communities , is neither achiveable nor desirable.

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