According to Illargi over at Automatic Earth, although today’s contested $700 billion+ plan will probably get the go-ahead, it does not even begin to address the true scale of the global problem.”Far more money than that will be needed to keep the present financial structure standing”, he writes, adding surreally – but plausibly – that “the global shadow banking system, the source of perhaps $800 trillion in outstanding derivatives, with $62 trillion in credit default swaps alone, is shaking on its foundations, and will inevitably tumble.”
(and, added today, 30/09: “$700 billion is just one tenth of one percent of the estimated $700 trillion in outstanding derivatives. It’s like owing $100, and offering a dime as full and final payment”.
Reading blogs like Automatic Earth is both necessary and enlightening. But it’s also a bit like watching one of those reality car chase programmes in which you wait, guiltily, for the felon – or in this case, the global financial system – to crash.
A healthier response, surely, is to get out of the house and look for positive things to do. As I’ve often mentioned here, there’s an awful lot of activity out there below the radar, and we would do well to check that out rather than spend out whole time watching disaster blogvision.
A good example is the speed with which a lot of people are deploying so-called complementary currencies. The rate of growth is well shown on the chart above, which I found at a fascinating database called ComplementaryCurrency.org .
For a concise analysis of why we need complementary currencies so badly, read the Open Money Manifesto. And whilst you’re at it, do re-read Margrit Kennedy’s paper to Doors of Perception 8 in Delhi. That one lecture (it was in Delhi in Spring 2005) was when most of the readers of this blog, including its writer, first realised that the money system was going to run off the rails in the major way that’s happening now.
For my part, I plan to become an active user of complementary currencies starting on 7 October. I’m giving a talk that day at the University of Brighton – and I hope to be paid my speaking fee in Lewes Pounds.