Author of THE DEBT GENERATION
A quick thought about the money printing and currency wars.
When the current and on-going bank debt crisis began in 2007 we were told that the answer was to print up money (call it QE or ‘borrowing’ if it makes you happy) and give it to the banks. This would, we were assured, relieve the purely short-term cash and collateral shortage the banks appeared to be suffering, and once it did that the banks would be able to return to lending to the the real economy and we would all be saved. They printed. They gave it to the banks and…nothing happened.Except that it all got worse.
The banks got the money. But they did not lend to the real economy. Much of the cash they received, they parked straight back in the central banks where they were paid interest on it – by us. Some was used as cash flow to pay bills. The rest, a growing amount, was used for speculation. Either by lending it to speculators or by the banks making it available to their own internal Prop. trading desk where they could speculate with it themselves.
Which was lovely if you were a banker but it did also mean that when the bankers needed more money and more had to be printed, there was a problem with justifying it. At first the bankers and our rulers tried to brazen it out and claimed we just hadn’t printed enough the first time, or the second, and a bit of belt tightening and a dose of ‘we’re all in it together’ cap touching and forelock tugging, as we handed our betters some more cash, would do the trick this time. Only it didn’t.
Then something new entered the story. Instead of being forced into talking about the failure of what they had done, our leaders began to ...