DAILY BELL: DEBT JUBILEE SET TO BECOME A MAINSTREAM MEMENovember 1, 2012
This past week I've been talking a lot about gold, Germany, and geopolitics, but there's another side to this financial coin - if I may be permitted to stretch the metaphor - and that is the fiat money/debt jubilee debate currently occurring, albeit, somewhat quietly at present:
Once again, one has to be in admiration of The Daily Bell for pointing out the emerging memes of the world we are entering into, and for placing certain key ideas on the table for discussion, in this case, debt repudiation/jubilee, and the nation-state. And, to a certain extent, they are in my opinion correct: what has happened in the latter half of the 20th century, and particularly from World War Two onward, is the merger of central banks and the military-industrial complex, a process begun, really, in Nazi Germany, with its creation of state-issued debt free money, which was, of course, immediately repudiated by the West, forcing Germany into an international barter system of trade.
But what profoundly disturbs me, and which seems to some extent to be neglected by the article, is the implication that the globalists themselves have emphasized the theme of the obsolescence of the nation-state, and the need to replace it with a system dominated (and perhaps governed) by multinational corporations and banks. The Daily Bell, in promoting the idea of Austrian school economics, by pointing out the "anarchy" that obtained in the pre-federation pre-US-constitution days, is thus to my mind overlooking some things. Suppose that such a global market truly did emerge... the technology is certainly driving us there.
This fact, plus the rise of local or regional currencies, inevitably brings about the need for some sort of clearing of transactions, and here one sees the inevitable beginnings of the very same sorts of processes that gave rise to nation-states to begin with, since at some point people conducting transactions in whatever currencies or media of exchange are chosen, must entrust transactions to an elite few doing the clearing. Perhaps one might see the possibility, implied by the Daily Bell article, that clearing would no longer be a monopoly of certain banks and their clearing agencies, but rather a multitude of competing clearing options - much like the post- Ma-Bell era of telecommunications, with various carriers and suppliers having to compete for customers. This, I take it, is the real import of the article. But even with this, a basic unit of medium of exchange has to exist regardless of which clearing agency may be involved in transactions... and there's the rub, for as I've often mentioned in my books and blogs about this subject, money not only represents a what, it also represents a who... namely, who is the ultimate issuing authority. Therefore the growth of technology and increasing reliance on types of money represented by electronic transfers makes the debate on debt jubilee ideas even more crucial, for as the Daily Bell article itself points out, the jubilee idea is intimately tied to very old notions of religion, of primordial debt, and of sacrifice. Money, as I have also pointed out, very early on in the human experience, became entangled with notions of debt, of closed systems, of scarcity...
...it is here that the actual history of money becomes somewhat muddled in modern thinking and particularly among standard economists (even of the Austrian school, folks), for as I point out in my future book The Financial Vipers of Venice, at a certain point in history, money became bullion, and because of the nature of bullion, money was therefore tied to the notions of scarcity, of debt, of peonage, and to a financial elite, and became disentangled from the idea of production and society. Not for nothing do the rise of the great empires of ancient times inevitably accompany the rise of "sound money," i.e., bullion, as a basis of the medium of exchange.
Bullion, in other words, is not an end run around central banking elites and empires and the types of corrupt financial speculation that we have see, but a headlong rush directly into them... so as we contemplate and discuss the emerging meme of debt jubilees and repudiations, we need also to bear in mind all the attendant ramifications of why the whole idea jubilees arose in the first place, and we may summarize the resemblance of the ancient pattern to the modern one in one word: re-hypothecation, the endless sale and re-sale of the came collateral, and its re-collateralization with each re-sale, under the whole system grew so enormous and so complex that actual productivity slowed, as system made it more profitable not to produce to the point that society was in danger of collapse. Hence, the whole system periodically had to be re-booted and re-set.
See you on the flip side.