Shut Up Money!
Charles Dickens’ Dad was nicked. He was thrown in the slammer, for three years. Young Charles was nine at the time. Him and his many brothers and sisters endured huge family upheaval because of their father’s conviction. The time was to prove inspirational for some of his greatest literary creations.
Oh the reason his Dad was convicted…?
Well, he was in debt.
Yes the rotter went down for his financial infringement. So he went to ‘debtors prison’.
David Graeber - Mafia Capitalism Hits the Wall
Debtors Prison was where they sent criminals of money. Those that were unable to pay back that which they had borrowed. And Mr Dickens Snr. was a statistical offender. He wasn’t rich enough to not be incarcerated.
But, economically speaking, he never actually possessed anything that wasn’t his. He never owned the money in the first place.
If you check out a bank note it says on it that you are the ‘bearer’. A note is symbolic. Symbolic of something stored in a bank vault. Like gold.
So the gold is what the money represents. And Mr Dickens never had the gold. Ever. He just had the symbols for gold, called money.
So those ‘bits of gold’ that that money represented were never with him to take back from him. Just the abstract representations of the gold.
Now fast-forward to today. If you think of those bank vaults of gold, they are represented ‘out there’ in the world, by money. But there’s this problem: Because of interest and debt, there’s far too much money flying around to represent the gold. For people to ‘cash in’ their money for gold, as is the principle, there just wouldn’t be enough. Not by half!
This has happened because the banks were secure in the knowledge that because it flows around ok without anyone needing to ‘cash in’ their money for gold, no one need therefore worry about how much gold there is.
The ratios of gold and money became unimportant.
Who cares how much gold there is? Let’s just print money!
So they officially cut the link between money and gold. Many many years ago.
Money became officially abstract. It then became a question of, ‘Who’s in charge of the printer?”
And because even the amount of abstract money that a bank was required to possess became irrelevant, the wheels came off. You remember that Mickey Mouse cartoon in Fantasia’s kitchen when the mops and buckets are going bananas, like millions of them? Increasingly manic! Ten to the dozen! Chaos reigns! Mickey hasn’t got a friggin clue what to do to stop it!
Well it’s like that. The economic juggernaut is empty. The drivers jumped out ages ago and it’s been spilling its tanks of money all over the shop.
And it needs a clean up. Like Satis House.
Like in Iceland.