Only a madman would invent the econo-fiscal system we have. Or a neocon.
‘Any thoughts on how we get out of this mess?’ wrote Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, as he rounded off his piece yesterdayabout the Swiss buying all the Sterling they could lay hands on in a swapathon for the Swiss franc. It is something of a pointer (towards how dysfunctional the global economic system is) that one of the richest nations in the world is buying the currency of a tiny bankrupt country in order to avoid going bankrupt itself. But I’m sure Milt Friedman would’ve had the answer to that peevish criticism. We just need to wait patiently while Dan Hannan finds the mots justes among his collection.
Currency wars – despite Jim O’Neill’s denialism – have been with us for some time now, and things will get worse as the world lurches from wild Wealth of Nations bollocks to protectionism….hopefully along the road to self-sufficiency. Almost exactly two years ago, I posted a sketch about how Britain could wind up winning the currency wars. Every year, it seems, truth gets odder than satire.
Anyway, AEP asked the question, and so I feel duty-bound to reply. The required action is actually ludicrously easy to define, but impossible to get anyone in the self-appointed élite to act on it. This is because they all have something to lose, and they all want to come out as a winner. That is the rice-paper-made flaw upon which the concrete juggernaut of global mercantilism rests uneasily: it assumes everyone can win all at the same time. Anyway, what we need starting some time before May 2013 is:
1. A global summit to crunch debt forgiveness and sign a deal under which a debt-jubilee is declared.
2. Then we need to dump the globalist mercantile/financial capitalist model in favour of sovereign self-sufficiency and trade in surpluses.
3. Then we need to abandon the Euro, the US Dollar and the Pound in favour of a gold-backed world currency coexisting alongside legal-tender gold currency.
But in the immediate and selfish term, given our UK export performance is risible anyway, we should
4. Let the Swiss buy all the Sterling they want and let it shoot upwards in value. This makes us safer against the coming fiat meltdown – which will occur because nobody wants to organise points 1-3 above.
5. Buy all the gold we can get hold of.
6. Use the profits to offset the trade gap.
7. Compel all UK based banks by law to invest in SME growth.
8. Buy an underground house, or a farm above 1500 feet with its own well, once it becomes clear that nobody wants to organise points 4-7 above.
Nothing from 4-7, by the way, makes any sense at all. Point 8 is the sound thing to do, because right now in France you could buy it for a song: and if by chance we do get out of this mess, it will be worth three times what you paid for it within five years. But we need to do 4-7 because nobody will do 1-3. And we need to do 1-3 because nobody has done anything sensible at all thus far. And as nobody will do 1-3, Point 8 still looks good to me. James Delingpole would disagree – and he is right about everything; so that too is something worth bearing in mind.
And yes AEP, you’re right: it is a mess of near inestimable proportions. It is a profound and multivariate mess. It is a mess which, despite various attempts to disguise the pungency of ageing turds, gives off an odour to make any Undertaker retch. It is a mess in which every major sovereign State on the planet is standing, insouciantly drinking tea, as the sewage-to-sulphur-dioxide tide rises slowly towards their knees. Any minute now, a celestial voice will yell, “Right then everyone….tea-break over, back on yer ‘eads.” What happens after that may separate the weet from the chav….but come what may, afterwards everyone is going to smell like sh*t mixed with vomit for quite some time.
Related: Regarding the Vix Fix….