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I don't think fixing the banks' balance sheets by creating new government credit is remotely good enough. As asset prices fall, that only stops the credit bleeding from the wounds we can see.

The problem is the internal credit haemorrhaging of investor capital which we can't see. That consists of all of the credit created by the "shadow banking" that went on. Most of these declining credit balances are sitting overseas, and the debtor nations in the West are dependent on these creditors keeping their investments in the West.

ie here's the deal, Suckers, what we paid you with has just gone down the toilet, and we'd like you to keep on exchanging your oil for our deficit-based dollars and pounds. I think that creditors would only do that for want of an alternative. And I believe that there actually is an alternative, involving the direct connections of the Internet, and some lateral thinking.

Peer to Peer Investment - Unitisation -  changes not the Quantity of financial claims, but their Quality - and it will stem the credit haemorrhage by replacing much of the National Debt - ie that part of our current money = debt which relates to the stock of productive assets, which is not in circulation, and hence cannot be inflationary - with a National Equity.

Peer to Peer Credit - mutually guaranteed bilateral credit creation and Credit Clearing - gives the transfusion, and credit in circulation constitutes a shrunken National Debt.

In both of these dis-intermediated mechanisms, banks are no longer credit intermediaries putting their capital at risk, and become service providers.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 05:16:44 AM EST
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Unfortunately, Obama is likely to only implement such a fundamentally radical solution well after he has tried fixing the banks as described above and found even that to be inadequate, and probably would do so only after such a program had been successfully adopted several times in the private sector.  Warren Buffet is probably a much more likely early adopter of such a system than is Barak Obama.  I like to style myself a "radical pragmatist."  I am prepared to accept changes that go to the root of the system provided they can be shown to work.

The problem with adopting your proposals is more that they would work than that they wouldn't.  In the process they would fence off a huge portion of the economy from the sort of "let the rich get richer quickly" schemes that have been the major feature of what has passed for economic policy in the USA and Great Britain.  

Such approaches will only be adopted when they can be sold to a significant portion of the population.  Few want to think sufficiently deeply to understand that what they have previously believed is a collection of noxious fables and "just so" stories fed to them since early childhood to lock in a world view whose chief virtue is the efficacy with which it has served the interests of the very wealthy.  Call it Paul Mellon's revenge--served very cold.

While things are likely to get bad enough for people to demand radical solutions, in such a situation pragmatic considerations usually lose out to more direct appeals to emotion.  In the USA this would likely take the form of some religious fascist distopia.  With such a prospect looming, a President  with Obama's skills and values may be able to negotiate a passage to such a relatively desirable option as that you describe as the least worst option, from the point of view of the wealthy.  That may just be preferable to being led by one who surrounds himself with snake eating geeks--or not.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 12:51:20 PM EST
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