Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Very interesting quote. But isn't this:


A business borrows 1000 dollars from the bank to get started. In ten years, say, it is supposed to pay back 2000 to the bank. Where does the other 1000 come from? Some other business that has borrowed 1000 from the bank. For one business to pay back what it owes, another must go bankrupt. That, or borrow yet another 1000, and so on.

a little simplistic?

One of the concepts that's absent from current economic theory is the difference between synergy/symbiosis and expropriation.

Wealth is created by symbiosis - the pooling and sharing of skills and raw materials.

Wealth is destroyed by expropriation - which is the extraction of personal benefit from the collective pool.

There's no reason why a loan can't be symbiotic. I think this is what Chris is hinting at - if the concept of collective benefit is built into the financial system and all of its structures, expropriation becomes much more obvious, and more expensive.

Currently what we have is a system which pretends to be symbiotic to a limited extent but is actually based almost entirely on expropriation of collective benefit for a very small minority.

And it's not just that this is morally questionable - it's also fundamentally, systemically, non-functional and unsustainable. It can't be made to work for more than a few decades before it collapses spectacularly.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 21st, 2009 at 10:13:18 AM EST
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