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Such an issue of credit instruments is exactly the sort of 'Sovereign Equity' I have been advocating for some time, and which the FT referred to in an editorial on 15th March. In the case of Spain, and other countries like Portugal and Ireland, suffering from unsustainable debt in the aftermath of a property bubble, I suggest that these governments issue redeemable Units of Sovereign Equity within a suitable framework.

These Units would then be used to acquire distressed properties from banks, or indeed from individuals who wished to participate, and these properties would then be held by a custodian within a suitable corporate partnership framework. Affordable rentals would be set, and the properties let, thereby creating a 'Rental Pool' which would be divided proportionally among the Unit holders, and service providers who operate the system.

Occupiers would be free to acquire Units simply by paying rental in advance and converting the advance payment to Units at the market price. They could also be credited with 'Sweat Equity' Units in return for maintenance to an agreed standard.

Even if Investors wishing to sell Units were unable to find other financial Investors to buy them, if the rate of return demanded rose, the Unit price would fall until Occupiers acquired Units for redemption against their rental obligation.

The outcome for banks would be better than any debt-based solution, while the rental would equally be more affordable than that necessary to cover debt financing. The reason for this happy outcome is of course the absence of capital repayment and compound interest in this quasi-Equity solution.

In this way, Units based on property rentals would come to replace existing €-denominated debt and would essentially be geographically based national currencies. This is not an entirely new idea except in its 'polarity' as a credit instruument, rather than an intermediated debt instrument such as that advocated by John Law in 1705, who then rather spoilt the implementation in France...... :-)


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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Apr 28th, 2010 at 05:05:24 PM EST
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