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Could such a hoard be confiscated by a government?

Insofar as we are talking about financial instruments, this could only be done by or with the (at least implicit) consent of the issuing country or the country of residence of the debtor. Meaning that...

What sort of economic oddity would that be, a government in possession of a financial pile many times greater than the size of the world's largest economy?

... cannot happen. The (say) US government never has any US$, in the same way the referee at a football field never has any points: A US$ exists only when someone who is not the US owns it and the US government does not dispute the ownership.

The countries in which the banks are located could, however, erase this money from existence, by the simple expedient of blowing up the banks.

I wonder what would happen if that money simply disappeared?  Erased from the books?  Gone forever?

The only impact of any consequence would be that some of the 1 % would become unable to buy quite as many politicians as they currently do.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Apr 4th, 2013 at 03:39:04 PM EST
The crashes of several financial exchanges being, to Jake, of little consequence. I would not say 'little consequence' but would welcome such a development.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 4th, 2013 at 09:25:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The exchanges are usually not the ones scamming people - they just provide the infrastructure. The exchange is like the casino's landlord, the market maker is like the casino, and the banksters and hedge fundies are like the card sharp over in the corner.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Apr 6th, 2013 at 06:52:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nor would they be the ones who are bankrolling the whole game. Those would be the largest wealth holders. The casino operators and the card sharks are part of the game but they know who the big dogs are. If they don't they don't last long. It is only when one of the big dogs screws up, as with Jon Corzine of MF Global or with Martin J. Sullivan of AIG that even bigger dogs will take a bite or a limb for themselves. The others mostly try to play for some of the scraps.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 6th, 2013 at 09:10:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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