Spreading Insolvency Around Does Not Create Solvency
(August 23, 2012)
The central illusion of Central Planning everywhere is that distributing insolvency will somehow magically create solvency.
I recently received a brief but powerful summary of the global financial system's intrinsic instability and unsustainability from correspondent Ray W., author of A Change in the Weather.
One key point is that spreading insolvency (debts that will never be paid back, debt based on totally phantom assets) over a populace does not somehow conjure up a solvent financial system or State. Distributing insolvency only destroys the last remaining islands of solvency in a bankrupt world.
The entire global financial "recovery" engineered by central banks and Central Planning is based on the absurd notion that if we spread unpayable debt over the entire body politic (be it a nation or regional entity such as the European Union) then that distribution will somehow make the debt payable and the phantom assets real.
The debt remains unpayable and the assets (collateral) remain stubbornly phantom. As for adding more debt (selling Eurobonds, Treasury bonds, etc.), please note the diminishing return on additional debt: it is now negative.
Here is Ray's commentary:
Not only the US Federal Reserve, but the EU collectively and its members individually are blowing another bubble with artificially suppressed interest rates inducing a flight to equities. It may not look like a bubble because values are climbing so slowly and uncertainly, but that is just an indicator of the structural weakness and exhaustion of petrocapitalism. In terms of thermodynamics, the engine is just too big to run on the same fuel without serious retooling.
Thank you, Ray. Diminishing returns define the flailing financial system: the return on petrocapitalism is declining (how many barrels of oil or equivalent does it take to extract and process one barrel of shale-derived oil?), the return on more debt has turned negative, the yield on "saving" bankrupt States is marginal, and so on: spreading insolvency to the taxpayers does not magically create solvency, it only distributes insolvency to every nook and cranny of the economy.
All the debt remains painfully real; it is only the collateral that is illusory.
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We are like passengers on the Titanic ten minutes after its fatal encounter with the iceberg: though our financial system seems unsinkable, its reliance on debt and financialization has already doomed it.
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