The truth is out: money is just an IOU, and the banks are rolling in it | David Graeber Back in the 1930s, Henry Ford is supposed to have remarked that it was a good thing that most Americans didn't know how banking really works, because if they did, "there'd be a revolution before tomorrow morning". Last week, something remarkable happened. The Bank of England let the cat out of the bag. In a paper called "Money Creation in the Modern Economy", co-authored by three economists from the Bank's Monetary Analysis Directorate, they stated outright that most common assumptions of how banking works are simply wrong, and that the kind of populist, heterodox positions more ordinarily associated with groups such as Occupy Wall Street are correct. In doing so, they have effectively thrown the entire theoretical basis for austerity out of the window. To get a sense of how radical the Bank's new position is, consider the conventional view, which continues to be the basis of all respectable debate on public policy. The central bank can print as much money as it wishes.
Economix: Amazon.fr: Michael Goodwin, Dan E. Burr More on the European Bank Bailout Cross-posted from Credit Writedowns Overnight, a group of us were exchanging e-mails on the recent coordinated central bank action to provide European banks the funding being denied them by the markets. I haven’t been active on the e-mail chain, but I did find some of the commentary interesting. I had a few comments of note I wanted to address, but here’s why I am writing this post: “See NYT report which says clearly that the Fed did nothing to cooperate since the swap was already in place and would make no statement.” When I read that I realised it was true. I think this is curious messaging because the US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is over in Europe right now banging the table about the need for a Euro TARP. I think that’s it exactly. Here’s what I think is happening: European politicians are paralysed and are only doing enough to push off the day of reckoning. Comments and insights appreciated
Blogs - Adam Curtis - NOW THEN Dette : 5000 ans d'histoire Un essai essentiel et foisonnant qui nous permet de mieux comprendre l’histoire du monde, la crise du crédit en cours et l’avenir de notre économie. Voici un livre capital, best-seller aux États-Unis – plus de 100 000 exemplaires vendus – et en Grande-Bretagne, commis par l’un des intellectuels les plus influents selon le New York Times et initiateur d’Occupy Wall Street à New York. Un livre qui, remettant en perspective l’histoire de la dette depuis 5 000 ans, renverse magistralement les théories admises. Il démontre que le système de crédit, apparu dès les premières sociétés agraires, précède de loin l’invention des pièces de monnaie. Quant au troc, il n’a toujours été qu’un pis-aller et ne s’est réellement développé que dans des situations particulières ou de crise. La dette a donc toujours structuré nos économies, nos rapports sociaux et jusqu’à nos représentations du monde. Selon l’auteur, l’endettement est une construction sociale fondatrice du pouvoir.
Bank Of Countrywide Lynch On The Top Ten Macro Themes For 2012 As we head into the artificial investing horizon of year-end, sell-side research is compelled to offer its best-guess at what will be key for the year ahead. We certainly head into 2012 with considerable potential downside risks - US recession?, breakup of the Euro?, hard-landing in China? 10 key macro themes for 2012 Heading into 2012 the RIC believes investors should position for the following 10 macro themes: 1. Co-heads of Global Economics Ethan Harris and Alberto Ades forecast that global GDP growth will slow modestly to 3.5% in 2012. 2. Our economics group expects the recent momentum from US consumer spending to subside in coming quarters, in the absence of much stronger jobs creation or wage growth. How to play it: Weaker US consumption growth means portfolios should be tilted toward defensives in the US in early 2012 (Chart 3). 3. 4. How to play it: Buy gold and gold stocks. 5. Treasury returns were one of the biggest surprises in 2011. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Jon Ronson in Conversation with Adam Curtis This article first appeared on VICE UK I've known Adam Curtis for nearly 20 years. We're friends. We see movies together, and once even went to Romania on a mini-break to attend an auction of Nicolae Ceausescu's belongings. But it would be wrong to characterize our friendship as frivolous. Sometimes Adam will say something that seems baffling and wrong at the time, but makes perfect sense a few years later. I suppose it's no surprise that Adam would notice this stuff about social media so early on. His new film, Bitter Lake, is his most experimental yet. Nightmarish things happen in Bitter Lake. VICE asked the two of us to have an email conversation about his work. Jon Ronson: I've known you nearly 20 years, but I have no idea how you spend your days. Adam Curtis: I don't have a special room. What I look for in the archive are shots that I can use to create a mood that gives power and force to the story I'm telling. The trailer for Adam Curtis' new film 'Bitter Lake' But it doesn't.
« La dette neutralise le temps, matière première de tout changement politique ou social » - Contrôle social Basta ! : Vous dites que l’Homo debitor est la nouvelle figure de l’Homo economicus. Quelles sont les caractéristiques de ce « nouvel homme » ? Maurizio Lazzarato : De nombreux services sociaux, comme la formation ou la santé, ont été transformés en assurance individuelle ou en crédit. Le mode de développement néolibéral est fondé sur le crédit et l’endettement. Le droit à la formation ou au logement s’est transformé en droit au crédit… C’est une logique qui ne fonctionne que si l’économie est en expansion. En quoi cela fonde-t-il un nouveau rapport social, et un nouveau rapport au temps ? J’ai repris l’hypothèse que développe Friedrich Nietzsche : le rapport social fondamental n’est pas l’échange économique ou l’échange symbolique, mais le rapport débiteur/créditeur. Une dette, ce n’est pas seulement de l’argent à rembourser, mais des comportements à ajuster, du temps passé à se plier à des contraintes, écrivez-vous. C’est une nouvelle forme de contrôle. Photo/CC : Ma Gali via Flickr
If the Bank of England is going to do more QE, it should get ultra adventur The Bank of England. As regular readers will know, I'm not in favour of a new programme of "quantitative easing" for the UK in current circumstances. Not until there is an extreme deflationary threat does it strike me as warranted. Yet perhaps I've been a little too dogmatic here, for I have assumed that any fresh programme of QE from the Bank of England would, as before, target mainly UK government bonds (gilt edged stock), where yields are already at record lows and where adding yet another source of demand to markets where investors seem unprepared to invest in anything else other than gilts would seem to be close to insane. If the rate of interest on bonds is already close to zero, it's not clear that pushing it marginally lower still would persuade investors to put their money in higher risk assets. But there are other ways in which the Bank could help. In circumstances where there are funding difficulties, the supply of new credit will become even more constrained.
The Forgotten Kaleidoscope Craze in Victorian England An illustration from 1818, titled "Human Nonsense." (Photo: Public Domain/WikiCommons) It’s hard to imagine now, but in the years after the kaleidoscope was first invented in 1816, it distracted the public as much as an iPhone. A person couldn’t walk down a street in London without seeing people staring into these tubes and walking into walls from being so immersed in the new invention. Its presence was pervasive. If a person didn't own a kaleidoscope, they could pay a "penny for a peek" from London's poor or homeless, who earned a living by offering passersby a look into the patterns produced by what some termed as one of the "most important inventions and discoveries of our time." Art from that period chronicled how immersive the kaleidoscope experience could be. The kaleidoscopes we can buy today, similar to the one I grew up with in the early-1980s, are not the same objects that came onto the scene in England. Sir David Brewster’s Invention What it Means to Look "We are in Despair!
Argent = reconnaissance de dette (= du crédit) Theguardian.com, 18 Mars 2014 David Graeber La vérité éclate au grand jour : l'argent n'est qu'une reconnaissance de dette dans laquelle se vautrent les banques. L'accès d'honnêteté de la Banque d'Angleterre jette les bases théoriques de l'austérité par la fenêtre. Il paraît qu'Henry Ford, dans les années 30, a déclaré que c'était une bonne chose que la plupart des Américains ignorent le fonctionnement réel des banques, parce que si tel était le cas, « on aurait une révolution avant demain matin ». La semaine dernière, un événement remarquable s'est produit : la Banque d'Angleterre a vendu la mèche. Pour mesurer à quel point les positions nouvelles de la banque sont radicales, il suffit d'envisager le point de vue traditionnel, qui continue à prévaloir dans tout débat bienséant concernant la politique publique. La banque centrale a le droit d'imprimer autant d'argent qu'elle le souhaite.