[-empyre-] On Currencies, Capitalism, and the Fed

davin heckman davinheckman at gmail.com
Wed Apr 8 01:53:13 EST 2009

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.  I don't doubt that plenty could
go wrong with a monetary monopoly--Look at what folks have done with
the monetary oligopoly.

I just wanted to some more out there from someone who knows more about
it than I do, especially since I have so little experience with money.
 My wife, our three three children, and I try to get by with as little
as possible.  The only sort of financial dealings I have, beyond
cashing my paycheck and paying my bills is our contribution to my
University's retirement account.  And I would consider even going
without that, if we could just have the promise of a small home, three
meals, and a doctor when we are sick.

I know it will sound strange to say this, because I just said that I
would be happy with the promise of a home. etc.  But money opens up
for me a feeling of dependence that tends to flow in one direction.
So much of what my wages are worth and how I am permitted to live, if
at all, depends not on what I can do well...  but upon what some other
people in some other place do with money.  Money itself is so
abstracted from actual production that people who trade it tend to
become detached from anyone but the value of their own portfolios, yet
their actions effect me.  Yet, working people take time daily to build
the foundations upon which the financial system is abstracted from.
I'm not saying all investors operate in this mode (for example, I know
some nuns who invest so they can attend board meetings and agitate for
women's rights), but I think that the abstract quality of money and
the speed at which it moves tends to gloss over the human foundations
that it is derived from.  How often does a day trader travel to China
or Honduras to examine the labor that they have just purchased?

And since I cannot demand that any individual take this measure of
responsibility and a nation-state has a hard time regulation what its
currency does beyond its borders, I was wondering if a global system
of economic and trade regulation might do any better.  But, like you
said, we don't have such a hot record with more limited currencies....
 so it is entirely likely that I am out of my tree.  As with previous
threads about the "good" and trying to funnel these things through a
single nexus probably does more to undermine the vibrant character of
ethics than it would to share them.  I guess I still have a bit of
thinking to do.

Thank you.


On Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 10:26 PM, jeff pierce <zentrader at live.ca> wrote:
> Davin,
> My jaw literally dropped when I read your question about what would be wrong
> with a one world currency. Now let me preface this by saying that I don't
> have all the answers, but I think based on some of the events that have
> transpired over the last 6 months we can come to a few conclusions and go
> from there.
> 1. Government policies created this problem through easy credit, poor
> legislature, and low interest rates. If you let people borrow money at an
> historically cheap rate for an extended length of time, bad things will
> happen. I'm sure Greenspan was telling himself that "this time it's
> different" and we can leave interest rates low, but believe me it's never
> different. Every time a trader tells himself those 4 words they're setting
> themselves up for a fall. Greenspan took the interest rate down from 6% to
> 1% and kept it there far too long.
> Easy credit encourages leveraged speculation. This fuelled the housing
> bubble as everybody thought their house would appreciate at 10%/year, every
> year. And all of this led to the ensuing subprime debacle and credit crises.
> 2. The SEC failed to do it's job allowing major corruption with the
> financial system like Madoff.
> 3. The Government's reaction to all of this proves time and time again that
> they have no real idea on how to handle this. They are throwing everything
> at this hoping something will stick, literally gambling the future of
> American on a hunch that massive money printing and quantitative easing will
> solve everything. Why can't they realise that you can't solve a problem with
> the very same cause of the problem in the first place.
> So why is a one world currency bad? In theory it's not, but in the practical
> application and the greed that lives within the financial industry would
> ruin it.
> It's puts to much power in the hands of too few. I'm so tired of hearing
> about "centralized this" and "globalization that" as every time I hear it in
> the media I get the feeling that they're just warming us up to what will
> eventually be. Governments are too big to begin with, as they are a big part
> of this problem. They can't handle their affairs on a national level, what
> makes anybody think they can handle the affairs at a world level. The
> thought alone makes me shiver. Where would you hide if you didn't like the
> system that is in place? At least now if you don't like the the United
> States, you can move (like me--to Canada). The world needs diversity as much
> in the cultural sense as in the financial sense. Checks and balances if you
> will.
> The currency should be the health barometer of a country. I can't even
> fathom how a one would currency would effect the business cycles between
> countries with different types of governments. I feel that people throw
> around the term "capitalism" too much. The United States does not operate
> under a capitalistic state at this point in time. It's some hybrid cross of
> socialism, capitalism, and possibly totalitarianism. At one point between
> October-December it was so hard to trade and carry any positions over the
> weekend because we (traders) feared some type of government intervention
> over the weekend which would cause the markets to move in totally random
> ways. This is still very much a concern, but it hasn't been as bad as of
> late.
> This is not a free market system. Who are the government to decide which
> companies are bailed out and which ones aren't. Last time I checked the
> survival of the fittest in the business world was the model of choice. If a
> company wasn't profitable, then they should fail. End of discussion. Don't
> use taxpayers money, print unlawful amounts of money, and destroy the
> currency in the process.
> The final piece of the problem is the Fed. It doesn't even make sense to me
> for the government to borrow money from a private institution to conduct
> business. Our federal taxes go to pay the interest only on the debt to the
> Fed, making those bankers filthy rich. This house of cards will collapse
> sooner rather than later as the money printing goes to exponential heights.
> It's so bad now that the Fed doesn't even report it's money growth anymore.
> No fiat currency lasts and this one will be no different. But instituting a
> one world currency will result in more of our privacies being taken away,
> more surveillance, and more control. It makes more sense for the government
> to print it's own money, thus relieving itself from hefty interest
> repayment.
> My solution is dissolve the Fed, cut the government in half, stop policing
> the world and bring home the troops, stop the bailouts and quantitative
> easing, and focus on infrastructure and sustainable energy sources that
> would create a whole new sector of job growth. In my opinion everything else
> would fall into place. Yes it would be bad for a few more years, but at
> least we would come out the other end a cleaner, debt free nation.
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