WHO ARE THE MONETARISTS ? OR THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS

 

goats

 

I can usefully examine the analogy of the three men and their goat(s) a little further.

 

One man has twin goats (exactly the same as each other) to sell. The other two men have money; One of the buyers has fifty coins and the other has forty nine.

 

The seller sells the first goat for fifty coins which is the maximum available bid, but he also wants to sell the other goat. However, the second buyer only has forty nine coins, therefore the price will be forty nine coins -that is all it can be although it is exactly the same as the first goat and should by any logic therefore be the same price

What to do?

 

If buyers and sellers allow the price to remain at forty nine coins, then goats have fallen in value despite the fact that the two goats for sale were exactly the same in every way and should be the same price. But more importantly, at a new sale price of 49 coins, 50 coins now equals a goat plus one coin- the seller has made an extra two percent profit from his first sale, just by virtue of owning money!

 

So where did this unearned profit come from?

 

From the value of the first goat. It was worth 50 coins and now it is worth 49 coins- it has lost 2% in value. Every time a goat is sold at a cheaper price the value of ALL goats falls by that amount and that value is transferred from goats to money. And prices will always fall where money supply is restricted.

 

What would the consequences of this be on a larger scale?

 

Imagine a goat seller with ten animals to sell. He decides to do it through an auction. (The animals are all identical by the way- genetic clones!) So he calls ten local farmers together and calls for bids. It so happens that each of the farmers has one more coin than the next so the first has 50, the second 49 the third 48 and so on. Here is a table of the results….

 

eeeeeee

The first column A shows the goats if they were sold at a fixed price of 50 coins.

 

The second column B shows the actual available bids. The first goat went for 50 coins, the second goat went for the second highest available bid (49 coins) an so on..until the price reached 41 coins.

 

The third column C, shows the total individual loss each purchaser suffered at a final price of 41 coins. If you paid 50 coins, at the end of the auction your goat was worth 41 coins and you lost 9 coins in value. If you paid 49 coins, at the end of the auction your goat was with 41 coins and you lost 8 coins in value and so on.

 

If you look at column D you will see that the seller on the other hand made money on each deal. He received fifty coins for the first goat which only turned out to be worth 41 coins so he made an excess of 9 coins and so on…

 

If we look at the row marked ‘Total’ at the bottom of the table we can see the cumulative effects of all this.

 

In column A total we see that if the seller had sold all his goats at a fixed price of 50 coins he would have received a total of 500 coins.

 

In column B total we see that in fact he received a total of 455 coins, an apparent loss of 45 coins.

 

In column C we see that the total losses to the purchasers as a result of the falling price was 45 coins also.

 

But in column D total we see something very odd. We see that the seller actually made a total GAIN of 45 coins as a result of the falling price. When he has sold all his goats he has enough money to buy 11 goats at the latest price and still has 4 coins over!!

 

In fact there has been a transfer of 45 coins in value from the buyers of goats to the seller of goats as a result of the 10 transactions that have taken place. The seller has made approx 11% profit as a result of just ten transactions.

 

Every time a commodity is sold at a progressively cheaper price the value of ALL similar commodities falls by that amount and that value is transferred from commodities to money. And prices will always fall where money supply is restricted.

 

Imagine this on a scale of millions of sellers and purchasers….

 

This is what Monetarism is by definition, a restriction on the supply of money….

 

It seems incredible doesn’t it? Perhaps you are thinking I must be wrong, there would be evidence if this were actually happening on a massive scale.

 

Look at the housing market. All over America there are cash buyers of houses. Cash buyers are propping up the housing market. Just like the goat seller, these buyers have ‘earned’ enough spare cash to buy another house! Just like the goat seller they are cashing in on the unearned increase in value of their cash. Unearned increases in value that are a direct consequence of the monetarist religion of restricting the supply of money.

 

In fact we are fast approaching an asset value IMPLOSION – chaotic deflation on an unprecedented scale.

 

Wages have again recently fallen in Britain and price inflation has fallen as well. It is important that you grasp the significance of this; the prices of commodities are starting to chase wages downwards. This is Black Hole deflation just as destructive as runaway inflation.

 

Is there any way to avoid this Black Hole? Lets go back to our auction. What would happen if we created another 45 coins and distributed them so that every buyer could afford a goat at 50 coins? The buyer would get his asking price of 50 coins per goat. And they are all exactly the same so this must be right. Every buyer would get a goat.

 

But wouldn’t creating this money result in inflation? The money supply would expand by:

 

45/500 or 9%

 

This would equate to a nominal drop in value of the money available to approx 92% of its previous value. Not a real drop in value mind you; you still get your perfectly healthy goat!

But just for the sake of it lets work through the effects.

 

reedtable

 

This table shows a comparison of the amount of money owned before and after the ‘loss’ due to the creation of 45 extra coins. Every owner experiences some loss, but the loss is less, the less you originally owned.

 

bluetable

This table shows the ‘loss’ after it has been adjusted to show the effect of the new 45 coins being distributed among the ten farmers. In all but the case of the richest farmer the ‘loss’ is mitigated by the distribution of the coins. For a majority of the farmers there is a net gain.

greentable

This table shows the actual loss that results from coin creation in comparison to the loss that occurs from deflation and falling prices. In every case the loss from coin creation is less than would occur from deflation. Even the farmer who gains the least from coin creation cuts his losses in half.

 

So everyone is a winner then (or at least not a loser) well, sort of.. the real revelation is in the fortunes of the original seller of goats.

In the deflationary scenario he ended up able to afford another goat with four coins to spare- effectively an 11 % increase. That is all gone under the coin creation scenario. Now he has 500 coins, just as he should have. If he wants to buy a goat the price is 50 coins, same as it is for everyone else. Just as it should be.

Every time a commodity is sold at a progressively cheaper price the value of ALL similar commodities falls by that amount and that value is transferred from commodities to money. And prices will always fall where money supply is restricted.

 Imagine this on a scale of millions of sellers and purchasers….

 

This is what Monetarism is by definition, a restriction on the supply of money….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

 

images

 

If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.”

Albert Einstein

 

There is a famous quote that half of the money spent on advertising is well spent and the other half is wasted. The problem is that nobody knows which half is which.  The same thing can be said of Karl Marx.Half of what he wrote was true- the trick has been to figure out which half.

One of the really good, really perceptive ideas that Karl Marx crystallised was that in the modern world, material objects are the expression of social reality. In other words instead of a formally stated hierarchy in the form of law and custom we have an implicit hierarchy embedded in the material form of the society we see around us.

This is a truly profound insight.

The flip side of this insight is the realisation that technology is culturally specific. Since the concrete objects we see around us are the realisation of social reality they must express the society and the culture that gives birth to that social reality.Technology and culture are much more closely linked than you might be led to believe. Cultural artefacts can be more clearly understood as a form of technology.

Which brings us to money (surprise, surprise!)

One of the most difficult problems in explaining Crackernomics and how money is developing is to get people to understand that money is a dynamic, fluid technology. Not a static fixed expression of value.

This technology can be uncovered and examined in detail.

In The Great Money Train Hijack I suggested that you can understand money as a train ticket, that is to say a permission to ride on the rail system within the parameters of the contract embodied in the ticket. A money note is a permission to participate in the economy within the terms of a contract. The parameters of the contract determine the value of the ticket/currency note at any given time.

At its simplest level this means that a ticket on a notoriously inefficient rail system prone to breakdown and likely to deliver you to your destination late, is worth less than a ticket on an efficient system that is comfortable and punctual. This is a good working definition of inflation. The later a train will be, the less a ticket to ride on that train is worth… Inflation is an indication of the efficiency of the money train network.

I can focus in on this interactive, dynamic aspect of money more accurately by using the analogy of money (a coin), as a watch. Modern currency and modern watches were invented and popularised at around the same time and this is not a co-incidence; they are both fundamental parts of the social mechanism that allow the functioning of modern societies.

As any curious boy will tell you, a watch can be prised open and its workings exposed for examination. I am presently working on a new short film entitled ‘The Structure of Money’ which will do just that. But for the moment let us just focus on the surface, the watch face as it were.

The first thing you notice about a watch face is that it is constantly changing, providing information about a common abstract known as time. A coin performs exactly the same technological function. It provides and stores changing information about a common abstract known as value.

There is no more absolute value than there is an absolute time. They are both social constructs, that gain their social power exactly to the extent that they are held in common by the societies that adhere to them. It is only 4 o’clock because we agree it is. A 1 euro coin only has a specific value because we agree it does.

A watch changes its description of the time constantly. That is why it is useful. But the important thing to understand is that although the time constantly changes on the watch your relationship to the watch itself does not change. You do not disagree with your watch just because it shows that you are late for an appointment! You modify your behaviour accordingly. You take a taxi instead of the bus. If you simply moved the hands on your watch twenty minutes into the past would it mean that you were no longer late? Of course not. You would still be late and you would also be a fool.

The same is true of money. The value of a pound coin at any one time is a reflection of its commonly held value. And like the time, that value is constantly changing. It is always ‘getting’ later and money is always ‘losing’ value.

This reveals clearly the stupidity of those who argue for ‘sound money’ which is supposed to be money that never changes in value. This is the same as arguing that you should set your watch to twelve o clock and never wind it up so that you can always know what time it is without having to look!

The next important insight from this analogy is to understand that value is not embodied in a coin anymore than time is embodied in a watch. Time is not divided up between each individual time piece and value is not divided up between each and every note and coin. If you gathered every watch together and put them in a pile, would you have gathered all the time there was in one place? Nonsense.

And if you make a thousand more watches, is time diluted in some way? Of course not. But the more watches there are, the more people have access to information about the commonly held idea of time. More people can interact in a more complex way

Who could be against the idea of the maximum number of people having access to time? Who could be against the maximum number of people having the most efficient information possible about the common social idea of time?

Here is a simple example of the benefits of the maximum possible knowledge of value

e.g. 1

There are three people on a desert island, one of whom has a goat.

One of the other two people finds a coin on the beach and successfully buys the goat from its owner. The ‘value’ of the goat is one coin. It can’t be anything else.

e.g.2

Same three people, same one has a goat. But now both of the other two find a coin on the beach. What is the value of the goat? The value cannot be determined by price since there is only one price; (one coin) but two examples of it (two buyers). If the goat is sold it must be on some other criteria than the most money offered.

e.g.3

Now say that the one buyer finds 50 coins on the beach while his competitor finds 49 coins. When the goat is sold its value (the differential between available money) is described down to 2%. And if it were 500 coins vs. 490 coins the value of the goat is described down to 0.2% and so on.

In other words, the more money there is in circulation, the more accurate the value placed on any given commodity will be. In exactly the same way that the more watches there are in circulation the more punctual a society will be.

Who could be against that? Let us take our example a stage further.

e.g.4

Suppose the first man has two goats to sell. One goat has three legs. As in the beginning, there is only one coin in circulation. The price of a goat with three legs and the price of a goat with four legs is the same. There is no ‘price mechanism’ since no price variation is possible.

e.g.5

Say both purchasers have one coin each. Still no price mechanism.

e.g.6

Only when there are enough coins in circulation for there to be a twenty five percent differential in price (four legs vs. three legs), would there be anything like enough money to take account of the real value of the goats.

e.g.7

And what if the three legged goat miraculously grew another leg to make up for his perceived deficiency? The two goats are now more or less the same. Does that mean that now there is less meaningful difference (information) that we can safely diminish the money supply?

Hardly.

The information that a particular goat can grow another leg to replace one that is lost is surely likely to form a vital part of any further negotiations on price !. There is now very much more information than there was before so there needs to be very much more money to express that historical information.

Knowledge and information about the economy and its history are always expanding. Therefore the money supply will always have to correspondingly expand to take account of this fact. As knowledge and information about human history have expanded so the methods to record them have expanded.

So I ask the question again:

Given that money is an expression of information and that the availability of money is an expression of the availability of information who could be against having the greatest possible dispersal of money?

Who wants to restrict the flow and the amount of money and why?

Who are the Monetarists?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang or Painting Yourself Into A Corner or There Was An Old Lady…or The United States Of Everywhere

henry

http://online.wsj.com/articles/henry-kissinger-on-the-assembly-of-a-new-world-order-1409328075?tesla=y

Henry Kissinger produced an interesting and revealing opinion piece in the Wall Street journal on the ‘western system’ in crisis. Henry points to developments in Libya and Afghanistan and with relations with Russia and China as evidence things are not going well. He didn’t mention Egypt which is an interesting omission for reasons which will become clear.

Although he is now seen as irrelevant among an increasingly large section of the commentariat it will always be informative to consider what kind of crisis Kissinger thinks the West is in. After all whatever else, Kissinger is a prime architect of the world order such as it is.

Kissinger thinks that:

‘The concept of order  that has underpinned the modern era is in crisis’

Which leads me to ask: What is this ‘concept of order’ Kissinger is referring to and what is the ‘modern era’?

Well one thing Henry is sure about is that the ‘concept of order’ (whatever it is and however it has changed) has been a ‘western’ concept for as long as anyone can remember. By this I think we can be fairly sure he means from the C16th and the beginning of Germanic land democracy onwards. The ‘modern era’ he tells us, is the period after the second Germanic war when the USA inherited Europe’s mantle as centre of the world.

Post 1945 America followed a two prong strategy often known as ‘realpolitik’ ; the proclamation of  ‘freedom and democracy’ politically and ‘free market trading’ economically. The plan was to avoid nation state competition and confrontation within the American sphere of influence (through building up an interdependent trading system) and to avoid direct military confrontation with Cold War adversaries.

Kissinger points out that this twin political and economic track resulted in Globalisation and that most importantly, Globalisation was the inevitable outcome of this process begun in 1945.This is a key element that WHITEISM shares with Kissinger and is in sharp contrast to both modern left and right who make no claim of an explicit link between Anglo Saxon post war strategy and the economics of financialisation.

‘There was an old lady who swallowed a fly’

As a consequence of this post war economic and political strategy:

‘The spread of democracy and participatory governance has become a shared aspiration if not a universal reality; global communications and financial networks operate in real time.’

So that worked out pretty well oh but wait, hang on a minute. It turns out that:

‘…vast regions of the world have never shared and only acquiesced (my emphasis) in the Western concept of order. These reservations are now becoming explicit, for example, in the Ukraine crisis and the South China Sea. The order established and proclaimed by the West stands at a turning point.’

So everybody was on board with the American post war project and thought America was the bees knees except that when it comes down to it they didn’t. The problem is that the nations of the world do not have a:

‘shared concept of legitimacy’

which means of course, that they don’t share Kissingers conception of legitimacy. Which means the Americanisation of the world has not gone anywhere near as far as some people would like it to and as a consequence:

‘The international order (thus) faces a paradox: Its prosperity is dependent on the success of globalization, but the process produces a political reaction that often works counter to its aspirations’.

In other words those who lose out under globalisation tend to respond in nationalistic terms:

‘The winners have few reservations about the system. But the losers—such as those stuck in structural misdesigns (sometimes called Catholicism my comment), as has been the case with the European Union’s southern tier—seek their remedies by solutions that negate, or at least obstruct, the functioning of the global economic system.

And this is the essence of the problem.

If the United States of Everywhere really could come into existence through globalisation then every problem that sprung up around the world would be by definition an internal problem. America/Saxon Axis/NATO would be literally taking the worlds problems on its shoulders. Every failure would be seen a failure of the American dream. And this is precisely the problem the United States of Everywhere faces.

The USE is increasingly forced to try to develop external solutions to what have become internal problems

‘She swallowed a spider to catch the fly..’

Lets go back to Egypt. The most advanced section of society, the urban population explicitly renounced electoral democracy and embraced a military dictatorship to get rid of the Muslim brotherhood. There is no way around this. And since Egypt is part of the USE, the USE has to admit that part of its new nature is to embrace military dictatorship

‘For the U.S., this will require thinking on two seemingly contradictory levels. The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with recognition of the reality of other regions’ histories, cultures and views of their security.’

‘The contemporary quest for world order will require a coherent strategy to establish a concept of order within the various regions and to relate these regional orders to one another.’

‘These goals are not necessarily self-reconciling: The triumph of a radical movement might bring order to one region while setting the stage for turmoil in and with all others. The domination of a region by one country militarily, even if it brings the appearance of order, could produce a crisis for the rest of the world.’

Notice he says:

‘These goals are not necessarily self reconciling’

or put another way:

‘she swallowed a bird to catch the spider that wiggled and wiggled and wiggled inside her’

And most potentially dangerous of all ; the Anglo Saxon people, the ‘middle class’ of America, the Herrenvolk, have now become just one more problematic minority, responding in a ‘nationalistic’ way to the problems of Globalisation. So for the USA/Saxon Axis elite there seems to be no way to go back home to the farm. There is only an increasingly arduous and bizarre menu of foreign delights to look forward to; trying to keep one step ahead of the consequences of the last meal they had.

‘She swallowed a cat, imagine that..’

And of course:

‘I don’t know why she swallowed a fly’

‘perhaps she’ll die… ‘

‘History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy’.