Saturday, 27 September 2014

MONEY MAKES THE WORLD GO AROUND. UNTIL IT DOESN’T.


 

 

I know they say you can’t take it with you, but I’m going to be buried with a suitcase full of money just in case you can.
Jackie Mason

Money can drive some people out of their minds.
The O’Jays, For the Love of Money

A short while from now, a London nurse visits an ATM the day after payday to discover she is unable to draw any money from her account. Assuming the ATM, or the bank’s IT system, is at fault, she tries another. The result is the same, as it is with all the ATMs within walking distance of her flat. Nearby, a soldier has the same problem, as do teachers, social workers, traffic wardens and a young Serbian council worker whose job is to send recycling bags to local residents. There is no money in their accounts because they have not been paid, and they have not been paid because there is no money to pay them, and there is no money to pay them because no one will lend any more money to the UK, which is now bankrupt.

There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion.
Nick Land, Suspended Animation

Meanwhile, a pensioner is trying to get his television to work in his poorly heated flat, unaware that his pension has not been paid into his account any more than the Incapacity Benefit usually received by his noisy, aggressive neighbours. For some reason, the electricity has gone off, although he has topped up his key. It may be a trip switch, and he has tried to phone his son. His son knows about the electrics, but the phone network is telling him to try again later.

Astronomy came out of astrology. Chemistry came out of alchemy. What will come out of economics?
Bernard Lewis in conversation

Two miles to the West, the wife of a politician is tearfully packing expensive crockery into a cardboard box. She feels very, very guilty, but doesn’t understand why. After all, it was her husband and his colleagues who kept quiet about the simultaneous collapse of the Bank of England, the downgrading of the UK’s credit rating to junk-bond status, and the flight of capital to Switzerland. It wasn’t her, although she knew. In Zurich, there are no more bank vaults available and, across the border in Italian hotels, there is a lucrative trade springing up in the rental of strong-boxes.

Arguably, this collection of essays is remarkable less for what it includes as what it so markedly excludes. There is nothing here on economics (other than a projection of forthcoming financial collapse…)
Michael Walker, review of Michael O’Meara’s Toward the White Republic

Ten days after the tills stopped ringing in Oxford Street, every shop has been looted (with the exception of Waterstone’s, the book shop) and gangs run the streets. There are no police officers to be seen. They have not been paid. The first PCSOs assigned to keep order in south London were beaten to death with claw hammers taken from PoundLand.

When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We’re still dancing.
Chuck Prince, former CEO of Citigroup (retirement payout: $40 million), from an interview with the FT

On a seasteading development off the Cayman Islands, in non-territorial waters, hedge-fund traders are joining Hollywood starlets and arms dealers for cocktails and canapés. From the Bodden Town district of Grand Cayman, thick black plumes of smoke stand out against the Caribbean blue of the sky. Bodden Town is not the financial centre of the Cayman Islands.

It is a fact; decadence is far more expensive than prosperity.
Guillaume Faye, Why We Fight

In the garden of a European Commission building in Brussels, next to a commemorative chunk of the Berlin wall, a cat picks at the rotting tendons of a financial expert who died while working on a series of bail-outs, fiscal stimuli and contingency plans for the euro. He was shot in the head by his own bodyguard, a Sunni Muslim who had never felt easy about working for a financier who sanctioned interest payments on capital.

If capital cannot earn a normal rate of return in an activity, capital is not supplied to that activity.
Paul Craig Roberts, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism

London’s streets are littered with broken glass sprinkled with jewellery. No one even bothers to steal. There is no one to whom to sell the goods and nowhere to spend any money it might be sold for. Like the dogs, foxes and cats, whose populations are now beginning what will be an exponential rise in urban areas, each day, for each person remaining, represents a set of difficult and often fruitless tasks designed to obtain food. People try to catch the feral animals, but they are too fast for the steadily weakening, dwindling urban population. Soon, the animals will realise that they have the upper hand and, as they too must eat, they will turn on the slow, diseased street people, which all but the seasteaders have become. The dog no longer cowers before the man, no longer runs. The fox has a different set of skills now, no longer afraid of men.

Our cultural empire has the addicted… clamouring for more. And they pay for the privilege of their disillusionment.
Major Ralph Peters, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence

From a basement apartment, its rice-cake-thin door flapping on buckled hinges, the fading sound of a song can just be heard as the batteries in a CD player eke out their last power to propel the Scotch-and-gravel voice of Tom Waits into the Autumn evening.

Baby I’m gonna stay wit’ you
Till the money runs out.

The sky becomes darker, the gradual arrival of night hard to notice in its incremental advance, but total and stifling when it finally descends.

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