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The Economy Of The Living Dead


Though governments talk about recovery we are stuck in the economy of the living dead, successful businesses are those thst destroy jobs, the digital economy conditions people not to work and traditional employers are forced to the wall because governments bend over backwards to support trendy politically correct thinking. The global financial system has become a zombie. Is there any way out.

The Economy Of The Liing Dead
by Ian R Thorpe
2009-11-06
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: economy, economics, recession, recovery, money, finance, government, banks

You've Screamed at Dawn Of The Dead, you've quaked at The Evil Dead, you've shat yourself at The Day Of The Living Dead. Now it's time to move on from zombie movies, they're only make believe. Welcome to the economy of the living dead.

Governments and international bankers keep talking about recovery. Do not believe them, things are getting worse not better. Oh sure, economic activity has picked up a little when measured by the crudest method possible - simply counting the money moving around. What the tame pundits do not tell you while showing off their brightly coloured Powerpoint charts is that the increased activity is mostly down to banks, car makers, house builders and other beneficiaries of taxpayers' largesse simply trousering the handouts being offered them and carrying on with business as usual. Thus the systemic flaws which brought down the system are not being addressed.

If we look at the big idea both in Europe and the USA, Quantitative Easing a.k.a. creating magic money, it has not worked. In spite of the billions pumped into the major economies around the world. The business model for this Quantitative Easing policy involves the central banks. The Bank Of England, The Federal Exchange and others buying back government bonds from commercial banks in the belief that the banks would use the cash the governments paid them to lend to business this allowing companies to start investing again. This has not happened. Instead the banks are using the money governments have given them to buy new issue government bonds at the ridiculously low interest rates now on offer everywhere. They are them lending that money back to the same governments to finance Public Sector Borrowing Requirements swollen by unemployment and falling tax revenues.

Lending to businesses is actually going down rather than up.

On top of that bad news which means all we have done in the past two years is engineer a return to the gambler economics that brought about the fall of the system. There is even worse news though. Some of the minor measures, the cash for clunkers car scrappage allowance schemes will come to an end early in 2010, governments simply cannot afford to extend them any more. Also the temporary reductions in sales taxes introduced by the UK and other governments will end. These factors will depress consumer spending further though governments are so bankrupt of ideas about how to solve the crisis all they have been able to think of is trying to persuade an already heavily indebted public to take on more debt and start spending. This, they fondly believe, will create a consumer led recovery.

One item of slightly better news is that manufacturing output has picked up a little. Here again though we must not get carried along by the hype. Manufacturers had spent eighteen months destocking, at some point they had to start producing again. So the manufacturing upturn while not bad news is carrying a lot of false hope on it's frail shoulders.

Housing, the sector that led us into the bubble economy as falsely inflated asset prices were used for collateral to secure loans is currently looking good. Again though this is an illusion. The housing sector is benefiting from those low interest rates. Sooner or later however, somebody will catch on to the notion that it is bad business to lend out money at 0.5% interest and borrow it back at 2.5%. Then interest rates will go up to more sane levels and a lot of businesses and individuals will find themselves not able to service their debts.

Looked at objectively then, the global economy is dead but it refuses to lie down. But as national economies jerk along in the familiar style of the Hollywood zombie trot there is a more dangerous beast emerging. Have you noticed the price of gold recently? It hit $1090 an ounce this week and does not look like dropping far from that. The figure means all the world currencies have devalued by 10% this year. Part of the reason is that the Chinese hold an estimated $3trillion of American debt and have reportedly stopped accepting payment in dollars of the interest. This means the U.S. government has to buy gold to pay its bills. Because the Chinese have signalled their loss of confidence in the $US other smaller nations have followed.

The result then is that the world is trading in gold. And gold is scarce. As gold gets more expensive the commodities, foods, metals, oil, minerals all become more expensive and inflation sets in...

And once you have been bitten by a zombie you soon become a zombie yourself.

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