Thursday, 4 August 2011

Nationalise money - problem solved

I pity the governments of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain (the PIIGS). They are doing their best to keep the wolf from the door but at every turn private investors pose impertinent questions and scupper their initiatives.

The truth is really very simple (what follows is a distillation of many research papers helpfully collected together - here - by a fellow blogger).

Governments print money. If they run short, perhaps because of the additional overtime paid to equality and diversity SWAT teams whenever a duskily hewed homosexualite has been refused promotion, all they need do is print another few million and the problem is solved. Or, to be exact, it would be solved if it weren't for those pesky private sector investors complaining that the additional tenners swishing through the system dilute the value of their cash reserves. And why would the problem be solved? Why does the printing of more ten pound notes not cause problems to anyone other than conspiratorial facist investors? For the answer to that question we need a short lesson in very modern economic history.

You see, it's Gordon Brown. He understood and we should all learn at his feet. More government spending means more economic activity. More economic activity is good, therefore more government spending is good. Got a town that's looking a bit crummy? Simple. Print 20 million tenners and spend them in that town building skate parks, healthy eating clinics and climate awareness centres, then print another 20 million to pay salaries. A crummy town? Not any more it isn't. It has skate parks, healthy eating clinics and climate awareness centres, it has a thousand people on good salaries manning these essential front-line public services. Misery has turned to universal joy and happiness. Crummytown is renamed Brownsville and all is right with the world. We know all this to be true because this was the basis of the economic miracle forged by Gordon Brown in his decade in the Treasury.

Only one group ever argued against Mr Brown as he stood triumphant before the World. That group was people and companies who forced Mr Brown to borrow money from them rather than just continually print more on the old hand platen that has been in the back bedroom at 11 Downing Street since 1805 (it proved a little inconvenient while the Blair family lived at Number 11 but Brown had a key and he was delighted to find the printing press was in the boys' bedroom).

One might think he should have just printed more, however that was fraught with political difficulties. If Gordon Brown is one thing, he is a man of the big tent. Not for him the marginalising or exclusion of any group, least of all those who might complain that he was acting out of small-minded, party-political spite. He simply had to keep the international financiers happy, to do otherwise would strike at the essential core of inclusive humanity that defines his moral compass. Much though he hated to do so, he knew his duty - that duty was to borrow hundreds of billions on the money markets in order to prove his fair-mindedness. It wasn't a problem because he only needed to spend a few more hours with the plates and ink in the back bedroom, a task that could be undertaken at any time once the usurous financiers had been repaid.

To complete this short history I must refer to what some have called "Brown's Bunker". The theory goes that Gordon Brown surrounded himself with a small group of yes-men, working out of one room at Number 10, insulated from and antipathetic to any voices of disagreement. Papers recently disclosed by an impeccable source prove beyond doubt that the only bunker in Downing Street during the Brown years was that specially created to house the enormous printing presses and stocks of "paper" required for Gordon to stimulate the economy after the wicked international bankers had made such a mess of their businesses they had to be bailed-out.

What cannot be ignored is that Gordon Brown's economic miracle would have continued unabated, and he would now be President for Life, were it not for the nasty private sector pretending its money was as pure as that produced in Downing Street. He was a victim of his own fairness and honesty because he could not bear the thought of a single banker's child losing their pony or being deprived of lacrosse coaching. In the circumstances of the time he was, of course, absolutely right, as he remains on every topic to this day. Nonetheless, his fairness created a bit of a pickle - a pickle for which he is not in any way to blame, we know this because he tells us so every time he is paid many thousands of pounds to give a speech.

It will be a matter of great regret until my dying day that the general election of 2010 came just before Gordon Brown had the chance to put into effect the final piece of his masterly jigsaw. Having, he thought, proved that all economic ills are caused by private sector businesses, the time was ripe for nationalisation of the funds held by these wicked shysters. No need for printing presses, a simple CHAPS transfer to HM Treasury would do the trick. There would no longer be any private sector investors involved in the UK economy, everything would be under the benevolent hand of the greatest economist the World has ever known - the man who knew that every hitch could be overcome by creating more bank notes.

All across the Eurozone we now see the greatness of his wisdom. Why is Greece in a mess? It's simple, private financiers are demanding repayment of their investments with interest. What an utterly absurd state of affairs it is. All Greece need do is nationalise the money it has been lent and its problems will be over. It will owe nothing. The slate will be wiped clean. What's more, it could then turn on the printing presses and boost its economy just as Gordon Brown did to the UK economy from 2003-7. So too for the rest of the PIIGS. They are foreigners so they would face no moral impediment as Mr Brown had with the bankers.

A country's credit rating cannot be downgraded if it never borrows, even more so if there are no credit rating agencies and there would not be once the vital step to economic harmony and perpetual glee was put in place. Mr Brown understood this. All you need do is nationalise all money and the problems not just of the PIIGS but also of every nation would disappear at a stroke.