Light Blogging

I am working like the crazy man I am, and have not been to bed before two for the past four days, up at six. So I apologise to my one demented reader for my lack of blogging. As I understand it, the world has stopped, and my readership has been reduced to rocking backward and forward in front of the special rubber screen in the big house with the Terry Wogan show on an electronic loop.

Never fear, I'll be back. I'm trying to set in place a series of contracts so that I don't have to worry about money next year and just pay down the last of the debt before the interest rates that will follow on stagflation start to bite. It does involve a huge amount of work for small sums, but small sums pay bills on time, whereas the big fees used to come sporadically. If I want something more than a series of feasts and famine with the odd moment staring at the last can of beans in the cupboard, I have to put my shoulder to the wheel. Well, that's what I told myself in October, and grinding though it is there is a certain reward in it.

It's my own fault, I should have bought gold ten years ago. At the time, one of my Chinese students did apparently refer to me as 'goldfinger', which was no doubt an unfair translation of the celestial. Here's a video about modern banking practices.


DBC Reed said…
Re modern banking practices,the Green New Deal report "The Cuts Won't Work"(by such apparently respectable people as Larry Elliott,Ann Pettifor& Richard Murphy) contains a good explanation of the con that is banking.
It can be accessed on the net via Tim Worstall's older blogs for a week or so ago.Section 4 Box 3 is a corker.The Greenshirts march again! Weird,old Thirties England .
Martin Meenagh said…

The truth is that the crisis in banking, stemming from derivatives, arose not because derivatives were a bad idea in themselves but because the banks threw caution to the wind and no-one in their organisations resisted them. They were drugged up on ephemera. A green derivative market--which is the whole point of this carbon nonsense, and which will end in a worse smash, caused by exactly the same people--is not a good idea. Anglo-American capital has been looking for a way to break European cultures for years. Home-owning and mortgage based markets won't fly; companies won't issue bonds like Americans; most electorates won't buy the liberal market. But a debt, options and swaps market based on carbon trading--that might just do it.

Pity the whole thing is unravelling in East Anglia, and because the Africans and South Americans are diverting to Indian Ocean markets too quickly for some pictures of suffering and some bribes to egg Europeans along. They have demonstrated that they see carbon trading as the scam it is by saying they'll only participate if they get a percentage, essentially, this week.

Global warming scares did nothing for Bangladesh; economic development and good government did. Carbon trading will do nothing about the sun, or the pacific currents, or the windborne localised cooling and warming that seem to be pluasibly responsible for the planet's temperature; but it will lose jobs, like at Redcar, and line traders pockets until Treasuries have been suitably raped.

I wish bankers would just bank, teachers could teach, and doctors would just help people get better. I feel like someone changed the world's background 8-track cartridge to some mad mix prepared by Christopher Lasch and Habermas years ago, and I don't like it!

Happy Christmas, and many thanks for your comment.
Martin Meenagh said…
By that Habermas reference, by the way, I mean the replacement of civic society and ethics by a market prone to ever stronger repression because of periodic and inevitable legitimation crises. As for Lasch, well, he was just right about everything in his curmudgeonly way.
DBC Reed said…
Tell you the truth the bank con I was talking about was the old one of creating money by giving "a loan " with a made-up sum of money.
Or as the Green New Deal people put it with admirable clarity "First it creates the money loaned out of thin air ,then it charges interest for having so."
Not put so straightforwardly since Major Douglas was alive and on the radio.Can't count on you to help re-form the Greenshirts by the sounds of it.Never mind.I cannot afford to support any more lost causes: LVT alone gives me enough trouble.
Martin Meenagh said…
haha. I would like to pay my debts with a made-up sum of money, which I would gladly colour in myself if someone supplied me with a crayon.

I don't know about me and Greenshirts. Fianna Fail has some sort of genetic hold, will that do?
Martin Meenagh said…
By the way--I assume that you mean Land Value Tax and not leasehold tribunals--I do like the LVT campaign's website
DBC Reed said…
I'm more inclined to the Labour Land Campaign's take on LVT. It's difficult to comprehend that the Labour Party was once a four-square land value tax party,until WW2.The Labour Party did enact a land value tax in 1931 which was very comprehensive but this was the first casualty to fall to the Tories in the National Government.
The Irish Coalition Government is pledged to introduce LVT in Ireland now,but its hard to discover what going on.
Martin Meenagh said…
Course, from a certain point of view the delusion that you own a place in which the bank has the vast part of equity because you can paint it and so forth is at the root of out troubles. The appearance of assets has given way to the reality of a debt and credit based society in which people either spend their time instinctively trying to cause inflation or to counter it.
Land taxes have this feel of something that would anchor assets--even the word suggests Germany's solid, export and savings led land banks, though I know that they are something different. But, really, would values follow or lead a society that gave land to people to their needs, and then valued them according to it? Would people used now for a few generations to the easy compromises of inflation actually adapt? The idea is less radical than a gold standard, and less nasty and silly, from one point of view; but I wonder if the middle classes would ever accept it. Given that they and the banks own and run this country, and its political parties, and a good few others, do you think they'd let a land tax happen without a cataclysm? Something that allowed everyone who worked hard a chance and removed the punitive and regressive taxation of income that punished those who didn't inherit? They'd be down on it faster than you could say 'grammar school' or 'proper industry'....
DBC Reed said…
The problem of implementing LVT is not as serious as sometimes supposed: most places have a property tax; you just re-jig it to land only.Since this takes in a loada development land, land banks with extant planning permissions and agricultural and commercial land it should take in more money ,so you could lower the tax rate or leave it to produce
revenue neutral outcome.
And a very Merry Christmas to you!
Martin Meenagh said…
You're probably right. I think that this is one of those moments when accountants and lawyers are on the ground, that proper political leaders could seize. A flat tax plus land tax would answer lots of questions. As a member of the bar, however, I feel it my duty to add a pettifogging cavil with some basis in truth, and that is that you would have to constrain borrowing by the state at the same time. Otherwise, you get California--a low tax base but high spending.

Communities won't do as many things if the government does, or if the government seeks to write rules for them. And government necessarily expands, and borrows where it cannot raise because it can force the repayments in the future through taxes or make hay from inflation. It also promotes people who believe in its delusions, until you get to our present debased political class, most of whom have had political science perpetrated upon them at university.

I'm really coming round to the land tax idea though--provided it was matched by a fall in asset, consumption and income taxes

The very best of the season to you....

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