Friday, October 10, 2014

Positive Money UK is on the right track

10/10/2014 Portland, Oregon - Pop in your mints…
For some time we have followed a group known as Positive Money UK on Twitter.  They seem to be among the few people/groups that have a decent comprehension of the flaws in what we call the insane debt based monetary system in which the inhabitants of the earth are either coerced or compelled to live by.  They describe themselves as “a movement to democratise money and banking so it works for society and not against it.”
We were reminded of this by one of their tweets today:

The alien meme sums up what we have been driving at for some time now here at The Mint.  We tend to focus on the acceleration of the damage that humankind causes to nature as the nasty side effect of using debt as money, but it is well noted in other corners that indeed, many of the distortions in relationships between persons and nations have the concept of extinguishing debt as their root.
The video which is linked to in the above Tweet from Positive Money UK is presented as a public service below, it does a nice job of showing how the only way to create money in our insane, debt based monetary system, is to go deeper into debt or have someone else go into debt.

While the video is spot on in terms of money creation, they present only half of the solution (which we find is common in many monetary reform circles, namely Bitcoin).  The second half that is too often ignored is that 1) money, as a concept, necessarily will take on many forms in the world and 2) whatever is used as money by a majority will necessarily require an associated debt market to successfully operate for any length of time (the lack of a viable debt market is killing Bitcoin).  This is the great supposed advantage of using debt in the form of Central Bank notes as money, infinite debt markets = infinite liquidity, meaning there is always money available.  It is this advantage that any viable monetary reform must include, or else it is doomed from the start.
On their website, Positive Money UK points out that “Only 1 in 10 MPs understand that 97% of money is created by banks.”  As the English are generally cleverer than Americans, we would imagine the ratio in the governing bodies on the US side of the pond to be even lower.  If you need proof of this, just watch the next Senate Banking Committee session on C-Span.
Nobody seems to get that today, circa 2014, money and debt are the SAME THING.  What passes as money today are nothing more than liabilities of Central Banks.  This is a worldwide phenomenon, and the effects are profound.
Money is a concept that attaches itself to certain real world things in various forms.  Credit is another concept which attaches itself to various agreements.  They are the antithesis of each other.  Most people generally understand this and spend a good deal of their time working or causing others to work in order to attain a reasonable balance between the two on their ledgers, regardless of the size.
However, as the above video partially illustrates, most people are wrong, the only way to “make money” is to “make debt.”  This is causing SEVERE imbalances in the natural world as the activities of mankind continue with an unconscious disregard for the effects of the real world.
The effects on the real world are this:  There is an inordinate amount of fallow land left unattended while an increasing share of mankind passes time in urban settings, with their own productive capacity squarely aligned, day in, day out, in conflict with the needs of the natural world.
The irony is that many have taken note of the dire state of affairs of nature (read Climate Change, etc.) and then misdiagnose the cause.  They clamor for more “money” to solve problems that have come about as an indirect result of the creation of more “money.”
Humankind was never meant to live under that shadow of such an overabundance of credit.  The removal of limits on credit creation has effectively removed the natural governor of the activities of man, the need to create real, free market money, making certain that debts are settled in terms of real goods which are demanded by a free market economy.  The return to this natural governor on human activity is indispensable if humankind is to even begin to address climate change and world peace.
The return to this natural governor will be painful, but it is inevitable, and the more one can prepare now to operate in a world where money and credit operate in their appropriate the capacities and take their appropriate places in a balanced economy, the better.
The world is headed, kicking and screaming, towards a forced monetary reset, and things will be much different than they are now.
We applaud the efforts of Positive Money UK, for they are on the right track.  You too can follow them on Twitter or YouTube and learn more about this fascinating and important subject that, by our own reckoning, only one in a million comprehend.  Will that one be you?
Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.
Stay Fresh!
David Mint
Key Indicators for October 10, 2014
M2 Monetary Base:  $11,407,100,000,000

Sunday, October 5, 2014

5.9% and why it doesn't matter

10/3/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…
Today the BLS reported that payrolls grew in September and that the stated unemployment rate dropped to 5.9%.  They also published the labor force participation at 62.7%.  The handy chart below from the folks at Business Insider shows how steeply labor force participation has dropped over the past five years.
Labor Participation Courtesy of BI
Labor Participation Courtesy of BI
Labor Market Participation aside, the 5.9% unemployment is exciting for banks.  On one hand, it can be seen as a sign that more people are working and theoretically becoming creditworthy.  This is big because consumers with deposits are cherished in the Basel III framework that they are painfully working their investment ladders into.
On the other hand, it is seen as just high enough that the Federal Reserve will not raise short term interest rates for fear of “derailing the recovery” or whatever phrase Janet Yellen chooses to employ in her latest effort to mask the brutal fact that they are continuing to provide money free of charge to a painfully inept banking cartel.
While much will be written about today’s “Goldilocks” job report, it matters not in terms of Fed policy.  The Fed will continue to offer money free to banks until they are certain that Basel policy reforms will not inadvertently cause (rather than prevent, as they are designed to do) the financial crisis.  Meanwhile, in the real world, the cost of labor, meaning the cost of hiring someone who can actually perform a specific task, is about to skyrocket.
The reason for this is that there remain severe imbalances in the labor market caused by recent advances in technology, namely cloud based administrative services and logistics, which are now colliding with a relative decline in the recent productivity gain that said technology was providing.  While large productivity gains having been the norm, there is soon to be a lack of persons who have the requisite skills to run such systems efficiently, which means that those productivity gains will at a minimum not continue and may even be lost.
There is also another labor undercurrent that the BLS data does not capture.  This is the large scale disruption of entire industries that the cloud and logistics revolution is enabling.
Indeed, there is much more to the labor market than a tidy percentage point can express, as nearly five years of ZIRP is pushing the division of labor to new extremes.  Employers, Employees, and the BLS may soon become archaic terms, as American Society moves towards outsourcing on steroids.
Today’s 5.9% is little more than bad information, unless of course, you are a banker, in which case it means that the Goldilocks days are here again, and the Fed’s subsidy, a license to strip mine the earth that is provided on the backs of its inhabitants and nature herself, will continue until further notice.
Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.
Stay Fresh!
David Mint
Key Indicators for October 3, 2014