January 13, 2009

We All Collaborate In The Big Illusion

Simon Carr:
Money was always an abstraction but now it has been spun so fine its very existence is a thought experiment. It has broken free from its earthly bonds and escaped into the conceptual world... Money turns out to be whatever we agree it to be. It is a collective work of the imagination.
This is why I could never make a good businessman. I am just not that big a gambler. And part of me is just plain stubborn, and recoils at such madly illogical groupthink.

From the comments:
Is it really true that we agree to 'collaborate in the illusion of value' or is it the case that we have, in reality, no actual choice whether to agree or not? We know that money is a communal abstraction - an intellectual and pragmatic 'concept-in-action' - but what if it is an abstraction we want to take no part in? ... A remarkably small number of people control the world economy and an unbelievably high number are negatively effected by them. If we could choose to disagree with the abstraction then the illusion disipates and we all go back to zero......
And then there's this:
I feel the need for some scapegoats to bring back my confidence in this magic nonsence we currently call money.

Blair, Brown and Darling in jail would possibly do it.
Well, exactly. If we are all expected to collaborate in the illusion, at least we should expect everybody to play by the rules of the game.

As it is, the same insiders from Goldman Sachs who caused the current financial crisis are now in charge of getting all the loot out of the building fixing it.


Bukko_in_Australia said...

You know what's amazing to me? All the major monetary systems seem to be in a headlong race to make their currencies meaningless. The U.S. and Japan are lending mone at effectively0%, which is making up kmoney out of thin air and giving it away, in macroeconomic terms. Britain is almost to that point. The European Central Bank and Switzerland are not far behind. Russia and China are loosening their monetary systems.

It makes sense for one country to do that if it wants to gain a competitive advantage. Devalue your currency and you can export more; save some jobs even though it's making your citizenry poorer if they want to buy any imports paid for in more expensive foreign currency. But it's as though every country is doing it at the same time. So will all money become meaningless?

That's why I feel good about gold. Mrs. Bukko and I are planning a week's holiday to Perth, and I reckon I'll stop at the Perth Mint to see about laying my hands on some Aussie lucre that can't be ginned up out of nothing.

gandhi said...

Bukko, if you want a really good deal, you should be investing in my credit cards. That's hard cold plastic, mate. And the balance can't be ginned away - believe me, I've tried!


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