Will Hutton presented a Dispatches documentary recently on Channel 4 about the British banking cartel system.
The extent of Mr. Hutton’s connections with the previous Government were plain to see, as he treated us to an hour of breast-beating to the tune of “Why oh why do the noble politicians not rescue us from the greedy bankers?” This seems more than a little rich (in irony only, you understand). As I recall, the recent banking crisis would have lawfully removed large numbers of greedy bankers from the UK economy – but for Labour’s insistence on debasing the money supply still further to try to prop them up.
Perhaps the most informative snippet came towards the end when Mr. Hutton revealed that British banks currently lend out fifty times more money than they have on deposit, and five times more than the value of everything else the UK produces. No wonder our glorious leaders are worried about a repeat performance. Mr. Hutton’s solution? To try to force the banks to stop inflating residential property prices by switching the focus of their lending activities to (British-based?) businesses.
Sadly, Mr. Hutton didn’t tell the viewers how his proposals would avoid inflating the prices of business “assets” (commercial property, plant and machinery, R&D, properly skilled and experienced labour, etc.). Nor did Mr. Hutton explain how artificially stimulating productivity could be compatible with any conceivable form of environmental responsibility (so much for the alleged anti-environmentalism of decision-making in a free market). In fact, Mr. Hutton didn’t even tell us why businesses should apply for his proposed extra loans if they can’t be sure there are enough additional customers able and willing to pay for all the proposed new supplies of goods and services.
“Going Forward”, we must all upgrade to living in caves and animal skins: we must go forwards to our natural state as hunter-gatherers, of fruit, and of healthy greens. Then there will be no need for shops. Our guts can re-evolve back to 300 feet long, we can go back to quadrupedalism, our brains will shrink, and we shall as true animals progress accordingly.
And then, when the next asteroid comes, we shall die. Like the others…all over the observable Universe. God is merciful and Great….scumbags. What was it she called it…? “Requiem for Man”? You know! That strange unreadable woman whom everybody says they hate….(no, not Margaret Thatcher: she was a chemist, you know.)
I have not previously appended my by-line to posts about trains. You might have begun to think that I was a “train spotter” and that would never do. (Google it.)
The point about trains, generally, is that they are among the first machines that could get about relatively freely that could also show the mastery of chaos, pre-capitalist barbarism, hunger, pandemic disease, penury and mass death, by the Human Mind left free To Think.
The Tragedy Of The Trains was that States, such as “Prussia” (very bad in _nearly all_ statist ways but not in others to do with individual obligation) and “France” (almost as bad in _some other_ ways, such as intellectuo-civilisational-hubris, but great food and wine and weather) got hold of the idea: States thought that Trains could be used for war (right) and for transporting people in “systems” of “public transport” (wrong.) The point of trains was to cut the price of coal, iron ore, stone, brick, cement, timber, fresh meat, fish and milk and perishables by about a half or more than that, and amplify the speed of delivery by about four or five. Big States, such as “Prussia”, which invented Modern War the NHS and State Pensions and UB40s, corrupted trains.
For those who are not totally acquainted with the more fine achievements of steam railway power, the Lickey Incline, at about 1 in 37.7 for just over two miles, functions more or less like the vertical side of a house for proper trains. Brunel was against it. He got fired. Someone else was brought in to do a line, under private-finance-partnership-type-quango rules of incentive. Yes, a modern turbodiesel-electric will go up it as if it was flat, but it’s more boring and uses less “resources”. So here you go…here’s some trains, showing graphically what hand-fired steam traction is all about:-
This is the Second Chris R. Tame Memorial Lecture. It was given at the National Liberal Club in London on the 17th March 2009, and sets out a libertarian response to the financial crises of the past year. A full text of the speech will be published in the next week or so. In the meantime, here is the video. A better quality video file on DVD is available on request from Sean Gabb <firstname.lastname@example.org>for £5.
It is not expected that the Bank of England, or HM treasury, owns the copyright in the term “Pound Sterling®” , or even reads this bolg, so perhaps the ® attached to “Pound Sterling“, if any, could be seized. We could become differentiated from “the Pound”, or “Sterling”, or even “The Pound in Your Pocket“.
There is much more silver in the world than Gold. King Offa of Mercia understood this very well in the 7th Century, and his standardised Silver Penny was revered for centuries. “People they do say” that only 160,000 tonnes of Gold has ever been harvested, but I think this is out of date. More like 200,000++. But this is not sufficient to back perhaps hundreds of trillions of Pounds and Dollars.
A libertarian-driven Silver Bank would issue money. But all of it would be underwritten by absolutely held silver metal, at (I suppose?) an initially agree rate per OzT. It would be desirable to call the unit of currency the Pound Sterling ®. but it would not be essential.