Another zinger of a piece by Detlev Schlichter. If you are not reading his stuff regularly, you need to deal with that oversight. He’s indispensable:
One frequently gets the impression from reading the mainstream media that Greece has a monetary policy problem and not a fiscal problem. This is incorrect. Yet many commentators seem to argue along the following lines: This crisis is due to the straitjacket of the single currency with its one-size-fits-all monetary policy, or at least aggravated by the constraints of this system. Greece would have more “policy options” in dealing with its troubles if it had control of its own national currency.
Then there is, connected to this, an underlying – and not very flattering – notion that the Greeks are somewhat unfit to live and work in a ‘hard money system’, which presumably the euro is. The Greeks, this seems to be the allegation, like borrowing and spending too much. I am paraphrasing here but this is certainly the underlying tone of the narrative. The Germans and Dutch and French can live without the constant aid of conveniently cheap national money – but the Greeks can’t.
And he signs off with this:
I have no doubt that the most important economic event of the coming decade will be the demise of the global paper money system. We live in the twilight of the fiat money era. A return to apolitical, international, commodity-based media of exchange is inevitable. Why not start with Greece? The transition would be painful but there are no painless options available anyway.
I am convinced this would be a sensible strategy but I also think it is unlikely. The state and the banks benefitted from the paper money franchise, and they are now addicted to cheap credit and unwillingly to check into rehab. The establishment will continue to fight a return to sound money.
With some honourable exceptions, I find it hard to think of many even supposedly “private” banks in the world as proper, capitalist institutions in any sense. Their reliance on the crack cocaine of cheap credit has become too entrenched.