Currency (Theory) Crisis (continuation)

Written by Carlos Bondone

This article is an extension of the one written in August 2007 to apply the TER (Theory of Economic Relativity) to the questions arisen with the present crisis.

The mechanism will be to discuss the central subjects that monopolize the attention in this currency crisis from the TER’s perspective. The proper names evoked are used to the sole effect of facilitating the message.

Bernanke’s Paradox of Consumption

Before assuming like president of the FED, Mr. Bernanke maintained that the problem was "an excess of consumption by North Americans and an excess of saving by the rest of the world". Expression that is equivalent to say: North Americans save little and the rest of the world consumes little.

This analysis is based in the concept of equilibrium S = I (from current books), versus the TER (the theory of "disequilibrium"), where i ≡ p and S ≠ I.

Mr. Bernanke acts now inversely to his diagnosis before assuming his position, since he encourages consumption in the USA; not only by means of lowering i and injecting "money-irregular credit" to the banks, but by agreeing with and urging that the government lower taxes. On the other hand, the lowering of i in the USA, discourages the rest of the world to save in order to continue lending to the North Americans, who receive the message to continue consuming?

But we would be unfair in blaming Bernanke, since he simply relies on what, in media wording, "the handbooks of economics" say.

The person who might have gotten immersed in the TER (the book or by previous articles on this website), notices fast that this is like adding wood to the fire, since North American policy is to continue borrowing (emitting dollars) with the absurdity of pretending to pay less interest when it is more and more risky as a debtor. But in the world of finances this is no surprise, since the "insolvent" is always the last to realize (or accepting) their situation, it is always the creditors the first to notice the risk of their credits.

The TER and Bernanke’s paradox

It is evident that the TER does not present this type of situations like a paradox, since it circumscribes them to the financial arena: U.S.A. has excessively become indebted, a debt that is made not only of its public titles, but essentially of the amount of irregular credit (dollar bills) that is circulating around the world.

Put the currency crisis as a simple financial problem, we know very well that debts are cancelled by some of these means: a) Total and/or partially uncollectible, b) re-financing, and c) giving off assets. A combination of these things is what is happening and is going to happen, unfortunately in a careless way (with "social" pain via redistribution of wealth) that could be avoided applying the TER. The financial experts are the first to notice this situation, for that reason they get rid of their dollars (a debt suspected of uncollectible) and they change them for assets (with preference for North American ones because they are “at special offer"). The partial uncollectability will be suffered by all dollars´ holders, for this reason it would be very good to begin preparing the North American people by telling them that they are much less rich than what they thought. The reader will notice that what we express about the U.S.A is extensible to the world because all the international financial system is of "irregular" kind. In order to establish regular financial systems it is essential to admit the mistake of the current currency theories that attempt against the Capitalism they say to be serving to.

Authoritarian Capitalism

What it presented to the world as a "currency crisis", "mortgages crisis", "subprime crisis", etc. in the U.S.A is no more than the manifestation of the mistake of the currency theory in effect.

And this is this simple as soon as we notice, through the TER, that in irregular financial systems (IFS) it is the whole people who generate "reserves" to have a currency with economic value, but the small great detail is that those reserves of "currency value" are under the administration and disposition of a few, who "pretend" to be independent from the political power.

To sum up, an economic system with institutions that prioritize individual freedom (with private property as their standard) is incompatible with IFS. Ergo, the so called "currency crises" are no more than the manifestation of a volcano that once in a while becomes active.

Another of the totalitarian manifestations of the IFS are: "the economy should grow an X percentage", it is necessary "to expand it or to contract it"... all expressions that only can arise in a mind bathed in totalitarianism, since each living creature on Earth has the right to choose, within its own opportunities for growth.

Who can tell us that the economy of a country does not have to grow more than a 10 % because inflationary risks appear? Within the frame of the TER this question does not exist, because the inflation concept does not exist either, to which it can be given the simple rank of a statistical analysis to measure grossly the degree of appropriation of other people's wealth that the State and a few specialized perform.

The correct question would have to be this one, in the light of the TER: How much more, and in an equitable form in accordance with the principles of merit, human beings could grow if we replaced the IFS with regular systems?

The principles of the West

As I hope the reader might have interpreted already, it is the goal of this article to warn the advocates of freedom about what is happening in the “currency” world, not only that it is not new and that it does not have to be taken as a failure of the capitalist system, but that simply and forcefully has to be taken as a failure of the current currency theories of totalitarian cut infiltrated within the regimes of individual freedom.

The U.S.A issue and its relative declination in the economic concert of nations must be seen as a simple change in the participation of the subsets within the set, whose origin resides in its authoritarian irregular currency system, infiltrated in its pro-freedom institutions. We could say that the U.S.A achieved its major development because of the virtues of the rest of its institutions and is paying the consequences of its currency system.

"The paradox of interventionism"

In moments of crisis is when the so called “paradigms” are questioned, a situation that has to be handled with extreme care, since the voices of those with much practice and little theoretical foundation are generally heard. For that reason it does not surprise to listen to expressions like those of Mr. George Soros:

"Fundamentalists think that the markets tend to equilibrium (not the TER) and that the best way to satisfy the common interest is allowing the participants to pursue their own interests. This is an obvious conceptual error, because it was the intervention of the authorities which prevented the financial markets from collapsing, not the markets themselves... There existed an amazing chain of abdication of responsibilities. Everything that could go wrong went wrong... When left to their own devices, markets are inclined to extremes of euphoria and desperation...”

Well, it is clear that the TER allows me to label the theoretical sustenance underlying these expressions as "the paradox of interventionism". We may only repeat that the origin of "all evils" mentioned is indeed that we live within a totalitarian currency system that very little has to do with the free function of the market. The simple Law of Large Numbers (the mathematical version of the Austrian Spontaneous Order), indicates that the dispersion of risk, not its concentration, is what prevents these crises. In other words, the lack of freedom in the financial system (market) is what attempts against Capitalism. Then, with totalitarian financial structures, it is "Popper, the Lamarckian genius" (the currency authority), to whom they come to ask to "fix what he broke".

Mr. George Soros, my theories also support the "common interest". It is only that they lead me to suggest other ways to achieve it; I should not allow that you claim to yourself alone that intention because we would be otherwise in front of a "low blow".

Last, Mr. Soros is one of the best corroborations of the TER, since he is an excellent industrialist because he handles the currency matters with “financialist” mentality that is the place where the TER places the currency in IFS. It could be said that the currency theories in force come as ring to finger to his businesses, especially by having given them a legal-institutional frame of world-wide range.

Dear reader, you are not mistaken if you deduce from this paragraph that "the theories in force did not come to rescue Capitalism, but to benefit the experts in finances".

From the TER it does not surprise that Mr. Paul Samuelson and Mr. Paul Krugman notice the concentration of wealth in the financial sector, it is just that they also analyze this from the structure of the current theories. Otherwise they should not regard it as a surprise, or at least they should not blame Bernanke and/or Bush. Instead of pointing to any person, they should aim at the theories which all were nourished with, equally.

Theory and currency reality

A generalized diagnosis is that the crisis originates as a result of "lack of controls in the use of financial instruments and/or products".

Then, from the TER it is easy to see the truth in the statement "a good practice is better with a good theory". Because the problem here is not to regulate in order to control later, because there is nothing more efficient (cheap and effective) than that each person controls their own properties, which goes hand in hand with simplicity which is a friend of success.

A good summary of the bad diagnosis that arises from analyzing the present currency crisis under the lens of the theories in force is found in statements like the following:

  1. Real estate bubbles: from the TER’s perspective this is no more than the appropriation of other people’s wealth by means of mounting a financial system orchestrated around mistaken theories. The bubble is fruitful business for those who know the weaknesses about the "law of the irregular finances".
  2. The surge of financial products or instruments, without control and subject to free will... to which banks and risk-qualification companies were added to... Well, this is what happens in IFS. It is no surprise that “a few finish legally condemned” (but many hurt) since the law, sheltered in the current theories, exempts them of fault. It is easy to be a defense attorney of those "who originated all this", being protected by knowledge accepted with scientific rigor.
  3. Gold rise: from the TER’s perspective, in 2004, it was already evident that human beings were destroying one of their better achievements, the one of having arrived at a stage in which credit was used like currency, not money (the economic present good). Unfortunately, the condition of irregular of that credit used like currency would cause that money (gold, silver) was to be regarded as currency again, instead of credit. In other words, an irregular currency system is not a better stage for human progress. Once we accept this, the way is to return to the previous currency stage, that one of money, or to replace the irregular credit with regular credit; any of the two options is within what the TER calls "REGULAR CURRENCY SYSTEM".
  4. Indebtedness and reserves of underdeveloped countries: in 2004 (year in which I developed the TER) I emphasized that the best course for the indebted countries, and especially for the underdeveloped ones, was to adopt market freedom, to turn all its debts to dollars and to establish a regular financial system. Then, for this reason it does not surprise that the countries which have done "some" of that mentioned, have benefited from it.

Inflation versus unemployment

That if we increase i, p goes down; that if we lower i, p goes up; that the option is to look for growth without inflation; that we can enter stagflation... All erroneous categories (like Gresham’s Law, which is no more than an unnecessary version of the simple laws of supply and demand) in relation to the TER, since we repeat again:

a) There is no such thing as “unemployment”: an economic good is an economic good or it is not (Say’s Law simply put and in full force). This term is needed by the Keynesian theory to make its model have the same amount of equations as unknowns and be able then to achieve "the equilibrium solution", which because it does not exist there is no use in looking for it.

b) To level, to balance, to control p and i: this shows the total inconsistency of the theories in which this procedure is based on, since through the TER we know that in IFS p and i are one same entity, therefore i ≡ p by axiom.

c) To contract credit because of the inflationary risk: this is another way of admitting the error of the current currency theories and macroeconomics, since the credit has been, it is and it will continue to be, the emblem of a superior stage in the economic development of mankind. To attempt against credit is like trying to the return to Stone Age. We can very well call this "the paradox of credit".

Price of the dollar, euro, yen, yuan...

If we accept the concept which states that the exchange rate is the price of a currency in terms of another one, it is easy to conclude that in IFS, where all the international transactions "are forced to happen through (the monetary reserves of) the State’s administration", the markets do not work here either, reason why it is also very unfortunate to blame the market for the exchange rate crises. As the TER states: the balance of payments is a simple current account distorted by irregular currency systems, which have as their only reason to be the State’s intervention.

Final words

An economic system based on freedom is incompatible with Irregular Financial Systems, the so called "currency crises" or "currency-economic cycles" are no more than the manifestation of that mutual incompatibility. The Austrian cycle could constitute a partial approach of the TER.

The TER warns us about the error of thinking that Capitalism does not work, that it is in crisis. On the contrary, the thought should be: what a powerful tool Capitalism is to solve human problems, when it even survives with totalitarian currency systems.

This is extremely important in the light of the "new investment funds" arisen by the manipulation of the currency reserves of a country, which reinforces the appropriation of other people's wealth in the IFS, accompanied under these circumstances by a phenomenal "concentration", something similar to a "concentrated poison, in hands of a tyrant". The reader will notice that what is being called fiscal policy can be an insignificant player in comparison to the "currency policy", in the game of attempting against freedom.

Buenos Aires, February 2008.  


Translator Note: The distinction between money and currency is essential in this work. The author places the term "currency" as a more general categorization than that implied in "money". Thus, currency can acquire whether the form of money or of credit, and this last can be regular or irregular.

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