Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

April 1, 2020 … in a country near you…

Government officials today announced the effective nationalization of the central bank today as a radical move in monetary policy. After years of financial instability and a dysfunctional currency, this move has been heralded as a light at the end of the tunnel for a weary nation.

The country’s leader today issued this press release:

“Today, this great nation has overcome overwhelming opposition from entrenched special interests, both foreign and domestic, in favor of a solution that favors the common man. With passing of the bill to nationalize the fiscal entity many have seen as the cause of our monetary woes, we now have a chance to start down a new path, where debt is no longer an overwhelming weight upon the backs of the people.”

The past few years have marked record fiscal deficits, despite massive government spending cutbacks, in conjunction with a national debt having ballooned beyond any measure to rein in interest obligations. Government officials were left scrambling over recent months at the fallout from government bond vigilantes who left government bonds on the auction table out of fear that the government debt burden was beyond the capabilities of either growth of the tax base, government spending cuts, or future borrowing plans to overcome it. International lending aid was turned down last summer after massive protests across the country, sparked by growing views that such lending programs cause more problems among recipient countries, than they solve.

The movement for national control of the central banking system came on the heels of violent protests and ensuing riots after government spending cuts impacted expected social safety nets. Banks and government buildings were favorite targets of rioters, even with large police presence in riot control gear. Massive unemployment largely due to fuel shortages and the resulting combination of price hikes and rationing, only added fuel to an already large inferno.

“It’s a terrible situation where this country’s children go hungry because their parents are unable to provide for the family… and it’s not their fault, even though some pundits try to spin it that way,” said a state legislator yesterday. They continued, “We had to come up with a ‘radical’ solution to what was otherwise an insurmountable problem. And I only call it ‘radical’ because it goes against 100 years of popular fiscal and monetary theory. We’re putting control of monetary policy largely back into the hands of those whom it was intended to serve in the first place.”

The reference was to a long held belief that national monetary policy should be determined apart from the political arena with a separate body, aloof from significant government intervention. That belief will now be tested as the new system goes into almost immediate effect.

“No longer will mankind be ensnared in a web of debt!” was the catchphrase of the day... a quote eerily similar to that from the famous William Jennings Bryan’s ‘cross of gold’ speech.

Opponents to the legislation remarked at how the new policy had setbacks, highlighting the inability to deficit spend. “If we had this system during moments such as the Middle East conflicts, or even World War Two, you would have seen an almost immediate inflationary cataclysm. There was just no way we could have afforded it otherwise, and the result would have been defeat… and failure, and I’ll be praying that this country doesn’t come across another challenge like those of the past. I have my doubts that it won’t.”

“It’s fear mongering, that’s all,” was the rebuttal of one of the bill’s proponents. “This system is actually nothing new, believe it or not. The very term, the ‘greenback’ came from this very same system, and guess when that originated. During the American Civil War, one of the hardest fought conflicts in human history. It allowed the Union to circ**vent the need for deficit spending and the usurious interest that was being demanded at the time. And I shouldn’t need to remind these people that the Union won that war. Wars are inherently inflationary, and just because you may or may not have put off the effects by borrowing, doesn’t mean that there won’t be inflation. Anyways, it was that very policy of continued deficits that got us into this conundrum. These people and their institutions have far and away perverted anything Keynes proposed.”

Opponents of the legislation hurled accusations that new proposed measures regarding the banking industry could end up as another sector of the economy being nationalized. One response to that was, “Well, realistically, I doubt we would really need to nationalize the wh*** thing. Localities including large municipalities and states have already started introducing new legislation to form regional government run banking institutions, which the federal government is also now looking into. If you had those kinds of banks, I think you’d quickly see a large support for it. The failure of commercial banks and the antagonism towards them over recent years have put this idea at the top of many constituents’ demands. It may also be possible to take advantage of previous government intervention in the banking sector. We’ve already poured so much money into these banks, that it could be said that we already own them, and dare I say it, maybe we should? This, too, would add some stability to what has been an outrageously wild situation. Don’t forget, many of these banks are already dependent on the government to prop them up, particularly depending on agencies such as the FDIC. Remove that leg of the chair, and these entities will quickly be brought to level. We’re particularly interested in tying the state run banks to our new treasury operations for a more streamlined monetary system. The days of banks refusing to loan – or even making too many, irresponsible loans-- are definitely numbered.”

Some economists have expressed serious concerns about the implementation of the policy, and go so far as to say the country will soon be turning into another Weimar Republic. “The debt obligation of the country is still there. It hasn’t gone away…” was the response of one such critic.

When questioned about the issue, the treasury department made the following response:

“The treasury department will be working closely with the legislature in the coming months to deal with these issues. Current plans are being put into place for the treasury to buy back government securities. These securities will most likely be removed from circulation entirely, and not be used as loan collateral. The idea being that no new money is really entering the system, but rather we’re just changing the ‘liquid’ properties of the money supply. It may be ironic to point out that the system being enacted is very similar to the system used to pull Germany out of the Weimar Inflation.”

The coming months are sure to tell whether or not this “radical” plan is radical enough to do the job.


PS: Anyone notice how the bank that failed in the comic was the nationally run bank? LOL, yeah that's not propaganda at all...

-Iron Helix

Views: 30

Comment by Colinos on April 3, 2010 at 11:33pm
Lots of thought and opportunity for debate, a great blog post!
Comment by Alberto Cottica on April 4, 2010 at 12:02am
Well, historically the trend has been the opposite one: you want central banks to be MORE detached from the government, to spread out economic power. In the past, the temptation to just print money (or create it activating credit lines) has just been too great for leaders and ministers to resist. And the results have been sour: inflation and instability. :-(
Comment by Iron Helix on April 4, 2010 at 12:23am
Having the central bank detached doesn't prevent the government from spending money. What a detached central bank does do though is create an interest bearing debt. Secondly, there's a lot of propaganda floating out there about "printing money". In almost every "textbook" instance of runaway inflation, the government 'printed money' to either pay back debt or establish credit for future debt/borrowing expansion. Government inflation for expected government services does not create instability.


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