One of the most important Zero Hedge posts of the last few years was “The “Muddle Through” Has Failed: BCG Says “There May Be Only Painful Ways Out Of The Crisis”” where The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) helped explain how the economic establishment is trying everything to move the system further with ever more cheap money and debt, why this will fail, and the inevitable wealth taxes that will be imposed to refloat the system from the ashes.
One of the authors of the infamous “Back to Mesopotamia” report (if 1984 is the instruction manual for political leaders, then this is the instruction manual for monetary leaders) was BCG senior partner Daniel Stetler, now blogger, and author “Debt In The 21st Century” who sees debt and leverage as the main factors driving wealth and inequality – a fact clearly overlooked by Piketty.
Stetler was recently interviewed by Portugal’s Janela na web magazine, his insights are significant and worrisome…
Some key excerpts:
“You have to think about a huge tower of debt on shaky foundations where central banks pump concrete in the foundations in an emergency effort to avoid the building from collapsing and at the same time builders are adding additional floors on top”
“Today central banks give money to institutions, which are not solvent, against doubtful collateral for zero interest. This is not capitalism.“
“It is the explicit goal of central banks to avoid the tower of debt to crash. Therefore they do everything to make money cheap and allow more speculation and even higher asset values. It is consistent with their thinking of the past 30 years. Unfortunately the debt levels are too high now and their instruments do not work anymore as good. They might bring up financial assets but they cannot revive the real economy.”
“In my view [Piketty] overlook the fact that only growing debt levels make it possible to have such a growth in measured wealth. Summing up, Piketty looks at symptoms – wealth – and not on causes – debt.”
“We need to limit credit growth and make it tax-attractive to invest in the real economy not in financial speculation. This will happen automatically if we return to normal interest rates. The key point is, that we as societies should reduce consumption which includes social welfare and rather invest more in the future.”
“We all are in a Ponzi world right now. Hoping to be bailed out by the next person. The problem is that demographics alone have to tell us, that there are fewer people entering the scheme then leaving. More people get out than in. Which means, by definition, that the scheme is at an end. The Minsky moment is the crash. Like all crashes it is easier to explain it afterwards than to time it before. But I think it is obvious that the endgame is near.”
Full article: “We are all in a ponzi-world right now, hoping to get bailed-out by the next person” (Zero Hedge)