I don’t trust politicians more than I trust bankers
There are certain people who are obsessed with the way money is created in the U.S. – I call them “money creationists”. Some of these people are friends of mine from Occupy, and I really enjoy and like them.
But I don’t agree with them, and here’s why. Because I don’t trust politicians more than I trust bankers. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t trust bankers. But I really don’t trust politicians.
The reason this comparison comes up is this. The way money is created through the Fed lending window is described here, in an article that could have been written by my friends, although I don’t think I’ve met Gar. Pay attention to the following concept which the writer is proposing:
Why, you might ask, doesn’t the Federal Reserve Board simply “create” money (as it does all the time) and lend it at 0.75 percent to the government (rather than let the banks do it) to pay for important public goods and to settle its debts? (Our bridges are falling down; not a bad thing in which to invest.)
As soon as I hear this I think, holy fuck let’s not even go there! The image of unlimited cash machines directly bankrolling the whims of Congress is just too much. But wait, here’s where the money-creationists get really confused – they give themselves away in fact:
… if a “public bank” were set up that operates just the way private banks are run today, including making profits for the owners – who in this case would obviously be the public – i.e. the government.
What? When was the last time the public is the same thing as the government? In this universe, for whatever reason, politicians have been wished away and all we have left are well-meaning would-be bridge builders facing off against evil venal bankers. But that’s not the world I live in.
To my money-creationist friends: there are stewards of the government, and they’re called politicians, and they love money. They are just as corrupt as bankers. It’s not a good idea to give them a printing press. Let’s instead think of a way to persuade them to require reasonable capital requirements of the banks so they don’t get to do crazy shit, if they can get their hands off of financial lobbyist money for more than fifteen minutes.