When you think about it, what all these fancy (and ponderous) theories and explanations about “capitalism” boil down to is simply finding new and more elaborate ways to make money circulate faster. Let’s take this cryptocurrency scandal that’s roiling the financial markets. As your Eyewitness has explained, Governments create money out of thin air by simply turning on their printing presses!! They call it “fiat” money.
All it means is, because a Government says it’s money, it’s money!! Even though it’s not “backed” by anything you can touch or hold!! But when folks demand billions of whatever they call it – dollars, pesos etc – for, say, a loaf of bread, and the Government keeps on printing those pieces of paper – it gotta be discarded, since it’s not seen as having “value”. The Government then gotta print a DIFFERENT money to keep on circulating!! Like Argentina did a while ago, and Venezuela might have to do.
Anyhow, the cryptocurrency mavens were ordinary folks – not Governments! – who created “money” out of thin air – and gave it all kinds of names, like “bitcoin”. The trick was to get other folks to accept it as money – which some did – and proved Barnum’s dictum that fools are born every minute. But that form of money flowed even faster than the fiat stuff since this college kid Braverman-Fried got his stake of the crypto he created from zero – thin air, remember? – up to $26 billion in a matter of just five years!! That’s fast circulation, baby!!
We had a flutter in crypto last year when a smart-alec couple swindled some locals out of hundreds of millions of our fiat dollars (otherwise known as monopoly money after Burnham cranked up the printing presses back then!). But that was just the grifters claiming they’d pay back the fleeced sheep in crypto! No so incidentally, whatever happened to that promise? Did the money ever get back into circulation??
So what are we doing to develop our capitalist street cred?? Well, we just passed our FIRST “hire-purchase “ Bill – or installment payment plan – as the Yanks call it. Yep…just shows you how far back we are. This was in use in Britain since the 19th century, and was regulated by law in 1938 during the Depression – to make the little bit of money in folks’ pockets circulate. Courts made the concept big two decades ago – along with their outlandishly-coloured buildings!!
Folks could now buy their big-item purchases to keep up with the Persauds down the block – until they couldn’t make their payments and had the items hauled away!! And that’s the downside of hire-purchase, ain’t it??
With the compounded interest, you end up paying double!! But the money circulates faster, right?!!
Hakeem Jeffries – who just succeeded Nancy Pelosi as the Congressional Democratic Leader – became quite embroiled in our local politics after the 2020 elections. In support of the PNC faction. So, apart from that, who’s Hakeem Jeffries? Let’s quote some reputable American analysts. “Jeffries was the leading congressional recipient of hedge fund money in 2020,” The American Prospect reported last year:
“He banked $1.1 million from the financial sector, real estate interests, and insurance industry in the 2019–2020 cycle. Everyone from JPMorgan Chase to Goldman Sachs to Blackstone contributed. Zimmer Partners, a hedge fund, is one of Jeffries’s top donors in 2021. From the outset, he has governed with those interests at heart. While Democrats were reconsidering their coziness with Wall Street, he broke ranks to vote with the financial services world, including on a high-profile measure literally written by Citigroup lobbyists in 2013 that killed the Dodd-Frank “swaps push-out” rule, allowing banks to engage in risky trades backed by a potential taxpayer-funded bailout.”
Money gotta circulate!!
While the US has banned our catfish, locals have taken to “catfishing” American citizens. That is, using photos of others over social media to lure lonely hearts from “outside” into parting with their hard-earned cash by promising them “favours”!!