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cuckoo gets bigger than its host siblings and eventually crowds them out of the nest and starves them. This is you and me. There is a magical moment in The Time Machine where the time traveller attempts to shake people from their slumber and fights alone against incredible odds. One of the Eloi finally follows his example and picks up a rock to battle the Morlocks. This is their first move toward emancipation. While not advocating riots or persecuting bankers - most of whom are thoroughly decent people - there must come a point when the public mood turns to disgust. Although we have all played our part in causing the credit crisis only a few have benefitted from it. The widening wealth disparity and desiccation of the middle class is not some socialist rant but is based on hard fact. The Gini coefficient measures income inequality. Even before the crash this stood at a record high of 47 in 2006 versus a measure of 39 in 1968 when the Gold Standard was still in place and prevented mass money printing. (Source - Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis by James Rickards: Penguin 2011)


As the public encounter higher Page 48 20/20 Money Matters


taxes, bureaucracy and diminishing returns for their money this creates a groundswell of dissatisfaction. A spider’s web of laws, rules and regulations are designed to trip us so we can be fined and milked by the same non-productive elements that created them. The witch-hunters should therefore cast their net further afield to include lawyers among those whose collective actions have driven western economies into the ground. The classic conflict of interest in the banking system has been replicated in government. The sheer volume of legislation that has made our daily existence so repressive has also left us open to abuse by future dictators. As life becomes more complex and burdensome so the willingness to comply erodes. Throw in a surge in food and energy prices through the devaluation of the dollar and here you have a cocktail of discontent, ripe for exploitation by extremists. We will no doubt see the political pendulum swing to the far right and left as it did in the 1930’s; surely the most comparable decade to this.


In another piece of pure prophecy HG Wells also envisaged a time of intellectual liberty where a ‘world


library’ would be available to share knowledge with all and sundry. Little did he know that this would be the blessing of the World Wide Web. Needless to say, dinosaur corporations with vested interests are now trying to stifle this freedom through their lobby groups. As has become the norm over the last decade in the ‘War against Terror’, repressive US legislation is being bolted on to totally unrelated bills. Noble causes such as anti-piracy are being abused as a means of control. This is yet another sign of a society in decay where elites attempt to crush competition to protect their power. Having been standard bearers for making a bigger pie for all, they sharpen their knives to cleave a greater slice of what little is left. The ability to learn from each other was crucial to our evolution and development; it seems that nothing is now sacred from privatisation.


As ever, where there is hope there is life but every system requiring reformation must first undergo deformation before it is rejected. As humans we cling to the familiar for fear of the unknown even when the former is clearly detrimental. One of the greatest examples of by-passing the banking system and creating prosperity (which is still in evidence today) is, paradoxically, barely known in the place it was established. On the picturesque island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands - where the author of this article lives - a financial revolution unfolded some two centuries ago, having been mired in a debt trap.


When Bonaparte was defeated at Waterloo, deficits and inflation in Britain were reigned-in by containing the money supply, through the introduction of the Gold Standard. In theory, the holder of a paper note could demand an equivalent sum of gold from their bank so money could only be created in proportion to the available bullion. The small annual increase


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