You Can’t Create Real Wealth with Fake Money

AN MARTIN, ARGENTINA — ‘The last flight out’ was how it was described in the email.

The US embassy in Buenos Aires notified us yesterday that it had organised a flight to Miami. It is scheduled to leave tomorrow.

But why the ‘last flight?’ we wondered. Then we got the news.


Argentina has banned until September ticket sales for commercial flights, according to a decree published on Monday, in a new measure the government said is part of its coronavirus response.

While the country’s borders have been closed since March, the new decree goes a step further in preventing until September 1 the sale and purchasing of commercial flights to, from, or within Argentina.

We had only planned to come for a few weeks. Now, it looks as though we may be here until September.

It’s a good thing we like it here’, said Elizabeth, looking on the bright side.

I’m not complaining either’, we replied. ‘But it would be nice to have an open door.

The Argentine government opened a different door. But only a crack. Most people are allowed outside now, but only for an hour a day. And they’re not supposed to go more than 500 meters from home.

Here on the farm at least, we can go out all we want…and go as far as we want, on horseback or on foot.

If we’re going to be stuck here for another four months’, Elizabeth continued, always urging self-improvement, ‘we should plan to do something worthwhile with our time.

Like what?

Oh, I don’t know…learn to play the piano…learn cattle ranching?

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Flimflam and fraud

Meanwhile, back in the US, the scam goes on:

U.S. banks were girding on Monday for another chaotic dash to grab US$310 billion in fresh small business aid due to be released by the government, after it changed some of the rules of the first-come-first-served program at the 11th hour.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) was set to re-open its Paycheck Protection Program at 10:30 a.m. EDT, allowing lenders to resume processing applications from businesses hurt by the novel coronavirus shutdown.

The bigness of the flimflam is breathtaking.

Already, the feds have committed nearly a third of GDP to ‘fight the virus’. And still, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — all are proposing to spend trillions more.

Says the rascal Steve Mnuchin: ‘We need to spend what it takes to win the war.’

It is a scam on several levels.

First, the ‘war’ is fake. This is a public health crisis, not a war. Calling it a war is just a way to get people to salute the leaders they should hold in contempt.

Second, the feds are not fighting the virus. Doctors, nurses, and hospitals are fighting the virus. The feds turned a natural disaster into a man-made economic disaster.

Third, they are now desperately trying to save a failed financial system…and taking advantage of the crisis to bail out cronies, reward campaign donors, expand the deep state, and enhance their own power.

Fourth, the feds have no money saved to give in ‘aid’ or ‘stimulus’. Every penny must come from the people they pretend to be aiding.

Fifth, the money they give out is fake…in its most tangible form, it is nothing more than paper with green ink on it. It represents no goods, no services, no earnings, no wealth, and no savings.

Sixth, like a phony claim ticket at a hat-check booth, this kind of fake money merely entitles the people who get it — the cronies, the chisellers, the insiders — to take someone else’s coat.

Seventh, providing an economy with fake money does not cause it to produce more goods and services. Instead, it sours the whole system…misleads investors and consumers…and reduces real output.

Eighth, the most common and destructive effect of this scam is inflation. First, asset prices are inflated. Later, consumer prices rise, too, eventually washing out every penny of stimulus spending — and more.

Looking through the damage

It is impossible to know exactly how these multiple frauds will play out.

Today, stocks are moving up as investors anticipate trillions in new money…and an easing of the lockdown conditions. A headline at Bloomberg:

U.S. Stocks Don’t Need to Fall on Economic Damage, Goldman Says’

The report suggests that investors might ‘look through’ the crisis damage to the prosperity on the other side.

But you can’t create real wealth with fake money. And cronyism destroys wealth; it doesn’t create it.

So we probably haven’t seen the last of Mr Bear Market…stock prices are likely to fall again, as the costs of the lockdown are tallied.

The bad news will then encourage the feds to even greater insanity. More money printing, that is.

Stock prices could rise sharply. But, at some point, we should see consumer prices rise, too — eventually rising more than asset prices.

Stocks could soar, as they did in Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

But in real money terms (that is, in terms of gold) stock prices will almost surely go down — along with the dollar…the economy…and the American Empire.

Stay tuned.


Bill Bonner,
For The Rum Rebellion

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Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries.

A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities.

Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally.

With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance.

Bill has been a weekly contributor to The Rum Rebellion.

The Rum Rebellion