The Zimbabwe Solution 44

Run out of money? Just print some more! “Quantitive easing” is scarcely new, even if now done electronically rather than with ink and paper. In current economic circumstances the obvious economic effect – inflation – is likely to be muted. I have never seen deflation before and few alive in the UK have. Stagflation, yes. Enough quantitive easing and we can eventually get back to stagflation. Meantime, thanks to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown for bringing us a new experience.

But while the inflationary effect is likely to be overwhelmed by deflation, the redistributive effect of quantitive easing will be alive and kicking. By inventing more money, there is an effect – not as simple as it sounds but very real – of reducing the value of existing money, to the detriment of those who have some, and redistributing value to those who get the new money.

This is the Zimbabwe solution, where Mugabe’s regime prints ever more zeros denominated notes, which of course go massively disproportionately to the military and regime members. They have the additional advantages of being able to change them at a hugely advantageous “official” excahnge rate open only to them.

And in Brown’s Zimbabwe solution, who are the equivalent of the regime members, those who benefit from the game at the expense of you and me? Why, exactly the same beneficiaries who have already received over £15,000 from every man, woman and child in the country in various rescue measures and guarantees – the banks!

Yes folks, the 75 billion, and perhaps 150 biilion, of newly invented money is to go to the banks, in return for some pretty worthless bonds, in the hope that somehow the banks will lend it out responsibly to businesses and “Kickstart” the economy. As opposed to pay it out in massive bonuses to themselves, use it to hide their incredible bundles of “toxic debt” and invest it in dubous financial instruments, which is how they have wasted all the huge amounts of taxpayer cash they have been fed so far.

Brown’s blind faith in the baking system which he deregulated and allowed to go rotten, is the modern “trickledown economics”. The government hopes if they pump enough money into the banks, it will trickle out again and do something useful. The main useful thing they hope it will do is reinflate the bubble of our ludicrously inflated property market. In fact that would not be useful at all. If you have been the victim of a pyramid scam, it is not a good idea to try to repair your finances by joining another one.

Brown’s fawning Washington trip attempted to show him leading the World in economic recovery. In fact there are big differences between Brown’s plans – under which 95% of “economic rescue” financing is pumped straight to fatcat bankers – and Obama’s $719 billion rescue package which involves a great deal of direct job creation by old fashioned Keynsian public works. The “pork barrel” elements of tacking on pet projects to get Obama’s bill through Congress was not especially unhelpful in this instance.

It would be far, far better to let the UK banks go bust. Firstly the bastards deserved it. A system where the fatcats take the profits and you and I fund their losses is completely unacceptable. It is worth noting that even in the Royal Bank of Scotland the UK retail banking operation was highly profitable as a stand alone operation, so these elements could be rescued.

It would have cost the government less to give everyone their bank deposits back than it has cost to try to save the rotten corrupt structures.

Instead, a family of four now has a national debt share of £140,000, and increasing by £5,000 a month. Yet the only jobs saved have been those of City – not retail, they were profitable anyway – City bankers, plus their lap dancers and cocaine suppliers. Meanwhile ordinary people are starting to lose their jobs by the drove.

In Dundee, the twelve employees of Prisme Packaging were told this week they were immediately redundant, and there was no cash to pay statutory redundancy payments. Gordon Brown and the Bank of England strangely didn’t offer to print any money for them.

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44 thoughts on “The Zimbabwe Solution

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  • MJ

    “It would be far, far better to let the UK banks go bust”

    Spot on. The present crisis is a direct result of the Thatcher/Reagan obsession with deregulation and the creed that businesses and the free market are superior to the state. How odd that, at the first sign of trouble, the banks go running to the nanny state for handouts.

    Let them go bust. If they’re worried about their ‘toxic’ debts they should be reminded that the law already more than adequately provides for civil recovery, insovency and bankruptcy.

    Protect the deposits of the hapless depositors then let the few sensible banks who have resisted the absurd excesses of the rest – the Co-operative Bank and those Building Societies that didn’t de-mutualize – take up the slack.

    Pumping tax payers money into the corrupt banking sector is no more than theft on a massive scale.

  • ceedee

    The repercussions of ‘allowing’ Prisme Packaging to fail could well include further redundancies and company closures in their suppliers, initiating an economic spiral of destruction.

    With the government guarantees for bank depositors, who stands to lose money if the insolvent banks are allowed to crash? Just the shareholders, who’ve presumably pocketed inflated dividends during the boom period?

    This doesn’t look like a ‘recession’ to me, more like an ‘economic apocalypse’.

  • sabretache

    I go along with all that – so far as it goes – and especially with allowing the banks to fail. The only thing we really need from the banks is the payments clearing system and that is a utility that can be self-financing through transaction charges. When bets fail – which is essentially what we’re talking about here – it’s bloody outrageous that the taxpayer should be landed with the bill.

    But both analysis and prescription only deal with symptoms I’m afraid. I’ve recently resuscitated regular posts to my blog and have a number of recent ones about all of this up already, so I won’t bore you with them here.

    Suffice to say that IMHO, we should not be talking about ‘repairing the system’ or ‘kick-starting the economy’ with incessant ‘borrow- and-spend’ mantras (as if the behaviour that precipited the mess is what’s needed to get us out of it) – or any of the other alleged/proposed solutions. The fact is ‘the system’ is finished. KAPUT! and is not repairable. Perpetual exponential growth – the principle on which it depends in a quite fundamental fashion – is simply not possible on a finite planet. The evidence for that has finally hit those who control the major concentrations of wealth and power and it is their dawning realisation and the covert actions it has and is precipitating that is at the heart of what we are witnessing.

    Welcome to a very different world.

  • Babak Fakhamzadeh

    Hear hear.

    If only it was the baking system Brown had faith in. Good bread can sometimes be hard to come by.

    It’s his unreasonable faith in the banking system which is baffling.

  • sabretache

    Oh – and I meant to add, doncha just love the techno-speak??

    Quantitative Easing eh? WOW, impress-ive!!!

    So, what the hell’s wrong with ‘Printing Money’?

  • eddie


    I don’t think it’s very wise or intelligent to compare us to Zimbabwe – it’s like your previous comparisons of Gaza to the Warsaw Gehetto – these moral equivalences just devalue the meaning of words. Still, it is good to see a mention of Zimbabwe on this site. Perhaps you could also mention the thousands who have been slaughtered by Mugabe and the thousands dying of cholera, or is it hard for you to raise these issues as the West is not to blame? I agree with you about the banks – they should have been allowed to go bust and it is a scandal that we the people are propping up RBS and all the rest. Why are they different to Woolies or Principles?

  • Craig


    I have no difficulty condemning Zimbabwe – or any other dictatorship. You should read my new book, The Catholic Orangemen of Togo. Ask your library to get it in. Actually, to say no blame lies with the West is not entirely true, but in no way justifies Mugabe’s behaviour.

    If you are looking for an Aunt Sally who sees no harm in Mugabe, Chavez or that Iranian bloke, you are in the wrong place.

    Glad we agree on the banks.

    The Zimbabwean comparison is a bit of hyperbole to enable people readily to grasp the principle of the redistributive effect of printing money. I think it works and don’t apologise for it.

  • LeeJ

    I just love the idea that these bankers have all suddenly turned into socialists!

  • eddie


    Thanks – I know that you are not in the same league as some of the nutballs you attract here. I seem to recall that the whole basis of Friedman’s monetarist theories was that money supply casued or eased inflation and that if money supply goes up so does inflation. I don’t remember him ever saying that more money meant more lending. As Mervyn King said last night, we are in uncharted waters. Brown’s whole economic approach has relied upon interest rates and they have nowhere further to go.

  • anticant

    “Quantitive Easing” is Treasury gobbledygook for debasing the currency, or concealed devaluation which will make all of us poorer.

    In earlier times coinage clippers were whipped behind a tumbril to Tyburn, where they were stood in the pillory and sometimes had their ears clipped.

    Brown, Darling and King please step forward….

  • anticant

    “Quantitative Easing” is Treasury gobbledygook for debasing the currency, or concealed devaluation which will make all of us poorer.

    In earlier times coinage clippers were whipped behind a tumbril to Tyburn, where they were stood in the pillory and sometimes had their ears clipped.

    Brown, Darling and King please step forward…..

  • writerma n

    Brown is giving billions to the financial sector because the ‘capitalist class’, the tiny elite, that effectively rules and owns the country, are bust, wiped-out.

    In order to maintain their position, ownership, and control of society, they require a massive, historic, transfer of wealth from everyone else. Brown is prioritizing the banks first, their interests, and the welfare of the rest of the country second.

    Like Thatcherism, this is really pure ‘class-warfare’ and a blantant continuation of the disasterous, economic voodoo that was at the heart of the monitarist dogma and religon.

    It’s probably too late to stop a repeat of the Great Depression, at least in Britain, because, like Iceland and Ireland, the entire financial sector is insolvent and it is dragging down the rest of the real economy with it.

    A year ago a resolute and alternative economic strategy might, possibly, have worked, only now it may be too late. We are now paying the terrible price for thirty years of wrong-headed economic policies which have ruined the country. An elaborate house of cards, a stage set, that resembled a healthy economy was created and based on mythology about how the economy works. The entire economy was really a giant ponzi scheme, and now it’s all been revealed for what it really was – propaganda.

    Heaven knows how this’ll end, after all we’re only at the beginning. Britain will be especially hard hit because it was here that the contagion of economic insanity first took hold thirty years ago, where the great confidence tricksters gained power.

    I don’t even think this is just another cynclical crisis of capitalism that will pass in a few years. I believe it’s something far more profound. A deep, structural crisis, the logical and destructive death of an economic paradigm that began several centuries ago with the explosion of Western imperial expansionism.

    The financial crisis is part of a bigger crisis of capitalism, which is part of an even larger, civilizational crisis. This mega, civilizational criis, includes multiple threats and mountainous challenges; global heating, environmental degredation, over-consumption of vital resources, peak oil, uncontrolled population growth…

    Capitalism, as we know it, is simply too destructive, too wasteful, and too primative a system to survive over the longterm. An economic system based on the dogma/religion of unlimited economic growth, on a planet which has finite resources and a finite environment, is unsustainable and impossible to maintain. Primative capitalism is an extraordinarily unrealsitic system and will have to be radically reformed, changing it’s nature to the core. We have a stark choice as a civilization, we can either sacrifice capitalism and replace it with something which works, and fits our environment, or we can let capitalism scrifice us on the alter of greed, stupidity, and ultimately, total destruction.

  • lwtc247

    “By inventing more money, there is an effect – not as simple as it sounds but very real – of reducing the value of existing money, to the detriment of those who have some, and redistributing value to those who get the new money.” – Sorry Craig, but to me, it seems those that already had most of the invented money, are the ones who get the lions share of the new invented money.

    The fundamental problem was Usury. Why are so few people addressing it? Because it has religious overtones?

  • Anas Taunton

    Usury is forbidden in Judaism and therefore in Christianity because the latter took its equivalent of Shariah from the former. The prophet Jesus pbuh didn’t cancel ANY of the existing law for the Jews, even if others later did.

    The point about Usury is exactly what has happened. After the bankers consumed the usury, they carried on eating until thay had swallowed the capital as well.

    In my mind I don’t see any distinction between the illegitimacy of this in Shariah and in English or other Law. It’s stealing and people should be going to prison for it and leaders should be resigning because of it.

    Since they are not even apologising for it, it is inevitable as Craig says that the bubble of new ether money put into the system will just be gobbled by the incumbent criminals.

    It’s difficult to find a comparison for them in the animal kingdom- maybe the flea of the black rat in their deadliness if you don’t believe in morality.

    I’m a Muslim and I do believe in it. I just wish these criminals would stop holding up their system as having any moral superiority over ours.

  • MJ


    Usury yes, coupled with a central bank that charges interest to the tax payer for every dollar or pound it prints. Lincoln won the civil war by ignoring international bankers and printing his own, interest-free, money.

    By April 1862 $449,338,902 of debt free money had been printed and distributed. He said:

    “We gave the people of this republic the greatest blessing they ever

    had, their own paper money to pay their own debts”.

    The Times was incensed. In that same year it wrote:

    “If that mischievous financial policy, which had its origin in the North American Republic, should become indurated down to a fixture,

    then that government will furnish its own money without cost. It will

    pay off debts and be without a debt. It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce. It will become prosperous beyond precedent in the history of civilized governments of the world. The brains and the wealth of all

    countries will go to North America. That government must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe”.

    By 2001 there were only 7 nations left without a (Rothschild-controlled) central bank. These were: Afghanistan: Iraq; Iran; North Korea; Sudan; Cuba and Libya.

    Note that by 2003 that number was reduced to five. By the end of this year it may be down to three. Note also the extraordinary coincidence between not being in debt to international banksters and being labelled an “axis of evil”.

  • writerma n

    Perhaps my last post was a bit too ‘theoretical’ and abstract, sorry.

    I’ve recently come back from a trip through Central Europe, what we used to call ‘Communist Eastern Europe’in the old days.

    Much as I’d like to write an essay, I’ll get to the point. Things, the economy, are falling apart, and at alarming speed. There’s an awful lot of anger, fear, bitterness and something close to dispair in the air.

    These coutries are sinking and trapped in a quagmire of virtually unpayable debt. There government’s have borrowed two or three trillion euros, and this year alone are going to have to find around 500 billion in interest repayments. Money they don’t have.

    What’s disturbing is that Austria’s banking system is now insolvent and risks being dragged down by the crisis in the ‘East.’ Germany’s banks are integrated with Austria’s banks, yet the German’s are refusing to ‘bail-out’ Austria, yet they might be forced to.

    Ordinary people, in the countries I passed through, are in a state of shock, as unemployment rockets and factories close. It’s odd. They’ve tried ‘communism’ then ‘capitalism’, red in tooth and claw, both seem to have failed, what’s the next utopia, I wonder? Rabid, flag waving, nationalism?

    What struck me was people seemed to really believe, to an extraordinary degree, that the modern, western/American, ‘free market’ system was incapable of collapse, that, like the end of history, we’d moved into the era of ‘post economics’, and post boom and bust, now everyone was going to be happy and the good times could only get better, in this the best of all possible worlds, really the only possible world!

    People feel betrayed, especially as they have produced huge profits for Western companies which have been transported out of their region, and they’ve also imported lots of ‘luxury’ goods from Western Europe, and now, when they need help, we turn our collective backs on them in their hour of need.

    Whilst Germany might be ‘forced’ to bail-out Austria, it simply doesn’t have the capacity to save all of central europe, even if it wanted to. Yet, allowing the entire region to go under isn’t really an alternative either.

    The central problem is that the great, swirling, debt-vortex, is too big to be controlled, plugged, or even understood. Most people alive today simply don’t understand what a depression on the scale we’re facing really means. It’s all history, something from the long distant past, from another world almost.

  • MJ


    My understanding is that, in the case of Austria, the EU central bank (rather than Germany alone) has all but agreed to underwrite a large portion of its bad debt, most of it arising from loans to Poland and Latvia who are already defaulting.

    Problem is that there won’t be much left over for anyone else as and when the need arises, as it inevitably will. The same goes for the IMF. It’s running out of money. Iceland was lucky to get in early.

  • lwtc247

    @ Anas Taunton

    Glad you can see you rightly identify wrong is wrong! Some are loathe to entertain something that has a religious basis. Glad you can see with you it doesn’t matter. Actually I suspect the biggest reason why it is not discussed is because so many people see it as a way to earn more money. They aren’t prepared to bite the hand that feeds it. Just ignore all the problems it causes – until that is, the consequence of ones greed starts to bounce back.

  • writerma n

    Just one of the problems relating to the EU central bank showing a willingness to support the Austrian banks, is that it sets a precedent. Why support Austria and not Poland itself? Also, one doesn’t really know how much the major Austrian banks have lost in central europe, and it isn’t just the Austrian banks. Swedish, Finnish, Norweigian and Danish banks have also heavily ‘invested’ in the Baltic States, and they are in trouble too.

    How many countries can we afford to bail-out? In reality, Germany, is the EU central bank, but even they can’t support everyone.

    A friend of mine who works in the City, told me off-record, that the combined investments in central europe ammount to somewhere between one and three trillion euros, rather vague, there’s a heck of a lot of difference between one and three trillion euros, anyway, she said the losses may be in the range of 40%, at least that’s the broad figure that’s floating around, which is why everybody is shit-scared and hopes it’ll all just go away somehow.

  • babka

    my letter:

    I am writing to ask you in strongest terms to allow Craig Murray to give his testimony. Under God, truth requires it. Not to allow him to tell the truth makes a mockery of the foundation of both your Parliament and our Democracy. The argument that it would be detrimental to the shotgun union of US/UK intelligence forces just compounds the crime.


  • MJ

    “everybody is shit-scared and hopes it’ll all just go away somehow”

    How reassuring to know that this is the attitude of insiders. It won’t go away of course. The future has already been determined. Huge increases in taxation and savage cuts in public expenditure for the rest of our lives, just to pay for the madness of the the past year or so. And that’s just for the lucky ones who manage to survive.

    If I were a conspiracy theorist, which I suspect I am, I’d think it were a deliberate controlled demolition of everything we take for granted. We are in the endgame of the NWO. How exciting.

  • writerma n

    I don’t think it’s a deliberately controlled demolition of everything we take for granted, this would require a level of sophistication, ability, organization, and not least, understanding, that I don’t believe the ruling elite possess.

    But this collapse is an opportunity to ‘reconfigure’ society in new directions, not least the final destruction of what remains of the ‘welfare state’ model of captialism, the ‘answer’ to the threat of socialism, if one prefers.

    I think we’ll see most of the remaining state pension provisions, at least for ordinary, unproductive citizens, more or less disappear, unless there’s substantial resistance.

    This ‘crisis of capitalism’ is massively destructive, but at the same time a golden opportunity for concentrating power in fewer and fewer hands, at leat the ones that survive! There’s also the notion of creating some kind of ‘world government’ with the remaining banks taking over the role of sovereign,which bears considering.

  • haward

    Morning Craig

    I had noi idea you were hot on economics too. My recollection is that your ability to run your own finances is open to question & that at University you neeeded regular bailouts from your dad. None of these were converted ino bonds…….I will come to the toxic assets (the socks) later


  • George Dutton

    It would (I think) be true to say that throughout history the capitalist system to keep going has used a kind of “Chaos theory” to keep itself alive?. Don’t let stability take hold for too long or it ferments and will settle down to a more stable state…Communism…My theory for what it is worth…

  • George Dutton

    “I had noi idea you were hot on economics too”


    “You learn something new everyday”,as the old saying goes.

    “at University you neeeded regular bailouts from your dad”

    Who didn’t?.

  • harmonyfuture

    Hello Mr. Murray, I arrive here via a link from an American in response to a post of mine on Jack Straws complicity in torture. Just one of a growing number of issues with our current administration. On the ZimSol you highlight above may I just add this:

    Imagine if you will

    Certain political systems (mainly those favouring the dual party system) realise that without the constraints of accountability (owing to always having majority representation in Government) all they have to do to stay in power is to keep the electorate feeling good.

    The easiest way to make people feel good is give everyone money, they will overlook most things as long as they have money.The best way Government can ensure the money flows is to form alliances with those institutions capable of controlling the volumes of money required to satisfy an entire population, banks.

    Step 1 Start the wealth bubble, sell houses very cheaply at the bottom end of the market (Council Houses) with no apparent loss to the taxpayer, in fact the opposite, income for Government and Banks.

    Step 2 Start using this new feelgood factor to break any opposition to Government not fulfilling its obligations to the electorate (Break Trade Unions and any other block voting institutions)

    Step 3 Make the electorate happy to hand moral guardianship to Government (Win a just war, get tough on crime, immigration and scroungers)

    This has worked for 30 years, since 1979. Now we and America have run out of money, worse than that, we have been creating fake money to keep the whole thing going. The rest of the World are victims of this scam, but we and the US are the perpetrators.

    The problem we now have is that we in the UK sank ourselves so heavily into the scheme that we have given up all pretence at being an economy and the only recourse of this Government is to try to re-start the engine of this scheme, THE BANKS.

    This will fail because though Europe and indeed the rest of the World will suffer through the withdrawl of our two economies from the market, their markets will realign and provided the domestic banks were not too exposed to toxic debt they may suffer no more than recession, albeit deep, maybe. The US I believe are sufficiently large and diverse to resolve the problem internally without too much recourse to foreign markets.

    I fear most for us, net importers, no substantive industry, exports, energy or indeed agriculture.

    Let us stop it now, once and for all.

    We should get rid of this Government via a Vote of No Confidence and establish an interim all party National Government.

    Stop squandering money on a recovery plan that will do us no good and start investing in infrastructure and businesses.

    Introduce Electoral Reform and adopt Proportional Representation to give us balance and accountability in Government.

    Establish a real economy based on producing for our own consumption and developing quality products for export.

    Dismantle the policies and institutions that have attacked our civil liberties whilst perpetuating this bankrupt scheme.

    Please visit this link, the proposal reflects a rising concensus both in the media and Westminster, it is down to us to make it happen.

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