By: Paul Tustain
David Cameron was today forced in Brussels to choose between the free market and the vanities of overreaching politicians…
TODAY is a very sad day. We believe that the markets are telling us that there is a horrible abscess in Europe, and that the Euro is the pus. We believe that fuelled by injustice, the infection of nationalism will now tear Europe apart – making outright enemies of Germany and Greece, France and Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.
Our European friends are today irritated by Britain’s refusal to come to their drunken party. Not for the first time we are the odd man out, and being pointed at by the shallowest politician in Europe. It’s OK. We can live with a little name-calling for the moment, and we look forward to quietly rebuilding our friendships with every one of you in the future. We hope it will be soon.
You are right. Our financial system contributed – in part – to the mess we are in. But you are wrong as to the reason and the solution. What happened is that over a period of years the political classes in London, New York and the smaller financial centres of Europe worked together to hold down the cost of credit. Ever since 2001 they suppressed the will of the market for higher interest rates. They did this to foster the ‘feel-good factor’ and to get themselves re-elected. It was the irresponsible and self-serving policy of elected representatives all over the western world, and it is without any doubt the root cause of the explosion of credit which we now have to pay for.
The result of the explosion of credit was an enormous pile of cash accumulated at the banks of the world. It represented the savings of an older generation, and there was far too much of it. It was lent very unwisely. That happens. It’s life. And usually it means the creditors lose their money and gain some wisdom.
Only this time some of the creditors – particularly Germany and France – don’t want to lose their money. They want to force two or three generations of Greeks, Irish, Portuguese, Italians, Spanish and Belgians to pay, pay, pay. Germany and France lent to your father, yet you become the indentured slave.
That should never be how bad money-lending is resolved. The lender should take the hit when the borrower cannot repay; it helps to focus his mind before he lends. In Britain we got rid of inter-generational debt servitude 200 years ago, and it is not progress to return to it.
As it happens in Britain we have the same deep insolvency problem to resolve, but it is going to be resolved in a different way. Our government is going to have to print to eliminate the debt – just watch. There is going to be a storm and Sterling will be murdered. Interest rates are going to climb sharply as world markets demand the return of their rightful position as the setters of the cost of money. Those rate hikes and concomitant inflation are going to eliminate twenty five years of savings, and twenty five years of a silly, credit-fuelled house price bubble. By the time it ends the creditors will have paid in full. Houses will be again affordable by anyone with a half decent job. Retirement at 55 will have been consigned to the dustbin. Student loans will have inflated to irrelevance, and Britain will again be a great deal fairer than it currently is.
In Europe you will doubtless laugh quietly as this storm hits us. But you will have no reason to make war on us, and you won’t want to, because your strength will be all used up making war on each other. We do not believe that 1,000 years of carefully constructed and often hard fought mutual independence should be sacrificed on the altar of a bad monetary union. We do not believe the people of Europe will want it when nationalist tensions materialise. We think that Europe’s political class is making a monumental error in order to hold on to something which carries their political credibility. We think they will fail and that Europe will suffer dreadfully for it.
It is a black day, because contrary to your belief we love Europe. We also love our free market and the way it exposes the vanities of overreaching politicians. Today you forced David Cameron to choose between the two, and he chose well.
Settlement-systems specialist Paul Tustain launched BullionVault in 2005 to make the security and cost-efficiencies of the professional wholesale gold market available to private investors. Designed specifically to meet his own gold ownership needs as a risk-averse investor, BullionVault now cares for some $1.5 billion of client gold property, all of it privately owned in the client’s choice of low-cost, market-accredited facilities in London, New York or Zurich.
(c) BullionVault 2011
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