Wednesday, October 22, 2008
In response to an essay about the government bailouts, I received the following comment:
"I posed a question to a few ‘experts’ asking where all this lost money had gone, or if it ever existed, but got no reply.Is he right?
A couple of days later I heard the same question asked to a BBC radio business program. They went across the road from the BBC studio, to the London school of Economics to ask 2 of their senior lecturers this question.
Their answer? No, the lost money never really existed!
So now we are giving them OUR money to make up for the losses that only really existed as 1s and 0s in their computers. Unbelievable."
As derivatives expert Satayjit Das puts it:
[A leading financial writer] coined the phrase "candy floss money" ["candy floss" is the British expression for "cotton candy"].The "lost" bank money which taxpayers are being forced to "replace" had no more substance than cotton candy.
Financial technology spun available "real" money into an exaggerated bubble that, like its fairground equivalent, collapses ultimately. . . . The perceived abundance of liquidity was, in reality, merely an illusion created by high levels of debt and leverage as well as the structure of global capital flows.