10/27/2008

When I am King: Money Bites

When I am King...

Our economy will be based on simpler fundamentals that we can all get our teeth into.

Credit Default Swaps. Hedge Funds. Subprime mortgages. Housing bubble. Liquidity.

What the heck do all of these things mean? And how do they relate to the stock prices and an economy that many experts now call "Sucky"? Does anyone really understand this stuf?

There are so many things that are fuzzy about the financial crisis, such as how much money we're all losing in the markets every day, or whether we'll be eating our shoes to get by this winter. But one thing is abundantly clear: the world financial markets are so complicated that nobody really seems to understand them. And since nobody understands them, we don't really know how we got into this mess, how to get out of it, or how to avoid it in the future.

It's like when your kid messes up their room. You send them into a spotless room and a half hour later it looks like a rhinoceros had a seizure in there. It's not physically possible for that small child to have done that amount of damage to a room, yet there is the evidence. How did it happen? And where did the rhino poo come from, anyway?

The politicians are focused on how we can fix the banks, and the monetary system, and the mortgages, and all of this other stuff that we still don't actually understand. That's like trying to put together a complicated model without instructions; you're just left with a mess of plastic parts and too much glue-sniffing.

It seems much better to just give up and start over.

When I am King, we will return to an economy that we can all understand. Paper money, bank statements, and stock prices are all too abstract. We will, instead, go to a system of trading something more real and substantial: teeth.

No longer will the Tooth Fairy spirit away teeth and leave behind cash; this is a remnant of a failed monetary policy. Instead, the teeth will stay there for the children to save up for college. Adults can choose to keep their teeth, or to sacrifice them for things they truly need, like food. Or false teeth.

As we slowly spend our teeth, we will then spend less time on brushing and flossing them, making us more productive and happy (though our smiles may not be quite so bright).

Meanwhile, the Tooth Fairy will be sought by the authorities as an outlaw and a primary contributor to the financial crisis. We have to have someone to blame.
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