Posted by: rogermitchell | July 15, 2010

The Independent puts a price on the eschatological peace!

Following on from my last post,  it is very interesting to see that yesterday’s English Independent newspaper put a price on the the British eschatological peace. They estimated it at 3.8 trillion pounds. Or in other words, they quantified in today’s prices the hope in prosperity that began with the founding of the Bank of England in 1694. It is of course even more than this in real terms. It is important to realise that this kind of price has always been hidden behind the nation state in western capitalist economies throughout these last 300 years.

It is particularly significant that this is being exposed here in the UK, because it was here that the process began. As John Kenneth Galbraith puts it, the Bank of England “is, in all respects, to money as St. Peter’s is to the Faith … it became the model upon which all other banks were based. It was pivotal in the rise to global dominance of Great Britain in the ensuing eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, just as the US Federal Reserve became pivotal in the twentieth”  [Money: Whence it Came, Where it Went (London, Andre Deutsche 1975) p. 30]. Last week the BBC Breakfast economics editor mentioned, in passing, that the current 0.5% interest rate is the lowest it’s been in 300 years. He neglected to say that this is the lowest it has ever been since the founding of the Bank and with it the whole western economic system. This is why the current crisis is not a passing phase.

The device at the heart of the Bank was that it lent money it did not have, on the basis of the certainty of receiving enough interest on it [8% at the time], to conceal the miracle of creating paper money out of nothing [ex nihilo!]. The reason that the bailing out of the banks by the government, relying on future taxation, has not resulted in restored lending, is that the banks have had to keep the new ‘money’ in lieu of the interest that they are not receiving. Unless interest rates are restored the banks can’t survive. But if they are restored there will be a massive devaluation, which is what happened when the Bank of England was originally founded. But that’s another story, for which have a read of an excerpt from my research chapter on this that I have posted on the my thesis page. But the point that I am making here is that this system is effectively over bar the shouting, of which there will probably be a lot by the coming winter.



  1. Roger:

    Not to be terribly pedantic but capitalism, banking etc started way before the Brits started a national bank. What about John Law, that wiley Scot in France with all his gambling/banking schemes? Anyhow, I realize you are pointing to specific events here but I think we have to maintain the big picture in order to understand where we are and why. I realize that is also likely on your thesis page. It is too hot here to think so I will not go there yet.

    I have given lots and lots of thought to this subject over the years and welcome any new info and new thinking. But just to round out the history here is a link to a guy who has also thought this through and proves very interesting (this includes a video so its not taxing to hot brains right now).


    P.S. what I love about this price on eschatological peace is that it just follows on from a system that puts a price on everything, absolutely everything. So yes, let’s put a price on that too.

    P.S 2. the conversation going on the USA right now is also interesting in this realm. The Republicans with their handmaidens, the religious right, are being totally exposed as the servants of the corporations. They have chosen to run for this November’s mid-term elections on the platform of tax cuts to the rich (even though it is well documented those increase the deficit) along with a decrease in benefits to the poor and middle class on the grounds that those increase the deficit. Specifically they have withheld extensions of unemployment benefits on the grounds that they are not ‘paid’ for even though that is an insurance program to which workers pay in and then withdraw from when in need. So really what the Republicans are using as their campaign platform is a massive transfer of wealth from the unemployed workers who won’t get their money back to the very wealthy who will not have to pay into the system for the government services they receive. Amazing. I’m just glad it is out in the open. And note, according to economists the best way to stimulate the economy is through unemployment benefits to the poor and middle class. Amazing. I stand amazed!

    • Thanks Cheryl, I did not intend to imply that we started capitalism, but I did mean to admit a very strategic role to the founding of the Bank of England, which I stand by!

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