Bill Blain’s new book, The Fifth Horseman – How to Destroy the Global Economy, has been attracting much comment. It’s a tongue-in-cheek polemical sideswipe at Central Bankers, Regulators and Politicians for the poor and mistaken policies that have fuelled the ongoing global financial crisis since 2017.
Blain’s book claims to be a hack of emails and documents exchanged between Hell’s top banker and his boss as they plan to extend the crisis they created in 2007 and make it worse... Here is an excerpt...
(Edited version of the speech given by the TJ Wormwood, Chief Demonic Officer – Finance, Lord of 3rd Ring of the 7th Circle, to invited audience at Davos.)
As you all know, I’ve been wrecking finance for millennia. [Pause for effect]
Nearly every major big idea, evolutionary leap forward, invention and discovery has improved the miserable lot of mankind only through their ability to monetise it. Forget the theft of fire – being able to monetise fire by attracting pretty and willing mates around a warm campfire, or cooking the food others have hunted, is what mattered. Strip out the noise, and the rise of mankind is largely due to improvements in the efficiency and ease of means of exchange.
From the realisation hunters could barter their furs for other goods, to the rise of complex products to finance global growth – the innovation of financial markets has been a major driver of success for the Other Side in raising the wellbeing and prosperity of mankind. Pretty much anything that holds back or disrupts trade, increases costs and holds back services is naturally positive for our goal of global destabilisation.
So, here is the big plan:
Since 2007 we’ve been turning the Other Side’s successful innovation of financial markets against them. Global Financial Markets are incredibly rich in opportunities to distort truth, hide lies, and undermine mankind – generating immediate greed, envy, suspicion and anger. We’ve uncovered previously unimaginable ways in which to financially screw the World with consequences that impact everyone.
We’ve overlaid the programme with our mastery and understanding of temptation, human greed, avarice and pride, while adding subtlety and cunning. We merely suggest and advise. We are facilitating the train-wreck of the global economy by destroying asset values while confounding their understanding of money and wealth – the pillars of their society.
At its simplest form we are manipulating and driving constant market instability to keep mankind distracted. Uncertainty clouds their future expectations – so we keep it raining. A Mortgage crisis one year, followed by a Sovereign Debt crisis the next, spiced with a couple of bank failures, and threats of global trade war. Overlay with confusion and distraction such as social media, fake news, Bitcoin and populism, and it all works rather well.
Keep their leaders arguing. Keep the blame game going.
Our success can be seen in current financial asset prices. These are now hopelessly inflated and distorted by foolish post financial crisis policy decisions. They are bubbles set to pop. Empower the regulators and bureaucrats to compromise finance through zealous over-regulation, making banking safer by destroying it. Usher in a new era of trade protectionism, the end of Free Trade and increase the suspicion some countries are manipulating their currencies for economic advantage. Sprinkle some dust of political catastrophe, the collapse of law, undo the fair, just and caring society, while adding some eye of newt and complex environmental threats. Make the rich so rich they don’t notice, and the poor so poor they become invisible. If the markets remain uncertain, then it distracts mankind from addressing these issues, making society less stable!
There as some things we’re really proud of, including the Euro, Social Media, Investment Banks, the Tech Boom, and especially Quantitative Easing (which is still delivering confusion and pain). New Monetary Theory could prove even better – it shows tremendous potential to thoroughly unsettle confidence in money. Cybercurrencies are particularly fun – despite coming up with the idea, neither we, nor even the distinguished members of our panel of eternal guests, understand the why of them. They are libertarian nonsense – so, naturally we continue to encourage them as get-rich-quick schemes, but they also further undermine confidence in money and government. We made something up in a bar one night and called it a Distributed Ledger - the humans ran with it and invented Blockchain, whatever that might be..
Some of the other stuff we’ve encouraged, such as The EU, ETFs, Hi-Frequency Trading, Neil Woodford and Deutsche Bank look likely to be highly effective vectors of short-term economic destruction and destabilisation, triggering systemic market events and regulatory backlashes across markets. We are only now exploring the full potential of market illiquidity to rob billions of pensioners of their savings.
We’ve persuaded investors to overturn proven tried and tested investment strategies and wisdoms, nurturing a whole range of overpriced unprofitable US Tech “Unicorn” companies which we are confident will prove utterly over-hyped and largely worthless. The success of social media, data mining and new tech has increased levels of dissatisfaction and envy – especially in our target younger demography.
The way we successfully pinned the blame on banks for the Global Financial Crisis – despite the fact it was people who wanted mortgages to buy houses and fast cars - ensured global regulators would over-react. We’ve allowed regulators to focus on banks while we target the next financial crisis in other parts of the financial ecosystem.
Regulators forced the banks to de-risk. But risk does not disappear - it just goes somewhere else. While banks understood risk and had massive staffs to manage risk, risk is now concentrated in the hands of “investment managers” who are singularly ill-equipped to withstand the next credit crunch and global recession, (which we’ve planned for next October – Save the Date cards have been sent).
We are particularly pleased that many banks now exceed the 2.3 compliance officers for every profitable banker ratio. Compliance and regulatory costs now exceed 10% of income at some European banks – a stunning success and substantially decreasing the efficiency of banking and exchanges.
We’ve some great new financial ideas we are still experimenting with, some of which show great promise for further weakening society. Facebook Money is going to be a cracker, and I particularly like the Spaceship to Mars project… if only they knew what awaits them…
By hiding inflation in the stock market, we assisted the accumulation of massive wealth by a tiny percentage of the population to ferment income inequality dissatisfaction. When capital is concentrated and the workers under the cosh, it creates all the right conditions for weak disjointed government to aid and abet the rise of destabilising populism.
It’s highly satisfying to watch the instability we’ve created in financial markets drive fear and distrust across society. The debt crisis we engineered led to global financial austerity, job insecurity, and rising inequality. We were surprised how easily we pushed the Gig economy concept to further exploit and cow workers through regulators and authorities – they barely noticed. Over this we’ve layered whole new levels of anxiety such as the unknowns of data theft, the rise in envy coefficients through social media, fake news while fuelling social distrust through resentment.
We’ve managed to persuade Governments to follow damaging and contradictory policies. As society reeled in the wake of the financial crisis, we persuaded policy makers to cut back spending through “austerity” spending programmes, simultaneously bailing out bankers while flooding the financial economy with free money through Quantitative Easing.
Effectively we’ve split the world into two economies. A real economy which is sad, miserable and deflating, and a financial economy that’s insanely optimistic, massively inflated and ripe to pop on the back of free money.
The resentment, instability, fear and general sense of decay has paid dividends in our drive to break society by undermining the credibility of the political classes. Our approach to politics has been simple – deskill the political classes, reduce their effectiveness as leaders, while engineering economic, social and financial instability to drive rampaging populist politics – just like in 1932! Populism may ultimately prove short-lived, but it’s difficult to see how the political classes will recover their power in time to reverse the damages being done to the global environment.
While markets have burned, society become increasingly riven, and politics has failed, we’ve distracted the humans from the rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which threatens to create global warming and rising sea levels, while plastics poison the oceans and soil erosion threatens agriculture.
Now I love the ravenous hunger and sharp pointy teeth of polar bears as much as the next demon, but needs must... needs must. I was also rather fond of the dinosaurs...
Our approach to ensuring destructive climate change has proved very effective. We’ve supported, financed and advised the loudest green lobbies to ensure their message looks ill-considered, wrong and economic suicide. We also paid big bucks to fund the loudest climate change deniers. Our innovation of fake news to discredit and mitigate anything positive means climate change remains a crank topic – even as our polar bears drown.
Meanwhile, through our dominance of global boardrooms and investment firms, we’ve made sure that large corporates have bought-out and stifled new technologies that could solve the environmental crisis.
Our future looks great – because their future is bleak!
Thank you for your kind attention.
Demonic Chief Office – Finance
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You can get your personally pixelated copy on Kindle or as a Paperback on Amazon. For less than the price of a couple of pints, you are guaranteed at least 2 laughs.. unless you are Neil Woodford or work for Deutsche or Goldman. Go on... you know it makes sense...