How to Lose a Billion Dollars

Originally posted on on September 23, 2011

UBS – bank – deregulation

Did Swiss-owned UBS really lose two billion dollars? Or did they “lose” 2 billion that they never really had?

Just as we fluffed up the market in the 1980’s with the dot com bubble, traders taking dubious risks are dealing in a fabrication of wealth.

Isn’t money just a symbol used to move products and consume services? Stated another way, money is no longer backed by the gold standard, so essentially it represents the ability to move around the world’s resources and mobilize labor.

To that end, money never really disappears. It just changes hands. So here is my economic lesson of the day: the reason the economy is so bad lately, is that money is not being circulated as it had been even four year ago. There are fewer people and businesses with larger amounts of money and they are sitting on it, not knowing where to invest.

When money sits and stagnates, tax revenues decrease. As simplistic as it sounds, unemployed people do not pay employment taxes (less tax revenue!) and do not have the income to spend on products and services. This is not the unemployed’s fault (we aren’t lazy people, we just can’t find jobs!) but it is very much the fault of the wealthy, who need to invest in Americans, invest in American businesses and technology, and our children’s future by getting up off their money and doing something with it.

Money has to flow.

We would not even be talking about raising taxes if the money were used to invest in our future. It is a lack of vision that has stymied the market; to get money flowing again, we have to promote ideas and latch on to a positive forward-thinking outcome.

In short, it is time to get creative. This is an opportunity of epic proportions, my fellow Americans!

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