This week has been a bit tense. For Cypriots around the world that is a gross understatement. I like many people, have been watching from the sidelines with incredulity and deep sadness as the government of Cyprus has been hopping backwards and forwards between Brussels and Russia trying to salvage a badly damaged economy and in some measure a damaged reputation. I feel sad for all my friends and family who live there because they are the ones who will have to pick up the pieces.
Cyprus is another casualty of the economic distress and upheaval that is spreading like a disease around the world. With it comes talk of austerity and how we must all tighten our belts and expect grim years ahead with no frills and fancies, in some cases that means basic essentials like food and clothing. The puzzle is that money does not just go ‘poof’ and disappear surely it is in someone’s pocket, someone with very big pockets? Or has it disappeared down some black hole somewhere? There is also a lot more money in circulation than there used to be as now governments talk in billions and trillions where as in my childhood a million was considered a sum too large to contemplate; even lottery prizes are in multi millions! I’m sure some economist can explain it to me. In this country (UK) I know the government has printed more money “to ease the flow” quantitative easing they call it; if they can print more money why not just print enough to wipe out the debt? That’s another thing if there is debt someone must be the creditor that must be the man with the big pockets I guess?
Originally money was created as a convenient way for people to exchange something of value (gold) for service or goods, indeed at first the money was the gold turned into coins. Then money was made from other metals then paper to represent the gold that was held in a bank, is this still the case? I don’t think so. Unless that gold has gone up massively in value and then who says what the value should be? When someone first had the bright idea to charge interest for lending Fred down the road enough money to build a house back in the year dot, he was in fact, magically, creating more money, making the amount of (gold) money he lent multiply! And so the magic has continued and the amount of money in the world has multiplied exponentially as does the amount of people needing it. But it seems to have all now got a bit out of hand and there is an urgent need for another bright idea to take its place. Money seems to have taken over everything and makes the rules that the rest of us are forced to follow; It has become the main focus instead of just an exchange of energy. Time to get back to basics and focus on the amazing richness the world has to offer in terms of talent and resources and find a way of enjoying them and exchanging them without the use of bankers.
Cyprus I am sure will come back and be strong again, there is a lot of talent there amongst the young especially. I for one will be proud to see the regeneration.