The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

A Man of Yet a Few More Words - by Swan Morrison

IMF Explains How World Debt Crisis Is To Be Solved By "Imaginary Economics"

The institutions and regulators of the global financial system today made an unprecedented joint announcement that will change the underlying basis of the global economy.

These institutions and regulators, which include the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation, have agreed to adopt “Imaginary Economics” or IE.

At a press conference at the IMF headquarters in Washington DC, IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde, explained the nature of Imaginary Economics: ‘In order to understand IE,’ she began, ‘it is necessary to understand the history of global economics:

‘All economic systems are based on an exchange of goods or services for something else which is recognised as being of equivalent value.

‘Very early systems used simple barter - someone might exchange a goat for a sheep. Later, rare, and hence valuable, commodities like gold were used as a more convenient intermediate step in transactions. For example, a person might exchange a goat for some gold. That person might then exchange all or part of that gold for a sheep. It’s a simple step to see how coinage developed from this principle.

‘Later, governments developed the idea of promissory notes or banknotes. This meant that precious commodities would be stored by a government who would issues notes promising to return the comodities when requested, on return of the notes. Although these notes could be returned to the government in exchange for the stored commodities, in practice there became no need to do so. Confidence in their vicarious value meant that the notes themselves became the convenient intermediate step in the transfer of useful goods and services. Currencies were born.

‘UK banknotes still include the words “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of…” although these, and indeed all other banknotes, can no longer be exchanged by their bearers for gold or any other form of government reserves. They are considered as retaining a value partly because they are issued by an institution in which there is financial confidence and partly because people have come to unquestioningly accept such a familiar system.

‘Until recent times, there had been some connection between the reserves of a country, such as gold, foreign currency and and other securities, and the amount of currency in circulation. However, with the issue of long term government bonds, quantitative easing, securitisation of debt and blatant fraud, quite frankly, everyone’s lost the plot.

‘International governments and markets have been trying to pretend that it all still makes sense. In reality, however, the whole system disappeared down the rabbit hole with Alice, long ago, and we are now seeing the effect of that in the current global financial meltdown.

‘This finally brings me back to the subject of Imaginary Economics or IE, which will now underpin the global financial system.

‘The ordinary citizen knows little of the above principles of economics. He or she uses currency to obtain goods or services, and never ponders on what banknotes really represent. As long as the currency works, and no one thinks about it all too hard, everything is just fine.

‘This leads to the underpinning principle of IE: A currency can be linked to anything or nothing, as long as nobody thinks too hard about it.

‘Immediate steps will therefore be taken to eliminate unhelpful thinking about the global financial system and also to promote unquestioning belief in it. The imposition of unquestioning belief is, of course, not new to the human race, and international policies will be implemented based on the successful promotion of Christianity in the Middle Ages. An Inquisition will be formed with powers to imprison, torture and burn at the stake anyone who expresses disbelief at any IE doctrine.

‘IE policies will include just one international currency called the Zog. The Zog will be linked to the Martian Troggle, which is a very stable currency as it is supported by the vast Martian reserves of bogglemite.

‘International debt will be solved by printing enough Zogs to make everybody happy.

‘Prices will be set centrally, and employment will be mandatory, so that production and commerce will continue to function much as previously.

‘I can see that some members of this audience have urgent questions about this strategy. I would like to draw the attention of those people to the armed guards in the auditorium and the prison vans waiting outside.

‘To encourage the support of ordinary people, we propose to print enough Zogs to make everyone a millionaire. Also, all bank PIN numbers will now be 0000, and withdrawals will be unlimited – account top-ups will be automatic.

‘To bring banking institutions on board with this plan, we have had to guarantee massive performance related bonuses to bankers, along conventional lines – that is to say, the worse they perform; the greater the bonuses they receive. Also they have demanded to appear on television sitting amongst piles of cash, jeering at ordinary citizens. In order to avoid civil unrest as a result of their conspicuous greed, we will be assuring believers that bankers' bonuses have no effect on ordinary people, but are fully funded by a generous gift from King Bogo of Jupiter.

‘In conclusion, we believe that it is a natural progression for the global financial system to become completely detached from any form of rationality, logic or sanity, and that to take this minor step forward from where it is at present will ensure a better tomorrow for our nations. We believe that this will mean a better future for you, for me and for the large white rabbit on the ceiling who explained all this to me.

‘Thank you.’