Guide to Earth Part I.
While not denying the current state of affairs, this newsletter generally intends to leave you with some positive images of the future. This empowers us all to achieve worth while changes. Sometimes the writing lets go and focuses on the downside of things in the (attempted) style of Képtelen természetrajz (Impossible Biology). The latter work by the great Nagy Lajos probably deserves more attention than it currently gets. So here’s Part I. of the series Guide to Earth:
Some argue that the word bank is derived from Banka Roland, the pilgrim who has, up until now, walked the Camino 11549 times with his donkey, Rocinante. Others allege that it comes from the dark bank of clouds that loom on the horizon of humanity. Both theories are wrong. The donkeyed pilgrim has no money to be put into a bank, while banks have nothing to do with darkness as they face a bright, rich and glorious future. The word bank actually comes from the italian banco: ‘desk’, ‘table’, as money changers in Italy used to keep their currencies on a desk, demonstrating a high degree of trust in humanity. Desks do have an important role in society, beginning with education. When we were six, we were deposited in desks, presumably to generate interest. This did not succeed. Fortunately we hid some sandwiches, a chess set and books in the vaults of our desks in order to survive the boredom of class. It was thanks to the stocks of the desk that we somehow managed to survive those years.
Banks are the foundations of the give and take of modern society. Banks give you mortgage, banks take away your house. Banks give you a car loan, banks take away your car. Once member loans will be invented, they will be able to take away your member. Banks give you debit cards, credit cards, sometimes a death card, a covering letter, credits, loans and moans. Your salary is wired to the bank where it has no time to lose its value as your bills are being paid from the same account. Banking, which has become an everyday activity, does not mean bank robbery. It refers to that daily shriek of joy upon discovering your bank’s latest measure that costs you time, money, and signing a small forest’s worth of forms. Imagine that you lend your money to someone who charges you for taking it, for holding it, for giving it back, for sending you unwanted letters and for everything. This shows how brilliant banks are and that they deserve to control your life. They can even give you credit if they decide to. You can also give them credit for looking out for their interests. They will bravely modify your contract any time they desire. Some say that banks are just tanks in the war against the poor but this is not true as tanks are ugly metal beasts while banks are imposant buildings covered with marble. Their moral superiority is clearly demonstrated by their appreciation for cleanliness. Where else could drug dealers launder their money?
The original role of banks has been taken over by money change offices. You can still change money at the bank for a ridiculous fee, but nowadays banks engage in a number of other advantageous activities. A progressive person will use the many convenient financial constructions provided by banks such as an open credit line which they can use to open a can of worms or to snort a line. There is also a thing called debt reduction loan which puts mathematics into a different light. You can also get a student loan which is not meant for loaning a student, but enriching you with a $100 000 debt when you start your working life.
Banks, beside benefiting individuals, are indispensable in society. They give funds for development, such as building a dam for which a few hundred thousand tribal people need to be relocated from their lands. Everyone can see that their new home will be more developed, what with adobe huts being replaced by corrugated iron sheets. The new dwellings will be nice and warm in the summer, while pleasantly cool in the winter, thereby helping adoption to the climate. Cows not having a pasture will be no problem since all of them will have perished by then. The tribespeople will also avoid inbreeding as a result of the prostituting of their women. They might even get electricity enabling them to watch TV and get informed about the advantages of new financial products of banks.
Banks, indeed, are present in every leading-edge project, especially for the democratically elected leaders of the developing world. This is how we in Hungary can still be paying interest on the loans taken in the communist era half a century ago. Some might ask how it can be possible to pay back a loan many times over and still be owing but it is obvious that these ignorant oafs know nothing of higher mathematics. How efficiently experts of Western banks control the life of society through their loans is demonstrated by the fact that the revenue of states is now largely spent on credit financing. This is called a debt spiral, and spirals are not only pretty, but also one of the most natural patterns in the universe. Just think about snails, a fern frond, or even our own galaxy! One could be a nitpicker and ponder how the government of the US would ever repay the thirty trillion debt they owe. Bankers, however, are not theorists living in an ivory tower but pragmatic people who do not waste their valuable time on such meaningless questions.
Fortunately for poor countries it is not only Western banks that are available for financing. There are new actors on the scene generously providing loans for development. Russia is glad to build nuclear reactors that have been proven in Chernobil. Their conditions are so favorable that contracts need to be made confidential1, in order to avoid riots in other countries. China will give financing for roads, railroads, ports, mines, airports, dams, power plants, universities, you name it. Every blessing of civilization is offered, which, when the locals cannot pay the interest, simply becomes Chinese possession. This way everyone wins. Africa can advance, breaking out of backwardness. Since locals cannot use the new projects, they will last longer. Moreover, the state will not have to maintain them and the Chinese will be able to even more easily commute between their colonies. Chinese banks are already leasing enormous territories in Africa where food is being produced for China. These colonies will redraw the unjust borders of Africa created by European colonizers.
There are many kinds of banks, such as commerce banks, central banks, credit banks, private banks, the World Bank and the Federal Reserve. Since the latter issues dollars, many believe it to be a federal institution, but in reality it is a privately owned entity. The World Bank has a solution to every problem in the world, provided the problem is being had by a dictator or a giant corporation. After all, someone has to love them, too. The World Bank is called the World Bank, because through this institution the most democratic country in the world2 controls the whole world. At least those that are progressive enough or forced to ask for a loan. The conditions of such a construction are reasonable: You have to decrease state spending on education, health, public transportation, pensions, unemployment benefits and other anti-market, wasteful, outdated measures.
National banks are meant to ensure the financial stability of the state. When speculators attack the national currency, the central bank sells dollars - if it has enough. National banks intend to navigate the turbulent sea of inflation, deflation, speculation, calculation, procrastination and constipation. When they fail, a financial crisis occurs. Fortunately, the World Bank is always eager to come to the aid of the country as long as it will open up its markets to foreigners and slash obsolete social programs and benefits. In a dictatorship the central bank is being controlled by the government, unlike in democracies where they simply fire the director.
Some confuse ‘bankers’ with ‘bonkers’. Bankers are never bonkers, it’s everyone else who deals with them. In fact, when they go bankrupt, bankers get bailed out by the state. They are also people after all, prone to make a few human errors. This raises the question: Why are you not getting a few billions when this happens to you? Well, as it happens, you and your family are not bankers. Bonkers.
Robbing banks used to be a romantic activity. Nowadays people realize that establishing and running a bank is more profitable than running from the bank with a mere bag of money. If you don’t yet have the billions, you can work at Walmart and save up for the share capital. The other possibility is to use the wide range of opportunities provided by capitalism and the great financial constructions offered by banks. You can easily realize that only laziness or a too harsh moral standard can stand in the way of setting up your own bank.
A riverbank is pretty while inflowing sludge is smelly. Banks’ marble interiors, crystal chandelliers are also pretty, and money has no odour. Money is an abstract concept based on trust. This becomes most apparent in the time of hyperinflation when people go to the market with bags of money but come home empty-handed because the calorific value of paper is low. The calorific value of digits in your bank’s computer is even lower but do dismiss this unworthy thought when depositing your hard-earned money into the bank.
Details of Paks II Nuclear Power Plant Contract were made confidential by the Orbán government.
The US of A