donderdag 22 februari 2018

Is the Ice-Nine Plan, of the government to prohibit access to our money legit?


1 Answer
Steven Witcher
No. Furthermore, James Rickards seems to be going further and further off the deep end.
Ice-Nine (which he created out of whole cloth and named after a fictional substance from a Kurt Vonnegut book called Cat’s Cradle, which I highly recommend) is a doomsday scenario where everyone in the world tries to cash out all of their stocks, bonds, and various accounts at once, and they discover the money isn’t there and doesn’t exist to cash out. He feels this will force banks to close, and stock markets to fail, and so on and so forth.
He is describing a Bank Run, which is a hypothetical scenario where a bank doesn’t have enough reserve to cover demand. I’m not sure why he renamed the concept, except to maybe confuse people and to sound hip (Rickards only saving grace, in my opinion, is his good taste in novels). Banks have a history of people panicking and removing or attempting to remove all of their assets en masse, which was a problem when we had a commodity currency and banks didn’t have the gold to back it. Fearing a bank run in those days was legitimate.
Then we came up with protections. The major one being the Federal Reserve Act, which established a central bank to finance other banks and provide stability. We also have rules preventing large withdrawals, rules dictating large stock sell offs, and bonds are generally time locked with massive fees preventing an early withdrawal. Furthermore, for certain liquid assets, you can’t “cash out” without there being a buyer (stocks are a THING you must SELL, like land, and everyone that buys these things understands that). You literally can’t have everyone sell at the same time, and there will almost always be demand for certain things (all land won’t become useless).
Rickards differentiates Cash from Deposits, which is the wrong way to think of money. Of course we don’t have the cash to cover all money in existence. Most of it would sit in vaults, and never see circulation. Cash doesn’t have inherent value, and simply represents the money you have, same as a checking account would. Most people never really think about this, but banks don’t exchange cash when you pay your bills with a debit card. In fact, most banks don’t keep cash reserves in large quantities, they prefer Fed accounts (which gain interest nowadays). Most money is simply electronic, which is fine because rectangular paper squares were arbitrary, as were little metal disks. If we did need more actual paper notes (let’s assume his ill-defined apocalypse happens), we could easily print them, and we could print them in higher denominations to quickly meet demand. The number in bank accounts would decrease and the paper currency total would increase, and the money supply would stay the same, and we’d see a lot of business suffer (online sales aren’t made with cash).
Long story short, nothing about his Ice-Nine idea makes any sense whatsoever.