Imagine a world where an international fund hands out cash so that indebted developed countries can stay in denial, and a European central bank prints money and urges pension funds to buy up “risk-free” government bonds, leaving starving pensioners with no money for bread.
But, hey, that’s OK, say the powers that be – let them eat cake!
This world, in which the International Nemesis Fund and the European Central Denial authority (ECD) with its Buy A Bond for European Liberty III (BABEL III) initiative call the shots, has been imagined by emerging markets asset manager Ashmore co-founder and head of research, Jerome Booth.
And his take on a “cure” for the financial crisis through the INF’s DENIAL (Debt Extension New International Arrangements to Lend) programme should strike a chord.
Booth, an emerging markets bull, imagines one market participant praising the DENIAL programme, which allows Heavily Indebted Developed Countries (HIDCs) to “suspend crisis conditions indefinitely”:
We all know that these countries are going to default or inflate their debt away but this DENIAL programme enables us to engage in double-think and achieves all the major goals that policy-makers are currently focussing on: the need to blame others for previous policy errors, the need to rob people of their savings without them noticing, and the need to avoid the stigma of actually defaulting.