The Fantasy of Something For Nothing

Let’s travel to a world of fantasy where we can produce something out of nothing.  I am not talking about taking a great idea, adding hard work and capital, and creating a profitable business.  In this fantasy world a few keystrokes can produce massive wealth.

Fantasy world examples:

  • I sit at my computer and type in some data, press “print” and my printer spits out $1,000,000 in crisp hundred dollar bills.  They are created from just a printer, ink, and a bit of time to input the data, but nevertheless, it is a million bucks produced from almost nothing.
  • I sit at my computer, type in some data, press enter, and …  WOW!!!   1,000,000 euros appear in my off-shore bank account.  This is easy and very close to something from nothing.
  • I sit at my computer, consolidate a thousand real estate mortgage contracts into mortgage-backed-securities (MBS), put a face value on them of $200,000,000 and sell off a few chunks to various pension funds.  The game works so well that I sell 120% of the available MBS, skim off the proceeds from the extra 20% (say $40,000,000) and transfer that to a numbered account in another country.
  • I call the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, order them to print another $50,000,000 in $20 bills, and wait for the delivery via Brinks.  My cost was merely paper, ink, and labor to print the 2.5 million Federal Reserve Notes.

Creating something from nothing was working really well ….. until reality intruded into my pleasant little fantasy world.

  • I called up the local gold mine and ordered them to print some gold – say five tons of the stuff.  The mine superintendent laughed at me, said something unprintable about my intellectual status and my mother, and hung up the phone.  He was really quite rude.
  • I thought about trying to print silver, copper, diamonds and crude oil on a 3-D printer, but realized they cannot be printed.
  • I’m returning to my computer, my printer, my fantasies, and the convenience of creating currencies.  I like my Ponzi-esque fantasy world.  I don’t want to live in a real world that requires work, mining, actual creation, and substance.  I like my something-for-nothing world where I create bales of paper dollars, digital euros, and carloads of yen.

I don’t want to return to the real world.

But I am terrorized by a nightmare – it haunts me on most nights.  In the nightmare all that digital money, the pieces of colored paper currency, and the MBS derivatives crash in value.  Nobody wants them.  In one nightmare I had to use a backpack full of paper euros to buy a hamburger.  In another nightmare the grocery store would not take dollars; they wanted gold backed Chinese or Russian currency.

My anti-anxiety pills aren’t working either.  I don’t know what to do.  I tried to buy gold but anyone who owned it wasn’t selling.  They laughed when I offered dollars, euros, and yen.

Is your reality based on paper or gold?


GE Christenson | The Deviant Investor

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