Have you ever wondered why payments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) appear to have no impact on national budgets or budget deficits? It could be that such payments never consist of anything more than promises and commitments. All smoke and mirrors. In much the same way as banks use sleight of hand to create interest-bearing money out of thin air, what if payments to the IMF are not treated as budget outlay at all? What if there’s some kind of accountancy process whereby a payment to the IMF is matched by a transfer of assets of equivalent value from the IMF? Then, to all intents and purposes, the transaction is simply skewed as an exchange of assets.
Poof! The expenditure magically disappears!
There’s too much of this financial trickery going on generally. The Jimmy Carr tax avoidance scam, where his salary was treated as a loan, is a recent high-profile example. It may be a clever bit of sorcery to make money appear out of nowhere, like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, but, at the end of the day, one party is cheating another party and the chickens (rabbits?) will eventually come home to roost.
Meanwhile, we have a farcical situation where countries that have run out of money lend one another money that doesn’t exist!
As it becomes less and less likely that European nations such as Greece, Portugal and Spain will repay their debts, it becomes more and more likely that scrutiny of official accounts and balance sheets will reveal the man behind the curtain. At that point, markets will cotton on to the scam and the storm will hit.