A Doggerel Dirge of Corrupted Currency

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When money transforms
from a strong steady claim
on hard assets assured,
or at least on real goods
built but not yet consumed,
and instead vests its worth
on manipulative schemes
of corruptible men
armed with fatal conceit,
is it such a surprise
that our commerce contracts
and employment recedes?

When a free market's strengths
to correct its mistakes
are totally swamped
by printing press scrip
rushing just the wrong way,
freezing bad debts in place
to reward wicked knaves
that preyed on damn fools,
what makes it so hard
to comprehend why
economic rebirth
cannot swiftly take wing?

When companies sell
what they work to produce
for pieces of paper
of uncertain worth,
yielding profits that might
or might not be sustained,
subject to taxation
that may grow or not,
regulations abound
even more yet to come,
how can you cast blame
when they choose to lay low?

When nobody knows
what a company is worth
because who can guess
what next dollars will buy,
or the rate to discount
earnings still far ahead,
or what extra demands
will be mandated soon
by political winds
that blow this way and that,
what else can occur
but wild stock market swings?

When broken big banks
refuse to write off
toxic piles of bad debt,
but cower at czars
wielding capricious rules
vague and still taking shape,
is it such a surprise
when you stuff them with cash
freshly printed that morn,
that it sits there forlorn
as loan lending abates
while fear conquers greed?

When trillions in cash
hover frozen in place
waiting signals to fly
before value erodes,
just where will you hide
when the dam finally breaks
and inflation's storm wreaks
its cruel punishment wide,
with complete disregard
for whoever it hurts
to repudiate debts
that will never be paid?

When global exchange
comes completely unmoored
as the value of money
floats free with the whims
of government minions
in desperate denial,
only chaos can rule
until voters regain
their much battered wits
and sharply change course,
or blindly let hope
pitch them in the abyss.

Bill Frezza is a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and a Boston-based venture capitalist. You can find all of his columns, TV, and radio interviews here.  If you would like to have his weekly columns delivered to you by e-mail, click here or follow him on Twitter @BillFrezza.

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