Amidst all the craziness that comes with the rush of “chasing paper” as some musicians like to put it, I’ve come to learn so much about human behaviour, especially human behaviour in relation to the financial world — a world which is actually an artificial one, but one which appears to be ruling our entire lives regardless. By just following the so-called paper-trail and isolating the pathway of but just a single pound, things get rather interesting.
It’s amazing just how many hands a single pound changes within a matter of days and it’s amazing just how far a pound can travel, only to return right back to where it started. In the most simplistic of applications of this observation, we often hear about the trillions of dollars (the world’s current base currency) the world has in debt, compelling one to ask themselves just who on earth (or who in the universe maybe) “the world” owes this money to? Jupiter? Mars perhaps?
No, we owe each other all this money and some (a lot actually) of this debt will never be paid back, ever, while some of us share common debtors and creditors. This sparks the question of whether or not we couldn’t just all sit down at a very big round-table, figuratively of course, and follow the debt path to clearly determine just who owes whom. I mean if I owe you money and you owe my neighbour money, but that same neighbour owes me money as well — could we not aggregate things and maybe come to the realisation that perhaps only one of the three of us ultimately owes just one of us money and so we ultimately don’t have to collectively write in our books that we have more debt than we actually do?
Economists and other professionals working in the financial industry will probably tell you that it can only be done in theory, even though it can actually be done in practice as well. If an aggregation of that sort were to be facilitated though, the financial industry would shrink considerably and some of the biggest and most profitable financial institutions would go out of business, simply because these financial institutions make their money out of this messy approach we have to gauging debt.
Financial and economic inclusion costs money — money which is paid to the financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies, payment processors, etc and it’s a high cost. Sometimes the costs associated with financial and economic inclusion are unfair to say the least, attested to by taking into account the sheer number of people eligible to benefit from packaged bank account claims and get back some of the money they paid to their banks in fees and charges they were never supposed to be charged in the first place.
At least those in the know and those who are already financially and economically active hold some power to fight such practices, but for some people just qualifying for something like a bank account so that they could perhaps start working to earn some money is a cost which is just out of reach for them and so they find themselves stuck in a rut they can’t get out of unless somebody were to lend a helping hand.