Can we solve the financial crisis by adopting electronic money?

Chancellor+George+OsborneWe definitely can, says Miles Kimball over on Quartz. And the American professor reckons the UK could lead the way.

His thesis works something like this: the switch to electronic money could allow the government to set negative interest rates, incentivising us all to spend rather than save. This additional demand would pick the economy up a treat.

We say the unintended consequences of this policy might be utterly disastrous. And whether the potential triple-dip recession is bad enough to warrant such a risk is arguable. But hell yes! What an idea.

So it has to be worthy of urgent, serious study. Because, as the founder of Netscape commented earlier, we’re certainly in a tech – as well as a general – depression. And who doesn’t want electronic money?

Although, as NASA pointed out, the world is not about to end. So perhaps it is an over-reaction.

That said, we’re going to need some pretty strong medicine to make the nasty economic-monsters go away. And we doubt that building ‘Digital Layers’ in our homes for Minority-Report type control in every room is going to be enough. Not least because our money’s on voice-control. Do you want to waving your arms around the whole time? It’s just going to make you tired.

Meanwhile, free electricity from underwater turbines in rivers sounds like a great idea. But hardly sufficient. And don’t get us started on those Pepsi-flavoured crisps. Apple’s Siri doesn’t look like (s)he’ll be making much of a contribution either. Not while being out-fashioned by Android, whose users can now shop-by-voice.

And don’t look to those pixels on your screen either. The Geeks have declared that the vector graphic shall inherit whatever’s left of the earth once the economy finally recovers.

So maybe it’s down to the auto-makers. They’ve got some pretty nifty ideas about what cars will do and look like in 2020.

But who wants to wait that long? So let’s all urge UK Chancellor George Osborne to take a risk on Mr Kimball’s gamble.

But if Osborne’s not listening, perhaps our new favourite economist can petition his own President. The campaign? Please, Mr President, will you make  a New Year’s resolution not to start a war? And then you might not need to invest in the rather-icky injectable battle wound foam.

Maybe Obama could concentrate instead on funding research into those gushing rivers of water found on Saturn’s moon Titan.
Now there’s a policy we could all support?

 

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