In hard times, it’s important to remember your times tables

10 x 10 is 100, 10 x 100 is 1000, 1000 x 1000 is a million, a thousand x a million is a billion, and a thousand times a billion is a trillion.

One of the more bizarre aspects of contemporary life in the West is how we’ve all become blasé about massive amounts of market intervention monies being used to combat ‘valitillydee’ in stock markets, currency values and so forth….but the experience for most of us is of living on smaller and smaller amounts every year.

The 3% (who have allegedly now become the 1%) measure their incomes in millions, and the intervention they need when things go wrong in billions. Governments then being forced to bail them out and/or defend their currencies against the speculators (who earn millions and cost billions) cost these exercises in trillions. This is because a million x a billion is a trillion. It’s all quite simple, really.

When, towards every year end, multinational companies set their tax accountancy dogs onto the HMRC bill, the amount starts out in billions and then winds up in the very low monetary base level rarely heard about these days, thousands. So if the original bill was £1.5billion, and the dogs of whore get it down to £200,000 (such is not unusual) this too makes mathematical business sense for almost everybody: if a thousand tax accountants earn £100,000 each on the job, the globalists win because they save billions, the accountants win because they make millions, and the shareholders win because the dividend gets bigger by thousands. This too is because a thousand x a thousand is a million. Innit brirrant how, like, it all squares off?

It works, in fact, for everyone except the Treasury….and we the ordinary law-abiding taxpayers, who wind up losing our health and welfare packages to pay for it all. Take my situation: Zirp has cost me on average £1,500 a year since 2010, and there are just a gnat’s under 30 million taxpayers in the UK. My case is atypical because I have (or rather had) some capital, but actually it’s pretty much the same for everyone: a real average ‘wage’ of £5,000 a year (including all unemployed, retired, full time housewives and those in further education) is now worth 30% less than it was twenty years ago….or £1,500. The tax rate we, the peasants, pay on that will be circa 15%….or £225.

We are, by now, aware of being down here in the base dregs of society, because we’re measuring things in hundreds. But fifteen hundred pounds more earned by us comes to £45billion… so you see, if next year we don’t do just, say, nine tax-evasion deals with fat globalists, we can all have our salary values restored to where they were in 1995, and the Treasury would get £6.75bn in tax off us, plus £40-50billion more off the piggies.

Result, happiness.

But not from the neoliberal viewpoint. Because you see, the shareholders would lose and lots of them are institutions. Pensions would be in danger. Without Zirp and QE, the banks would collapse and the stock markets tumble, and then the Treasuries would be emptied (once we’d been dragged screaming to be bailed in) and government as we know it would cease and would all that really be such a bad thing?

Anyway – although all those things could easily happen come what may – it will be (perhaps literally) over the dead bodies of the 1%. So very large numbers of worthless fiat notes will continue to be thrown at lost causes.

Here’s today’s eye-watering example: despite intervening to the tune of £47billion during last night’s trading, the People’s Bank of China looked on in horror as the Shanghai composite index fell another 2.9% anyway. It fell because Yellen’s Fed speech said there’d likely be another rate rise in March. Now the European markets are wobbly because the Shanghai fell, and New York didn’t react well to Yellen and so S&P futures are uncertain and….here we go round the mulberry bush.

Yesterday at The Slog: Can Cameron keep the lid on his little HSBBC problem?