Jeff Snider is co-host of the Eurodollar University podcast and Head of Global Research at Atlas Financial Advisors. In this interview, we discuss the crazy possibility that nobody knows what money is, and as a result, nobody knows how to run or fix the economy. Central banks and governments are essentially engaged in a high-risk game of pretend.
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Every year around 800 million containers (categorised as Twenty-foot Equivalent Units, TEUs) are handled by ports every year. This represents around 80% of official global trade. Harvard has produced an incredible visualization of total global trade. They have populated the globe with the origin of exports of every type of product. Each tiny dot represents $100 million of exports. The globe is covered in a mass of tiny dots.
This complex, interconnected and shadowy web of global trade, where final products, intermediate inputs and raw materials are exchanged on a massive scale, represents about 50-60% of global GDP. The rest is made up of all kinds of activities, business investment, personal consumption and government expenditure.
The IMF predicts that the combined GDP of the world economies will exceed $100 trillion by the end of 2022. However, this is dwarfed by global wealth, which is estimated to be over $1,500 trillion. To put these numbers into context, US debt is currently estimated to be over $31 trillion, whilst global debt is reckoned to be over $300 trillion. Global finance, which helps manage and fuel global trade and debt, is expected to be valued at $25 trillion this year.
These are obvious gigantic numbers. Yet, these figures aren’t the thing that should give you pause for thought. What should stop you in your tracks is that nobody really understands the workings of this complex system, let alone is in control of the resultant global economy.
Most of the global trade is conducted in Eurodollars, which is money generated outside of any control of the US or the nexus of other countries’ Central Banking/Government institutional structures. Eurodollars are not understood by the major actors involved in oversight or management roles affecting global economics. That is why nobody knows how to fix the issues with the global economy. It’s because nobody knows what money actually is.