I remember when the credit crunch began, being shouted down by a know-it-all economist who said that things were just a blip and in a year or two everything would be back to normal.
Well, that was over four years ago and rather than getting better, the economy is only getting worse. And to see why, you only have to look at Japan, the country that gave us Quantitative Easing.
Japan hit the rails in the early 1990s and has been throwing money from its printing presses at its economy ever since. The Bank of Japan has just announced yet another asset buying programme. If the Japanese can't solve their problems after all these years and we are just copying the Japanese then don't expect your life to improve any time soon.
So long as the evil triumvirate of politicians, bankers and corporations can't see beyond the next election or shareholders' AGM then life for the rest of us will never improve. Quantitative easing is just a method for governments to make casino chips for their chums in the banks to blow in financial markets.
A favourite website of mine is Trading Economics (http://www.tradingeconomics.com), which contains lots of simple to understand graphs.
Here are some graphs for Japan.
The Japanese stock market entered a property bubble during the 1980s, collapsed in 1990 and shows no signs of recovery, 22 years later.
In the same period, interest rates in Japan have dropped to zero. That's right 0%.
On the same website you will see graphs that don't look too bad. Low unemployment and a surging GDP in Japan. Well, I put that down to the Japanese character. Hard working. Very hard working. So hard that I wouldn't last 5 minutes in Japan.
You will hear plenty of stories of Japanese people working during every waking hour. Japanese people don't sleep much so they work many more hours than we do.
Japan is a gulag economy all those hours worked just to earn as much as westerners and what good has it done for the stock market or interest rates?
Let's look at the United States. GDP on the up and so it should if you have a large percentage of your population in prison, many of whom are working for US industrialists for no wages.
The US and UK stock markets are up. Why? More Quantitative Easing. I don't know what Japan does with its printed money, probably something more constructive than what we do in the west.
US and UK banks sell their bad assets to their governments, who print digital money. The banks then hand the digital money over to the banks trading trading arms (instead of lending it out to businesses in the form of loans) and play a few spins of the wheel in the stock market. Hence, stock market up, interest rates down, economy no where.
Today, I went for a walk around town. Many shop fronts were empty and advertised as "To Let". The vast majority of shops and businesses could be categorised as follows:
1) Pound shops, second hand shops and charity shops.
2) Betting shops and slot machine arcades.
3) Pawn shops and gold converters.
4) Pubs and bars to drown your sorrows in.
5) Chain stores running perpetual sales.
All quite sad. People have no money to spend, save for seconds and massively discounted new items. Betting shops and arcades to gamble your welfare cheque on. In the hope of what? Doubling your money up from nothing to next to nothing?
Pawn shops and gold converters to dump what's left in your house that is of any worth. Pubs and bars from where you can obtain your legal (and maybe not so legal) highs to take your mind off your misery.
The never ending sales where everything and I mean everything, which is produced for next to nothing in China, is reduced to a sensible retail price.
And who is in the shops? Welfare claimants, people with far away stares who I would run from if they so much as look at me and immigrants, buying their piece of the western dream because we in the west can no longer afford it.
I saw two people carrying some cooking pots that I liked the look of. I said to them, "They are nice, where did you get them from?"
I was answered with, "Shop. Shop. Yes. Shop. Shop." It was the only English they knew. And off they went, to disappear into the gulag, to work for pennies, to keep life cheap for the middle class.
Interest rates will remain near zero until every penny of your savings have been hoovered up and redistributed to those who already have more than enough money. People will continue to be made redundant and re-employed weeks later in a similar job but for less wages because of the never-ending tide of competitive overseas labour.
You see on television, the LibLabCon fighting for the votes of the middle classes and yet it is the middle classes that have caused this mess. Their want of everything for the lowest price. To hell with them all.
Quantitative easing forever. Growth to be chanted from the altar though it can no longer be sustained. People and jobs to be shuffled around the globe to wring the last bit of profit from a bankrupt economic system.
Be more self-reliant. Remove yourself from the system.