The Financial System Limit

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    How I realised there is afinancial system limit, and wrote a book of the same name:-

    In 2018, I wondered how much economic output was being consumed by interest. Occasionally, when I had time for research, I looked for economic studies relating the cost of interest to economic output. But I foundnothing. Nobody seemed interested in investigating the connection between cost of borrowing and economic growth.

    After a few months I tried collecting my own data. Economic output (GDP, gross domestic product) was easy. And I found plenty of statistics about public debt. Private sector debt? One could find borrowing figures for particular types of debts, but no costs. How much do people and businesses actually spend on interest? There is not much reliable data.

    Therefore I formed my own estimates. The result: a calculation that one-fifth of economic output is spent on interest. It’s an awful figure. Yet nobody thinks about it. Journalists and politicians run after government debt data, but are silent about how much the private sector wastes.

    I then tried to find a trend, which produced another revelation: using sample credit card costs, interest rates paid by households and businesses have been rising even though interest earned by depositors has fallen to nothing. Again, a problem that nobody is concerned about. Is the cost of interest holding back economic progress?

    Some eight years ago, I gave a couple of talks based around another concept. Central banks stimulate to escape downturns, creating extra private sector debt that itself causes the next economic upset perhaps ten years later. This central banking cycle, the cost of private sector interest, and one-fifth of economic output spent on interest, set out the basics of the theory. All that remained was to establish the shortcomings of popular solutions to excess debt, add some case studies, and a book was born. There are two case studies, a country (Puerto Rico) and the UK company Carillion.

    You can read the first chapter free, with no registration requirement, on the publisher’s website. The text is clearly written so that anyone can follow the argument. A modestly-priced e-book is available now and a paperback edition is on sale in some countries. The hardback edition will be published in the United States on 21st June and in the United Kingdom on 23rd August.

    For more information visit

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