I formally propose that Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, be considered for the Nobel Prize. Not for the prize in economics, a field in which Mr. Greenspan has shown a very limited grasp, but for the prize in physics. His remarkable accomplishment is related to the invention of the world’s first perpetual motion machine.
Many physicists (and a few economists) claim that a perpetual motion machine is impossible, but Mr. Greenspan simply shrugs them off, retorting that their “representation of reality is at fault” and insisting that all his speaking engagement fees are paid for in gold. The perpetual motion machine, which Mr. Greenspan spearheaded against all odds, works according to the following principle.
Countries with substantial trade surpluses with the US (China, Japan, Korea) realize the importance of the American market as the outlet for their export-oriented growth model. In order to maintain favorable conditions and perpetuate this paradigm, these countries have established the largest buyer-financing scheme in history, which is putting credit cards to shame. By buying American liabilities (mainly bonds and treasuries) the flow of capital from Asia has helped maintain the value of the US dollar. This – in conjunction with low interest rates pushed by the Federal Reserve and lax credit – propelled the inflation of American assets, mainly real estate. In view of the growing paper value of their assets, consumers have been encouraged to borrow against them. Consequently a large share of this borrowed money went into consumption. Home equity loans were taken to pay for credit cards, which were used to pay for cheap imports.
In addition to his work on the perpetual motion machine, Mr. Greenspan’s contribution to literature should also be considered for this prestigious award. Notably his invention of a completely new language called FedSpeak. Linguists are consistently amazed by this language’s ability to say absolutely nothing while maintaining an illusion of substance, authority and foresight. FedSpeak has now become the standard language of central banks and many governmental agencies. Mr. Greenspan is, however, engaged in a legal battle with the estate of the novelist George Orwell over allegations that FedSpeak is flagrant plagiarism of NewSpeak.
Following in Greenspan’s footsteps, the current Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, is also fully committed to revolutionary advancements in physics. An expert on the Great Depression, Bernanke – whose theoretical knowledge about economic hard times is becoming more practical with each passing day – is expanding the technology of the perpetual motion machine with his principle of anti-gravity and is currently applying it to financial leveraging (or bailouts).
If this machine is ultimately successful it will truly be possible to create wealth out of thin air and an era of never-ending prosperity will unfold. The Central Bank of Zimbabwe, however, is contesting Mr. Barnanke’s claim, stating that it has been actively involved in the experimentation of this radical technology for several years with stupendous results. But while every citizen of Zimbabwe is now a multi-billionaire, nobody is wealthier for it. When contacted to comment, Mr. Invisible Hand stated that contrary to popular and political doctrine, there is no free lunch and that people should live within their means, save for a rainy day and stay away from Ponzi schemes. He also stated that currencies are too serious a matter to be left in the hands of central banks.