How the Eurozone functions now:
- Government of Country A wants money to bribe citizens of A for votes.
- Government A goes into debt by selling bonds, and gives money to people of A, and gets reelected.
- Government A needs more money, so it sells more bonds, and gives it to people of A.
- Government A sells so many bonds that debt surpasses GDP of A. People get worried that A will not pay bonds. Interest rates rise.
- ECB buys hundreds of billions in bonds of A to “stabilize the system”, and gives A the money it printed to buy them, in exchange for going even deeper into debt.
- A defaults, ECB stops giving them Euros.
- A leaves the Euro and prints its own currency.
- Currency A plummets in value because nobody else wants it. People of A have nothing to exchange for goods and services. They starve and riot.
Debt is encouraged in a fiat system because in the back of their minds, investors always know the central bank will guarantee the bonds, enabling countries to go so deep into debt that they will never be able to pay it back. How would it work under a gold standard?
- Government of B wants to bribe its citizens for votes.
- Government A goes into debt by selling bonds for gold, gives gold to people of A, and gets reelected.
- Government A needs more gold, so it sells more bonds. But they can’t sell as much since investors are trying to conserve gold rather than keep lending it to A. Interest rates rise.
- Investors in A’s bonds are literally running out of gold. They stop buying bonds in order to conserve gold for other purposes.
- ECB does not buy any bonds either since ECB does not exist. Gold is money and it is spread around, given in exchange for goods and services.
- A’s debt is large, but manageable, because nobody allowed them to go too deep into debt in an attempt to conserve their gold reserves.
- A cuts its budget, stops borrowing gold, and begins to pay back its debt in gold by exchanging goods and services for gold. Life is harder, but the budget is eventually balanced and the debt is repaid.
- In the next election, people of A elect fiscal conservatives who understand that it is a bad idea to go too deep into debt.