Have you ever seen the movie Fight Club? If not, here's a spoiler (warning!): at the end of the movie, the hero/anti-hero blows up all the financial institutions. Without all the little digits, all the bits and bytes floating around in the cyber-air representing the vast sums of money incarcerated in digital bank accounts around the world, people return to being just people.
As an aside, being a former risk management auditor, I know that financial institutions have all those bits and bytes stored off-site as well, probably in multiple locations, probably directed off-site simultaneously with the recording of the initial event. In my experience, financial institutions usually had the most interest in protecting and recording their data correctly and securely. So, you know, the Club would have needed to track down those mega-storage units as well. Maybe an EMP would have worked for that.
Getting back to the thread. Sometimes I marvel at all of it - the fact that we are all running around pretending that we have REAL assets, when in fact they are just little numbers flying around in the air. The checking accounts that we live off of - just numbers. The savings account for the kiddo's college education - just numbers. The retirement assets you've worked to save for the last fifty years - just numbers, subject to random manipulation and mutilation and erasure. People paid millions of dollars just to pass these numbers back and forth and rearrange them to make them look better than they are.
If I think about it too much, it makes me a little giddy. Like looking out of a plane at the ground before parachuting out. I guess it's just one more symptom of our mass mania. We pretend that we can grow forever. We pretend that we know what we're doing when we stimulate the economy this way and pump it up that way. We pretend we're doing the right thing when we collectively accumulate a debt we can never, and will never, repay.
Why not pretend that we have actual things called money, which represent actual value, sitting in vaults somewhere, instead of digital numbers which represent decisions in a banker's head to loan money into existence out of nothing? As long as we all pretend, and all agree, on the existence and relative values and worth of our digits, the hallucination holds firm. But if we stop agreeing....???