In today’s issue:

  • The IMF is back in charge of the UK… unofficially
  • Why Labour will have to toe the line, again
  • Will bitcoin go to £100k?

As a former flying trapeze artist, I know a dodgy sideshow when I see one. And this election fits the bill.

For all the bluster, showmanship and election analysis, this is the first election that didn’t really matter. But not for all the reasons the media is pointing out. Nor the reasons they’re carefully avoiding either.

It has nothing to do with questions over what Labour’s policies will actually be once they’re in power. The papers are full of panicked speculation about that.

Will Labour stage another pension raid, like Gordon Brown did?

Will capital gains taxes go up, now that inflation has goosed all our assets?

Will Labour decide how our pension fund money should be invested to try and fund mad schemes even taxpayers would balk at?

Will Labour add a flood of European migrants to the existing one?

Will Labour undermine Brexit even more than the Conservatives did by mimicking Europe’s regulation?

Investors are selling out, millionaires are moving overseas and small business is preparing to turn the other cheek.

Sure, it matters. But I’m not buying any of it. Those living and acting in fear of a Labour government have forgotten one rather large thing…

The IMF is already back in charge of the UK… unofficially

Perhaps six years ago, I read a book about the UK’s 1976 IMF crisis. Can’t remember a word of it now. The institutional context was just too bizarre. I would’ve had to read countless other books to get a grip of what was going on at the time.

It’s so easy to take the nature of your world for granted. To presume the institutions around you have always existed in the way we know. And to forget that radical changes can and do happen.

Inflation targeting is still fairly new, for example. And yet, it completely dominates financial market action these days.

The 70s seem more than just a long time ago. They sound like a completely different world.

Were there really fixed exchange rates, capital controls, double-digit interest rates and governments making monetary policy!?

I can’t imagine it. Nor what it would’ve meant for investors at the time.

And yet, an equally momentous shift has just occurred again.

No, not the election. In fact, it makes the election irrelevant.

Back in 2011, the IMF wrote up a playbook for how to cut national debt. Specifically, what to do when government debt gets so high that tax and spending policy just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

The guide features a hidden type of tax that can be imposed on you. No law needs to be passed, no politician informed and no budget announced.

There is only one crucial requirement for it to work. Policymakers must play dumb when it’s working. For, if the people were to figure out what’s going on, all hell could break loose.

This hidden tax is how we paid off our Napoleonic War Debt and World War debts. The latter explains what went so wrong in the 1970s, by the way. And why the 80s turned things around, setting up the prosperity of the 90s. It had little to do with who was in government back then, too.

Now, thanks to the pandemic debts, we’re back in the same debt trap. With only one way out. Cede control of the country to the technocrats with a secret play to cut that debt. Or at least make it irrelevant.

But why would our new government go along with all this?

Easy. Ever since Tony Blair’s “reforms,” our governments have had no choice.

Why Labour will toe the IMF’s line, again

Do you think Sir Keir Starmer wants to be the next Liz Truss? Do you think Rachel Reeves wants to be the next Kwasi Kwarteng?

Whatever they say about gender transitions and the right to identify as another race, somehow, I doubt it.

But avoiding that fate means doing one thing. Keeping the UK’s true overlords on side.

How? With economic policy that carefully surprises no one. And has the telegraphed nod of those really in power in the UK. (They’re the same as those in power in Greece, by the way. And soon in France and the US.)

This is why the Labour Party is planning to hand important budget busting powers to the Office for Budget Responsibility. Think of it as the IMF’s outpost in Westminster.

Someone other than the government is running the country.

Will bitcoin go to £100k?

Before you go, one last thing…

My friend Jasmine Birtles is hosting a free event at a rather elegant club in Knightsbridge on Thursday. Freedom & Fortune readers are very cordially invited.

The event is a panel discussion on the topic of “Will Bitcoin go to £100k?”

It’s going to be held at Pavilion Club in Knightsbridge (opposite Harvey Nichols) and will start around 6pm, with free drinks and nibbles, on Thursday 11 July.

Panellists include Asher Tan, the founder and CEO of the trading platform CoinJar, bitcoin millionaire Aditya Nagarsheth, Jonny Fry from Digital Bytes and (for the opposition) Ron Delnevo from the Payments Choice Alliance. There will also be special guests in the audience you may (or may not) want to rub shoulders with.

Anyone who is interested in the subject is welcome to sign up. You could be a bitcoin fan or a serious sceptic – I know Jasmine makes all different views welcome.

Just sign up for free at Jasmine’s website and when you get to the club, just tell them you are “a guest of Jasmine Birtles” to get in.

Until next time,

Nick Hubble
Editor, Fortune & Freedom