< XI >

Nosferatu and Alexis enter a board room

It is the Federal Reserve building in Washington D.C..

They are sitting around a table.

Alexis is playing with an Optimus Prime Toy.

They sit for ten minutes waiting.

Ben Bernanke walks in and sits down across the table.

Bernanke smiles and then looks serious. He looks at Alexis and sees she is playing with a toy. He has a funny look on his face.

Alexis says to Bernanke, “Nos showed me the new Transformer movie last night, it was awesomely violent.”

Bernanke responds, “I saw it, it was pretty good.”

Nosferatu says, “That's my bodyguard Alexis.”

Bernanke says, “Should she be hearing this?”

“She doesn't care about anything we have to say.”

Bernanke looks befuddled and says, “Okay.”

“So what do you want,” Nosferatu says.

Bernanke says in a troubled voice, “Things are bad. It looks like everything is going to collapse. We know you've personally seen collapses before and maybe you know what to do.”

“I do know what to do.”

“Well, tell us.”

“You have to submit to it.”

“No, I'm talking about alternative fuels, soil, prices, monetary systems. What are you talking about?”

“Ben, in the beginning when man first started tilling the soil and building little kingdoms. This can be seen in Africa and in the Americas recently: those continents' little civilizations didn't have money. People did things that mattered. Some people farmed this crop, some people farmed another crop, some people would raise this animal, some people would raise another animal, some would make shoes, some would make shirts, etc. There were niches in the economy. You would go and trade your certain crop, animal or textile at a market. The young would become soldiers and protect the people of the kingdom. After they were done being young they would go farm or be cobblers. It made sense, it worked unless there was famine or plague etc. Then in some areas there was really good soil and ocean connected to the land to allow them to sail around to collect goods. Populations grew and people started building useless things. The people that required these useless things to be built or useless wars to be fought did not have anything to barter, they were strictly consumers that skimmed off the working population. So they couldn't barter to get their useless things built, but they still had to keep their workers alive so they could keep them doing more work. So they invented money. Which is a symbol of labor. Money comes from the doing of useless things, created by people who do nothing, given to those who did something that was useless.

“What you are most afraid of, what will destroy money. Is that if it collapses, then the useless jobs will disappear. Everyone will suddenly become useful to themselves and to each other. If everyone is actually doing things that are useful, trying to survive together, each person doing their thing to keep each other alive. Then uselessness disappears and with it money. After the Fall of Rome Europe did not have money. The Plagues had reduced everyone to a state of being absolutely useful.

“If people's primary concern is water and food. Then money is useless. Water and food become the money. All you know is money. But if you cannot guarantee that a large sector of your economy will dwell on doing useless jobs than money means nothing.”

Bernanke looks at his hands for a few seconds, looks up and says, “But what am I suppose to tell people?”

“Tell them to love it. Tell them to submit to the suffering. Tell them it will give them meaning again.”

“I can't tell them that. That still implies I lose power. The point of this meeting is for you to tell me how to retain power, not lose it.”

“Ben, you aren't that powerful.”

“I am the head of The Federal Reserve.”

“Ben, can you go and buy a 1992 Ford Tempo with a shitty muffler and drive it around Washington?”

“No, of course. I am the head of The Federal Reserve.”

“So there is something you can't afford.”

Bernanke sneers at Nosferatu.

Nosferatu says, “It doesn't seem like you have any power but to be the head of The Federal Reserve. You made more money than there is labor being done and in the context of this society could ever be done. You gave credit to build machines that do the labor of twenty men. But a machine cannot participate in the economy. The problem is, you live in a spaceship. ”

Bernanke says, “This is useless.”

“You got that right.”

Nosferatu and Alexis stand up, shake Bernanke's hand. Nosferatu tells Bernanke good luck and they leave.