You sell coffee. Coffee… can be ground and made into a cup of coffee
11.02.2012 10:38 in money
According to former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, the message is simple but devastating:
"Europe... has lost a lot of money and therefore you must be poor now relative to the past," he reasons in an interview with BBC World Service's Business Daily.
"And in Asia we live within our means. So when we are poor, we live as poor people. I think that is a lesson that Europe can learn from Asia."
"You refuse to acknowledge you have lost money and therefore you are poor," he says.
"And you can't remedy that by printing money. Money is not something you just print. It must be backed by something, either good economy or gold."
"I think you should go back to doing what I call real business - producing goods, providing services, trading - not just moving figures in bank books, which is what you are doing."
"Currency is not a commodity", he says.
"You sell coffee. Coffee… can be ground and made into a cup of coffee.
"But currency, you cannot grind it and make it into anything. It is just figures in the books of the banks and you can trade with figures in the books of banks only.
"There must be something solid to trade, then you can legitimately make money."
"I think you have paid your workers far too much money for much less work," he says.
"So you cannot expect to live at this level of wealth when you are not producing anything that is marketable."
His message is tough, he acknowledges, before adding with a laugh: "We used to get tough messages from you before, remember?"