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The Fed Relies Indirectly on the Banks & Cannot Stimulate the Economy Directly

QUESTION: Hello,
Since the Fed ‘created’ ‘money’ after 2008 that was then deposited back at the Fed by the recipient banks ( say,75% of it), it is not easy to see why the Fed is to blame for the credit explosion since 2008- nor for the very slow ( like a paralytic centipede) hike in Fed Funds that seems already as I write to be seen as a problem.
Surely it is the banks who truly created the money ( out of nothing as usual) by financing the purchase of EXISTING assets at ever-rising prices (and also consumer spending) rather than new business expansion?
In other words, the fault is at the bottom to be laid at the door of the banks. They created the wrong kind of credit bubble ( not that any such is ever a good idea).
What say you, Sir?
Many thanks
B.

ANSWER: There is a deeper problem that nobody addresses. The entire Keynesian philosophy of increasing the money supply was based upon the practice whereby private money was being created during each crash since 1857. It worked perfectly. Here is a Depression Scrip for $1 to supplement the money supply during a crisis. There was nothing wrong with this concept.

The original design of the Federal Reserve in 1913 was PERFECT!!!!!! It “stimulated” by purchasing corporate short-term paper which created an elastic money supply. The paper naturally matured and thus the money supply contracted. When Congress usurped the Fed in World War I and ordered it to buy only government bonds to fund the war, they NEVER returned the Fed to its original design.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Confronting the money-power elite

Confronting the money-power elite

Those who control the creation and allocation of money are able to control every other aspect of society. Shouldn’t that be us?

Credit: Flickr/Liz West. CC BY 2.0.

The world today is controlled by a small elite group that has been increasingly concentrating power and wealth in their own hands. There are many observable facets to this power structure, including the military security complex that President Eisenhower warned against, the fossil fuel interests, and the neoconservatives and others that are promoting US  hegemony around the world, but the most powerful and overarching force is the ‘money power’ that controls money, banking, and finance worldwide. It is clear that those who control the creation and allocation of money through the banking system are able to control virtually every other aspect of society.

What can be done to turn the tide? How can we empower ourselves to assert our desires for a more fair, humane and peaceful world order? I believe that the greatest possibility of bringing about the desired changes lies in economic and political innovation and restructuring.

The monopolization of credit.

I came to realize many years ago that the primary mechanism by which people are controlled is the system of money, banking, and finance. The power elite have long known this and have used it to enrich themselves and consolidate their grip. Though we take it for granted, money has become an utter necessity for surviving in the modern world. But unlike water, air, food, and energy, money is not a natural substance—it is a human contrivance, and it has been contrived in such a way as to centralize power and concentrate wealth.

Money today is essentially credit, and the control of our collective credit has been monopolized in the hands of a cartel comprised of huge private banks with the complicity of politicians who control central governments.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Oops, It’s Starting, Says This Chart from the FDIC

Oops, It’s Starting, Says This Chart from the FDIC

And its eerie exhortations to the banks to prepare for a downturn to avoid “undue disruption to the financial system.”

The FDIC’s quarterly report on commercial banks and savings institutions was cited in the media mostly for the $56 billion in profits that FDIC-insured commercial banks and savings institutions made in the first quarter, which was up 27% from a year ago. An estimated $6.6 billion of the profits were due to the tax-law changes.

It remained mostly unmentioned that this increase in profits came after the huge charge-offs banks took in the fourth quarter mostly due to write-downs of tax assets, also a result of the new tax law. These write-downs slashed bank profits in Q4 to $25 billion, the worst quarter since the Great Recession.

Overall, Q1 was really exciting. Banks were firing on all cylinders, according to the FDIC: Net income jumped, loan balances rose, net interest margins improved, and the number of “problem banks” edged down. But worries are creeping up:

The interest-rate environment and competitive lending conditions continue to pose challenges for many institutions. Some banks have responded by “reaching for yield” through investing in higher-risk and longer-term assets.

Going forward, the industry must manage interest-rate risk, liquidity risk, and credit risk carefully to continue to grow on a long-run, sustainable path.

The industry also must be prepared to manage the inevitable economic downturn, whenever it comes, smoothly and without undue disruption to the financial system.

I added the bold. This is a goodie. We had an “undue disruption to the financial system” during the last downturn, and we don’t want another one, the FDIC says.

“Undue disruption” would be when banks stop lending. That’s when credit freezes up in a credit-dependent economy. Everything comes to a halt. Paychecks start bouncing. So, don’t do that again.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Old Songs

What if the fun and games of 2017 are over? The hidden message behind the sexual harassment freak show of recent weeks is that nothing else is sufficiently serious to occupy the nation’s attention. We’re living in the Year of Suspended Reality, stuck in the sideshow and missing the three-ring circus next door in the big tent.

It probably all comes down to money. Money represents the mojo to keep on keeping on, and there is probably nothing more unreal in American life these days than the way we measure our money — literally, what it’s worth, and what everything related to it is worth. So there is nothing more unreal in our national life than the idea that it’s possible to keep on keeping on as we do.

The weeks ahead may be most illuminating on this score. The debt ceiling suspension runs out on December 8, around the same time that the tax reform question will resolve one way or another. The debt ceiling means that the treasury can’t issue any more bonds, bills, or notes. That is, it can’t borrow any more money to pretend the government can keep running. Normally these days (and it’s really very abnormal), the treasury pawns off paper IOUs to the Federal Reserve and the Fed makes digital entries on various account ledgers that purport to be “money.” And, by the way, the Fed is a consortium of private banks not a department of government — which is surely one of a thousand ways that the public is confused and deceived about what condition our condition is in, as the old song goes.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

If We Don’t Change the Way Money Is Created and Distributed, We Change Nothing

If We Don’t Change the Way Money Is Created and Distributed, We Change Nothing

The only real solution in my view is to create and distribute money at the base of the pyramid rather than to those in the top of the pyramid. 

Many well-intended people want to reform the status quo for all sorts of worthy reasons: to reduce wealth inequality, restore democracy, create good-paying jobs, and so on.

All these goals are laudable, but if we don’t change the way money is created and distributed, nothing really changes: wealth inequality will keep rising, governance will remain a bidding process of the wealthy, wages will continue stagnating, etc.

If the money creation/distribution system isn’t transformed, “reform” is nothing more than ineffectual policy tweaks that offer do-gooders the illusion of progress.

Mike Swanson of Wall Street Window and I discuss the The Future of Currencies and CHS’s New Book A Radically Beneficial World (33:21)

Few are willing to admit that the way we create and distribute money at the top of the wealth pyramid necessarily generates increasing wealth inequalitybecause once we admit this, we realize 1) the money system itself is the source of inequality and 2) we have to change the money system if we want to stave off the inevitable rise of wealth inequality to the point that it generates social disorder.

In the current system, money is created by central and private banks at the top of the wealth/power pyramid, and distributed within the top of the wealth pyramid. The only possible output of this system is rising wealth inequality and debt-serfdom for three reasons:

1. Those with first access to nearly free money can outbid savers and serfs who must borrow at much higher rates of interest to snap up income-producing assets. In effect, borrowing unlimited sums at near-zero rates guarantees that those with this privilege have a built-in advantage in buying income-producing assets.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Who Owns the Federal Reserve Bank and Why is It Shrouded in Myths and Mysteries?

Who Owns the Federal Reserve Bank and Why is It Shrouded in Myths and Mysteries?

Federal Reserve

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

— Henry Ford

“Give me control of a Nation’s money supply, and I care not who makes its laws.”

— M. A. Rothschild

The Federal Reserve Bank (or simply the Fed), is shrouded in a number of myths and mysteries. These include its name, its ownership, its purported independence form external influences, and its presumed commitment to market stability, economic growth and public interest.

The first MAJOR MYTH, accepted by most people in and outside of the United States, is that the Fed is owned by the Federal government, as implied by its name: the Federal Reserve Bank. In reality, however, it is a private institution whose shareholders are commercial banks; it is the “bankers’ bank.” Like other corporations, it is guided by and committed to the interests of its shareholders—pro forma supervision of the Congress notwithstanding.

The choice of the word “Federal” in the name of the bank thus seems to be a deliberate misnomer—designed to create the impression that it is a public entity. Indeed, misrepresentation of its ownership is not merely by implication or impression created by its name. More importantly, it is also officially and explicitly stated on its Website: “The Federal Reserve System fulfills its public mission as an independent entity within government. It is not owned by anyone and is not a private, profit-making institution” [1].

To unmask this blatant misrepresentation, the late Congressman Louis McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee in the 1930s, described the Fed in the following words:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Can We Do Better? The Alternative: Public Money Creation

How Can We Do Better? The Alternative: Public Money Creationour money_the alternative

A well-functioning monetary system is essential for a well-functioning economy and thereby, for the common good. The state is the agency responsible for the public interest. The responsibility for and control over the monetary system and money creation should therefore be placed with the state and not with private, profit-oriented enterprises. The logical alternative to money creation by private banks, therefore, is money creation by the state. In such a system it’s not only coins and paper money that are created by the state but also the non-cash money now created by private banks. Meaning electronic money is then created by the same agency now responsible for coins and paper money.

Reform of the monetary system should lead to a more transparent management of the money supply with as its primary aim the short and long term common good, not private profit. Under the new system the responsibility for money creation would rest with a public monetary authority acting according to statutory objectives and guidelines. Such an authority already exists in most countries: the central bank. It would therefore be logical to give the money creation mandate to the central bank. In the following the terms monetary authority and central bank are used interchangeably.

At the same time the right of private banks to create money would be taken away. Banks would no longer, as presently, be able to create money by the simple accounting exercise linked to lending. Rather than creating their own money they would have to work with money created by the central bank. Such money would come from deposits, money borrowed from the central bank or in financial markets, and the bank’s equity. Banking would be limited to the role that most people think banks perform today: managing the money of depositors by lending it to people and businesses willing to borrow it.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Next Financial Crisis Won’t be Like the Last One

The Next Financial Crisis Won’t be Like the Last One

It seems increasingly likely the next Global Financial Meltdown will arise in the FX/currency markets.

Central banks are like generals: they tend to fight the last war. The Great Financial meltdown of 2008 was centered in too big to fail, too big to jailtransnational banks and other financial entities with enormous exposure to collateral risk (such as subprime mortgages), highly leveraged bets and counterparty risk (the guys who were supposed to pay off your portfolio insurance vanish in a puff of digital smoke, leaving you to absorb the loss).

In response, the central banks and treasuries of the major economies “did whatever it took” to save the private banking sector from insolvency and collapse. In effect, central banks launched a multi-pronged bailout of banks and other financial heavyweights (such as AIG) and hastily constructed a clumsy and costly Maginot Line to protect the now-indispensable private banks from a similar meltdown.

The problem with preparing to fight the last war is that crises arise not from what is visible to all but from what is largely invisible to the mainstream.

The other factor is what’s within the power of central banks to fix and what’s beyond their power to fix. Correspondent Mark G. and I refer to this as the set of problems that can be solved by printing a trillion dollars. It’s widely assumed that virtually any problem can be fixed by printing a trillion dollars (or multiple trillions) and throwing it at the problem.

Yes, the looming student-loan debacle can be fixed by printing a trillion dollars and paying down a majority of the existing student debt.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

 

What’s Wrong with Our Monetary System and How to Fix It

What’s Wrong with Our Monetary System and How to Fix It

Something’s profoundly wrong with our global financial system. Pope Francis is only the latest to raise the alarm:

“Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money. Let us say no to an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules, rather than service. That economy kills. That economy excludes. That economy destroys Mother Earth.”

What the Pope calls “an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules” is widely evident. What is not so clear is how we got into this situation, and what to do about it.

Most people take our monetary system for granted, and are shocked to learn that the government doesn’t issue our money. Almost all of it is created by loans made “out of thin air” as bookkeeping entries by private banks. For this sleight-of-hand, they charge interest, making a tidy profit for doing essentially nothing. The currency printed by the government – coins and bills – is a negligible amount by comparison.

The idea of giving private banks a monopoly over money creation goes back to seventeenth century England. The British government, in a Faustian bargain, agreed to allow a group of private bankers to assume the national debt as collateral for the issuance of loans, confident that the state would be able to service the debt on the backs of taxpayers.

And so it has been ever since. Alexander Hamilton much admired this scheme, which he called “the English system,” and he and his successors were finally able to establish it in the United States, and subsequently most of the world.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Fast-track Hands the Money Monopoly to Private Banks — Permanently

Fast-track Hands the Money Monopoly to Private Banks — Permanently

It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.                                                                                                                                                                        — Attributed to Henry Ford

In March 2014, the Bank of England let the cat out of the bag: money is just an IOU, and the banks are rolling in it. So wrote David Graeber in The Guardian the same month, referring to a BOE paper called “Money Creation in the Modern Economy.” The paper stated outright that most common assumptions of how banking works are simply wrong. The result, said Graeber, was to throw the entire theoretical basis for austerity out of the window.

The revelation may have done more than that. The entire basis for maintaining our private extractive banking monopoly may have been thrown out the window. And that could help explain the desperate rush to “fast track” not only the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). TiSA would nip attempts to implement public banking and other monetary reforms in the bud.

The Banking Game Exposed

The BOE report confirmed what money reformers have been saying for decades: that banks do not act simply as intermediaries, taking in the deposits of “savers” and lending them to borrowers, keeping the spread in interest rates. Rather, banks actually create deposits when they make loans. The BOE report said that private banks now create 97 percent of the British money supply. The US money supply is created in the same way.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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