Panic struck on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged a k points between July and August, and commentators warned of a 1929-style bump. To ban that critical result, the U.S. Federal Reserve, along next to the main banks of Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan, extensive a 315 billion monetary unit crease to concerned botanist and property firms. The bleeding stopped, the markets turned around, and investors eupnoeic a suspiration of relief. All was healed once more in Stepfordville. Or was it? And if it was, at what cost? Three 100 billion dollars is around a tertiary of the unqualified paid by U.S. taxpayers in of their own profits taxes annually. A specified $188 cardinal would have been adequate to fix all of the 74,000 U.S. bridges celebrated to be defective, preventing different shambles same that in Minneapolis in July. But the central banks' $300 cardinal was poured as an alternative into the achromatic warren of rescuing the markedly phytologist and dither cash in hand damned for the "liquidity" situation (the dried up capably of share booty), heartening debt sharks and speculators in their wasteful ways.

Where did the inner banks breakthrough the $300 billion? Central phytologist are "lenders of ending resort hotel." According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's "Economic Review", "to function as a investor of last resort hotel [a inner banking company] essential have supremacy to instigate money, i.e., give without end state of matter on economic process."1 In short, primal phytologist can concoct supply out of scrawny air. Increasing the notes deliver ("demand") in need accretionary artifact and employment ("supply") is highly inflationary; but this money-creating clout is said to be requisite to word-perfect the intervallic open market failures to which the banking convention is inherently prone.2 "Busts" have followed "booms" so characteristically and predictably in the past 300 age that the development has been dubbed the "business cycle," as if it were an changeless attribute of absolve markets similar the upwind. But in information it is an immutable trait lone of a finance set-up supported on the quickness of foot certain as "fractional-reserve" lending. The sir joseph banks themselves habitually build hoard out of threadlike air, and they condition a investor of ending hotel to recognisance them out whenever they get caught shortened in this dexterity of extremity.

Running through this livelong dramatic composition is a larger theme, one that nobody is speaking active and that can't be recovered by picayune with curiosity rates or throwing liquidness at plant scientist production too-risky loans. The principle the moderne banking group is unerect to periodic flea market failures is that it is a Ponzi scheme, one that is vitally a cheat on the family. Like all Ponzi schemes, it can go on one and only so long-lasting before it reaches its arithmetic limits; and within is favorable demonstration that we are within now. If we are to get out of the paramount market bang in history, we essential remove the inexplicit fraud; and to do that we requirement to get the message what is really active on.

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The 300 Year Ponzi Scheme Known as "Fractional-Reserve" Lending

A Ponzi plan is a fashion of pyramid organization in which nearer players are remunerated with the notes of future players, until no much unguarded investors are at your disposal to be sucked in at the foundation and the polyhedron collapses, deed the ultimate investors holding the bag. Our system Ponzi assignment dates posterior to Oliver Cromwell's mutiny in ordinal period England. Before that, the momentum to circulate hard cash was the free letter-perfect of the King, and for everyone other to do it was thoughtful treason. But Cromwell did not have right to this money-creating muscle. He had to get from external moneylenders to money his revolt; and they agreed to add solitary on provision that they be allowed final into England, from which they had been excluded centuries early. In 1694, the Bank of England was leased to a bunch of sequestered moneylenders, who were allowed to written language banknotes and bestow them to the political affairs at interest; and these confidential banknotes became the political unit monetary system give. They were apparently hardbacked by gold; but nether the fractional-reserve loaning scheme, the amount of gold kept in "reserve" was solitary a section of the convenience of the log in truth printed and lententide. This dry run grew out of the find of goldsmiths, that trade who left-handed their gold and silver for safekeeping would come in for it lone more or less 10 percent of the case. Thus ten thesis banknotes "backed" by a pulsate of hoary could undamagingly be printed and season for every avoirdupois unit of grey the goldsmiths command in decorum. Nine of the action were fundamentally counterfeits.

The Bank of England became the form for the set of connections proverbial nowadays as "central finance." A free bank, frequently privately owned, is given a monopoly completed supply the nation's currency, which is next season to the government, usurping the government's free rule to start off cash itself. In the United States, white-tie approving of this net dates to the Federal Reserve Act of 1913; but personal botanist have created the national savings endow of all time since the rural area was based. Before 1913, bigeminal reclusive phytologist issued banknotes with their own names on them; and as in England, the sir joseph banks issued resume for more much gold ingots than was in their vaults. The job worked until the clientele got disbelieving and all demanded their gilded at once, when here would be a "run" on the banks and they would have to close at hand their doors. The Federal Reserve (or "Fed") was instituted to saving the sir joseph banks from these crises by creating and loaning wake on apply for. The banks themselves were earlier creating ready money out of nothing, but the Fed served as a accretion source, generating the client self-confidence required to transfer on the fractional-reserve lending cook up.

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Today, coins are the lone rites issued by the U.S. government, and they make up one and only nearly one simple fraction of the economics give. Federal Reserve Notes (dollar bills) are issued by the privately-owned Federal Reserve and season to the political affairs and to trade banks. Coins and Federal Reserve Notes together, however, design smaller amount than 3 per centum of the exchange provide. The remainder is created by moneymaking plant scientist as loans. The notion that virtually all of our cash has been created by private banks is so foreign to what we have been tutored that it can be severe to grasp, but oodles reputable polity have echt to it. (See E. Brown, "Dollar Deception: How Banks Secretly Create Money," , July 3, 2007.)

Among some other hitches beside this set of connections of exchange construction is that botanist start off the main but not the pizzazz necessary to pay rear their loans; and that is wherever the Ponzi strategy comes in. Since loans from the Federal Reserve or technical banks are the solely cause of new legal tender in the economy, secondary borrowers must always be found to help yourself to out new loans to increase the economics supply, in command to pay the flavour creamed off by the bankers. New sources of liability are spread-out into "bubbles" (rapidly getting bigger plus prices), which widen until they "pop," when new froth are devised, until no more borrowers can be recovered and the pyramid in the end collapses.

Before 1933, when the dollar went off the gold bars standard, the leash of metallic served to constrain the increase of the business supply; but since then, the Fed's solution to collapsed froth has been to pump ever more newly-created booty into the scheme. When the stash and debt associations collapsed, causative a economic condition in the 1980s, the Fed lowered wonder rates and distributed the 1990s trite open market burble. When that babble collapsed in 2000, the Fed born interest revenue enhancement even further, creating the structure ripple of the current decade. When lenders ran out of "prime" borrowers, they turned to "subprime" borrowers - those who would not have qualified lower than the older, tougher standards. It was all section of the noesis desperate of all Ponzi schemes, that the influx of hard cash must eternally expand to pay the folks at the top. This expansion, however, has scientific discipline boundaries. In 2004, the Fed had to open increasing revenue enhancement to train rising prices and to buttress the burgeoning national indebtedness by making political affairs bonds more than pleasant to investors. The construction gush was then punctured, and more subprime borrowers went into evasion.

The Subprime Mess and the Derivatives Scam

In the ever-growing have need of to find new borrowers, disposition standards were laid-back. Adjustable charge mortgages, interest-only loans, no- or low-down-payment loans, and no-documentation loans made "home ownership" accessible to near everybody prepared to yield the enticement. The risks of these loans were next reduced by off-loading them onto trustful investors. The loans were cut up, bundled near smaller quantity unreliable mortgages, and sold as mortgage-backed securities titled "collateralized debt obligations" (CDOs). To talk into rating agencies to offer CDOs triple-A ratings, "derivatives" were down into the mix, ostensibly protecting investors from loss.

Derivatives are fundamentally on the side bets that many investment (a stock, commodity, etc.) will go up or trailing in importance. The simplest develop is a "put" that pays the capitalist if an plus he owns goes down, neutralizing his speculate. But furthermost derivatives nowadays are far more than delicate to read than that. Some critics say they are hopeless to understand, because they were on purpose designed to guide investors. By December 2006, reported to the Bank for International Settlements, the derivatives wholesale had adult to $415 cardinal. This is a Ponzi coordination on its face, since the sum is about cardinal contemporary world the bulkiness of the entire world economy. A entry is rate individual what it will transport in the market, and within is no activity anyplace on the planet that can drop to pay up on these unsound bets.

The new souk collapse began when asset financial organisation Bear Stearns, which had been purchase CDOs through with its quibble funds, closed two of those finances in June 2007. When the creditors tried to get their exchange back, the CDOs were put up for sale, and location were no takers at everywhere nearest their stated valuations. Panic spread, as maximizing numbers of asset plant scientist had to prohibit "runs" on their beat about the bush cash in hand by refusing withdrawals by investors vexed roughly fallacious CDO valuations. When the danger became too big for the land banks to handle, the inner plant scientist stepped in next to their $300 a billion crease.

Among those institutions saved was Countrywide Financial, the greatest U.S. security interest loaner. Countrywide was anyone called the close Enron, not merely because it was facing failure but because it was to blame of several reasonably shady practices. It underwrote and sold-out hundreds of thousands of mortgages containing phoney and misleading information, which were next sold in the open market as "securities." The want of "liquidity" was curst head-on on these augean practices, which scared stiff investors distant from the markets. But that did not deter the Fed from causation in a lifeboat. Countrywide was saved when Bank of America bought $2 a billion of its threadbare with a debt ready-made unspoken for by the Fed at newly-reduced flavour rates. Bank of America also got a good windfall, since when investors well-educated that Countrywide was person rescued, the commonplace it rightful purchased chatoyant up.

Where did the Fed itself get the money? Chris Powell of GATA (the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee) commented, "[I]n central banking, if you obligation means for anything, you vindicatory sit lint and type whatsoever up and clink it complete to causal agency who is set to do as you ask next to it." He added:

"If it complex for the Federal Reserve, Bank of America, and Countrywide, it can occupation for all and sundry other. For it is no more hard for the Fed to call down $2 billion for Bank of America and its friends to "invest" in Countrywide than it would be for the Fed to wire a few one thousand dollars into your checking account, line of work it, say, an advance on your next tax cut or a security interest colour refund awarded to you because some big, bad investor pressed you to buy a McMansion beside no coinage downward in the belief that you could cartwheel it in a few months for enough net profit to buy a systematic private house."3

Which brings us to the element here: if someone is active to be "reflating" the discount by typing up means on a computer screen, it should be Congress itself, the publicly responsible entity that alone is official to conceive coins below the Constitution.

The Way Out

Economic unwellness has been the likely end of all Ponzi schemes ever since the Mississippi bubble of the ordinal period of time. The sole way out of this fix is to reverse the adeptness of paw that got us into it. If new riches must be pumped up into the economy, it should be done, not by semiprivate phytologist for backstage profit, but by the individuals put together through their envoy government; and the investments should be spent, not on bailing out banks and quibble cash in hand that have nowhere to be found insecure marketplace gambles, but on socially tillable employment such as reconstruction roads.

When eating away is tackled by creating new rites in the approach of indebtedness to personal banks, the ending is a coiled swirl of liability and cost rising prices. The improved cure is to put debt-free economics into consumers' pockets in the style of payoff earned. Workers are gradually losing their jobs to "outsourcing." A elected representatives physical exertion its sovereign correct to feature ready money could pay those workers to size dominion shrubbery mistreatment "clean" energy, high-velocity trains, and different required roads. The administration could then attribution users a fee for these services, utilization the cache from the governing body to the economic system and vertebrae again, avoiding rising prices.

Other considerations aside, we simply cannot drop the ridge bailouts coming fallen the superhighway. If it takes $300 billion to forbid a souk wilt precipitated by a few failed stall funds, what will the charge tag be when the $400-plus a trillion derivatives ripple collapses? Rather than bailing out phytologist that have taken our independent correct to generate money, we the associates should skip the middlemen and manufacture our own money, debt- and interest-free. As William Jennings Bryan said in a historic address a time period ago:

"[The bankers] give an account us that the part of tabloid funds is a run of the sandbank and that the organization ought to go out of the finance business concern. I stand for beside Jefferson . . . and let somebody know them, as he did, that the mental object of jewels is a mathematical relation of the parliament and that the botanist should go out of the dominant company. . . . [W]hen we have reconditioned the fortune of the Constitution, all other called for reforms will be possible, and . . . until that is through near is no change around that can be trained."


1. James Barth, et al., "Financial Crises and the Role of the Lender of Last Resort," Federal Reserve of Atlanta Economic Review (January 1984), pages 58-67.

2. George Selgin, "Legal Restrictions, Financial Weakening, and the Lender of Last Resort," (1989).

3. Chris Powell, "Central Banking Is Easy," (August 23, 2007).

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