The world financial system is a total fraud. It is one gargantuan Ponzi scheme, no better than the one Bernie Madoff used to swindle his friends and neighbors, and thousands of times worse if you add up the total number of victims it has ripped off over countless generations.
The principal difference between the two schemes is that Madoff was acting outside the law while the international banking cartel has persuaded generation after generation of monarchs, presidents and prime ministers to provide legislative protection for their larceny.
The banks Ponzi scheme is alarmingly simple. They lend the same money to several people or institutions at the same time and collect interest on it from each. What the banks really lend, however, is their credit, and what they take back in compensation for that privilege is a debt that must be repaid with interest.
The number of times they lend the same money is called leverage. The practice is as old as the hills but for our purposes we can start with the goldsmiths of Lombard Street in London, England, who accepted deposits for which they issued certificates redeemable on demand. They paid their depositors a nominal interest rate on the understanding that they could lend the money to their customers at higher interest rates. They soon found that they could lend more than they had in their vaults because only a few depositors came in to redeem their gold or silver at any one time. It was a scam. It was illegal. Nevertheless they got away with it for a long while and the scam was legitimized when the Bank of England was chartered to help King William finance his war. Rich people subscribed £1,200,000 in gold and silver, as capital, to found the bank, which then was lent to the government at 8 percent. To show his appreciation the King allowed the bank to print £1,200,000 in banknotes and lend them at high interest rates. In effect, the bank was allowed to lend the same money twice – once to the government and once to the people.
Over the years, due to the avarice of the banks and the complicity of the politicians, that ratio has increased dramatically. In the early days of the 20th century, federal chartered U.S. banks were required to keep gold reserves of 25 percent. That means they were allowed to lend the same money four times. I remember when Canadian banks were required to maintain a cash reserve of 8 percent. That means they were allowed to lend the same money 12½ times.
Today, thanks to Milton Friedman’s irrational flip-flop from being a proponent of 100% cash reserves to the opposite extreme of zero reserves, and the adoption of his ideas by the major central banks of the world in 1974, multiples have increased dramatically – in some cases to as much as 20 to 1 or more. Banks only keep enough cash to meet day-to-day demands for those few customers who go in and request it, and consequently the fraud is virtually total.
The system works this way. Suppose that you want to borrow $35,000 to buy a new car. You visit your friendly banker and ask for a loan. He or she will ask you for collateral – some stocks, bonds, a second mortgage on your house or cottage or, if you are unable to supply any of these, the co-signature of a well-to-do friend or relative. When the collateral requirement is satisfied you will be asked to sign a note for the principal amount with an agreed rate of interest.
When the paperwork is complete, and the note signed, your banker will make an entry on the bank’s computer and, presto, a $35,000 credit will appear in your account which you can use to buy your car. The important point is that seconds earlier that money did not exist. It was created out of thin air – so to speak.
The banking equation is a species of double-entry bookkeeping where your note becomes an asset on the bank’s books, and the new money that was deposited to your account is a liability. The profit for the bank comes from the difference between the low rate of interest, if any, you would be paid on your deposit if you didn’t spend the borrowed money immediately, and the much higher rate you would be obliged to pay on your note – the technical term is “the spread.”
At some point, however, you have to pay off your note and any interest owing. And not only you but everyone else who has borrowed “money” from banks – including governments which, by the way, own the right to print money but that have irresponsibly handed the right over to an elite group of private bankers. Anyone who defaults is in big trouble. Individuals who default will have the assets they pledged as collateral seized by the bank. A government that is in danger of defaulting, will be forced to borrow from the International Monetary Fund, which will then tell that government how to run its affairs including cutting back on services and selling off public assets to the international vulture capitalists.
In reality, then, the banks have turned the world into one humongous pawn shop. You hock your stocks, bonds, house, business, rich mother-in-law or country and the bank(s) will give you a loan based on the value of the collateral.
A world system where all the money is created as debt is a perpetual disaster in the making. It is like a giant balloon that the banks pump full of debt. The balloon gets larger and larger until the debt load becomes too heavy to carry, and then it is like a balloon with a pin stuck in it. The system crashes and thousands or sometimes millions of innocent people lose their jobs, homes, farms and businesses.
Almost any high school student should be able to see that any monetary system based on debt creation is totally insane. The total world debt, mathematically, is always tending toward infinity – and there is no possible way of paying it off. The real money (legal tender) to do so doesn’t exist. And the real economy that depends on cash to grow shifts into low gear whenever the supply of credit money dries up.
Not surprisingly, there have been 25 recessions and depressions in the United States since 1890. In several cases, including the Great Depression of the 1930s and the current Great Recession, the evidence indicates that the meltdown was anticipated by a few insiders who helped trigger the catastrophe.
In the wake of the Great Depression, the U.S. Senate Banking and Currency Committee Report that became widely known as the Pecora Report on the Practices of Stock Exchanges, indicated that there were insiders who benefitted from the crash. “Legal chicanery and pitch darkness were the banker’s stoutest allies,” Pecora wrote in his memoir. Similar allegations were evident in Charles Ferguson damning documentary “Inside Job,” relating to the 2007-2008 meltdown. These reports, and other historical evidence prove beyond any doubt that much of Wall Street is rotten to the core. It has become one gigantic millstone around the neck of both the American and world economies.
The collateral damage from the recent meltdown has been staggering. The U.S. Bureau of Labor estimated that 8.4 million jobs were lost in the U.S. alone. Most countries experienced similar dramatic losses. The reduction in asset values worldwide has been estimated at $20 trillion U.S. dollars, yet not a single one of the culprits is in jail. You would think that someone would have had the decency to launch a class action for at least $10 trillion against every individual and every organization that contributed to the catastrophe in any way.
It boggles the mind that a system so vulnerable to manipulation would ever have come into existence in the first place. The evolution did not happen by accident. It was not guided by the mythical invisible hand of Adam Smith. On the contrary, for more than a century-and-a-half, it was engineered by the barely visible hand of the Rothschild family and its allies, and since World War II by the Rockefeller family. The two dynasties combined forces to exercise influence on many fronts sheltered by the cloak of secrecy established by the Bilderberg Group.
The long term influence of the banking cartel is incalculable. Their biggest coup was the establishment of the Federal Reserve System in the United States. The big New York banks really didn’t like the idea of genuine competition, so a small group held a secret meeting at the private resort of J.P. Morgan on Jekyll Island, off the coast of Georgia. Their scheme, devised by Paul M. Warburg, and subsequently adopted by Congress, is a legal private monopoly of the U.S. money supply operated for the benefit of the few under the guise of protecting and promoting the public interest.
It is a tribute to the skill of the international bankers that they were able to draft a bill, revise it, change its name and make the few window dressing compromises necessary to get it adopted by Congress just before Christmas when quite a few Representatives must have been dreaming of sugar plum fairies instead of exercising due diligence. Only Charles Lindberg Sr. seemed to grasp the essence of what was going on.
To put it bluntly, the Congress transferred its sovereign constitutional right to create money to the sole custody of a group of private bankers. The magnitude of the hoist is unprecedented in the history of the world – the numbers now are in the high trillions.
Soon after the bill was passed the magnitude of the tragedy began to be recognized. William Jennings Bryan, who acted as Democrat whip, later said: “In my long political career, the one thing I genuinely regret is my part in getting the banking and currency legislation (Federal Reserve Act of 1913) enacted into law.” President Woodrow Wilson, just three years after passage of the Act, wrote: “A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated (in the Federal Reserve System). The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men…. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world.” But the bill was not repealed; almost 100 years later the sell-out is still the law. This makes you wonder what the people’s representatives have been doing to earn their salaries.
The people in charge of the original deception were very far-seeing. They realized that when future governments had to borrow from them they would need a constant income stream to pay the interest on the bonds. So they persuaded the government to introduce income taxes, first as a temporary measure, but later permanently, so it would be able to meet its obligations to the bondholders. In fiscal year 2005 total individual income taxes in the U.S. totalled $927 billion. Of that amount $352 billion, or 38%, was required just to pay interest on the federal debt. The figure would be higher now.
The banksters, as they were often called, then decided that an independent press might catch on to the chicanery. Oscar Callaway is reported in the Congressional Record of February 9, 1917 as follows.
“In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interests, and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world, and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press of the United States… They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers. The 25 papers were agreed upon; emissaries were sent to purchase the policy, national and international, of these papers; … an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers [and to suppress] everything in opposition to the wishes of the interests served.”
It has been suggested that the Bilderberger Group may have taken a leaf from the Morgan precedent to protect their interests in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. That is impossible to prove because its members are sworn to secrecy, and the press won’t report on its meetings. I am not willing to go so far as to say that the men behind the international banking system are evil men because their thoughts are private. But Sir Josiah, later Baron Stamp, a former director of the Bank of England, has given us a rare snapshot of the truth.
“Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with a flick of the pen they will create enough money to buy it back again. However, take that power away from them and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But if you wish to remain the slaves of Bankers, and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money.”
In the latest meltdown of 2007-2008, the Fed acted quickly to prevent the Ponzi pyramid from collapsing completely. It printed trillions of dollars to bail out the banks and a few industries that were highly indebted to banks.
But what did the Fed do for the taxpayers whose money was so wildly diluted to save the banks? Nothing! They were left to fend for themselves. Millions of people lost their jobs, their farms, their houses, their hopes, and their dignity as a result of circumstances beyond their control. The taxpayers bailed out the banks, but got nothing in return.
The same is true of governments who came so quickly to the rescue. As a result of the meltdown their revenues were decreased so they were forced to incur or increase their deficits, as well as to start cutting back on essential services.
The Fed pretended to be helping stimulate the economy by reducing interest rates to near zero. It would be an interesting exercise to find out what happened to all of this low-cost money. It would be a good subject for Congressional attention. How much did the banks use to buy up domestic and foreign assets at fire-sale prices? Was any of it used by financial institutions to try to corner world food markets and raise prices at a time when millions are starving?
No doubt some taxpayers did take advantage of the low interest rates available but were they warned about the old bait and switch game? Anyone who acquires assets with cheap money runs the risk of losing their property when the Fed ultimately raises rates. It’s all part of the boom-bust cycle inherent in our infinitely silly monetary system.
The Economics Profession
What does all this have to say about the economics profession? What it really says isn’t fit to print. Someone once said that if you put 20 economists in a room you will get 21 opinions.
That is not my experience. If you get 20 economists together they are likely to give you one stock answer, or at most two. And if there is one dissenter he or she is likely to be drowned out by the 19, squawking like a flock of parrots the words memorized from what their professors taught them.
I have witnessed this herd-like mentality firsthand. When I was first elected to the House of Commons in 1949 there were only a handful of Keynesians in Ottawa. Twenty years later nearly everyone was a Keynesian including, I am told, Richard Nixon.
At that time there were only a few monetarists around. But they spread like mushrooms and soon dominated the economic landscape. It reached the stage when Keynes was anathema, and it was almost impossible to get a tenured position in a school of economics unless you were part of Milton Friedman’s monetarist revolution.
Apparently little if any thought was given to the possibility that neither Keynes nor Friedman had got it right. The former was a bit closer to reality than the latter, but both theories foundered on the rocks of one inescapable truth. Both assumed that the economic system is self-correcting, yet more than two centuries of experience has demonstrated clearly that it is not! Someone has to be at the tiller charged with steering clear of the shoals and rocks of economic disaster and that person has to be someone who is responsible to the people and not the self-serving boom-busters.