The worst problem is not that the central banks are mostly outside the control of any elected representatives of the population, even though that is certain cause for some suspicion and alarm. In some areas, such as the U.S., the central bank is a completely privately owned institution, owned by its member banks. The central bank of central banks, the Bank of International Settlements in Basel Switzerland, is also not controlled or owned by any government, but is a corporation with stocks. It is located on land that is not considered part of Switzerland or any other country, it is not answerable to any public body, and it does its business in secret.
However, the worst problem is that interest is being charged for the money that is lent out. It might well be a good idea to use fiat money, that is, money that doesn’t have any inherent value, but is only valuable because we trust that it is. All currencies on the planet are, as far as I know, fiat money. However, the problem is the interest.
For example, the Federal Reserve Bank lends a billion dollars to the U.S. government. That money is created out of thin air. The Federal Reserve Bank doesn’t particularly lend it out because it has accummulated produced value. It simply has been given the authority to invent the money. It gives the money to the government. The government spends it one what it thinks it needs to spend money on. The money is now due back from the tax payers. That is not in the first place a problem, since the money is out there in circulation.
The central bank is not the only one that can create money. Any bank can. Regular banks create money by being allowed to lend out a certain number of times more money than they have deposits for. For example, if there is 1 million in the bank, it can lend out 10 million, thereby creating 9 new millions.
Regular banks also charge interest. Meaning that, no matter how much they create, they always need MORE back.
Technically speaking, that is impossible. It only appears possible because there are enough banks around and the total economic transactions are complicated enough that it always seems like there is somewhere else the money can come from. But, if we add it all up, there isn’t anywhere else it can come from.
People trust money to be valuable, so they use it as a medium of exchange. That drives the production of a lot of things, and it buys people a lot of things that they want. And, as long as the wheels keep spinning around, that seems OK.
However, the system can’t lead to anything else but a higher and higher amount of money that is being owed to banks. That is, national debts increase, and personal debts increase, and a higher and higher percentage of the actual assets in the world are being owned by the banks as “security” for the debts.
All current money systems are based on debt. If all debts in the world were paid back there would be no money in existence. I repeat, NO money. However, that in itself is impossible in that there isn’t enough money around to pay all the debts that are there, because of the accrued interest. It can only be a never-ending escalation, by the banks issuing more new loans so that people can pay the installments for the old loans.
But, we are on a limited planet, with mostly limited resources. Certain activities can not be expanded indefinitely. There is for example a limited number of physical assets that the banks can get as security or as payment for the loans, and sooner or later they would all be owned by banks, and the escalation would stop.
And now, if we look around us, most people seem to have a perpetual scarcity of money. There somehow doesn’t really seem to be enough to go around. However, our ongoing need to provide a livelyhood for ourselves and our families drive us to pursue more money anyway, and one way or another we get by. And we are too busy to notice that there is something fishy about this lack of money. There will always be somebody around who has a lot of it, so that we are reminded that this would be possible for us too. But we might not see that it wouldn’t be possible for everybody in the current system.
The current system is built on scarcity. The system is driven by the idea that there isn’t enough, and we have to compete for what is there.
It happens not to be true. If we add all the cummulative resources together and manage them well we could very well all live comfortably. It is just that the economic system tells us that we mostly don’t own these resources, but they are just beyond our reach, and if we manage our credit well, we can keep being rewarded with nice stuff. Never mind that the bank owns our houses and our cars and the companies we work for, we can at least pretend that we own them for a while.
The weird thing is that most people don’t know these things at all. Most people think that the national debt is a big problem, but they haven’t really thought of who this money is owed to. Or how come almost all countries in the world can have such astronomic debts that we all have to work twice as hard just to pay off the interest to it. And all of this money is owed to somebody who didn’t own any real value in the first place.
There are plenty of economic experts around who will provide very complicated explanations for what is wrong with the economy. There is too much unemployment or we buy too much stuff from Japan or something. Whereas the actual mechanics of the economic system are never mentioned.
Bong, Dick “money” 100PP.