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Bizarro by Dan Piraro 111521

11-28-18:why the feds want to kill cash

Cash is a remnant of the analog age. That makes it a safe haven from digital snooping.

Take a stack of $50 bills from under your mattress… buy something with them… and the feds can't easily track you.

Cash transactions are nearly fully anonymous. The only people who need to know about them are the people involved in the deal.

It's why governments have launched a War on Cash

If you've been following Legacy Research cofounders Bill Bonner and Doug Casey over the last few years, you're familiar with what's going on.

The War on Cash is the push by governments and central banks to gain complete control of the money system – and your financial affairs – by eradicating all forms of hard-to-track cash. Here's Doug…

Every major government in the world is trying to eliminate cash, starting with the big bills. The 500 euro note, the $100 bill, and even the $50 bill will all be dead ducks soon. There are parts of China now where cash isn't even accepted. You have to use a smartphone to buy a coffee at a corner convenience store.

Soon all transactions will be done digitally. It's wonderful – for the state. They'll know every source of your income, who's paying you, and for what. They'll also know every allocation of your assets – what you're buying, what you're reading and watching, what you own, and where it is.

A decade ago, this would have been enough to give the Deep State absolute control over money. But cryptocurrencies threw a wrench in that plan.

Cryptos are another way you can transact with a high degree of anonymity. In particular, when you use "privacy coins" such as Monero.

That's why the feds are targeting cryptos, too…

Two-thirds of the world's central banks have said they're in the exploratory stages of rolling out their own bitcoin replacements.

For example, the Bank of England is researching how to create a cryptocurrency linked to Britain's currency, the pound sterling.

The Bank of Canada is looking at issuing its own crypto version of the Canadian dollar.

Sweden's Riksbank – the world's oldest central bank – is exploring the "e-krona,” a crypto version of the Swedish krona.

And Russia, Singapore, Denmark, and Norway are studying crypto replacements for their national currencies.

And U.S. central bankers are looking at a fully digital version of the dollar…

Take François R. Velde, a senior economist at the Chicago Fed.

In 2014, he called blockchain – the distributed database that powers cryptocurrencies – an "elegant solution to the problem of creating a digital currency.”

Or David Andolfatto, vice president at the St. Louis Fed.

In 2015, he proposed the U.S. adopts what he called "Fedcoin.” And he's spoken publicly about it on several occasions since.

Think of Fedcoin as an evil, central bank copy of bitcoin. It's completely digital, like bitcoin. You can transact with it on a blockchain via a wallet app on your smartphone. But it has all the privacy and decentralization features of bitcoin stripped out.

A crypto-fiat currency would be public by design…

Transparency is a feature of blockchain databases. That's what makes them tamperproof.

But on the bitcoin blockchain, each transaction is not associated with your name and home address. Instead, it's associated only with your "public address" – a unique string of characters.

With a government-issued crypto, the feds would require your name, address, and Social Security number – just like your bank or credit card company does.

And that obliterates any last shred of financial privacy.

Every transaction you make with the new e-dollar would be digitally etched on a government blockchain. So the feds will be able to track – and control – every financial move you make. Doug again…

Government digital currencies are an immense threat not just to financial freedom, but any type of freedom. It's a "kinder and gentler,” but much more insidious, version of 1984. I'm honestly shocked that people aren't up in arms about this. They should be furious that governments are moving towards digital currencies…

The government, or one of its agents, could decide to lock you out of your bank account. They could cut you off from your own money. And completely cut off your ability to buy, sell, travel, or do anything, should you be viewed as politically unreliable. I suspect that once you're on a list, getting off will be much harder than getting off the TSA's "no fly" list – which is nearly impossible.

Make no mistake, crypto-fiat currencies are an attempt by the feds to kill cash and cryptos… and take full control over you and your money.

Why Everyone Missed the Most Mind-Blowing Feature of Cryptocurrency There's one incredible feature of cryptocurrencies that almost everyone seems to have missed, including Satoshi himself.

But it's there, hidden away, steadily gathering power like a hurricane far out to sea that's sweeping towards the shore.

It's a stealth feature, one that hasn't activated yet.

But when it does it will ripple across the entire world, remaking every aspect of society.

To understand why, you just have to understand a little about the history of money.

The Ascent of Money

Money is power.

Nobody knew this better than the kings of the ancient world. That's why they gave themselves an absolute monopoly on minting moolah.

They turned shiny metal into coins, paid their soldiers and their soldiers bought things at local stores. The king then sent their soldiers to the merchants with a simple message:

"Pay your taxes in this coin or we'll kill you.”

That's almost the entire history of money in one paragraph. Coercion and control of the supply with violence, aka the "violence hack.” The one hack to rule them all.

When power passed from monarchs to nation-states, distributing power from one strongman to a small group of strongmen, the power to print money passed to the state. Anyone who tried to create their own money got crushed.

The reason is simple:

Centralized enemies are easy to destroy with a "decapitation attack.” Cut off the head of the snake and that's the end of anyone who would dare challenge the power of the state and its divine right to create coins.

That's what happened to e-gold in 2008, one of the first attempts to create an alternative currency. Launched in 1996, by 2004 it had over a million accounts and at its peak in 2008 it was processing over $2 billion dollars worth of transactions.

The US government attacked the four leaders of the system, bringing charges against them for money laundering and running an "unlicensed money transmitting" business in the case "UNITED STATES of America v. E-GOLD, LTD, et al.” It destroyed the company by bankrupting the founders. Even with light sentences for the ring leaders, it was game over. Although the government didn't technically shut down e-gold, practically it was finished. "Unlicensed" is the key word in their attack.

The power to grant a license is monopoly power.

E-gold was free to apply for interstate money transmitting licenses.

It's just they were never going to get them.

And of course that put them out of business. It's a living, breathing Catch-22. And it works every time.

Kings and nation states know the real golden rule:

Control the money and you control the world.

And so it's gone for thousands and thousands of years. The very first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang (260–210 BC), abolished all other forms of local currency and introduced a uniform copper coin. That's been the blueprint ever since. Eradicate alternative coins, create one coin to rule them all and use brutality and blood to keep that power at all costs.

In the end, every system is vulnerable to violence.

Well, almost every one.

The Hydra

In decentralized systems, there is no head of the snake. Decentralized systems are a hydra. Cut off one head and two more pop-in to take its place.

In 2008, an anonymous programmer, working in secret, figured out the solution to the violence hack once and for all when he wrote: "Governments are good at cutting off the heads of centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.”

And the first decentralized system of money was born:

Bitcoin.

It was explicitly designed to resist coercion and control by centralized powers.

Satoshi wisely remained anonymous for that very reason. He knew they would come after him because he was the symbolic head of Bitcoin.

That's what's happened every time someone has come forward claiming to be Satoshi or when someone has been "outed" by the news media as Bitcoin's mysterious creator. When fake Satoshi Craig Wright came out, Australian authorities immediately raided his house. The official reason is always spurious. The real reason is to cut off the head of the snake.

As Bitcoin rises in value, the hunt for Satoshi will only intensify. He controls at least a million coins that have never moved from his original wallets. If VC Chris Dixon is right and Bitcoin rocket to $100,000 a coin, those million coins will shoot up to $100 billion. If it goes even higher, say a $1 million a coin, that would make him the world's first trillionaire. And that will only bring the hammer down harder and faster on him. You can be 100% sure that black ops units would be gunning for him around the clock.

Wherever he is, my advice to Satoshi is this:

Stay anonymous until your death bed.

But resistance to censorship and violence are only one of a number of incredible features of Bitcoin. Many of those key components are already at work in a number of other cryptocurrencies and decentralized app projects, most notably blockchains.

Blockchains are distributed ledgers, the third entry in the world's first triple-entry accounting system. And breakthroughs in accounting have always presaged a massive uptick in human complexity and economic growth, as I laid out in my article Why Everyone Missed the Most Important Invention in the Last 500 Years.

But even triple-entry accounting, decentralization and resistance to the violence hack are not the true power of cryptocurrencies. Those are merely the mechanisms of the system, the way it survives and thrives, bringing new capabilities to the human race.

The ultimate feature is one that Bitcoin and current cryptocurrencies have only hinted at so far, a latent feature.

The true power of cryptocurrencies is the power to print and distribute money without a central power.

Maybe that seems obvious, but I assure you, it's not. Especially the second part.

That power has always rested with the divine right of kings and nation-states.

Until now.

Now that right returns to its rightful owners: The people.

And that will blow open the doors of world commerce, sowing the seeds for Star Trek like abundance economics, leaving the Old World Order of pure scarcity economics in the pages of history books.

There's just one problem.

Nobody has created the cryptocurrency we actually need just yet.

You see, Satoshi understood the first part of the maxim, the power to print money. What he missed was the power to DISTRIBUTE that money.

The second part is actually the most crucial part of the puzzle. Missing it created a critical flaw in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Instead of distributing the money far and wide, it traded central bankers for an un-elected group of miners.

These miners play havoc with the system, holding back much needed software upgrades like SegWit for years and threatening pointless hard forks in order to drive down the price with FUD and scoop up more coins at a depressed price.

But what if there was a different way?

What if you could design a system that would completely alter the economic landscape of the world forever?

The key is how you distribute the money at the moment of creation.

And the first group to recognize this opportunity and put it into action will change the world.

To understand why you have to look at how money is created and pushed out into the system today.

The Great Pyramid

Today, money starts at the top and flows down to everyone else. Think of it as a pyramid.

In fact, we have a famous pyramid, with a third eye, on the dollar itself.

One of the most cliched arguments against Bitcoin is that it's a Ponzi or "pyramid" scheme.

A pyramid scheme rests on the original creators of the system roping in as many suckers as possible, paying them for enrolling people in the system rather than by offering goods and services. Eventually you run out of people to bring in and the whole things collapses like a house of cards. A Ponzi scheme is basically the same, in that you dupe the original investors with fake returns on their initial investment, a la Bernie Madoff, and then get them to rope in more suckers because they're so elated by the huge returns.

The irony of course is that fiat currency, i.e. government printed money like the Yen or US dollar, is closer to a pyramid scheme than Bitcoin. Why? Because fiat money is minted at the top of the pyramid by central banks and then "trickled down" to everyone else.

The only problem is, it doesn't trickle down all that well.

It moves out to a few big banks, who either lend it to people or give it to people for their labor. In fact, having a job or getting a loan are the primary methods that people at the bottom of the pyramid get any of the money. In other words, they trade their current time (with a job) or their future time (with a loan) for that money. It's just that their time is a limited resource and they can only trade so much of it before it runs out.

Think of economics as a game. Everyone in the system is a player, looking to maximize their advantage and the advantage of their team (a company, their family and friends, etc.) to get more of the money. But to start the game you need to initially distribute the money or nobody can play. Distributing money sets the playing field.

Now if you were in charge of the money, how would you distribute it to the network? You'd want to keep as much of it for yourself as possible, so you'd set the rules to maximize your own personal advantage. Of course you would! That's what anyone in their right mind would do, maximize their own power to keep it for as long as possible.

That's precisely what the kings and queens of the ancient world did, and that's what nation states do today. As Naval Ravikant said in his epic series of tweets on blockchain, today's networks are run by "kings, corporations, aristocracies, and mobs.” "And the Rulers of these networks [are] the most powerful people in society.”

That's why every single system in the history of the world has distributed the money in one way:

From the top down.

Because it maximizes the advantage of the kings and mobs at the top.

Unfortunately, that means most of the money never really leaves the top. It stays right there, as wasted and frozen potential that's never realized. There is little to no incentive for the money to move. Since money is power, hoarding it is literally hoarding more power and nobody would willingly give up that power.

In other words, the game is rigged.

What we need is a way to reset the game.

Up until now, our prospects looked very dim.

For example, we could pass a law, like a Universal Basic Income (UBI). That would give everyone a stream of money, pushing it out across the entire playing field and giving more people a chance to participate in the system. If more people can participate, we unlock all kinds of hidden and untapped value.

How many great inventors never managed to create their next breakthrough because they were stuck driving a bus seven days a week to feed their family, with no hope of free time or any clear path to digging themselves out of debt? How many great writers went to their graves never having written their great novel? How many budding scientists never discovered the cure to cancer or heart disease?

The problem with all of the plans before now, from UBI to socialism (high taxes on the rich to spread the wealth across the game) is that to redistribute the money after it's already been distributed is nearly impossible. The people with that money rightfully resist its redistribution. And as Margret Thatcher said "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.”

But what if the money is NOT already distributed?

What if we don't have to take it from anyone at all?

That's the missed opportunity of all of today's cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are creating new money. And unlike credit markets, which only pretend to expand the money supply, by lending it out 10x with fractional reserve lending, cryptocurrencies are literally printing money. And they aren't loaning it to people, they're giving it to them for their service to the network.

It's like microloans, without the loans.

As Naval said: "Society gives you money for giving society what it wants, blockchains give you coins for giving the network what it wants.”

So instead of giving all the money to a small group of miners, what if we could do better? A lot better?

We can.

I outlined one way in the an article about the Cicada project, How We Deliver a Universal Basic Income Right Now and Save Ourselves from the Robots. The Cicada design flips the idea of mining on its head. Everyone on the network is a miner and nobody can have more than one miner.

Miners are drafted randomly to keep the network running smoothly. You might be walking along, getting coffee and your phone gets called on to secure the network for a few minutes. After that it goes right back to sleep. As a reward, you might win new coins for doing nothing but having the application on your phone. Simple right?

Because everyone is eventually drafted, everyone gets paid, in essence creating a UBI right now.

And that's just one way.

If you think about it you can come up with dozens. Oh and don't get caught up with thinking the only way to do this is with an ID. Lots of ways to randomly draft miners without that too. The key is to free your mind of the "Satoshi box" and think different.

What we really need is to completely gamify the delivery of money, distributing it far and wide at the moment of creation.

Give it out as rewards for using apps, or as distributed mining fees, or as shared cuts of the mining fees to organizations that provide value to the network are just a few more ways to do it right. Those are just the tip of the iceberg. There are thousands of ways but we just haven't been thinking about the problem the right way.

In other words, we missed the real power of Satoshi's creation: the distribution of money.

The first system that truly gamifies the delivery of money will rocket to exponential growth, upending the current system for good. That will set the initial playing field dynamically and allow players who never would have gotten into the game to compete. The more people who can participate, the more efficient and valuable the network becomes.

"Networks have "network effects.” Adding a new participant increases the value of the network for all existing participants.”

Right now, we're not adding new participants fast enough to the cryptonets of tomorrow. The system is still vulnerable to the violence hack. Gamified money is the answer to exponential growth.

If the system can grow large enough, fast enough, it will become an unstoppable juggernaut, and the rest of the economic universe will need to come over to the new playing field.

Once the Amazons and Google's of the world join the playing field, their self-preservation instinct will kick in and they'll want to protect and expand it. And this new network will behave differently. Instead of rewarding just the people at the top, who've been rigging the rules in their favor since the beginning of time, the game will completely reset with a new set of rules.

What's best for the whole network, not just the few players at the top, is best.

“Blockchains are a new invention that allows meritorious participants in an open network to govern without a ruler and without money. They are merit-based, tamper-proof, open, voting systems. The meritorious are those who work to advance the network. Blockchains' open and merit based markets can replace networks previously run by kings, corporations, aristocracies, and mobs.”

Those that join the network and help it grow will thrive and flourish with it. It will amplify their own value, making it grow faster than at any point in history. Every ounce they give to the system will magnify their own rewards.

By contrast, economies that stand against the network, attempting to cripple it with arbitrary rules, will pay a heavy price. The system will stretch across the globe and only the most essential rules will take root, because in order to upgrade a distributed system, you need vast consensus across the network. Since people can generally only agree on big, essential solutions, no self-defeating, narrow-minded rules will be allowed.

Let's say that a country decides to restrict ICOs to their citizens altogether or make cryptocurrencies illegal. Instead of killing the network, the rules will blow back on their creators. Only their own people will suffer, as they won't be able to participate in the explosion of new potential that ICOs bring to the table, draining money out of the economy into rival economies. Even worse, if they make cryptos illegal, they'll simply drive that money underground, which will keep them from getting tax from their citizens, which will starve them of revenue.

As the system spreads it will put people back in control of their own financial power. No one will be able to take your money from you. And that is a good thing.

Of course, not everyone thinks so. Some folks always worry that people will do bad things with this power, like commit crimes. But people will always do bad things. They do those things now and they always have. Crippling the system for everyone just to get those people is the height of insanity. It has never worked and it never will.

Still, some people will never believe that.

They trust their central powers unquestioningly. All you have to do is wrap up your argument in "protecting the children" or "fighting terrorism" and you can generally fool half of the people half of the time about any terrible policy you want.

Yet I've found that people who see central systems as the answer to everything have usually lived in a stable central system for their whole lives.

A few days in an unstable system would change their minds very quickly.

Don't believe me?

Imagine you lived in Syria right now.

Your central infrastructure is destroyed, as is your money. You don't want the war, but there's nothing you can do about it. Now your house is gone, your friends and family are dead, your banks are bombed out and you're cast out, adrift, homeless and penniless. Even worse, nobody wants you. The world has shifted from open borders to building walls everywhere. You're not welcome anywhere, you can't stay where you are and you're broke.

But what if your money was still there, recorded on the blockchain, waiting for you to download and restore a deterministic wallet and give it the right passphrase to restore it?

How much easier would it be to start your life over?

Cryptocurrencies finally offer a way for us to control our own destiny. For the very first time in the history of the world, we have a way to generate and distribute money without a central power. People will have control over the money they rightfully earned.

And even better, instead of setting the playing field so the game is always rigged, we can set the game up the way it was always meant to be played, with open competition and flexible rules in a dynamic system that allows everyone to compete.

But we need to think big. We need to find a way to distribute the money far and wide without taking it from everyone else. Do that and we change the game forever.

That's what my team is working on. Want to talk? Find us in DecStack.com.

Centralized money is the ultimate chain.

Cut that chain and you free the world.

Daniel Jeffries page

The Final Assault in the War on Cash June 23, 2018 Dan Denning, Coauthor, The Bill Bonner Letter

Editor's Note: Bill has long warned of the Deep State – the loose collection of special interests, government insiders, and financial elite that quietly chart the course of America's future.

Today, Dan Denning, Bill's coauthor on The Bill Bonner Letter, shares why the Deep State's next target could be the money in your bank account… and reveals how the War on Cash finally ends.

If you value sound money and political freedom… if you value limited government and taxation with representation… and if you value enterprise and privacy… then you're going to hate the future I'm about to describe.

There is no philosophical or monetary middle ground on the issue.

The Chicago Plan

In March 1933, Henry Morgenthau Jr., chairman of the Federal Farm Board, was sent a short memo titled, "Memorandum on Banking Reform.”

It was signed by Frank Knight (the acknowledged author of the memo), Garfield Cox, Aaron Director, Paul Douglas, Lloyd Mints, Henry Schultz, and Henry Simons. All of them were professors at the University of Chicago.

The memorandum advocated for full-reserve banking (FRB) in the U.S. monetary system. U.S. currency would be backed only by government debt, not bank debt (loans issued by commercial banks to private citizens and companies).

It wouldn't nationalize the U.S. banking system. But it would nationalize the nation's money supply.

Under this kind of system, banks could no longer "create" money by lending it into existence. Money creation would be the exclusive territory of the government of the United States.

In this system, the key government agencies could not create money through new lending. They would do so through new spending (on priorities determined by elected politicians).

They called it "The Chicago Plan.”

The most radical elements of the plan – which we'll discuss shortly – were left on the shelf nearly a century ago.

But I believe it's about to find a resurgence in modern America…

The End of Fractional Reserve

Before I show you what the implications of a modern Chicago Plan would be, it's important you understand how money creation works today.

Despite what you may think, the central bank (the Federal Reserve) doesn't print that much money. The vast majority of the money supply in the U.S. economy is grown by banks lending money into existence.

Commercial banks issue a loan, it appears in your account, and just like that… it's money. From nothing, something! And then there was cash!

But here's the other part of that process that most people don't realize. When the banks issue a loan, they don't have to have a dollar in cash in their vaults for every dollar in cash they lend. If they DID, then every loan to a new customer would be matched with an equal amount of savings already in the bank from another customer. That's "full reserve" banking.

What we have today is called "fractional-reserve" banking. Why? The amount of cash savings actually held by the bank is only a fraction of the money lent by the bank. And for each dollar in saving deposits held by the bank (your money), the bank can lend up to $10 in new money (this is the secret magic of money creation).

It's also what some people call "debt-based" money, because money is created when a new debt is born (in the form of a bank loan).

Proponents of the Chicago Plan contend that allowing banks to create credit in a fractional reserve system leads to credit cycles. And the credit cycle has booms and busts. The busts damage everyone, not just those who have borrowed and spent too much.

That's a problem, they say. To circumvent it, there are those in power actively trying to end the banking system as we know it. They want to go back to the original idea of the Chicago Plan. And then they want to go one step further and replace America's money with something else entirely.

America's New Money

The main feature of the Chicago Plan is that it moves credit creation from private hands to public (government) hands, with the average American unaware of who is really moving the government hands. Money isn't lent into existence. It's spent into existence.

You can imagine that he who does the spending in this system has great power. That's exactly the idea!

Under the plan, instead of stimulating growth by changing the price of money for commercial banks (which is how monetary policy currently works with the Federal Reserve and interest rates), the government would "spend" money into circulation – on public works and infrastructure projects, for example.

The quantity of money in the economy would be determined by the government, not the commercial banks. And, at least in theory, the government would enjoy vastly lower levels of debt (both absolutely, and relative to GDP) in this kind of money system. Why?

In the current system, the US Treasury raises money by selling bonds to commercial banks or the Fed, paying interest to both. Money is created by borrowing. But again, it's debt-based money. That wouldn't happen in the new system. But what would the new money be backed by?

Er… government debt!

The term "full-reserve banking" implies every unit of currency is backed by an actual reserve. Some advocates of full-reserve banking (including a handful of Austrian economists) believe you could back the money with gold. Thus gold would be restored as the most important reserve asset in the world.

But if your agenda is to spend money into existence in unlimited quantities, you can also use government debt as a reserve asset. There's a lot of it already. And you can always make more!

In fact, this is a key feature of the Chicago Plan. It's full-reserve banking where the government does all the money creation, "backed" by government debt. The commercial banks merely provide payment services or pay interest on deposits. They are forced out of the debt-based money creation business (where all the profit is, of course).

According to the theory, this new American money system would accomplish three things…

  1. End the booms and busts of the credit cycle.
  2. Do away with bank runs (no need to get your money out of the bank if it's fully backed).
  3. Eliminate the government's debt problem. If money can be spent into existence, government borrowing and government debts are a thing of the past. If it needs more money, the government just spends it and "backs" it by issuing new bonds held by the central bank. The government could never be insolvent.

Does that sound like an improvement on the current system to you? To some people, it all sounds somewhat appealing, until you look closer…

Monetary Sovereignty

Under the Chicago Plan, the government has "monetary sovereignty.” What is monetary sovereignty? It is the complete decoupling of money from anything real.

Let me explain what I mean and why that's so important for the value of your savings and investments today.

Under the Chicago Plan, money doesn't have to have its roots in real value-added labor. Money doesn't come into existence because a tradesman has created something useful and sold it to someone else, requiring money to make the transaction.

And under the new system, money certainly doesn't have to be anything physical and scarce, like gold.

Under the new system, money can be whatever the government wants it to be.

With a monetarily sovereign government calling the shots, money is literally no object. A monetarily sovereign government wouldn't have to borrow anymore, or pay interest. To create money, it would simply spend it into existence. Voilà!

Think of all the jobs and incomes created when a monetarily sovereign government decides to spend trillions on new infrastructure and "nation building" projects.

This is Richard Duncan's "creditism" without the need to borrow. It is economic growth without effort, wealth without labor, riches without risk.

If you think it sounds absurd, you're not alone. But remember what's at stake here: total control of American money, and through it, of the economy, and of you. And it'll be accomplished by controlling the quantity of money through a central authority.

For an idea of what that might look like – and why it's so dangerous to your cash and savings today – consider this quote from the innocuously titled "The Case for Unencumbering Interest Rate Policy at the Zero Bound.”

It was delivered by Marvin Goodfriend of Carnegie Mellon University at the Fed's annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in 2016 (emphasis added is mine):

The most straightforward way to unencumber interest rate policy completely at the zero bound is to ABOLISH PAPER CURRENCY.

In principle, abolishing paper currency would be effective, would not need new technology, and would not need institutional modifications. However, the public would be deprived of the widely used bundle of services that paper currency uniquely provides.

[…] Hence, the public is likely to resist the abolition of paper currency at least until mobile access to bank deposits becomes cheaper and more easily available.

First, we have a proposal for a new system in which only the government can create money. Next, the "experts" think the most logical way to "unencumber" ineffective monetary policy is to abolish cash.

Goodfriend, by the way, was nominated by President Trump to serve on the Federal Reserve's seven-member Board of Governors. His nomination is currently awaiting action by the U.S. Senate.

Taken together, there is a real effort underway to do away with your individual economic liberty and your preference to hold cash in the face of interest rate uncertainty. "If that could be overcome,” Goodfriend seems to be saying, "then we could make you act the way we want you to.”

Am I exaggerating? Would Wall Street allow such a fundamental change to America's banking system? Would the Fed really abolish cash? Is there a possibility of all of this becoming a reality?

It's happening faster than you think.

For example, the Swiss recently voted on implementing a version of the Chicago Plan earlier this month. They ultimately voted it down, but the fact that such a plan was considered in the first place shows that this idea is coming back into the mainstream.

Also, keep in mind that the Swiss, due to their constitution, get to vote on these kinds of things. It's a direct democracy, controlled at the local level. Top-down change – the kind of change which tends to benefit the elites and those in the shadows of power – is very hard to achieve in Switzerland. But in the United States…?

The catalyst could come from anywhere, or nowhere. And if you think it's out of the realm of possibility, then you lack imagination, or an understanding of history.

In Defense of Economic Liberty

In a world where government has unrestricted control of the money, and hiding in physical cash is no longer an option (because cash has been abolished), there's no end to what a monetary sovereign could force you to do.

Control of money is a massive political power. What would happen next?

Outlawing cryptos?

Forcing negative interest rates (effectively a tax on your savings)?

Banning the purchase of items that the government deems undesirable, like weapons, alcohol, or cigarettes?

These may seem far-fetched scenarios. But they are well within the realm of possibility for a government in complete control of the money in your account.

This was the plan in 1933. It almost happened. I believe it is the plan today. And I believe it WILL happen. Much sooner than you think. Which is why you must plan for it NOW.

This is not a theoretical debate. What, exactly, is at stake for you right now?

This idea of sovereign money appeals to central planners because with it, they have absolute authority and permission to try and solve any "problem" they deem a threat.

You are that threat, because you won't do what you're told. You won't spend when you're supposed to spend, borrow when you're supposed to borrow. And you're likely to hoard cash and real money (precious metals) in the face of low (or negative) interest rates. That makes you an uncompliant problem for the State to solve.

When you pair it with banning cash and going all-digital, you have nothing less than the complete loss of economic liberty and freedom of action in America. THAT's what's at stake here. Right now.

If you're in a situation where you can only spend money when you're allowed to spend money, or you can only spend money that they say is money, and you can only spend money when they think it's okay, then you're not free.

The Coming Collapse By Chris Hedges May 21, 2018

The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny.

If we do not stand up we will enter a new dark age.

All this will soon be compounded by financial collapse. Wall Street banks have been handed $16 trillion in bailouts and other subsidies by the Federal Reserve and Congress at nearly zero percent interest since the 2008 financial collapse. They have used this money, as well as the money saved through the huge tax cuts imposed last year, to buy back their own stock, raising the compensation and bonuses of their managers and thrusting the society deeper into untenable debt peonage.

Sheldon Adelson's casino operations alone got a $670 million tax break under the 2017 legislation. The ratio of CEO to worker pay now averages 339 to 1, with the highest gap approaching 5,000 to 1. This circular use of money to make and hoard money is what Karl Marx called "fictitious capital.” The steady increase in public debt, corporate debt, credit card debt and student loan debt will ultimately lead, as Nomi Prins writes, to "a tipping point--when money coming in to furnish that debt, or available to borrow, simply won't cover the interest payments. Then debt bubbles will pop, beginning with higher yielding bonds.”

And so, to quote Vladimir Lenin, what must be done?

We must invest our energy in building parallel, popular institutions to protect ourselves and to pit power against power. These parallel institutions, including unions, community development organizations, local currencies, alternative political parties and food cooperatives, will have to be constructed town by town.

Gold Leaving US Vaults: Signs of Upcoming Currency War and Armed Conflict By Peter Korzun [] April 26, 2018

The Turkish government has made the decision to repatriate all of its gold reserves that are currently housed in the US Federal Reserve System (FRS). Overall Turkey was storing 220 tonnes, valued at $25.3 billion, in the US, which it repossessed on April 19, 2018.

This is a dramatic move reflecting an international trend. Venezuela repatriated its gold from the US in 2012. In 2014, the Netherlands also retrieved its 122.5 tonnes of gold that were stored in US vaults. Germany brought home 300 metric tonnes of gold stashed in the United States in 2017. It took Berlin four years to complete the transfers. Austria and Belgium have reviewed the possibility of taking similar measures.

Few people believe the US Treasury's assurances that the 261 million ounces (roughly 8,100 tonnes) in official gold reserves that are stored in Fort Knox and other places are fully audited and accounted for. The Federal Reserve has never been fully and independently audited. The pressure for a full, independent audit of all US gold reserves has always been resisted by the government and in Congress. Nobody knows if the gold is really there. What if the vaults turn out to be empty? It's wiser to bring your gold home while you can, rather than to just keep on wondering.

The gold bars that the US claims to hold are of low purity and do not conform to international industry standards. Even if the US has the amount of gold it claims to have, most of it would not be acceptable for trading on the international market. While other countries are pulling their gold out of the FRS banks, Russia and China are boosting their reserves, creating gold-backed currencies for themselves and thus moving the world away from the dominance of the USD.

The US dollar's status as the global reserve currency has been called into question. It faces some tough competition. The tariffs introduced by the US administration as an instrument of coercion against other countries are failing to bolster the greenback, which may soon face headwinds. An international currency war looms as a possibility. This makes investors look for other options. Indeed, why should other countries rely on a US dollar that is not backed by gold or anything but "the good faith and credit of the American worker,” when America itself is not trusted internationally?

For instance, the Chinese yuan is going strong. Russia, Turkey, and Iran are considering the prospects for making payments in their national currencies. Iran has recently announced it is switching from the dollar to the euro as its official reporting currency. Russia and China have a currency swap agreement that avoids settlements in the USD.

The quest to reduce dependence on the dollar was provoked by the ongoing use of sanctions as a political weapon, a kind of foreign-policy tool of choice. Even America's closest allies are threatened by these restrictive measures. The recent attack on the Nord Stream 2 gas project is a good example. It's only natural for other countries to be looking for ways to resist the US policy of twisting arms. Using alternative currencies and bringing gold home are ways to do that.

Video: A Rothschild Speaks - Listen Closely video: global currency?

POLITICIANS ARE WORRIED ABOUT BITCOIN FUTURES LAUNCH The rise of Bitcoin has taken the political world by surprise, and now politicians are grappling with the choices on how to handle the advent of Bitcoin futures trading on the NASDAQ that has been approved by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

If there is anything that has surpassed human understanding, especially in the world of investment, it is the price of Bitcoin. Its percentage increase in price is in the thousands. Speculators who envision the rise of Bitcoin tend to end up underestimating the real price, and investors wake up and see their money tripled in just a single night. So what will happen if this kind of digital asset makes its way into the futures market? Well, it's almost there.

NASDAQ has decided to launch Bitcoin futures in 2018. This announcement was made last week after an earlier announcement by CME that Bitcoin futures trading will now commence with approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Will authorities scrap this move? Will they twist state laws to favor or go against Bitcoin futures trading? Or will they institute a tax system for the trading of Bitcoin futures?

But one thing is for sure, these politicians have the ability to cause a lot of problems, and when it comes to technologies that they '’t understand or something they perceive as not being so beneficial to them and 'the people,’ then the Bitcoin futures trade is bound to suffer through a lot of regulations.

OVERSTOCK CEO PATRICK BYRNE – IT'S ABOUT TIME THE WORLD SWITCHES TO REAL MONEY EITHER BITCOIN OR GOLD Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne explained yesterday why he's optimistic about Bitcoin... With hosts keen to point out Bitcoin's monumental rise as a potential bubble, Byrne instead identified the US dollar as an equally dubious store of value.

"You think that's a bubble? What do you think that fiat currency you carry around in your purse is? This dollar stuff, it's just some fiat currency based on … the surplus taxing authority of the U.S. Treasury of which I assert there is zero … It's about time the world switches to real money. Either gold or bitcoin."

Saudi Coup Signals War And The New World Order Reset By Bran' Smith November 16, 2017

For years now, I have been warning about the relationship of interdependency between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and how this relationship, if ended, would mean disaster for the petrodollar system and by extension the dollar's world reserve status.

the death of the dollar as the premier petrocurrency is actually a primary goal for establishment globalists. Why? Because in an effort to achieve what they sometimes call the "global economic reset," or the "new world order," a more publicly accepted centralized global economy and monetary framework is paramount. And, this means the eventual implementation of a single world currency and a single global economic and political authority above and beyond the dollar system.

The banking powers are not interested in taking any blame for the suffering that would be dealt to the masses during the inevitable upheaval (or blame for the suffering that has already been caused). Therefore, a believable narrative must be crafted. A narrative in which political intrigue and geopolitical crisis make the "new world order" a NECESSITY; one that the general public would accept or even demand as a solution to existing instability and disaster.

I believe the next phase of the global economic reset will begin in part with the breaking of petrodollar dominance. An important element of my analysis on the strategic shift away from the petrodollar has been the symbiosis between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has been the single most important key to the dollar remaining as the petrocurrency from the very beginning.

China's 'Petro-Yuan' is Set to Challenge the U.S. Military-Backed 'Petro-Dollar’ By Timothy Alexander Guzman November 13, 2017

One quote that always crosses my mind regarding the decline of the U.S. dollar and the state of geopolitics associated with it, is by Gerald Celente, founder of the Trends Research Institute who said that "When all else fails, they take you to war.” As the U.S. dollar continues to lose its status as the world's premiere reserve currency, the reality of a world war seems inevitable, especially when major countries such as China, Russia and Iran are making strategic moves to bypass the U.S. dollar in favor of other currencies such as China's 'Petro-Yuan’. China has made the decision to price oil in their own currency the "Yuan" by a new gold-backed futures contract which will change the dynamics of the world's economy. China is preparing to launch the petro-Yuan later this year that will eventually threaten the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency.

China's move will have consequences. For starters, it will certainly undermine Washington's ability to impose economic sanctions on any nation at will and at the same time, will slowly diminish the purchasing power for U.S. consumers as imports become more expensive.

China (the largest holder of U.S. debt) is the largest importer of oil, while Russia, one of the largest exporters of oil in the world have agreed to use the petro-Yuan to bypass the petro-dollar. The petro-Yuan threatens the U.S. dollar's hegemony around the globe as several nations have recently demonstrated as they all share an interest in joining the transition from the U.S. dollar to the Yuan for oil transactions including Washington's arch enemies Iran, Venezuela and even In'esia (currently not on Washington's hit list).

"Venezuela is going to implement a new system of international payments and will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar,” Maduro said in an hours-long address to a new legislative superbody, without providing details of the new mechanism. "If they pursue us with the dollar, we'll use the Russian ruble, the yuan, yen, the Indian rupee, the euro,” Maduro said

The U.S. dollar is failing because of Washington's economic and foreign policies and its collusion with the Wall Street banking cartels, multi-national corporations and the Military-Industrial Complex.

Countries worldwide are tired of funding the America's "military adventurism by being a party to the 'Empire of Debt,’ as it's known around the world – the US dollar,” and therefore, will likely join the de-dollarization movement, Keiser said.

How Banks Undermined Federal Foreclosure Assistance article has been torn from Internet

The terrifying idea that the economy might stay stuck forever just got more terrifying The U.S. economy has fallen, and it can't get up.

(Alan Light/Flickr)

That's because our slump hasn't really ended, even though the Great Recession officially did more than five years ago. Growth has been low, unemployment is still high, and it'd be even more so if the labor force hadn't shrunk so much. And all this, remember, has happened despite interest rates being zero the whole time. It's the opposite of what we would have expected: big crashes are usually followed by big comebacks. So why has this time been different?

Well, it hasn't -- not if you compare it to other recoveries from financial crises. These, as economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff have shown, tend to be nasty, brutish, and long: it takes, on average, eight years just to make up lost ground. But even so, this doesn't fully explain the kind of persistent economic weakness we've seen here and most everywhere else.

Look at Japan. Its own bubble burst in the 1990s, and since then even zero interest rates haven't been enough to save it from first one, and then two, lost decades. The same is happening to Europe today. Bad recoveries, it seems, have a way of turning into bad economies that never get better.

It's brought back the specter of "secular stagnation." That's the idea, first proposed by Alvin Hansen in 1938, that an economy can get stuck in a never-ending slump if slower population growth means slower investment. Now, the baby boom thankfully proved him wrong, but what if he's right this time? That's the question Larry Summers has been asking for a year now. As he points out, the U.S. economy has needed lower and lower interest rates just to get the investment it needs so that virtually everyone who wants a job can get one -- and even then, it's taken bubbles to get us there. But interest rates can't go only lower -- they're effectively at zero. As a result, the not-so-great recovery might be followed by a future that's just as bad.

It's still a hard story to tell, but economists Gauti Eggertsson and Neil Mehrotra have come up with the first real model of it. And here, according to them, are the three reasons secular stagnation might be more than just a scare story this time:

1. Deleveraging.

Imagine a country where households went deeper and deeper into debt, until they couldn't anymore because their biggest piece of collateral -- their homes -- had collapsed in value. Call it, "America." Well, suddenly they'd have to start paying back what they owe, which would increase savings and push down rates. And, as Eggertsson and Mehrotra argue, this can cast a long shadow, since young people who take on less debt today can save even more when they're older -- keeping rates low for quite awhile.

2. Inequality.

The rich are different from you and me. They have more money to save. Not only that, but they can afford to save it, too. That's not as true, economists Atif Mian and Amir Sufi point out, for poor households that are much more likely to spend what they have. So if more and more money is going to the people at the top, like it has the past 30 years, then that means there's more and more money being saved, all else equal. And that, of course, pushes interest rates down a little more.

3. Declining population growth.

If the workforce doesn't grow as much, then the economy won't either, and we won't need to build as many new houses or offices -- which only hurts economic growth even more. It's an accelerator effect. In other words, Alvin Hansen was right that lower population growth can lower investment demand enough for the economy to stay stuck in a permaslump. He was just wrong that it would happen in 1940s America. But it's a real concern now that the Baby Boomers are about to retire.

Japan, once again, is the canary in this deflationary coal mine: Its working-age population started declining in 1997, and that, the IMF says, has helped push its inflation rate into negative territory. That's left interest rates at zero, and the economy to languish.

It's a grim picture of a recession stamping on a human face -- forever. But it wouldn't be too hard to save ourselves from this dystopian future. All it would take is a higher inflation target that would let real rates go lower, and help households reduce their debt burdens. Immigration reform that boosted the workforce wouldn't hurt either. [Not a conclusion I would concur with - CG]

China completes first test runs on establishment of new sovereign digital currency

Video: F. William Engdahl - The Gods of Money – How America Was Hijacked The key is debt slavery. It is the main goal of banks since Babylon.

Wakeup Call: End the Fed The Financial Fraud: Since the Federal Reserve Board came into being in 1914, every dollar has been borrowed into existence from this privately owned Central Banks. Every single dollar the Fed ever has created is owed back to that bank, with interest. No government is allowed to create currency; private institutions – Central Banks – lend it out currency created out of thin air to governments against interest.

What The Federal Reserve Really Is The Federal Reserve is not a single central bank, but a system of twelve regional reserve banks under the supervision of a board of governors in Washington DC. This central body is called The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. It has a chairperson, currently Janet Yellen, and a vice chairperson, currently Stanley Fischer.

In addition, there are five other governors for a total of seven people on the board. Right now, there are two vacancies (and no pending nominees to fill the vacancies), so the entire board consists of five individuals: Yellen, Fischer, Lael Brainard, Daniel Tarullo, and Jerome Powell.

The chair, vice chair, and governors are nominated by the president of the United States subject to Senate confirmation.

Blind Robbery!: How the Fed, Banks and Government Steal Our Money by Philipp Bagus (Author), Andreas Marquart (Author)

What role does the state, government, and politics play in redistribution in favor of the super-rich? Why is a naive faith in the state anything other than a good strategy for the future for each individual citizen?

Anyone who has never really trusted politicians - even if it started out as only a gut feeling - will find confirmation in this book that this gut feeling was right all along. An easy to understand introduction to the question of why money is responsible for so many problems in our society.

6 Years Ago Today, the US Helped Murder Gaddafi to Stop the Creation of Gold-Backed Currency Six years ago today, the West took it upon itself to use NATO to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi -- not for any humanitarian threat to civilians as had been repeatedly claimed -- but because his planned roll-out of a new currency to be used across Africa posed a palpable existential threat to central banks at the heart of the Western financial and political system.

Long theorized to be the actual vehicle for Gaddafi's downfall, the gold dinar-based, pan-African currency motive came to light in nascent 2016 in one of more than 3,000 of Hillary Clinton's emails released by the State Department -- conveniently timed with the New Year's holiday to abate outrage or repercussions.

And outrage there should still be -- plenty of false posturing in the lead-in to the ultimate overthrow of the Gaddafi regime should sour public trust in the West's geopolitical motives, as a prime example of embroiling itself in unnecessary conflict every time a nation threatens to gain too much independence.

In March 2011, amid heightening rebellion of the Arab Spring, chaos came to Libya's second-largest city, Benghazi -- and the West and its allies quickly capitalized on those events to partake in a falsely-premised rebellion of its own.

Citing a U.N. Security Council resolution to invoke a nefarious no-fly zone over Libya to "protect civilians,” the United States, U.K., France, and others began a bombing campaign on March 19 -- in actuality, of course, that protection was of the central bank monopoly and, in particular, France's financial interests in the historically French-colonial region.

"We are doing it to protect the civilian population from the murderous madness of a regime that in killing its own people has lost all legitimacy,” railed French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who played a key role in Gaddafi's fated demise.

"Colonel Gaddafi has made this happen. He has lied to the international community… He continues to brutalize his own people,” British Prime Minister David Cameron also asserted. "We cannot allow the slaughter of civilians to continue.”

As head of the U.S. State Department, Hillary Clinton intoned the scripted narrative, heralding the intervention in Libya as the need to "protect civilians and it is to provide access for humanitarian assistance.”

The Iran Dilemma – The Tyrant Has Spoken The tyrant, of course, is 'ald Trump. He launched tirade after tirade, and keeps launching them, insult after insult, lies after lies after miserable lies at the Government of Iran


Since it is now difficult for Mr. Trump or any of his handlers to pretend that Iran has failed the agreement, Trump has changed his language. He, and some of his most ridiculous stooges say now that Iran is infringing on the "spirit" of the agreement, as if Trump even knew what spirit and spirituality means.

He, the tyrant, keeps insulting and hammering down on the Government of Iran all the same – spreading lies which even Iran's enemies know are lies: Iran is spreading and funding terrorism in the region, and the world, they are[military] threat to the region – and they are even a 'National Security Threat' – 12,000 km away from Washington. Imagine, one of the most peaceful countries in the world. The only National Security Threat to virtually ALL the nations of the globe, minus Israel, is the only rogue state we know – the United States of America.

Iran is beyond sanctions. Iran is already part of the new economic system – the one emanating from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), led by China and Russia, and detached from the dollar hegemony. Therefore, slandering Iran, threatening Iran with war and sanctions or both, is one big bluff – and Trump, Netanyahu's puddle, believe the world will go for it.

Both countries are trading with the world since quite a while outside of the fiat dollar system, using instead yuans and rubles convertible into gold. That's the new currency standard offered to the world. The west can take it or leave it.. It's like jumping on the fast train that has already left the Shanghai station, racing through Eurasia towards Europe, called the OBI – the One Belt Initiative, President Xi's answer to the western economy of fraud, that will lay the tracks for a new and peaceful economy, possibly for the next few hundred years.

I have said it many times before, and will keep repeating it, the future is in the east; the west is passé. It is committing suicide, greed, war and lie-driven auto-destruction. Iran, India, Pakistan are already members of the SCO, others, including NATO Turkey, are vying to join and be no longer vulnerable to US imposed sanctions and sledgehammer policies.

Even far-away Venezuela has decided to trade her hydrocarbon resources with China in gold-convertible yuans. Hence, Venezuela is detaching herself from the dollar economy, freeing herself from the financial and economic shackles of Wall street, the FED and the Bretton Woods Institutions. Venezuela is a beacon illuminating a new economy for South America, as well as an example of a solid democracy, as demonstrated by this past weekend's regional fully transparent elections to elect governors and state legislators – a new path to follow by other Latin American countries, who are still enslaved and trampled by the dictate of Washington.

Video: Blockchain: The Foundation of the Future

Venezuela Just Stopped Accepting US Dollars for Oil As Countries Join Forces to Kill US Petrodollar By admin September 17, 2017

In what is the latest move to undermine the imperial world order maintained by the United States, which is underpinned through use of the petrodollar as the world reserve currency, the Wall Street Journal reports that Venezuelan President Maduro has officially followed through on his threat to stop accepting US Dollars as payment for crude oil exports in the wake of recent US sanctions.

Last Thursday, President Nicolas Maduro said that if the US went ahead with the sanction, Venezuela would "free" itself from the US Dollar.

Gold Trade Between Russia and China – A Step Closer Towards De-Dollarization? Transcript of Sputnik – SKYPE Interview By Peter Koenig 9/12/17

Sputnik
Could you, please, enlighten us about what could possibly stand behind Sberbank's plans to increase the supply of gold to China?

PK
This is just a continuation of the economic and trade agreements between Russia and China; the first such official deal was the 2014 currency swap agreement of about US$ 25 billion equivalent, or rather 150 billion Yuan.

Let's not forget, both currencies the ruble and the Yuan are 100% covered by gold; actually, the ruble is backed about twice by gold.

Both, the China – Russia economic cooperation and trade agreements, as well as their currencies being covered by gold is part of a larger already fairly advanced scheme of de-dollarization of their economies. In other words, Russia and China as well as the entire Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), are rapidly moving out of the US dollar hegemony.

Let's face it, the entire western monetary system is basically a fraud. It is privately made and privately owned, with the entire international payment system being controlled by the FED – which is totally privately owned – and the BIS (Bank for International Settlement, in Basle, Switzerland – also called the central bank of centrals banks). All international transfers and payments have to transit through Wall Street banks. This is the only reason why the US can "sanction" countries that do not behave according to Washington's dictate. It is illegal, and would not stand up before any international law.

But since international courts are also controlled by Washington – there is no chance that the US will be called to account for their criminal economic actions around the world – at least not for now; at least not as long as the western dollar-based monetary system has supremacy on the world markets. But this may change rapidly. And China and Russia are moving fast towards complete independence from the western economy.

Venezuela Is About to Ditch the Dollar in Major Blow to US: Here's Why It Matters By Darius Shahtahmasebi September 09, 2017 "Information Clearing House"

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that Venezuela will be looking to "free" itself from the U.S. dollar next week, Reuters reports. According to the outlet, Maduro will look to use the weakest of two official foreign exchange regimes (essentially the way Venezuela will manage its currency in relation to other currencies and the foreign exchange market), along with a basket of currencies.

According to Reuters, Maduro was referring to Venezuela's current official exchange rate, known as DICOM, in which the dollar can be exchanged for 3,345 bolivars. At the strongest official rate, one dollar buys only 10 bolivars, which may be one of the reasons why Maduro wants to opt for some of the weaker exchange rates.

Maduro hinted that the South American country would look to using the yuan instead, among other currencies.

Venezuela sits on the world's largest oil reserves but has been undergoing a major crisis, with millions of people going hungry inside the country which has been plagued with rampant, increasing inflation. In that context, the recently established economic blockade by the Trump administration only adds to the suffering of ordinary Venezuelans rather than helping their plight. According to Reuters, a thousand dollars' worth of local currency obtained when Maduro came to power in 2013 is now be worth little over one dollar. A theory advanced in William R. Clark's book Petrodollar Warfare – and largely ignored by the mainstream media – essentially asserts that Washington-led interventions in the Middle East and beyond are fueled by the direct effect on the U.S. dollar that can result if oil-exporting countries opt to sell oil in alternative currencies. For example, in 2000, Iraq announced it would no longer use U.S. dollars to sell oil on the global market. It adopted the euro, instead. By February 2003, the Guardian reported that Iraq had netted a "handsome profit" after making this policy change. Despite this, the U.S. invaded not long after and immediately switched the sale of oil back to the U.S. dollar.

In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi was punished for a similar proposal to create a unified African currency backed by gold, which would be used to buy and sell African oil. Though it sounds like a ludicrous reason to overthrow a sovereign government and plunge the country into a humanitarian crisis, Hillary Clinton's leaked emails confirmed this was the main reason Gaddafi was overthrown. The French were especially concerned by Gaddafi's proposal and, unsurprisingly, became one of the war's main contributors. (It was a French Rafaele jet that struck Gaddafi's motorcade, ultimately leading to his death). Iran has been using alternative currencies like the yuan for some time now and shares a lucrative gas field with Qatar, which may ultimately be days away from doing the same. Both countries have been vilified on the international stage, particularly under the Trump administration. Nuclear giants China and Russia have been slowly but surely aban'ing the U.S. dollar, as well, and the U.S. establishment has a long history of painting these two countries as hostile adversaries.

Email from Bri:

Digital currency and crypto-currency are mostly the same, and yes many people use the terms interchangeably.

Some country's governments have strange or anti-crypto laws, some are more restrictive than others. Even here in the USA there are states that basically beg for blockchain startups to come, and some states that have made laws and regulations that drive away crypto miners and traders. Washington state for instance passed laws so restrictive that all the major exchanges have quit servicing anyone living there.

Some countries like China are rather heavy handed when they feel like they '’t have control. Russia is starting to build a bitcoin mine (controlled by Putin) to compete with China, while developing plans to outlaw crypto mining in people's homes. Strange stuff is happening in certain places.

When China announced a blanket ban on ICOs ( Initial Coin Offerings ) last week, Canada blew it off and made some headlines with their first government approved ICO. Japan recently made bitcoin legal tender. A municipality in Switzerland will start accepting bitcoin for tax payments. South Korea declared bitcoin seizures to be illegal. Panama recently opened a Blockchain Embassy.

And in other news, the CEO of JP Morgan, with nearly $50 billion of fines paid for various illegal activities since 2009 when bitcoin started, has declared bitcoin to be a fraud and said he'd fire any employees found to be trading bitcoin. Weeeeee

Sprott CEO On Bitcoin: 'It Could Go To $100,000… Or $0… Keep Both Numbers In Mind’ by Mac Slavo September 4th, 2017 SHTFplan.com

With the advent of crypto currencies came an entirely new marketplace that was nonexistent just a decade ago. And as with all new things, once the market started adopting blockchain technology like Bitcoin, everybody wanted a piece of the action.

Rule says that with a $70 billion market cap, and perhaps more importantly the distributed ledger technology that makes it function, Bitcoin and the blockchain is here to stay.

Bitcoin to me is all positive… I'm a consumer of currencies and currencies are a medium of exchange… and the more competing currencies there are the better it is for consumers of currencies… I use U.S. dollars, I use Canadian dollars, I use gold, I use silver, and from time-to-time I use BitCoin.

The more competing currencies, the better the currency has to perform for the consumer.

It is the way you to take control of the ownership of assets, the transfer of assets and the title of assets from governments and deliver them back to the market… that's truly revolutionary.

Beijing's "Belt and Road" Initiative, Towards an Economy of Peace? By Peter Koenig [an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites.] August 31, 2017 "Information Clearing House"

Why is Peace not breaking out, when the vast majority of the world's populace does not want war?

Why is the world one huge fireball of hostilities, conflicts, threats of economic sanctions, propaganda of lies and mind manipulations, fearmongering – killing – massive killing – 12-15 million people killed since 9/11? – Why is that? And all provoked and executed by ONE country, and her vassals in the form of NATO, stooges of Brussels and the Middle East, and their prostituted proxies, paid mercenary whores, Islamic State, by the one Rogue Nation the world is subjected to – the United States of America.

All that at the cost of trillions of dollars, tax-payers' money – really? – More likely privately FED, Wall Street created fiat money, pyramid money, based on usury and debt, subjugating debt to be pillaged from the ordinary citizens; but government debt never to be repaid, as per Alan Greenspan (FED Chairman, 1987-2006) to an exasperated journalist who asks, when will the US ever pay back its huge debt? – “Never – we will just print new money”. – So, is it really 'tax-payers' money’? – Would tax-payers' money be able to pay for these trillions and trillion spent on conflicts, wars and hostilities – hundreds of billions spent on propaganda of deception and lies to promote endless assassinations around the globe? Hardly.

Why is it that we live willingly and knowingly in a fraud and greed-economy? – Is living in deception the illusion that keeps ultra-capitalism alive? – That leads us to ever higher grounds of avarice – ending in all-destructive fascism? – Possibly in a globe-annihilating mushroom?

Why do we worship war, if at least 99.99% of the peoples of this globe want peace?

Why do we tolerate such atrocities imposed by one nation – no longer worthy of the term 'nation' – destructions of entire countries, civilizations, the cradle of western history? Obliteration of livelihoods for generations to come? – For nothing else but gluttony, for insane accumulation of material goods and power? For world hegemony of a few? Why do we tolerate Inhumanity as our 'leadership’?

It is well-understood that such 'leaders' are put in place not by elections, but by fraud – why do we not throw them out? – Why do we bend over still believing in the lies of democracy ? if in the back of our minds a little spark of conscience tells us exactly that we are being betrayed by our governments, not once, not twice – but ALL THE TIME?

And this refers to WE in the WEST.

.....

There is a new economic paradigm waiting in the wings, offered by China and Russia, an Economy of Peace. An economy backed by labor, by construction, by research, education – by culture – and by gold. No fiat economy – an economy of Equal Rights and equal benefits for all participants; a non-war based economy, totally contrary of the western usury rent-seeking destructive economy. Who would not be attracted by this new model of Peace Economics?

The new Silk Road – also President Xi Jinping's OBI – One Belt Initiative, formerly known as "The One Belt One Road" (OBOR) – an economic development program spanning the entire super-Continent of Eurasia and North Africa, from Vladivostok to Lisbon, and from Shanghai to Hamburg. Every territory in between is invited to participate, in what is possibly the largest and most wide-ranging economic expansion initiative in modern history.

It is a multi-trillion-dollar (equivalent) endeavor that could literally stretch out for centuries, creating infrastructure, work, trade, income, new technologies, education- the palette is almost endless – for many areas still largely deprived of human well-being.

The "Road" encompasses land route development from Central China to Central Asia, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Eastern Europe – construction of ports and coastal infrastructure from Southeast Asia to East Africa and the Mediterranean. In fact, OBI was initiated by President Xi in 2013 and is already well under way. China's modernization of Greece's Port of Piraeus, arguably the largest in the Mediterranean, is already part of it.

It keeps Brussels nervous. The hot-rock of mud and corruption is afraid it may 'lose' Greece – a NATO country – from their control. Greece diplomatically assures them 'loyalty' – nevertheless, thanks to Greek pressure – under these new circumstances – Brussels 'vassalic' human rights condemnation and new sanctions directed at China, in Washington's latest efforts to pressure China on North Korea, were stopped thanks to Greek intervention on behalf of China. Quite a feat, for a small country – downtrodden into financial and abject purposeful economic misery by Germany and the nefarious troika. It shows not only the west's bluff, but their fear from the East – where Brussels and Washington know very well – the world's future lays.

This revival of the ancient Silk road with 21st Century technology, as China calls it, also comes with financing to promote basic needs, such as urban planning, water supply, sanitation, food production and distribution. The old axiom of comparative production advantages will be applied in an open market of equals among equals, already begun under the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), signed by Presidents Putin and Xi in May 2015, and rapidly expanding westward.

The OBI is sometimes referred to as the Eastern Marshall Plan. But it should rather and more aptly be called the Xi Plan. It comes with the appropriate financial instruments, foremost the Beijing based Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB). The Xi Plan is destined for economic development and peoples' well-being. Whereas the Marshall Plan was designed for deceit, exploitation and enslavement of Europe with its subservient Bretton Woods Institutions – and it succeeded.

Among AIIB's members are many western countries, conventional allies of the United States, like Germany, the UK, France, many Nordic countries, Australia and others. Despite the objection of Washington, they have decided to join anyway. They realize the future is in Asia, in the East, much of it represented by this gigantic promising New Silk Road. After having lived through a fake and fraudulent privately run monetary economy for most of the last 200 years -even the staunchest ally and Washington vassal is becoming wary and ready for a new start.

AIIB will be tough competition for the Bretton Woods Institutions, IMF and World Bank, especially since the AIIB will be playing by faire rules ? no strangulation structural adjustment loans to privatize social sectors and natural resources, and to plunge developing countries into misery and subjugation with austerity programs no end. The World Bank and IMF records of causing misery and hardship are almost endless. Most developing countries, utterly distrustful of such practices, are just waiting to become members of the AIIB and to enter economic development that actually benefits their people.

Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, Charles Freeman described the OBOR / OBI project as

“potentially the most transformative engineering effort in human history. China will become the center of economic gravity as it becomes the world's largest economy. The 'Belt and Road' program includes no military component, but it clearly has the potential to upend the world's geopolitics as well as its economics.” (NBC News, May 12, 2017)

Even the NYT lauds

“The initiative … looms on a scope and scale with little precedent in modern history, promising more than $1 trillion in infrastructure and spanning more than 60 countries. Mr. Xi is aiming to use China's wealth and industrial know-how to create a new kind of globalization that will dispense with the rules of the aging Western-dominated institutions. The goal is to refashion the global economic order, drawing countries and companies more tightly into China's orbit. It is impossible for any foreign leader, multinational executive or international banker to ignore China's push to remake global trade. American influence in the region is seen to be waning.”



In addition, the BRICS members – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, will meet in early September in Xiamen, the coastal city of China's Fujian Province to “deepening the BRICS partnership and opening up a brighter future”. One of the key items on their agenda is the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) and its Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA). The BRICS NDB is headquartered in Shanghai and will work in parallel with the AIIB to further economic cooperation, growth, and human well-being. The NDB Treaty was signed in July 2015 with a subscribed capital of US$ 50 billion, of which US$ 10 billion paid-in and US$ 40 billion callable. BRICS funding, similar to that of the AIIB, is meant primarily for infrastructure and energy development. Again – the funding is for Peace Economics.

These new financing initiatives will be a serious challenge for the western monetary cabal and a thorn in the eye of Washington's drive for dollar hegemony. Although AIIB's and NDB's capital base is still accounted for in US-dollars, it is likely changing in the near future into a basket-type currency, similar to the IMF's SDR (Special Drawing Rights), but without the US-dollar.

With this bright perspective of an Economy for Peace from the East, who would want to continue adhere to the western fiat monetary system which has never been based on economic output, but was made to manipulate world economies to the detriment of the working peoples and for the benefit of the private owners and creators of the system, the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Morgans, Goldman, et al .

Central South African Bank Will Experiment with Bitcoin Regulation Central South African Bank Will Experiment With Bitcoin Regulation

The central South African bank is partnering with a blockchain-based solutions provider to experiment with digital currency regulations. This may bring digital currencies like Bitcoin further into the mainstream and legitimize their use. [translation: they will be more under the thumb of governments]

Blockchain Powered Solutions and Services --helping South African central bank

Aspiration brings to everyone the kinds of banking and investing options once limited to only the wealthiest Americans.

Aspiration offers an interest-bearing checking account with excellent annual percentage yields and free access to every ATM in the world. But Aspiration is an investment firm, so it doesn't have any branches or offer savings accounts or certificates of deposit.

Review: The Aspiration Summit Account is one of the best checking options on the market. Aspiration's overdraft policies aren't nearly as consumer friendly.

Aspiration is not a traditional bank: It is a California startup that markets its social consciousness, pledging to give 10% of revenue to charity. And some of the year-old operation's practices are a departure for the banking world.

More Than Coins: Blockchain is Transforming the Way We Distribute Aid Most people have heard of bitcoin and ether, but not everyone is familiar with blockchains. This technology, which powers cryptocurrencies, is already changing the way transactions are made in the financial industry as well as in aid programs.

Cryptocurrency Hit Record Low Values Over the Weekend Cryptocurrencies fell over the weekend, reaching record lows and loosing billions in market cap. While they've since recovered the losses, it shows just how unpredictable the cryptocurrency market truly is.

Are We Becoming Western Money Slaves? By Peter Koenig [an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites.] July 21, 2017 "Information Clearing House"

This monetary system cannot be reformed. It is privately owned and rotten to the core.

Electronic money, a cashless society, is perhaps the ultimate and most direct means of the New World Order (NWO), also called One World Order (OWO), to control us all via its financial system. A system that the NWO would like to maintain as the world's financial system, albeit, it has already been reduced to the western world's financial system.

Why reduced to the Occident? – Because the Orient, China, Russia and the other countries belonging to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and to the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU) have already largely delinked themselves from the western dollar-based system of fraud.

This reminds of one of the oldest and world's worst criminal agent against humanity – still alive and kicking – Henry Kissinger:

“Who controls food, controls the people; who controls energy controls entire continents; and who controls money controls the world.”

Compare the dollar-based monetary system to the European Union – which cannot be reformed either. Any 'reform' is just fiddling at the margins – as is inherent in the term 'reform’. And that's not good enough. As we know by now, the EU was not the construct of Europeans, per se, but an idea behind the 'deep state’, already at the onset of Phase II of the Great Hundred Year War (WWII – September 1939 to September 1945). Phase I (WWI – 1914 – 1918), as well as Phase II were induced to weaken Europe, to make her ready for full domination.

Of course, by adhering to the Brussels dictate, they have become devoid of national sovereignty. That is a must. A sovereign country would not submit to the horrors of police state and militarization that are in the coming. The euro with the Wall Street (Goldman Sachs – GS) run European Central Bank (ECB) is just a logical add-on to the fake EU. By now, many serious scholars have concluded that neither the EU nor the euro are sustainable, but are doomed to collapse sooner or later.

The EU and the euro are a complex construct, largely manipulated and carried forward by the Dark State's main secret services, CIA, NSA, Mossad, MI6 with close collaboration of Europe's national secret services. Hence, the creation of a complete political and monetary vassal, the European Union and her currency, equally fraudulent as its master currency, the US-dollar.

It is not by chance that today's western US-dollar based monetary system, with its center, the Federal Reserve (FED), has been created just at the onset of Phase I of the Hundred Year war, i.e. WWI. In 1910, Rhode Island Senator, Nelson Aldrich, with his heart close to the world of bankers, organized a "hunting trip" for five top Wall Street (WS) bankers to travel in disguise by train to Jekyll Island, off the coast of Georgia, where they concocted in a few days the concept of the modern FED – which was to become the 'mother' of the new dollar-based world monetary system, now reduced to the western monetary system. The Federal Reserve Act was signed into law in December 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson.

The FED, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS – also called the central bank of all central banks, manipulating gold prices and currency exchanges), as well as the related dollar-machine are totally privately owned. On top of the owner pyramid are the Rothschild and Rockefeller clans, et al. Henceforth, all international monetary transactions had to transit through a WS bank, be it in New York or Lon'. This is the only reason why the US government, i.e. Washington and its dark handlers, are able to hand out economic and financial 'sanctions' as they please, to control those, who do not want to bend to their dictate.

'Sanctions' in terms of blocking trade with a Washington-destined country and punishing everyone who does not observe the sanctions, plus, confiscating a country's foreign assets – are totally illegal before any international court. But there is no international court that is not bought by this sham monetary system.

Nations and societies that want to get out of the killer-claws of those who control the NWO, have to start thinking out of the matrix – 'deglobalizing and de-dollarizing’.

“Local production, for local markets, with local money, and local public banking for the promotion of the local economy” is the name of the 'simple game’.

Trading would become again what the original meaning of the word says: An exchange of goods among equals, where, contrary to the current system, each trading partner is a winner. A good example, still in its infant steps, but progressing, is ALBA (Spanish acronym for Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our America; "alba" also means appropriately "dawn" in Spanish). This alliance was launched by Venezuela and Cuba and today comprises some 11 Latin American countries, including Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and a number of small Caribbean nations.

The concept of ALBA could be replicated in many parts of the world. ALBA in many ways is a modern barter system which uses a virtual currency, the Sucre. The currency's value is the weighted average of each member country's economic output – plus the US-dollar. – Why the US dollar? I was told by one of the member country's Minister of Finance that keeping the dollar in, would help avoid a massive boycott of the nascent system by Washington. We can only hope he is right. ALBA needs to gain more strength and new members.

Local public banking is key. Just look at the Bank of North Dakota, a state owned public banking institutions which had kept North Dakota out of the 2007 / 2008 crisis. Except for Ellen Brown, President of the American Public Banking Institute, hardly anybody talks about this success story.

Why? – Because it runs counter to what the FED-WS dominated private banking system is doing. This private banking system is NOT working for the people, or for a country's economy... Case in point is that Germany's private banks have made a profit of 1.34 billion euros on the Greek misery, just recently admitted by the German Minister of Finance.

We have to promote the concept of Resistance Economy by all means we have available; talking and writing about it to as wide an audience as possible; by having alternative media, like RT, Sputnik, TeleSur and others, promoting the idea; and by strongly and firmly always-always thinking that a drastic change is possible, that darkness doesn't rule the world

What the Latest Currency 'War' is All About By Pepe Escobar. It took the Bank of China to devaluate the yuan on two consecutive days -- moving within the 2 percent band that it's allowed to -- for the proverbial global financial banshees to go completely bonkers.

Forget the hysteria. The heart of the matter is that Beijing has stepped on the gas in a quite complex long game; to liberalize the yuan exchange rate; allow it to free float against the US dollar; and establish the yuan as a global reserve currency.

As Beijing interprets it, keeping a strong link to the US dollar has interfered with China's being competitive with its top trading partners -- Japan and Europe.

So now it's time to rock the (wobbly) boat. Thus the "currency war" hysteria -- because the practical result, in the medium term, will be a new boost to Chinese exports.

When the US embarks on perennial quantitative easing (QE), that's OK. When the EU does QE as well, that's OK. But when the Bank of China decides it's in the best interest of the nation to let the yuan go down a bit instead of infinitely up, that's Armaged'.

Peter Schiff Says Impending U.S. Dollar Collapse should be Getting Attention, not China's Devaluation By Andrew Moran. Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital and bestselling author of "Crash Proof,” believes the impending collapse of the United States dollar should be getting the attention of investors and news outlets and not the devaluation of the Chinese yuan.

He noted that the yuan's value has substantially increased over the past several years compared to the U.S. dollar.

"So this move was motivated not by the exchange rate between the yuan and the dollar, but between the yuan and all the other currencies because the dollars is in a bubble right now,” he said. "The dollar is very overvalued … and the dollar is a bubble. This dollar bubble is going to burst.”

He added that the U.S. economy is in a much worse situation right now than the Chinese. This is something, Schiff says, the Federal Reserve will have to admit. He also averred that the Fed won't raise interest rates this year (SEE: Federal Reserve rate hike could cost indebted consumers $9 billion per year) and will have to do another round of quantitative easing.

"That's going to sink the dollar and then the Chinese are going to have to revalue their currency much higher in the future against the dollar and it's the dollar collapsing that's going to hurt the US. Not this recent move by China,” Schiff posited.

The reasons why the U.S. dollar has been trading well since the financial crisis is because of hope, hype and speculation.



Money [from Your Strawman]

What is money?

Originally in England, the unit of money was called "one pound sterling"... you could always take these notes to a bank and ask for them to be cashed, and what happened then was that the bank would hand you the equivalent weight of sterling silver in exchange for the notes.

Today, the currency in England is still "bank notes" which are certainly easier to carry around, but there is one very important difference. These notes are issued by the private company called "The Bank of England". However, if you were to take one of their bank notes to the premises of that company and ask for it to be cashed, all that they would do is give you another note with the same number of pounds written on it, or alternatively, some other notes with smaller numbers printed on them. This is because, unlike the original bank notes, there is nothing of any physical value backing up the bank notes of today - they are only worth the physical paper on which they are printed.

It actually gets worse than that. What happens most commonly nowadays is that they do not even bother printing those pieces of paper. Now, they just tap some numbers into a computer record, or if they are old-fashioned enough, they write the numbers into a ledger. What do those numbers represent? Nothing at all - they have no actual value, in other words, just as much value as if you typed them into your own computer - quite meaningless. And yet, a bank or other financial institution will merrily "lend" you those numbers in return for years of your work - now isn't that really generous of them? What you must understand that what they lent you was actually valueless.

The "money" is in fact, not the property of the bank as it had been created out of nothing as soon as the loan agreement was signed. That is, the money does not come out of the bank's existing assets as the bank is simply inventing it and in reality, the bank is putting up nothing of it's own, except for a theoretical liability on paper.

The bank, in combination with the (privately owned commercial company called) "The Federal Reserve Bank", creats the entire amount of the loan in credit in it's own books by means of a bookkeeping entry, the money and credit coming into existence when they created it. No United States Law or Statute existed which gave the bank the right to do this.

A lawful consideration must exist and must be tendered to support the loan agreement. There had been no lawful consideration put forward by the bank and so the debt is void.

When someone makes an application for a mortgage or any other loan [or credit?], the applicant's signature is required on the application form before the loan is approved. That signed application is a valuable piece of paper which the bank can lodge in it's accounts as a credit to the bank for the amount of the loan. The bank could just keep that application form and stay £100,000 or whatever, ahead, but they want more, much more. They want the borrower to pay them that same amount again and not only the amount of the supposed "loan" but significant extra in interest. Why do you think that they are so keen to lend you "money" - they are even willing to lend to people with very poor credit records as there is no way that the bank can lose out on the deal, no matter what happens.

Now, if you were to apply for a loan (mortgage or otherwise) for £100,000 from the bank, they would give you an application form which is set out in such a way that you have to fill in the strawman's name rather than your own - separate boxes with one of them containing "Mr" and they may even require you to fill the form in using block capitals. You may think that the capitals are so that they can read you writing or perhaps, to make it easier for it to be entered into a computer, but the name in those capital letters belongs to the strawman and not to you. You have actually just made an application on behalf of the strawman and not on behalf of yourself!

You might wonder why they would want to do that. After all, what could they ever get from the strawman? Well, you might be surprised. When the strawman was incorporated they assigned a large monetary value to it, possibly £100,000,000 and they have been trading on the stock market on behalf of the strawman ever since, and you know how many years that has been. So, very surprisingly, in their opinion, the little fellow is really very rich, and you have just authorised them to take the amount of your loan application from the strawman's account. So before the bank passes you any money, it has already got it's money from the strawman account and entered it in it's books as a £100,000 Credit to your loan account. They then place £100,000 into your loan account as a Debit. Interestingly, that loan account is now balanced and could easily be closed off as a completed deal.

This is where the sneaky part comes in. To get the money out of your account, you have to write and sign a cheque for £100,000 on that account [or charge something on credit]. What does the bank do with cheques which you sign? It assigns them to the account as an asset of the bank, and suddenly, the bank is ahead by £100,000 because the cheque is in the name of the strawman who can supply the bank with almost any amount of money. But it doesn't end there...

The bank is confident that you know so little about what is going on that you will pay them anything up to £100,000 over the years, against what you believe you owe them! If that happens, then they have made yet another £100,000 for the bank. To make things even better for them, they want you to pay them interest on the money which you (''t actually) owe them. Overall, they make a great deal of money when you borrow from them, so perhaps you can see now why banks make hundreds of millions in profit each year.

Please ''t feel that you are ripping the banks off if you ''t pay them what they are asking you to pay - they have already recovered everything paid out before you start paying them for the second or third time. [To say nothing of all the interest you have paid them!]

* Removing the Veil "I personally have a Social Security number and an Australian Birth Certificate number and a strawman bond under both. In one I have 577 million U.S. Dollars and in the other just over one billion. If you search for your information it is important to enter your numbers correctly otherwise it will not recognise them. You must enter the in 3 numerals and then a space and the last as 2, 3 or 4 to open the bond. Then scroll down the page until you come to Search and log in to find the total value. Spending on the bond there may have two search buttons. Check both to find the value”.

The video has been removed...

Home page... IUV

The Slavery System: Whether we realized it or not, until recently, we were all 'legally' debt or 'labor' slaves, as were our parents, our grandparents and great grandparents before us.

Since 1933 every new child born was required to be 'registered’, thereby creating a Corporate Person, effectively denying that child any rights as an owner of Real Property. The act of registering a child contracted them as chattel, and the birth record was a deceptive legal way of getting the parents to sign the baby away. The birth record was in fact a promissory note that was converted into a slave bond, which was then sold to a private reserve bank effectively giving ownership of the child to the bank.

Each new baby's contract was sealed by either a drop of their blood or by an ink impression of their foot onto the birth record. This 'signature' was used to create their lifetime value, evidenced by their labor and the taxes and costs of that labor as monetized currency – all designed to keep people in servitude for their entire lifetime.

The banks have been the modern slave owners and as the saying goes, "He who owns the debt owns the people.” The way the Slavery System was imposed on us meant that even if we did end up paying off our house or our car, we never actually owned it, because our right to any Real Property ownership was given away at the registration of our birth.

This has been legal process since 1540 via something called a Cestui Que (Vie) Trust, and this was still in effect until the recent UCC Rulings changed the legal landscape and reinstated the un-rebuttable fact that no-one can own our 'selves or own our bodies.

The slavery system remained intact for so long because of educational doctrines, the influence of our community at large and because so many people accepted and embraced their slavery by waiting for others to help them or to tell them what they should/could or should/could not do. Enforcers like the police and courts made sure we stayed within the slavery system and incarcerated us if we chose to live as FREE individuals.

Comment: noel says According to BLACKLAWS DICTIONARY a person is a Corporation, when you were registered your name lets say was john wayne the family name dillion. They changed it to MR. JOHN WAYNE DILLION all capital letters that is how you write Corporate names all capitals. They always address you this way and you never give it another thought, because you think that it is you, it is not. All Corporations operate under Commercial law or UCC. As a human being they have no power over you unless you give your consent, their power over you is when you answer to your STRAWMAN name or Corporate Capital letter name, you then are operating under commercial law. Corporations can only make laws for there employees. As far as registering child ,car, truck etc. you are registering it as their chattal so they can use it as equity when they borrow, that in it's self says they own you and yours and can do as they want = enslavement. That's what I've been taught, but I stand to be corrected if wrong. Always sign your name after writing Without Prejudice on anything, a tip from Heather. Cheers hope that helps a little.

Awumdah says : I AM an example of how "Without Prejudice/All Rights Reserved" signed on traffic tickets works. See Awumdah freedom story. I have been driving without I.D. registration, insurance, or driving license for 16 months. I've been stopped and given citations 7 in all and appeared in court 2 times.

I do carry an affidavit of reservation of rights I downloaded filled out and registered in the Tulsa county clerks office. But the reason I have been able to beat the citations is because I did not enter a contract by signing the citations, reg. my car, or using their license, I drive by my unalienable rights (liberty) given US by our creator.

When ever I'm stopped I just give the officer my "Affidavit of Reservation of right, and a forecloser notice, and say "Sir you were foreclosed, or you '’t know?” I explain as best I can what happened more then a year ago, sign the citation "Without Prejudice or All Rights Reserved.” I then show up in court and tell the allege judge that the charging instrument (citation) is not valid and give him a copy of my affidavit, and try to introduce the forecloser notice before I walk away. Of course I always have my other tools "Declaration and Order and Declaration of Facts.”

"Believe it or not" it works, because without a signed citation they have no "personal jurisdiction”. Am still not able to get them to except the "Forecloser Notice" but I AM working on it. I think the next time I'll just show the forecloser notice and challenge jurisdiction based upon that alone. If it fails I can always show him the unsigned citation.

I went into court just 2 days ago and tried by just standing up until asked to be seated, then I just walked up and presented the Notice, but that just got me thrown out of court. The A-judge wanted to know my last name and I said, so as not to be in contempt for lying, "I '’t have first hand knowledge of a last name" and proceeded to give him the notice.

BANKING How you were unwittingly robbed and cheated your whole life

The banking system is a constant forum for fraudulent contracts and coercive commerce worldwide. Henry Ford 'telegraphed' to people, the thievery and deceit of the U.S. banking system when he said, "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.”

Head of the IMF Christine Lagarde in court charged with embezzlement and fraud by Peter Allen, Lon' Evening Standard, 23 May 2013

The head of the International Monetary Fund arrived in the dock of a Paris courtroom today as she braced herself to be formally charged with embezzlement and fraud. Christine Lagarde's humiliation is not only a massive personal blow which could lead to her resignation, but one which will plunge the world's banking system into further ignominy.

Former President of The World Bank Makes Stunning Confession

The former President of The World Bank, James Wolfensohn, makes stunning confessions as he addresses graduate students at Stanford University. He reveals the inside hand of world domination from past, to present and into the future. The speech was made January 11, 2010. The first video to the right is an excerpt of the full speech. When watching the first video one might say the next 19 minutes may open your mind to a very deliberate world.

Wolfensohn tells the grad students what's coming, "A Tectonic Shift" in wealth from the West to the East. Wolfensohn claimed that in the next 40 years, a global power shift will see today's leading economic countries drop from having 80% of the world's income to 35%.

But he doesn't tell the students that his institution, The World Bank, is directing and channeling these changes. Wolfensohn's own investment firm is in China, poised to profit from this "Imminent Shift" in Global wealth

History of Banking

Modern Money Mechanics A Workbook on Bank Reserves and Deposit Expansion

Government Corporations: Pillage and Debauchery at the cost of the 'peasants' Government is a profit enterprise, its purpose being to syphon money from your Do'ing and BE'ing through taxes, fees and fines but worse, they are selling that slavery debt to global corporations. It recorded in governments' books as 'revenue’. Most countries are registered on the US stock exchange as negotiable instruments that even have to submit an annual company report. The increase in revenue the 'government' expects to gain from the additional taxes, fees, fines is also listed in annual report they post to SEC.

Comments: The 13 Amendment proves you do not need a lawyer…

noel says : We all have to learn how to use the documents first, if you '’t know then you may end up in jail. For the time been keep using your license and ID cards. '’t go into their Courts, give everyone involved a flyer and Courtesy Notice with your terms and conditions, every time they respond invoice them, keep records of registered letters, dates, amounts. Do not CONSENT to anything and do not answer to your CORPORATE CAPITAL LETTER NAME your name is Caroline only. Read Mary Crofts book she is fantastic at it, you will find her somewhere on the I/uv site here somewhere cheers.

FOUR SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES UNITE TO IGNITE $279 TRILLION LIEN An INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL OBLIGATION LIEN (INDICTMENT) has been filed against the AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION (A.B.A.), the INTERNATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION (I.B.A.), and the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (D.O.J) by four Superior Court Judges for $279 Trillion dollars. 12/07/2015

Steve was thrown in jail for filing the $279 Trillion dollar Lien. They also arrested his wife Sandra who is 71 years old. Court case is tomorrow, ought to be interesting Judges going up against Judges. Please '’t take this information lightly, these people are risking their lives, for this word we call FREEDOM.

This lien has an S.E.C. trace number of 2640220. It MUST be answered by January 15th 2016, or the Lien Debtors must pay 279 Trillion dollars to the Lien Claimants, the American people. This document can NOT be reviewed by any "court" as it is a commercial affidavit operating in the land jurisdiction, and under commercial law.

There is NO statute of limitations on fraud. Fraud vitiates and cancels all contracts that it touches. This might be the very last chance we have to solve the problems of out of control "government" in America by peaceful means.

Sidney says : Just found this info.. I have many questions!! How do I use the documents to get out of my debt?! And what does this mean for living in this society? And I read somewhere that each of us has $10,000,000,000 owed to us, is that true? And where on the Internet can I find the filings on the UCC website so my husband believes me..?

Windows 10 spyware keylogger -- how to turn it off Microsoft openly says… "When you interact with your Windows device by speaking, [handwriting], or typing, Microsoft collects speech, inking, and typing information – including information about your Calendar and People [contacts]…”

Turn Off Windows 10 Keylogger Now Microsoft has the power to track every single word you type or say to its digital assistant Cortana while using its newest operating system, Windows 10.

You need to remember that any financial institution is a legal fiction and does not actually exist. As a result of this, it can only deal with other legal fictions (essentially, other pieces of paper) and it can't have any dealings with a man or a woman as they are not legal fictions. It is also important to understand what passes for money nowadays. Let's say our trusty friend James Martin goes looking for a loan and he fills in an application form with the Swindle Bank Limited for £10,000. Interestingly, the form which he is asked to sign, says that he has already received the £10,000 although the loan has not yet been approved.

The next day, the loan is approved and James is handed a cheque which he is asked to sign and lodge to his account with the bank. We won't follow up on that very interesting procedure at this time, but please remember that he has now provided two signatures for £10,000 in the strawman name, and all he has received is a 1 and four zeros in the accounts of the Swindle Bank Limited.

The bank is now in trouble as it has been running a con game on James and so can't produce the documents for which James has asked. A loan agreement is a contract and so there has to be full disclosure of all the details (which there wasn't), both sides have to put up something of equal worth (which didn't happen) and the contract has to be signed by both parties (which the bank can't do). So, the bank has a real problem.

If you ''t keep paying them money earned by your very real work, then they will attempt to take your house and possessions away from you. This won't happen if you understand that what they lent you was actually valueless.

In court, Jerome challenged the right of the bank to foreclose on his home which had been purchased with a loan from the bank. Jerome argued that any mortgage contract required that both parties (that is, himself and the bank), to put up a legitimate form of property for the exchange. In legal language, that is called a legitimate "consideration" put forward by both parties to the contract.

Jerome explained that the "money" was in fact, not the property of the bank as it had been created out of nothing as soon as the loan agreement was signed. That is, the money does not come out of the bank's existing assets as the bank is simply inventing it and in reality, the bank is putting up nothing of it's own

Mr Morgan admitted that no United States Law or Statute existed which gave him the right to do this. A lawful consideration must exist and must be tendered to support the loan agreement. The jury found that there had been no lawful consideration put forward by the bank and so the court rejected the bank's application for foreclosure and Jerome Daly kept his home.

if a company starts demanding payment of large sums of money, you start by asking them to provide the "accounting" for the deal. In other words, you are asking them to show in writing that they provided something of genuine worth as their side of the loan contract. As they invented the money as numbers in their books with no real worth attached to those numbers, they are in deep trouble as they can't comply with your demand to see their accounting for the deal.

if you were to apply for a loan (mortgage or otherwise) for £100,000 from the bank, they would give you an application form which is set out in such a way that you have to fill in the strawman's name rather than your own - separate boxes with one of them containing "Mr" and they may even require you to fill the form in using block capitals. You may think that the capitals are so that they can read you writing or perhaps, to make it easier for it to be entered into a computer, but the name in those capital letters belongs to the strawman and not to you. You have actually just made an application on behalf of the strawman and not on behalf of yourself!

When the strawman was incorporated they assigned a large monetary value to it, possibly £100,000,000 and they have been trading on the stock market on behalf of the strawman ever since

they want you to pay them interest on the money which you (''t actually) owe them.

Dealing With The Police

Things have changed now that Police Forces have become commercial organisations, dedicated to producing a profit by taking money from you in the form of Fixed Penalty Notices, Speeding Fines, Parking Fines and any number of other charges.

As each individual Police Force is a commercial company.. it has no authority to enforce anything, any more than a Mc'alds has.

these thousands of invented offences ''t apply to anybody unless they agree to be bound by them... The normal first attempt to establish this spurious dominance of the police officer is by him asking for your name. This is NOT an innocent question and it is essential that you are very careful in what you say as there are verbal Legalese booby traps all over the place.

One suitable reply is "The law does not require me to provide that information" which is entirely correct and avoids pitfall number one, and no matter how often the question is asked, the answer is always the same.

It is also vitally important not to argue with a police officer as that is another Legalese booby trap which makes you subject to the thousands of hateful regulations designed to part you from your money. So, only answer questions (ideally with a non-aggressive question) and ''t volunteer any information at all.

If the police officer says "You were exceeding the speed limit", you could say "Was I?" as you ''t argue, nor do you point out that Common Law does not require anyone to keep to speed limits, obey road signs, park only where directed, etc.

As mentioned before, if the police officer says "DO YOU UNDERSTAND?" then your response should be "NO! I DO NOT STAND UNDER YOU IN THIS MATTER". As before, the question is a Legalese trap and has nothing whatsoever to do with understanding anything which has been said.

Under Common Law, AN OFFENCE HAS ONLY BEEN COMMITTED IF THERE IS A VICTIM (somebody who has been killed or injured, had possessions damaged or stolen or who has been defrauded). So, if the police officer keeps pushing you to agree to pay his company money when you ''t need to, then a good question to ASK MIGHT BE "WHO IS THE VICTIM?".

An alternative is to ask "WHAT IS THE CHARGE, OR AM I FREE TO GO?". If you stick to these things, then the police officer has nothing to work on as you have not agreed to be bound by statutes, YOU HAVE NOT PROVIDED A NAME AND ADDRESS FOR HIM TO WRITE ON AN INVOICE (or "Fixed Penalty Notice" as they like to call it) and you have not entered into a "controversy" by arguing with him or into "dishonour" by refusing him point blank.

There is one other thing, and that is, without being aggressive or offensive in any way, YOU MUST NOT DO ANYTHING WHICH HE TELLS YOU TO DO because if you do, then those charming Legalese people can see that as you agreeing to "stand under" him and become subject to his "legal" (not "lawful") authority, and so become liable

In any situation which does not involve Common Law, the police officer is on his own, acting as an individual and as such is wide open to action against him either under Common Law if he is acting unlawfully or by civil court action if his actions warrant it.


The Zeitgeist Movement

Peter Joseph & Abby Martin on Abolishing Capitalism By teleSur 8/14/17

Peter Joseph is the founder of the Zeitgeist Movement, a grassroots, worldwide organization that advocates an alternative economic system based on sustainability, cooperation and human need. His most recent book, 'The New Human Rights Movement,’ delivers a startling exposé about the violent oppression that defines our economic order, while issuing an urgent call for global activism to unite to replace it.

Abby Martin sits down with Joseph to talk about the contradictions and crises of capitalism and what he advocates to save the future of the planet from catastrophe.


Highlights from Gods of Money, by F. William Engdahl

it is a history of power, more precisely, of the colossal abuse of power in the hands of a tiny elite who have constituted themselves as the "Gods of Money.”

a history of the tiny clique of international bankers who created Wall Street and who control it today, as they did the City of Lon' until the First World War.

the Federal Reserve Act. It was passed by an almost empty Congress and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson--a crony of Wall Street--on Christmas Eve, 1913.

bankers' coup d'état:

emergency rescue of Germany's IKB Deutsche Industriebank. IKB was a bank originally set up in 1924 to facilitate payment of German industrial war reparations under the Dawes Plan.

the collapse of the Vienna Credit Anstalt in 1931 had been the proximate trigger for a global chain-reaction banking collapse that led to the Great Depression and ultimately to world war,

high-yielding securities issued by New York banks called subprime mortgage-backed securities.

The global crisis that was triggered by the payment problems of a small German bank in 2007 had roots in a deeply flawed financial and banking power called the Dollar System, earlier referred to as the Bretton Woods System.

In 1791, Hamilton proposed the establishment of a Bank of the United States, modeled, however, on the privately-owned Bank of England. Benjamin Franklin, being familiar with the Bank of England, understood all too well the dangers of a privately owned central bank controlling the issue of the nation's currency. Franklin effectively blocked the chartering of a privately-owned central bank until his death in 1791.

it was 80% owned by private investors, including -- remarkably enough for a young nation not yet healed from the wounds of an independence war from that same City of Lon' -- investors from the largest British banks. Nathan Rothschild, at the time Lon'’s and the world's most powerful banker, invested heavily in the first Bank of the United States,

The US Government in effect handed over to private bankers control over its money and agreed to pay those bankers interest to boot on money it borrowed.

the US Constitution clearly placed control of the nation's currency in the hands of Congress, and made no provisions for Congress to delegate that authority.

That explicit Constitutional provision had been designed specifically to keep the American money supply out of the hands of the private banking industry,

Congress was urged by a convergence of interest groups -- above all the private banks -- to create a new national bank. In 1816, Congress acquiesced and created the Second Bank of the United States,

The new Bank thus had the power to control the entire fiscal structure of the country.

Chief Justice John Marshall, declared the Second Bank of the United States to be Constitutional, finding with dubious logic in McCulloch v. Maryland that Congress had the "implied power" to create a national bank – a power that the state of Maryland had challenged.

President Andrew Jackson vetoed the bill to re-charter the Second Bank in 1832. Jackson distrusted the privately held Bank of the United States and feared it gave too much power to foreign investors

In another attempt to force a re-chartering of the Bank of the United States, Nicholas Biddle, aided and abetted by leading Lon' and European bankers, engineered the Panic of 1837.

The dominant figure in the policy council of the Bank of England at that time was Nathan M. Rothschild, a close ally of US Bank President Nicholas Biddle, and a major shareholder in the Bank of the United States.

Lon' bankers control the US bank

The Rothschild banking dynasty in Europe, headed by Baron Nathan in Lon', with brothers in Vienna, Naples and Paris, was the most powerful financial group in the world

In 1841, President John Tyler vetoed two bills which would have re-chartered the Bank

August Belmont was so effective in protecting Rothschild's financial interests that he later became a financial advisor to US Presidents and head of the Democratic Party, all the while taking extraordinary measures behind the scenes to foment the American Civil War. (Belmont's son, August Belmont, Jr., would later work with J.P. Morgan to create the Panic of 1893, paving the way for the third Bank of the United States-- which would be called the Federal Reserve System.)

President Abraham Lincoln said:

The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credit needed

The people can and will be furnished with a currency as safe as their own Government. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity.

House of Rothschild and other City banks planned to entice a desperate Lincoln Government to accept war loans at usurious interest rates.

Under Lincoln, the Legal Tender Notes were issued by the US Treasury.

They came to be nicknamed "Greenbacks" for their distinctive design and color.

The Greenbacks allowed Lincoln to finance war costs independent of Lon' or New York bankers who were demanding an exorbitantly high interest rate – as high as between 24% and even 36%.

made him bitter enemies in Lon' and New York banking circles.

On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated,

As with the assassination of John Kennedy almost a century later, a 'lone gunman,’ John Wilkes Booth, was blamed. There was no serious Congressional investigation into the issue of conspiracy and who might have been behind the assassination.

Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, had been hired for the job by Judah Benjamin, Treasurer of the Confederacy.

Lincoln's policies, if continued after the Civil War, would have destroyed the Rothschilds' commodity speculations.

he would have bitterly opposed returning the United States economy to a Lon'-controlled Gold Standard.

In 1934 a Canadian attorney named Gerald G. McGeer obtained highly sensitive information about the identity of John Wilkes Booth... Booth was a mercenary working for the international bankers.

replace them with a gold specie-backed currency. The goal was to allow those holding monetary gold -- namely, Lon' and an elite circle of allied New York international bankers -- to control the US currency by locking US currency issue to gold. At that time, most of the world's central bank gold was in the hands of the Bank of England and the Lon' banks. In 1875, the US Congress passed the Specie Resumption Act.

The founder of First National Bank of New York was George F. Baker, who went on to become a member of the elite Pilgrims Society, founded in 1902 as the guiding forum of the emerging axis of Anglo-American financial... power located on Wall Street. Baker later became a close ally of J.P. Morgan, himself also a founding member of the Pilgrims Society.

What would later come to be known as the American East Coast Establishment had its origins in this internationalist banking-centered group of powerful New York and East Coast families.

A syndicate of New York and Lon' international banks finally pushed through the Specie Resumption

CHAPTER TWO J. Pierpont Morgan, America's First 'God of Money’

In their rise to unprecedented heights of power, the Morgan and Rockefeller interests deployed fraud, deceit, violence, and bribery -- and they deliberately manipulated financial panics. Each financial panic, brought about through their calculated control of financial markets and banking credit, allowed them and their closest allies to consolidate ever more power into fewer and fewer hands. It was this concentration of financial power within an elite few wealthy families that created an American plutocracy or, more accurately, an American oligarchy.

Like Britain around the time of the founding of the private Bank of England in 1694, this "open admissions" aristocracy would turn out to be a key factor in the dynamism of the emerging American empire

The emerging American oligarchy cynically corrupted and co-opted state legislatures, governors, US Congressmen, judges, newspaper editors and even Presidents to serve their private interests. Those interests were served by wars their captive press helped trigger, wars from which that oligarchy profited while thousands of young Americans perished for causes they knew nothing about.

The emergence of the Morgan group as the decisive money power in the United States required years of covert and usually corrupt machinations. The Panic of 1893 led to a severe US economic depression that lasted four years. It exemplified the lengths to which the emerging Money Trust around J.P. Morgan was willing to go to amass concentrated power.

The infamous Panic of 1893 was in fact manipulated by Morgan interests, in collusion with August Belmont, in order to end the role of silver and to consolidate the gold of the nation into the hands of the private New York banks. In the course of manipulating several financial panics, the same bankers also gained unprecedented control over the nation's steel and railroads--the heart of the economy.

After the war, Edward Bernays admitted that his colleagues contrived alleged atrocities to provoke a public outcry against Germany.

In his work on wartime propaganda, Lasswell claimed atrocity stories would always be popular because the audience can feel self-righteous indignation toward the enemy, but also, at some level, identify with the perpetrators of the crimes.

Such was the depraved view of human nature shared and propagated by Freud, Bernays, Madison Avenue, the war profiteers, Washington's CPI, and Morgan's Wall Street circle.

The extraordinary techniques of mass manipulation of opinion during World War I greatly assisted the transformation of America into a democracy-by-outward-appearance, ruled deceptively by a plutocratic elite in its own self-interest.

regimenting the public mind.”

Bernays went on to establish a new profession he called 'public relations.’.. "the engineering of consent.”

"the father of spin,” a reference to the technique of manipulating reality

The incredible cost of war

Official government statistics indicated that the deaths... over 7,000,000 of which were military and more than 10,000,000 civilian.

The cost to the United States alone was a stupendous $22 billion for about two years of active belligerency.

in the six fiscal years from March 31, 1914 ending March 31, 1920, British Government expenditure actually exceeded the total cumulative expenditure for the previous 225 years, or two and a quarter centuries, prior to 1914. The British people paid 36% of the war costs in the form of taxes. The other 64% was borrowed, mainly from the United States Government, through the agency of the Federal Reserve.

It was the end of the British Empire as the banking metropolis of the world,

The public debt of the United States expanded by some 2,500%


Links

Secrets of the Fed


5 Credit [card] Habits of the Wealthy

Voting with your wallet

Spend Consciously the app

A New App Helps Shoppers Put Their Money Where Their Mouths Are: This Election Day, consider the grocery store, not just the voting booth, as your political arena

Why the Notion of the Self-Taught, Self-Made Billionaire Is a Lie A look at the educational background of the 1 percent, courtesy of the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census, reveals that the "rags to riches" narrative we're fed about the rich being "self-taught self-starters" is a fallacy. The world's billionaires are "disproportionately likely" to have received a degree at one of several elite (and, one could add, elitist) institutions... "Education [is] the way that some people make their way up and it's the way of consolidating privilege.”

This Is Your Brain on Money: Why America's Rich Think Differently Than the Rest of Us Economist Chris Dillow cites research by Cameron Anderson and Sebastien Brion, showing that overconfident individuals are seen by others as more competent. He argues that, "overconfident people are more likely to be promoted. And this could have positive feedback effects. Higher status will itself breed even more overconfidence. (E.g. "I got the job so I must be good.”) And if bosses employ like-minded subordinates, the result could be entire layers of management which are both over-confident and engaged in groupthink.” Many other studies cited.










The Dollar

Goodbye Dollar, It Was Nice Knowing You!

By Philip Giraldi. July 05, 2019 "Information Clearing House"

Over the past two years, the White House has initiated trade disputes, insulted allies and enemies alike, and withdrawn from or refused to ratify multinational treaties and agreements. It has also expanded the reach of its unilaterally imposed rules, forcing other nations to abide by its demands or face economic sanctions. While the stated Trump Administration intention has been to enter into new arrangements more favorable to the United States, the end result has been quite different, creating a broad consensus within the international community that Washington is unstable, not a reliable partner and cannot be trusted. This sentiment has, in turn, resulted in conversations among foreign governments regarding how to circumvent the American banking system, which is the primary offensive weapon apart from dropping bombs that Washington has to force compliance with its dictates.

Consequently, there has been considerable blowback from the Make America Great Again campaign, particularly as the flip side of the coin appears to be that the "greatness" will be obtained by making everyone else less great. The only country in the world that currently regards the United States favorably is Israel, which certainly has good reason to do so given the largesse that has come from the Trump Administration. Everyone else is keen to get out from under the American heel.

Well the worm has finally turned, maybe. Even the feckless Angela Merkel's Germany now understands that national interests must prevail when the United States is demanding that it do the unspeakable. At the recently concluded G20 meeting in Tokyo Britain, France and Germany announced that the special trade mechanism that they have been working on this year is now up and running. It is called the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (Instex) and it will permit companies in Europe to do business with countries like Iran, avoiding American sanctions by trading outside the SWIFT system, which is dollar denominated and de facto controlled by the US Treasury.

The significance of the European move cannot be understated. It is the first major step in moving away from the dominance of the dollar as the world's trading and reserve currency. As is often the case, the damage to US perceived interests is self-inflicted. There has been talk for years regarding setting up trade mechanisms that would not be dollar based, but they did not gain any momentum until the Trump Administration abruptly withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran over a year ago.

The IMF & World Bank: Partners In Backwardness: How the United States exploited foreign economies through the IMF and World Bank, with a special emphasis on food imperialism.

By Bonnie Faulkner and Michael Hudson, July 05, 2019 "Information Clearing House"

"The purpose of a military conquest is to take control of foreign economies, to take control of their land and impose tribute. The genius of the World Bank was to recognize that it's not necessary to occupy a country in order to impose tribute, or to take over its industry, agriculture and land. Instead of bullets, it uses financial maneuvering. As long as other countries play an artificial economic game that U.S. diplomacy can control, finance is able to achieve today what used to require bombing and loss of life by soldiers."

I'm Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter: Dr. Michael Hudson. Today's show: The IMF and World Bank: Partners In Backwardness. Dr. Hudson is a financial economist and historian. He is President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trend, a Wall Street Financial Analyst, and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His most recent books include "… and Forgive them Their Debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year"; Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy, and J is for Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception. He is also author of Trade, Development and Foreign Debt, among many other books. We return today to a discussion of Dr. Hudson's seminal 1972 book, Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire, a critique of how the United States exploited foreign economies through the IMF and World Bank, with a special emphasis on food imperialism.

Bonnie Faulkner: Michael Hudson, welcome back.

Michael Hudson: It's good to be back, Bonnie.

Bonnie Faulkner: In your seminal work form 1972, Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire, you write: "The development lending of the World Bank has been dysfunctional from the outset." When was the World Bank set up and by whom?

Michael Hudson: It was set up basically by the United States in 1944, along with its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Their purpose was to create an international order like a funnel to make other countries economically dependent on the United States. To make sure that no other country or group of countries – even all the rest of the world – could not dictate U.S. policy. American diplomats insisted on the ability to veto any action by the World Bank or IMF. The aim of this veto power was to make sure that any policy was, in Donald Trump's words, to put America first. "We've got to win and they've got to lose."

Bonnie Faulkner: What is the difference between the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the IMF? Is there a difference?

Michael Hudson: Yes, there is. The World Bank was supposed to make loans for what they call international development. "Development" was their euphemism for dependency on U.S. exports and finance. This dependency entailed agricultural backwardness – opposing land reform, family farming to produce domestic food crops, and also monetary backwardness in basing their monetary system on the dollar.

The World Bank was supposed to provide infrastructure loans that other countries would go into debt to pay American engineering firms, to build up their export sectors and their plantation sectors by public investment roads and port development for imports and exports. Essentially, the Bank financed long- investments in the foreign trade sector, in a way that was a natural continuation of European colonialism.

In 1941, for example, C. L. R. James wrote an article on "Imperialism in Africa" pointing out the fiasco of European railroad investment in Africa: "Railways must serve flourishing industrial areas, or densely populated agricult5ural regions, or they must open up new land along which a thriving population develops and provides the railways with traffic. Except in the mining regions of South Africa, all these conditions are absent. Yet railways were needed, for the benefit of European investors and heavy industry." That is why, James explained "only governments can afford to operate them," while being burdened with heavy interest obligations. What was "developed" was Africa's mining and plantation export sector, not its domestic economies. The World Bank followed this pattern of "development" lending without apology.

The IMF was in charge of short-term foreign currency loans. Its aim was to prevent countries from imposing capital controls to protect their balance of payments. Many countries had a dual exchange rate: one for trade in goods and services, the other rate for capital movements. The function of the IMF and World Bank was essentially to make other countries borrow in dollars, not in their own currencies, and to make sure that if they could not pay their dollar-denominated debts, they had to impose austerity on the domestic economy – while subsidizing their import and export sectors and protecting foreign investors, creditors and client oligarchies from loss.

The IMF developed a junk-economics model pretending that any country can pay any amount of debt to the creditors if it just impoverishes its labor enough. So when countries were unable to pay their debt service, the IMF tells them to raise their interest rates to bring on a depression – austerity – and break up the labor unions. That is euphemized as "rationalizing labor markets." The rationalizing is essentially to disable labor unions and the public sector. The aim – and effect – is to prevent countries from essentially following the line of development that had made the United States rich – by public subsidy and protection of domestic agriculture, public subsidy and protection of industry and an active government sector promoting a New Deal democracy. The IMF was essentially promoting and forcing other countries to balance their trade deficits by letting American and other investors buy control of their commanding heights, mainly their infrastructure monopolies, and to subsidize their capital flight.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Now, Michael, when you began speaking about the IMF and monetary controls, you mentioned that there were two exchange rates of currency in countries. What were you referring to? MICHAEL HUDSON: When I went to work on Wall Street in the '60s, I was balance-of-payments economist for Chase Manhattan, and we used the IMF's monthly International Financial Statistics every month. At the top of each country's statistics would be the exchange-rate figures. Many countries had two rates: one for goods and services, which was set normally by the market, and then a different exchange rate that was managed for capital movements. That was because countries were trying to prevent capital flight. They didn't want their wealthy classes or foreign investors to make a run on their own currency – an ever-present threat in Latin America.

The IMF and the World Bank backed the cosmopolitan classes, the wealthy. Instead of letting countries control their capital outflows and prevent capital flight, the IMF's job is to protect the richest One Percent and foreign investors from balance-of-payments problems. The World Bank and American diplomacy have steered them into a chronic currency crisis. The IMF enables its wealthy constituency to move their money out of the country without taking a foreign-exchange loss. It makes loans to support capital flight out of domestic currencies into the dollar or other hard currencies. The IMF calls this a "stabilization" program. It is never effective in helping the debtor economy pay foreign debts out of growth. Instead, the IMF uses currency depreciation and sell-offs of public infrastructure and other assets to foreign investors after the flight capital has left and currency collapses. Wall Street speculators have sold the local currency short to make a killing, George-Soros style.

When the debtor-country currency collapses, the debts that these Latin American countries owe are in dollars, and now have to pay much more in their own currency to carry and pay off these debts. We're talking about enormous penalty rates in domestic currency for these countries to pay foreign-currency debts – basically taking on to finance a non-development policy and to subsidize capital flight when that policy "fails" to achieve its pretended objective of growth.

All hyperinflations of Latin America – Chile early on, like Germany after World War I – come from trying to pay foreign debts beyond the ability to be paid. Local currency is thrown onto the foreign-exchange market for dollars, lowering the exchange rate. That increases import prices, raising a price umbrella for domestic products.

A really functional and progressive international monetary fund that would try to help countries develop would say: "Okay, banks and we (the IMF) have made bad loans that the country can't pay. And the World Bank has given it bad advice, distorting its domestic development to serve foreign customers rather than its own growth. So we're going to write down the loans to the ability to be paid." That's what happened in 1931, when the world finally stopped German reparations payments and Inter-Ally debts to the United States stemming from World War I.

Instead, the IMF says just the opposite: It acts to prevent any move by other countries to bring the debt volume within the ability to be paid. It uses debt leverage as a way to control the monetary lifeline of financially defeated debtor countries. So if they do something that U.S. diplomats don't approve of, it can pull the plug financially, encouraging a run on their currency if they act independently of the United States instead of falling in line. This control by the U.S. financial system and its diplomacy has been built into the world system by the IMF and the World Bank claiming to be international instead of an expression of specifically U.S. New Cold War nationalism.

BONNIE FAULKNER: How do exchange rates contribute to capital flight?

MICHAEL HUDSON: It's not the exchange rate that contributes. Suppose that you're a millionaire, and you see that your country is unable to balance its trade under existing production patterns. The money that the government has under control is pesos, escudos, cruzeiros or some other currency, not dollars or euros. You see that your currency is going to go down relative to the dollar, so you want to get our money out of the country to preserve your purchasing power.

This has long been institutionalized. By 1990, for instance, Latin American countries had defaulted so much in the wake of the Mexico defaults in 1982 that I was hired by Scudder Stevens, to help start a Third World Bond Fund (called a "sovereign high-yield fund"). At the time, Argentina and Brazil were running such serious balance-of-payments deficits that they were having to pay 45 percent per year interest, in dollars, on their dollar debt. Mexico, was paying 22.5 percent on its tesobonos.

Scudders' salesmen went around to the United States and tried to sell shares in the proposed fund, but no Americans would buy it, despite the enormous yields. They sent their salesmen to Europe and got a similar reaction. They had lost their shirts on Third World bonds and couldn't see how these countries could pay.

Merrill Lynch was the fund's underwriter. Its office in Brazil and in Argentina proved much more successful in selling investments in Scudder's these offshore fund established in the Dutch West Indies. It was an offshore fund, so Americans were not able to buy it. But Brazilian and Argentinian rich families close to the central bank and the president became the major buyers. We realized that they were buying these funds because they knew that their government was indeed going to pay their stipulated interest charges. In effect, the bonds were owed ultimately to themselves. So these Yankee dollar bonds were being bought by Brazilians and other Latin Americans as a vehicle to move their money out of their soft local currency (which was going down), to buy bonds denominated in hard dollars.

BONNIE FAULKNER: If wealthy families from these countries bought these bonds denominated in dollars, knowing that they were going to be paid off, who was going to pay them off? The country that was going broke?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, countries don't pay; the taxpayers pay, and in the end, labor pays. The IMF certainly doesn't want to make its wealthy client oligarchies pay. It wants to squeeze more economic surplus out of the labor force. So countries are told that the way they can afford to pay their enormously growing dollar-denominated debt is to lower wages even more.

Currency depreciation is an effective way to do this, because what is devalued is basically labor's wages. Other elements of exports have a common world price: energy, raw materials, capital goods, and credit under the dollar-centered international monetary system that the IMF seeks to maintain as a financial strait jacket.

According to the IMF's ideological models, there's no limit to how far you can lower wages by enough to make labor competitive in producing exports. The IMF and World Bank thus use junk economics to pretend that the way to pay debts owed to the wealthiest creditors and investors is to lower wages and impose regressive excise taxes, to impose special taxes on necessities that labor needs, from food to energy and basic services supplied by public infrastructure.

BONNIE FAULKNER: So you're saying that labor ultimately has to pay off these junk bonds?

MICHAEL HUDSON: That is the basic aim of IMF. I discuss its fallacies in my Trade Development and Foreign Debt, which is the academic sister volume to Super Imperialism. These two books show that the World Bank and IMF were viciously anti-labor from the very outset, working with domestic elites whose fortunes are tied to and loyal to the United States.

BONNIE FAULKNER: With regard to these junk bonds, who was it or what entity...

MICHAEL HUDSON: They weren't junk bonds. They were called that because they were high-interest bonds, but they weren't really junk because they actually were paid. Everybody thought they were junk because no American would have paid 45 percent interest. Any country that really was self-reliant and was promoting its own economic interest would have said, "You banks and the IMF have made bad loans, and you've made them under false pretenses – a trade theory that imposes austerity instead of leading to prosperity. We're not going to pay." They would have seized the capital flight of their comprador elites and said that these dollar bonds were a rip-off by the corrupt ruling class.

The same thing happened in Greece a few years ago, when almost all of Greece's foreign debt was owed to Greek millionaires holding their money in Switzerland. The details were published in the "Legarde List." But the IMF said, in effect that its loyalty was to the Greek millionaires who had their money in Switzerland. The IMF could have seized this money to pay off the bondholders. Instead, it made the Greek economy pay. It found that it was worth wrecking the Greek economy, forcing emigration and wiping out Greek industry so that French and German bondholding banks would not have to take a loss. That is what makes the IMF so vicious an institution.

BONNIE FAULKNER: So these loans to foreign countries that were regarded as junk bonds really WEREN'T junk, because they were going to be paid. What group was it that jacked up these interest rates to 45 percent?

MICHAEL HUDSON: The market did. American banks, stock brokers and other investors looked at the balance of payments of these countries and could not see any reasonable way that they could pay their debts, so they were not going to buy their bonds. No country subject to democratic politics would have paid debts under these conditions. But the IMF, U.S. and Eurozone diplomacy overrode democratic choice.

Investors didn't believe that the IMF and the World Bank had such a strangle hold over Latin American, Asian, and African countries that they could make the countries act in the interest of the United States and the cosmopolitan finance capital, instead of in their own national interest. They didn't believe that countries would commit financial suicide just to pay their wealthy One Percent.

They were wrong, of course. Countries were quite willing to commit economic suicide if their governments were dictatorships propped up by the United States. That's why the CIA has assassination teams and actively supports these countries to prevent any party coming to power that would act in their national interest instead of in the interest of a world division of labor and production along the lines that the U.S. planners want for the world. Under the banner of what they call a free market, you have the World Bank and the IMF engage in central planning of a distinctly anti-labor policy. Instead of calling them Third World bonds or junk bonds, you should call them anti-labor bonds, because they have become a lever to impose austerity throughout the world.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Well, that makes a lot of sense, Michael, and answers a lot of the questions I've put together to ask you. What about Puerto Rico writing down debt? I thought such debts couldn't be written down.

MICHAEL HUDSON : That's what they all said, but the bonds were trading at about 45 cents on the dollar, the risk of their not being paid. The Wall Street Journal on June 17, reported that unsecured suppliers and creditors of Puerto Rico, would only get nine cents on the dollar. The secured bond holders would get maybe 65 cents on the dollar.

The terms are being written down because it's obvious that Puerto Rico can't pay, and that trying to do so is driving the population to move out of Puerto Rico to the United States. If you don't want Puerto Ricans to act the same way Greeks did and leave Greece when their industry and economy was shut down, then you're going to have to provide stability or else you're going to have half of Puerto Rico living in Florida.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Who wrote down the Puerto Rican debt?

MICHAEL HUDSON: A committee was appointed, and it calculated how much Puerto Rico can afford to pay out of its taxes. Puerto Rico is a U.S. dependency, that is, an economic colony of the United States. It does not have domestic self-reliance. It's the antithesis of democracy, so it's never been in charge of its own economic policy and essentially has to do whatever the United States tells it to do. There was a reaction after the hurricane and insufficient U.S. support to protect the island and the enormous waste and corruption involved in the U.S. aid. The U.S. response was simply: "We won you fair and square in the Spanish-American war and you're an occupied country, and we're going to keep you that way." Obviously this is causing a political resentment.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You've already touched on this, but why has the World Bank traditionally been headed by a U.S. secretary of defense?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Its [the World Bank] job is to do in the financial sphere what, in the past, was done by military force. The purpose of a military conquest is to take control of foreign economies, to take control of their land and impose tribute. The genius of the World Bank was to recognize that it's not necessary to occupy a country in order to impose tribute, or to take over its industry, agriculture and land. Instead of bullets, it uses financial maneuvering. As long as other countries play an artificial economic game that U.S. diplomacy can control, finance is able to achieve today what used to require bombing and loss of life by soldiers.

In this case the loss of life occurs in the debtor countries. Population growth shrinks, suicides go up. The World Bank engages in economic warfare that is just as destructive as military warfare. At the end of the Yeltsin period Russia's President Putin said that American neoliberalism destroyed more of Russia's population than did World War II. Such neoliberalism, which basically is the doctrine of American supremacy and foreign dependency, is the policy of the World Bank and IMF.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Why has World Bank policy since its inception been to provide loans for countries to devote their land to export crops instead of giving priority to feeding themselves? And if this is the case, why do countries want these loans?

MICHAEL HUDSON: One constant of American foreign policy is to make other countries dependent on American grain exports and food exports. The aim is to buttress America's agricultural trade surplus. So the first thing that the World Bank has done is not to make any domestic currency loans to help food producers. Its lending has steered client countries to produce tropical export crops, mainly plantation crops that cannot be grown in the United States. Focusing on export crops leads client countries to become dependent on American farmers – and political sanctions.

In the 1950s, right after the Chinese revolution, the United States tried to prevent China from succeeding by imposing grain export controls to starve China into submission by putting sanctions on exports. Canada was the country that broke these export controls and helped feed China.

The idea is that if you can make other countries export plantation crops, the oversupply will drive down prices for cocoa and other tropical products, and they won't feed themselves. So instead of backing family farms like the American agricultural policy does, the World Bank backed plantation agriculture. In Chile, which has the highest natural supply of fertilizer in the world from its guano deposits, exports guano instead of using it domestically. It also has the most unequal land distribution, blocking it from growing its own grain or food crops. It's completely dependent on the United States for this, and it pays by exporting copper, guano and other natural resources.

The idea is to create interdependency – one-sided dependency on the U.S. economy. The United States has always aimed at being self-sufficient in its own essentials, so that no other country can pull the plug on our economy and say, "We're going to starve you by not feeding you." Americans can feed themselves. Other countries can't say, "We're going to let you freeze in the dark by not sending you oil," because America's independent in energy. But America can use the oil control to make other countries freeze in the dark, and it can starve other countries by food-export sanctions.

So the idea is to give the United States control of the key interconnections of other economies, without letting any country control something that is vital to the working of the American economy.

There's a double standard here. The United States tells other countries: "Don't do as we do. Do as we say." The only way it can enforce this is by interfering in the politics of these countries, as it has interfered in Latin America, always pushing the right wing. For instance, when Hillary's State Department overthrew the Honduras reformer who wanted to undertake land reform and feed the Hondurans, she said: "This person has to go." That's why there are so many Hondurans trying to get into the United States now, because they can't live in their own country.

The effect of American coups is the same in Syria and Iraq. They force an exodus of people who no longer can make a living under the brutal dictatorships supported by the United States to enforce this international dependency system.

BONNIE FAULKNER: So when I asked you why countries would want these loans, I guess you're saying that they wouldn't, and that's why the U.S. finds it necessary to control them politically.

MICHAEL HUDSON: That's a concise way of putting it Bonnie.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Why are World Bank loans only in foreign currency, not in the domestic currency of the country to which it is lending?

MICHAEL HUDSON: That's a good point. A basic principle should be to avoid borrowing in a foreign currency. A country can always pay the loans in its own currency, but there's no way that it can print dollars or euros to pay loans denominated in these foreign currencies.

Making the dollar central forces other countries to interface with the U.S. banking system. So if a country decides to go its own way, as Iran did in 1953 when it wanted to take over its oil from British Petroleum (or Anglo Iranian Oil, as it was called back then), the United States can interfere and overthrow it. The idea is to be able to use the banking system's interconnections to stop payments from being made.

After America installed the Shah's dictatorship, they were overthrown by Khomeini, and Iran had run up a U.S. dollar debt under the Shah. It had plenty of dollars. I think Chase Manhattan was its paying agent. So when its quarterly or annual debt payment came due, Iran told Chase to draw on its accounts and pay the bondholders. But Chase took orders from the State Department or the Defense Department, I don't know which, and refused to pay. When the payment was not made, America and its allies claimed that Iran was in default. They demanded the entire debt to be paid, as per the agreement that the Shah's puppet government had signed. America simply grabbed the deposits that Iran had in the United States. This is the money that was finally returned to Iran without interest under the agreement of 2016.

America was able to grab all of Iran's foreign exchange just by the banks interfering. The CIA has bragged that it can do the same thing with Russia. If Russia does something that U.S. diplomats don't like, the U.S. can use the SWIFT bank payment system to exclude Russia from it, so the Russian banks and the Russian people and industry won't be able to make payments to each other.

This prompted Russia to create its own bank-transfer system, and is leading China, Russia, India and Pakistan to draft plans to de-dollarize.

BONNIE FAULKNER: I was going to ask you, why would loans in a country's domestic currency be preferable to the country taking out a loan in a foreign currency? I guess you've explained that if they took out a loan in a domestic currency, they would be able to repay it.

MICHAEL HUDSON: Yes.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Whereas a loan in a foreign currency would cripple them.

MICHAEL HUDSON: Yes. You can't create the money, especially if you're running a balance of payments deficit and if U.S. foreign policy forces you into deficit by having someone like George Soros make a run on your currency. Look at the Asia crisis in 1997. Wall Street funds bet against foreign currencies, driving them way down, and then used the money to pick up industry cheap in Korea and other Asian countries. This was also done to Russia's ruble. The only country that avoided this was Malaysia, under Mohamed Mahathir, by using capital controls. Malaysia is an object lesson in how to prevent a currency flight.

But for Latin America and other countries, much of their foreign debt is held by their own ruling class. Even though it's denominated in dollars, Americans don't own most of this debt. It's their own ruling class. The IMF and World Bank dictate tax policy to Latin America – to un-tax wealth and shift the burden onto labor. Client kleptocracies take their money and run, moving it abroad to hard currency areas such as the United States, or at least keeping it in dollars in offshore banking centers instead of reinvesting it to help the country catch up by becoming independent agriculturally, in energy, finance and other sectors.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You say that: "While U.S. agricultural protectionism has been built into the postwar global system at its inception, foreign protectionism is to be nipped in the bud." How has U.S. agricultural protectionism been built into the postwar global system?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Under Franklin Roosevelt the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 called for price supports for crops so that farmers could earn enough to invest in equipment and seeds. The Agriculture Department was a wonderful department in spurring new seed varieties, agricultural extension services, marketing and banking services. It provided public support so that productivity in American agriculture from the 1930s to '50s was higher over a prolonged period than that of any other sector in history.

But in shaping the World Trade Organization's rules, the United States said that all countries had to promote free trade and could not have government support, except for countries that already had it. We're the only country that had it. That's what's called "grandfathering." The Americans said: "We already have this program on the books, so we can keep it. But no other country can succeed in agriculture in the way that we have done. You must keep your agriculture backward, except for the plantation crops and growing crops that we can't grow in the United States." That's what's so evil about the World Bank's development plan.

BONNIE FAULKNER: According to your book: "Domestic currency is needed to provide price supports and agricultural extension services such as have made U.S. agriculture so productive." Why can't infrastructure costs be subsidized to keep down the economy's overall cost structure if IMF loans are made in foreign currency?

MICHAEL HUDSON: If you're a farmer in Brazil, Argentina or Chile, you're doing business in domestic currency. It doesn't help if somebody gives you dollars, because your expenses are in domestic currency. So if the World Bank and the IMF can prevent countries from providing domestic currency support, that means they're not able to give price supports or provide government marketing services for their agriculture.

America is a mixed economy. Our government has always subsidized capital formation in agriculture and industry, but it insists that other countries are socialist or communist if they do what the United States is doing and use their government to support the economy. So it's a double standard. Nobody calls America a socialist country for supporting its farmers, but other countries are called socialist and are overthrown if they attempt land reform or attempt to feed themselves.

This is what the Catholic Church's Liberation Theology was all about. They backed land reform and agricultural self-sufficiency in food, realizing that if you're going to support population growth, you have to support the means to feed it. That's why the United States focused its assassination teams on priests and nuns in Guatemala and Central America for trying to promote domestic self-sufficiency.

BONNIE FAULKNER: If a country takes out an IMF loan, they're obviously going to take it out in dollars. Why can't they take the dollars and convert them into domestic currency to support local infrastructure costs?

MICHAEL HUDSON: You don't need a dollar loan to do that. Now were getting in to MMT [Modern Monetary Theory]. Any country can create its own currency. There's no reason to borrow in dollars to create your own currency. You can print it yourself or create it on your computers.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Well, exactly. So why don't these countries simply print up their own domestic currency?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Their leaders don't want to be assassinated. More immediately, if you look at the people in charge of foreign central banks, almost all have been educated in the United States and essentially brainwashed. It's the mentality of foreign central bankers. The people who are promoted are those who feel personally loyal to the United States, because they know that's how to get ahead. Essentially, they're opportunists working against the interests of their own country. You won't have socialist central bankers as long as central banks are dominated by the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements.

BONNIE FAULKNER: So we're back to the main point: The control is by political means, and they control the politics and the power structure in these countries so that they don't rebel.

MICHAEL HUDSON: That's right. When you have a dysfunctional economic theory that is destructive instead of productive, this is never an accident. It is always a result of junk economics and dependency economics being sponsored. I've talked to people at the U.S. Treasury and asked why they all end up following the United States. Treasury officials have told me: "We simply buy them off. They do it for the money." So you don't need to kill them. All you need to do is find people corrupt enough and opportunist enough to see where the money is, and you buy them off.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You write that "by following U.S. advice, countries have left themselves open to food blackmail." What is food blackmail?

MICHAEL HUDSON: If you pursue a foreign policy that we don't like--for instance, if you trade with Iran, which we're trying to smash up to grab its oil--we'll impose financial sanctions against you. We won't sell you food, and you can starve. And because you've followed World Bank advice and not grown your own food, you will starve, because you're dependent on us, the United States and our Free World allies. Canada will no longer follow its own policy independently of the United States, as it did with China in the 1950s when it sold it grain. Europe also is falling in line with U.S. policy.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You write that: "World Bank administrators demand that loan recipients pursue a policy of economic dependency above all on the United States as food supplier." Was this done to support U.S. agriculture? Obviously it is, but were there other reasons as well?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Certainly the agricultural lobby was critical in all of this, and I'm not sure at what point this became thoroughly conscious. I knew some of the World Bank planners, and they had no anticipation that this dependency would be the result. They believed the free-trade junk economics that's taught in the schools' economics departments and for which Nobel prizes are awarded.

When we're dealing with economic planners, we're dealing with tunnel-visioned people. They stayed in the discipline despite its unreality because they sort of think that abstractly it makes sense. There's something autistic about most economists, which is why the French had their non-autistic economic site for many years. The mentality at work is that every country should produce what it's best at – not realizing that nations also need to be self-sufficient in essentials, because we're in a real world of economic and military warfare.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Why does the World Bank prefer to perpetrate world poverty instead of adequate overseas capacity to feed the peoples of developing countries?

MICHAEL HUDSON: World poverty is viewed as [the] solution, not a problem. The World Bank thinks of poverty as low-priced labor, creating a competitive advantage for countries that produce labor-intensive goods. So poverty and austerity for the World Bank and IMF is an economic solution that's built into their models. I discuss these in my Trade, Development and Foreign Debt book. Poverty is to them the solution, because it means low-priced labor, and that means higher profits for the companies bought out by U.S., British, and European investors. So poverty is part of the class war: profits versus poverty.

BONNIE FAULKNER: In general, what is U.S. food imperialism? How would you characterize it?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Its aim is to make America the producer of essential foods and other countries producing inessential plantation crops, while remaining dependent on the United States for grain, soy beans and basic food crops.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Does World Bank lending encourage land reform in former colonies?

MICHAEL HUDSON: No. If there is land reform, the CIA sends its assassination teams in and you have mass murder, as you had in Guatemala, Ecuador, Central America and Columbia. The World Bank is absolutely committed against land reform. When the Forgash Plan for a World Bank for Economic Acceleration was proposed in the 1950s to emphasize land reform and local-currency loans, a Chase Manhattan economist to whom the plan was submitted warned that every country that had land reform turned out to be anti-American. That killed any alternative to the World Bank.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Does the World Bank insist on client governments privatizing their public domain? If so, why, and what is the effect?

MICHAEL HUDSON: It does indeed insist on privatization, pretending that this is efficient. But what it privatizes are natural monopolies – the electrical system, the water system and other basic needs. Foreigners take over, essentially finance them with foreign debt, build the foreign debt that they build into the cost structure, and raise the cost of living and doing business in these countries, thereby crippling them economically. The effect is to prevent them from competing with the United States and its European allies.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Would you say then that it is mainly America that has been aided, not foreign economies that borrow from the World Bank?

MICHAEL HUDSON: That's why the United States is the only country with veto power in the IMF and World Bank – to make sure that what you just described is exactly what happens.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Why do World Bank programs accelerate the exploitation of mineral deposits for use by other nations?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Most World Bank loans are for transportation, roads, harbor development and other infrastructure needed to export minerals and plantation crops. The World Bank doesn't make loans for projects that help the country develop in its own currency. By making only foreign currency loans, in dollars or maybe euros now, the World Bank says that its clients have to repay by generating foreign currency. The only way they can repay the dollars spent on American engineering firms that have built their infrastructure is to export – to earn enough dollars to pay back for the money that the World Bank or IMF have lent.

This is what John Perkins' book about being an economic hit man for the World Bank is all about. He realized that his job was to get countries to borrow dollars to build huge projects that could only be paid for by the country exporting more – which required breaking its labor unions and lowering wages so that it could be competitive in the race to the bottom that the World Bank and IMF encourage.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You also point out in Super Imperialism that mineral resources represent diminishing assets, so these countries that are exporting mineral resources are being depleted while the importing countries aren't.

MICHAEL HUDSON: That's right. They'll end up like Canada. The end result is going to be a big hole in the ground. You've dug up all your minerals, and in the end you have a hole in the ground and a lot of the refuse and pollution – the mining slag and what Marx called the excrements of production.

This is not a sustainable development. The World Bank only promotes the U.S. pursuit of sustainable development. So naturally, they call their "Development," but their focus is on the United States, not the World Bank's client countries.

BONNIE FAULKNER: When Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire was originally published in 1972, how was it received?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Very positively. It enabled my career to take off. I received a phone call a month later by someone from the Bank of Montreal saying they had just made $240 million on the last paragraph of my book. They asked what it would cost to have me come up and give a lecture. I began lecturing once a month at $3,500 a day, moving up to $6,500 a day, and became the highest-paid per diem economist on Wall Street for a few years.

I was immediately hired by the Hudson Institute to explain Super Imperialism to the Defense Department. Herman Kahn said I showed how U.S. imperialism ran rings around European imperialism. They gave the Institute an $85,000 grant to have me go to the White House in Washington to explain how American imperialism worked. The Americans used it as a how-to-do-it book.

The socialists, whom I expected to have a response, decided to talk about other than economic topics. So, much to my surprise, it became a how-to-do-it book for imperialists. It was translated by, I think, the nephew of the Emperor of Japan into Japanese. He then wrote me that the United States opposed the book being translated into Japanese. It later was translated. It was received very positively in China, where I think it has sold more copies than in any other country. It was translated into Spanish, and most recently it was translated into German, and German officials have asked me to come and discuss it with them. So the book has been accepted all over the world as an explanation of how the system works.

BONNIE FAULKNER: In closing, do you really think that the U.S. government officials and others didn't understand how their own system worked?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Many might not have understood in 1944 that this would be the consequence. But by the time 50 years went by, you had an organization called "Fifty Years Is Enough." And by that time everybody should have understood. By the time Joe Stiglitz became the World Bank's chief economist, there was no excuse for not understanding how the system worked. He was amazed to find that indeed it didn't work as advertised, and resigned. But he should have known at the very beginning what it was all about. If he didn't understand how it was until he actually went to work there, you can understand how hard it is for most academics to get through the vocabulary of junk economics, the patter-talk of free trade and free markets to understand how exploitative and destructive the system is.

This article was originally published by "Guns n Butter"

Guns n Butter

Guns & Butter investigates the relationships among capitalism, militarism and politics. Maintaining a radical perspective in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, Guns & Butter reports on who wins and who loses when the economic resources of civil society are diverted toward global corporatization, war, and the furtherance of a national security state.

You Don't Understand Bitcoin Because You Think Money Is Real - U.S. dollars is just an illusion more widely and fiercely believed

Maria Bustillos

Bitcoin is an illusion, a mass hallucination, so one hears. It's just numbers in cyberspace, a mirage, insubstantial as a soap bubble. Bitcoin is not backed by anything other than the faith of the fools who buy it and of the greater fools who buy it from these lesser fools. And you know? Fair enough. All this is true.

What may be less easy to grasp is that U.S. dollars are likewise an illusion. They too consist mainly of numbers out there in cyberspace. Sometimes they're stored in paper or coins, but while the paper and coins are material, the dollars they represent are not. U.S. dollars are not backed by anything other than the faith of the fools who accept it as payment and of other fools who agree in turn to accept it as payment from them. The main difference is that, for the moment at least, the illusion, in the case of dollars, is more widely and more fiercely believed.

In fact, almost all of our U.S. dollars, about 90 percent, are purely abstract -- they literally do not exist in any tangible form. James Surowiecki reported in 2012 that "only about 10 percent of the U.S. money supply -- about $1 trillion of the roughly $10 trillion total -- exists in the form of paper cash and coins." (The number now appears to be about $1.5 trillion out of $13.7 trillion.) There is nothing stopping our banking system from creating more dollars whenever the mood strikes. Of the $13.7 trillion in the M2 money supply as of October 2017, $13.5 trillion was created after 1959--or, to put it another way, M2 has expanded by almost 50 times.

The U.S. dollar is what is known as a "fiat" currency. Fiat is Latin for "let there be," as in fiat lux, let there be light; hence, fiat denarii, let there be lire, bolivars, dollars, and rubles. The temptation for leaders of nation-states to manufacture money has historically been practically irresistible. One evident result of this wantonness is inflation: The purchasing power of $1 in 1959 is now a little under 12 cents.

The bitcoin blockchain was created, in part, to address this historical weakness. After the 21 millionth bitcoin is mined, in around 2140, the system will produce no more.


Email Professor Colby Glass, MAc, MLIS, PhDc, Prof. Emeritus
at co@dadbyrn.com