Monetary Reform: What needs to be done

Monetary Reform: What needs to be done

Jere L Hough

Refuting the “Gold Standard” Proposals:

Gold is NOT money!!

Once people accept the compelling premise that our dysfunctional monetary systems need to be reformed, the most popular solution, by far, is the cry for a return to the gold, or gold and silver, or some other precious metal base, like platinum.  The case for doing so is SO flawed that it is an instance of “the cure being worse than the disease”.

This essay will be an examination of the solutions to the monetary crisis, which is in turn leading to an economic catastrophe, or series of disasters the likes of which our world has never previously experienced.  Excellent books, videos, websites, and articles have more or less accurately outlined or detailed how we, the people, were suckered into the high stakes confidence game that got us in this predicament.

The biggest question, or issue to be determined now, as in the past 230 years, is this one:

Should money be created, issued and regulated by public or private entities?

This is the “mother” of all controversies surrounding the history of money, and reaches back as far as can be traced.  My investigation has revealed that there has been a massive campaign of misinformation and negative anti-government propaganda that reaches back to Colonial America, and even further back into European history.  It’s the story of how private bankers became the central bankers to the Monarchs of Europe as well as financiers of many of the revolutions against those Monarchies, including those by Napoleon and the Bolsheviks.  In the USA the struggle for private Vs public money creation began with the colonial governments, the money exploitation by King George leading up to the American Revolution, the Continental Congress and the drafting of the Constitution.  The two sides were epitomized by the ideas of Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, and Madison versus Hamilton, and the private Bank of England model.   Over time Hamilton and the Bank of England vision prevailed, even though we give much philosophical lip service to Jeffersonian ideals.

There has been much poison thrown into the waters of this debate, and it’s hallmark is attack, negative labeling, and the relentless questioning of the “patriotism” of any deviation from the current status quo since 1913, and the Federal Reserve Act giving a private monopoly to the bankers to create money with little or no real oversight or regulation.

The private money monopoly can be maintained only by secrecy and deception about the true nature and source of all money: labor and resources!  To maintain public confusion about the real nature of money, civilizations are literally infused with disinformation, mis-education, propaganda, and obfuscation.  The central mantra is that government is evil and cannot be trusted with anything important, least of all money-creation, and that only those private entities with gold, silver or other hard commodities to use as “backing” should be responsible for money creation and distribution.  The money monopoly (actually the right to conterfeit money) is responsible for the most gigantic transfer of wealth in world history during the 20th and 21st centuries, and by “transfer of wealth” I essentially mean theft.  The theft is legal because the banking cabal has written its own set of rules and laws that enable the giant Ponzi Scheme to continue.  Many will dismiss these claims as hyperbole, but unfortunately they are the plain unvarnished truths.

So this private money monopoly, or financial cartel, spends unimaginable sums of money they steal from YOU in order to keep you deceived about thier system of wealth transfer – your wealth to their vaults.  The fact is hidden and obscured that all wealth comes from some form or combination of labor and the earth’s resources, or that it is the right of sovereign entities to create the means to exchange the fruits of the land and their labors.  This statement probably confuses you, because of the massive misinformation campaign that has been waged against the truth for the sole purpose of exploiting the citizens of nearly every nation on earth, and it has been going on for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

This negative rhetoric has been an escalating phenomenon in recent elections over the last half-century, and it a main reason why we are now on the brink of financial and economic ruin and collapse.

Before we begin, some clarification of terminology is in order.

Public literally means “people”, as in “We the People” as stated in the Declaration of Independence that delineated the principles upon which this nation  (the USA) was founded.

Private generally means some other human or corporate entity, outside of the public sector.

This discussion can get into some weighty issues revolving around what the proper dividing lines should be between public and private functions and enterprises, and even what properties should be privately or publicly held or owned.  There is much misinformation and confusion surrounding these issues, and much of that is deliberate.  Confused. misinformed citizens can be easily led and controlled.  That is much of our current problem – deliberate deception.  Let’s see if we can cut through the deceptions and misdirections and get to the heart of the matter in plain English, avoiding “coded” economics terminology where ever possible.

All other questions pale in comparison to this one, and it is our failure to properly settle this question, both in legal theory and in practice, that has led to this crisis of the US Dollar, and its erosion of value as the world’s reserve currency.  This is the issue that must be properly addressed and identified as the root of the monetary problem for not only the USA, but for every nation on earth.  This paper will attempt to clarify, demystify, and point to the correct answer to this root problem for the reader.  We are at the crossroads between economic slavery and economic liberation. Future generations are depending on us for the right choices.

Another unfortunate but necessary quartet of definitions is in order here.  When discussing or debating these concepts, deceptive labels are often tossed into the discussions as “red herrings”, “straw men”, or “ad hominem” (against the person) attacks.  If words such as communism, capitalism, socialism, fascism, and other heated labels are going to be introduced in the discussion, as they invariably will, then some basic definitions are absolutely necessary. Here they are in their most basic and uncomplicated forms:

Socialism:   Government ownership of the means of production, land, resources, and many businesses.  Various forms are practiced with no pure form anywhere. Some theorists assert that Socialism is an intermediate step toward “pure Communism”.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

Communism:  Collective joint communal ownership of property, land, resources, and the means of production.  Private property either does not exist or is extremely limited.  Various examples abound with no pure example found anywhere, primarily because “use” or “possession” of property is far more important than “ownership.  A theorectical part ownership of a tractor or automobile is meaningless if one never gets to use or possess it.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism

Capitalism:   Private ownership of the means of production. Free markets for goods and services are essential.   Private capital accumulation for investment in plant, equipment and other means of production. Many complexities and schools of thought, and various forms are found intermingled in varying degrees.  My view is that the USA and UK stopped being “capitalists” decades ago, and that we have instead been moved to something I might name as “Creditism”.  Western Economic Systems no longer run on “capital” which is “surplus produced wealth, or savings, that are set aside for increased production.  It runs on credit, or borrowed money.  And informative starting point:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism .

*  Free Markets:  Open and free competition of supply, demand and price within an economy with a minimum of government or monopolistic intervention, monopolistic price fixing or manipulation, or manipulation and control of supply and demand by any private or govt entity.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_market

The above definitions are brief, but in reality there are mixtures of these systems, depending on the degree of natural monopoly involved for commonly needed and used infrastructure and services.  Examples abound:  public schools, libraries, media centers, roads, sidewalks, land based telephone services, water and.or sewer, electric power, TV cable service, etc.

Before getting far into our discussion it is always desirable to define principal terms.

Money” for this discussion, in its broadest sense primarily means a “legally accepted medium of exchange” that is used in place of barter for goods, services, wealth, commodities, or other items of value that can be exchanged.  That medium or token of exchange can be physical or abstract, such as an accounting entry, electronic entry, or verbal promise to pay.

Money = Legal Medium of Exchange.  All money is therefore “Fiat Money” as the word fiat means legal, or more specifically, “by edict of law”.  If it isn’t legal, it isn’t money.  This is disputed by advocates of commodity money, and will be given fuller treatment below.

Currency is a particular form of money that circulates in general use.

Further concepts about money  may be helpful:

*  A key factor that validates something as currency, or fiat (legal) money, is that it be universally accepted within that particular “defined economy” as payment for all commerce and/or debts.  Currency is physical (coin or paper) money, but 97% of all money is an accounting notation, or electronic bookkeeping entry of the credit/debit variety..

*  That acceptance requires that said money or currency be accepted in payment for taxes and other government (public) fees or assessments.

*  That acceptance must be based on the confidence that the currency can be trusted.  It must have the backing of the public trust.

*   A big part of the public universal acceptance of money is that money is stable.  It’s value should theoretically and ideally be the same today as it was yesterday or will be tomorrow.  It should not be given to either inflation or deflation of value, although there may be validity to arguments for a small degree of inflation..

*  Although arguably more controversial, money should ideally be a measured unit of value.  A “Dollar”, if that is the monetary unit, should be worth some basic and constant unit of value that can and should be standardized or fixed, until the monetary authority has sound reasons to adjust the standard of value, and such adjustments should normally be infrequent, as say, every decade or so.

*  Money may or may not be “a store of value”, depending on its stability and the stability of the issuing authority or government.

Here is a big stumbling block for so many people, because they have been deliberately misinformed:

Capital is NOT money!  The words are not synonymous.   The money monopolists and deceivers want to make it seem like the words are interchangeable, because treating them as the same obsures the fact that “capital” is a form or money or wealth that is “surplus” – more than immediately needed.  Only surplus money or savings and accumulated wealth are properly called “capital.   If this were widely known it would be apparent to all that we are no longer operating an economy of surplus capital, but of credit – borrowed money that may have been leveraged many times, even tenfold or a hundredfold.  Those who hold the real wealth are mostly those on the top rung of the money pyramid scheme.  What we are left with is mostly an inflated, bloated, over-leveraged house of cards built on shifting sands of boom and bust.

It should be added that money is an evolving abstract concept, that is refined as human experience with it grows.  The earliest forms of money, direct barter, have been improved upon over time, and in various places.  Plato, Aristotle and Solon are ancient philosophers who better realized the true nature of money than most citizens today.

My conclusionPublic entities should be responsible for creating our money, primarily because they alone are directly accountable to the people, and can be “unelected” or removed from office by the electorate by petition or regular elections.  At least this is true if the form of government is a representative republic or constitutional democracy, and the “treasury” or exchequer” department or branch of government can be held accountable for the stability of the monetary system. In other forms of government such as Monarchies or Dictatorships the tyrant or chief despot in charge has usually held that it was the “sovereign right” of the state, or tyrant, to issue and regulate money, or currency or all kinds.  Only with the rise of private central banks and international private central banking cartels and the economic philosophies and distortions thereof, of Adam Smith, did private banking monopolies take root in the world.  It appears to be an evil root indeed, as we will see, based in the ancient evil of usury.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves.  Let’s see if we can look at all the pros and cons objectively and see how I reached my conclusion regarding public Vs private money creation.  Once we have resolved that primary question, we can then get into the finer details of what kinds and forms of money would best serve the public local, state, national, and international interests, how and by whom it would be created, distributed and regulated, and what persons or groups would benefit or suffer from each method we consider.  I am more than willing to revise my opinion if the evidence points to such a revision.

As a way of introduction to the discussion of what is or isn’t honest or stable money, or hwo to achieve it I’d like to introduce a dialogue between myself and an impartial and unbiased interviewer.  I easily concede that a biased goldbug or advocate for another money system might not have been as helpful with the softball questions.

See also, Ellen Brown’s case against gold:  http://www.webofdebt.com/excerpts/chapter-37.php

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Q & A Summary on Money:

The answers are the opinions of Jere L Hough. (JLH)

Q:  Is mankind capable of self-government?  JLH:  Yes, if citizens are educated and informed on the issues and fundamentals of government.

Q: What form of Self Government is best?

A: A Constitutional Democratic Republic, assuming it is one that strives for fair and just representation of the economic and social well-being and equality of opportunity and access to the laws and courts.  Such a government must have adequate protections, checks and balances against monopolistic power from any source, public, corporate or private. Among of the areas that must be balanced are the competing interests between land, capital and labor, employer and the employed, land and tenant relationships, and the regulation of commerce, trade, and markets.

Q:  What is the proper role of government versus the private or corporate sector in a balanced republic?

A:  That is still being resolved, but the question must be seen through the lens of all undelegated sovereignty residing with the individual person, and that the legitimate authority (sovereignty) of all governments arises from the collective assignment of a portion of the individual sovereignty to government on ascending levels.

Q:  Does that answer the previous question?

A:  It does, if ones understand that the basic principle is to retain to the individual or the most local community or government as much freedom of choice of thought and action as is possible, without infringing on the same freedoms of choice of others.  The essence of good balance in government is that it insures that power is retained by the people, from the individual up to local, regional, state, national and international authorities, and only enough power is delegated upward to accomplish the essential tasks that cannot be better performed at lower echelons of government, or by individuals.

Q:  So should water, sewer, gas, electric, telephone, radio, TV, and other utilities and community services be best served by the public or private sectors?

A:  Where legitimate competition between providers is possible I would favor private operations.  Where the complexity and cost of infrastructure is prohibitive of free and open competition, monopolies arise.  Then I would think public ownership is appropriate.  In each case this should be a community decision made on levels as close to the affected individual as possible.

Q: What about public safety, police and fire protection, and defense?

A:  These should be resolved on the level most appropriate to individuals and communities.  Local protection should be handled by local governments, national matters at the national levels, and so on.  However, they are all public functions that benefit all, so they should be in the realm of government.  Private fire companies and private mercenary armies have all been tried and found wanting.

Q:  How can you keep corruption out of government at all levels?

A:  Make violation of public trust a serious crime, with harsh penalties, perhaps even capital punishment if the violation is serious enough.  Reform the elections process so that the best and brightest citizens will be encouraged to run for office.  Eliminate the two-party winner take all spoils system, and allow proportional representation among competing parties or platforms.  Improved oversight, regulation and citizen control are components of the answers.

Q:  What about money?  Doesn’t that contribute to political corruption?

A:  Yes.  Money is probably our current public enemy number one!  Until we address and correct the money issues in our society there will be corruption on all levels and in all political processes.  And this is true in nearly every community, state and nation on earth.  As this is written, money corruption is resulting in the beginning of another worldwide depression similar, but far worse, than the one we saw in 1929.

Q:  So what is the problem with our money, and how do we correct it?

A:  This is the most important issue of our world at this time.  The failure to properly address and solve the mysteries of money creation, distribution and regulation are leading to world-wide cascading financial disasters that will only widen and worsen.

Q:  Again, what is the problem with our money?

A:  The root problem is that it is controlled by private, for-profit interests, instead of by the public that should be served by the money.  This fundamental flaw in how we allow money to be created and controlled has blocked a more universal prosperity for centuries, and has created untold poverty, misery, hunger and want of the basic essentials of life for many people on our planet.

Q:  Wow.  That is a broad and sweeping indictment.  Can you present sound evidence for your case?  A:  Yes, sound and compelling evidence, for those who are open to the truth, and are willing to look at the evidence objectively.  There is a large portion of our population who have vested interests in closing their minds to truth, and protecting the unjust status quo.  There is even a larger portion of our citizenry that is under the sway of the spin and propaganda that the private money interests have passed off as economic “education” or media “information”.

Q:  How is that possible?  Could so many people be mistaken or misled?  A:  As difficult as it is to believe, it is also true.  People can easily be misled when the same private interests that control the creation of money also control the news, information and education systems.  When the same people that control the money and banking systems can make or break local, state and national economies at will, and control the paychecks, bank accounts, and credit cards, then those that are dependant on all these things will accept spin and propaganda as the truth.  In other words, it is easy for those higher up the economic food chain to mislead those who are lower on it.

Q:  But people can think for themselves, can’t they?  A:  Yes, but certain assumptions and attitudes often help one stay employed, especially if they agree with those who do the employing.  So called “free-thinkers” have a hard time finding and keeping employment.  Certain attitudes and values that an employer might label “un-American” or “unpatriotic” or “socialist”, etc., quickly discourage lines of thought that are outside certain approved “boxes” or paradigms.  This also happens in company environments that shape our “news” stories, and how they are reported.

Q:  What does all that have to do with our money problems?  A:  Glad you asked.  Since our nation was founded, and even before that, the private international banking fraternities that controlled the monetary systems of Europe and England has been trying to gain control of the money in the new world “colonies”.  It was then that the smear campaign against the public (or government) control of money began, and therefore against government itself.  But since the governments of Europe and England were mostly monarchies, convincing the public and the broke monarchs, that private bankers should have a monopoly on money and banking was easy.  The people did not feel connected to, or as if they were a part of, the existing governments of Europe.  But the new world concept of democratic government and publicly issued “Colonial Script” money was a serious threat to their entire financial power base.

Q:  So what did they do?  A:  They (the British royal, banking and financial interests)  fought militarily to prevent a new republic from being established, and they also waged propaganda and currency warfare in the “Colonies”, before, during and after the American Revolution.  They counterfeited colonial money, and debased the currency right up to and through the “Continental” currencies that served our new nation so well until they were debased by British interests.  They spread the propaganda that governments were irresponsible, and could not be trusted to control our money.

Q:  Is that all?

A:  No, the Hamiltonian faction that included NY banker Robert Morris, and other agents of the English Central Bank did their best to get constitutional authority to control US money.  They were partially successful, keeping the government’s authority over money to vague and unclear language, insufficient for the proper control of money our new nation needed.  The divide between those siding with Hamilton, the royalists, and the international bankers, and those who wanted public control over our money was the issue that created our two opposing political parties.  The party of Hamilton and the bankers evolved into the Republican Party of today.  The party of the Democratic Republicans evolved into the current Democratic Party.

Q:  So what happened to the control of our nation’s money?

A:  The battle between the two opposing monetary philosophies resulted in the USA developing a hybrid system, with some authority, that of coining money, going to the Treasury, but the bulk of it, the issuing of paper money and credit money, was retained by the private bankers.  A tug of war continued for the first hundred or more years over the control of money, with two short-lived central banks being created, each lasting 20 years, and various mixtures of gold, silver and paper money issued by the Treasury, US Mint and the banks.  This went on until in 1913 the central banks finally engineered a congressional coup to pass the banking legislation that has wanted so long.  It was known as the Federal Reserve Act, a very misleading name for a private institution.  This conspiratorial coup is fully described in GE Griffin’s thoroughly researched and documented book, “The Creature from Jekyll Island”, among many other excellent sources. It makes the truth appear stranger than fiction.  (*)

Q:  So you still haven’t said why you oppose the private banking solution as a way to control our money.  Are we getting to that?

A:  Yes, but what happened as a result of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 illuminates that point.

Q:  So, what happened?  World War I was the immediate result, and the Bolshevik Revolution and its ensuing bloodbath.  Then an period of easy credit and expansion, reckless investment, and the resulting monetary contraction that led to the Great Depression in 1929, and all that it entailed.  World War II was the next agenda of business, with tens of millions killed, and another post-war boom, followed by wars in Korea and Vietnam, along with the Cold War, and numerous other undeclared wars and invasions.  US military bases were established in over 140 countries.  Most people would say many of those events were not caused by the Federal Reserve or European Central Banking systems.  Your take?

A:  Direct links are difficult to establish, and even more difficult to prove.  Still there is abundant evidence of financial mischief, profiteering and greed, along with power grabs, that the Central Bankers either engineered or aided and abetted.  Unregulated and unchecked financial power is perhaps the ugliest form of control over nations and individuals.

Q:  Back to private control of money?  What’s wrong with it, and why is public control better?

A:  Private money creation always involves debt creation and interest payments for the use of money put into circulation.

Q:  That can’t be true!  Certainly not for all of it.

A:  But it IS true.  All money the the US, or any other Western nation, has in circulation, either as currency, checks, or electronic accounting entries, is “rented” to the public via its government.   That “rent” is interest paid on government bonds at the Federal Reserve level, and as interest on money “loaned” into existence by banks at the lower levels.

Q:  Money is “loaned” into existence?  How can that be?  Someone or some bank has to have it, or own the money first, right?

A: No, it is actually created when it is “loaned”.  Either the government or some other customer gives the bank an asset such as a bond, or promissory note, and the bank writes a check against that asset, and money is created.  Poof!  Just like that!  It’s magical, seemingly.

Q:  So why can’t the government just do the same thing, without paying interest on the money that is created?

A:  Exactly.  Why can’t they?  The best answer I can provide is that the banks have a lucrative racket going, and will do whatever it takes to keep it going.  It is an unimaginably profitable system for the bankers, and a very costly one for taxpayers, the citizens, the public, the government, and everyone else but the bankers.

Q:  So the government can generate bonds that pay interest to the bearer, and then swap the bonds for money that is printed and distributed, but the government cannot simply issue the money directly without paying interest to a middleman?  That doesn’t make any sense.

A:  It makes perfect sense to the bankers.  It doesn’t make any sense at all to anyone else.

Q:  Where does all the interest on money go?  Who collects it, and who gets it?

A:  Most of it winds up as a part of the national debt that has to be paid by the taxpayers eventually.  Or if loaned into existence by local or regional banks, it become credit card or mortgage debt.  Some of it is borrowed by local governments and is debt owed on municipal bonds or other muni loans.  It’s all interest-bearing debt money.  And that is what needs to be changed, and to be changed the real nature of money must be understood.

Q:  What is the “real nature of money”?

A:  This brings us to the most crucial point, and that is the quality of the “DEFINITION of MONEY” being used in an economy or culture.  Real money is NOT “credit money” or “debt money” that is created or brought into existence via a promissory notem as most US money is created today.  That is “credit money”, and is based on a debt obligation of the borrower to the lender, or holder of the note.  Credit money nearly always carries an interest burden in our current system, and that interest must be repaid out of the pool of non-credit, or “REAL” money in existence.  That will ultimately create a problem, unless enough “real” money is created to cover the interest that must be repaid the lender, along with the original principal.  So the definition of money is at the root of the money tree.  It is the heart of the matter.  The real definition of money is what has been well-hidden from the people of this world by those who run the world’s “Money Monopolies” – the national and international central bankers, or bankers bankers.  It is they who now create almost all of the world’s money as interest bearing debt.

Q:  So, if interest bearing “Credit Money” is not “real money”, what IS real money?  What is a better definition, or way of looking at “money”?

A:  Glad you asked  😉    Real money is created by government “FIAT”, or edict of law.  It is as if some creative being called “We the People” said, “Let there be Money” and there was money.  The form it takes doesn’t matterl it can be coins, paper or script, special issues, or electronic credits and debits.  The essential factor is that there is an honest and reliable accounting system, preferably multiple dublicate systems, that can be used to properly allocate the Fiat Money that “We the People” (or Govt) created.  The initial allocation would be different than the ongoing allocations and management, and the way the initial allocations are done is crucial to the justice and fairness of the entire system.

Q:  How would the initial issue be different, and why?

A:  Because of the need to replace all current “credit money” within the system with “real money” created by the Public, or issuing sovereign Govt. Money would have to be exchanged.  As the devil is always in the details, the fairness and justice of the initial exhange is most crucial.  Much thought and discussion should go into this process.  My thinking is that there should NOT be an accross-the-board one to one exchange in all instances.  Less that one-to-one exchanges should be for reasons of fairness, justice, and social balance.  There should be some correction of the massive transfers of wealth that have taken place in the past decades and centuries, from the poor and middle income groups to the banker-lender-investment-corporate classes.

Q:  Wealth redistribution?

A:  Yes, in a sense.  But I’d more accurately think of it as a restitution, the repayment of that which was extorted or stolen, the “making whole” of victims of crimes.  I think that picture comes far closer to the truth than “wealth redistribution”, which carries the implication that honestly earned wealth or savings would be stolen from the rich and given to the poorer segments of society, for which I would in no wise endorse.   Massive amounts of wealth and money have been swindled from the people via the criminal behavior of Wall Street and City of London.  These latest Trillions of dollars in bailouts for criminally mismanaged “Too Big To Fail” corporation is just the recently visible tip of the iceberg.  These are the visible triggers that are beginning the global economic meltdown that will grow to far larger and more dangerous consequences.  Tens or hundreds of millions of lives will be lost because of these criminals.  No “restitution” can compensate for such horror, but justice demands that these banksters and their corrupt govt cohorts not be allowed to keep the poisonous fruits of their ill-gotten capital gains.

Q:  Weighty stuff.  I sure hope you are wrong about all that.  If the government loaned, or even better, spent the money into existence directly, then any interest charged could be used to run the govt banks, and the excess profits could be used to fund government operations, like roads, bridges, schools, parks, police and fire departments.  Couldn’t taxes be reduced or eliminated?

A:  Of course.  Property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes and most other taxes could be paid for by public banking and money creation.

Q:  It’s sounds so easy.  There must be a catch.  Where the flaw?

A:  The flaw is that the bankers would call that “socialism”, or “communism”, so it must be a bad idea.  Proponents of such a system would be attacked, called unpatriotic, and all sorts of other unkind labels.

Q:  Well, isn’t government money creation and either spending or loaning money into circulation an instance of socialism?

A: It depends on the definition you choose to use.  There is no shortage of definitions, and critics can find one that fits any plan they oppose.  In it’s most basic form, socialism is the government ownership of the means of production.  The “means of production” are composed of natural resources and labor.  It would be a stretch to include the traditionally sovereign prerogative of coining, printing and regulating money into those areas of private enterprise that entail the production of goods and services.  Money creation was nearly always a function of the state, or sovereign, of any geographical area or region.

Q:  What about the backing of money that gives it its stability, and confidence as a trusted means of exchange of goods and services?  Wouldn’t government banks have to borrow, buy, or otherwise obtain gold, silver or other precious commodities to “back” their money?

A:  No more than private banks are doing today – which is not at all – while charging usurious interest.  Arguments that stable money requires a commodity backing simply fail to hold up under scrutiny.  It is not necessary that a currency be exchangeable for a given quantity of a commodity, or basket of commodities, whose value can rise or fall with circumstances, natural or otherwise.  It is only necessary that its value is trustworthy and reliable among those that use the currency.  Commodity prices can be manipulated.  Weather can play a role, as can floods, transportation costs, and other factors.

There are three things that give any money or currency stability: 1) The general faith and trust that the money will be worth as much tomorrow as it is today; and,  2)  The general faith and trust in the reliability of the issuing institution or authority, public or private.  If an entire community, state or nation is behind the money, then the faith and trust of the entire community is invested in its money.  That trust gives it its value.   3)  The volume of money in any given economy or economic community must be in proper proportion to the per capita population and “productive capacity” or resources, goods and services available.  There must be some reliable means of keeping track of the available labor and goods, or GEP (Gross Economic Product) within that economy, and adjusting the supply of money up or down so as to maintain monetary stability.  All this can be done by computer programs if the input data is sound and reliable.

Q:  But what would initially determine the value of such a currency, if not some fixed commodity?

A:  Many things could be used as a starting point for money valuation.  How about an hour of basic labor?  Or a tenth of an hour of labor?  Take the minimum wage in that community and call that your basic unit of money, say a Dollar, or a Peso, or even an Hour.  Then a more skilled professional might charge 4 “hours” or 10 “hours” for his or her services.  The point is that everything would be valued in relationship to that basic “hour” of labor that would represent a minimum wage for unskilled work or time invested.  I only suggest an hour because it is the most universally available standard of measure.  Not everyone has eggs, or chickens, or cows, or gold, but everyone has time.  A measure of the worth of one’s time is about as basic as it get.  Your time is worth more than my time, you say?  Well, that’s what the marketplace is for; the free market determines all such things, or should, if the playing field is kept level.  But a reliable Cost of Living Index could also be used as a beginning valuation, as could a Basket of Commodities or a parcel of land, or land rents.  No system will begin in its perfect form.  All will have to be adjusted or modified with experience and changing social or environmental conditions.

Q:  So are you saying that any community can form a government that includes a bank that could create and regulate own money, free of charge, and without interest?

A:  Yes, to the extent that it was allowed to do so legally by higher sovereign authorities.  However, I deem this a basic and fundamental right that should be reserved to all people.  It is as fundamental as having the right to breath the air, or to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor. In fact, taxation on labor, or the Income Tax, is patently UNCONSTITUTIONAL!  One ot the greatest principles of the US Constitution, and one of the most disregarded, is the provision that all powers not specifically delegated to the National government be retained by the individual states, or by the people themselves. There is no way to overemphasize the importance of this principle that ultimate sovereignty belongs to the people, and that the only sovereignties that any government possesses is that freely given to it by its citizens. There is so much of crucial importance in the above that they should be an entirely separate discussion.  But for now let me just list the salient points in concise fashion:

1.  The US Constitution gives the US govt, via congress, the responsibility and right to issue the nations money.  That right has never been recinded or overruled.  It originally gave the states the right to issue its own money (coin), but that has apparently been recinded – the constitutionality of which is questionable.

2.  The USC claims ultimate “sovereignty” belongs to the people – the individual natural citizen.

3.  The USC states that all higher sovereignties or government associations are formed by the individual voluntarily giving up specific parts of that sovereighty to various levels of government.  On other words, all governments get their specifically enumerated powers from the people.

4.  All sovereignty (the power of choice or decision) NOT specifically delegated to higher government associations are to be RETAINED by the people – the individuals – themselves.

5.  People have a right to dissolve or modify governments that abuse their delegated authorities.

6. The “Income Tax” was never intended to be a tax on labor, and such a tax on labor was consistently ruled as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court – SCOTUS.

7.  The law that was passed that gives government the right to tax labor is patently unconstitutional, for both national and state governments.

8.  With proper money reforms and the elimination of interest bearing debt or credit money, no income taxes would be needed at all.  Other, fairer taxes could provide all the legitimate needs of governments for a small fraction of what US citizens are paying now.

9.  We are in dire need of constitutional, governmental and money reforms.  The very continuation of our civilization may depend on it.

Q:  You mentioned “interest” above.  Interest implies credit.  So is credit the same as money?

A:  We had to get into this question sooner or later.  As it is now, all money is credit money in one form or another.  However under a stable and honest mony system the issue is a bit more complex, but not overly so.  It depends on whether the credit extended, or the loan made, was from an existing pool of real (non-fractional reserve) money, or was “created” as an offset to a real asset or a promissory note.  If credit money creation is allowed, it would have to be supervised and tracked, and the fractional reserve system would, of course, have to be abolished, or controlled by governments.  Otherwise the current money pyramid schemes would someday again corrupt and consume the system.

Q:  Would this mean that a local community would have to have one currency that was locally accepted, and yet have access to other larger communities, states, or nations?

A:  Yes, to some extent, perhaps.  Yet that is the way it is now, in a collapsing world economy with multiple currencies that trade against each other on the (supposedly) free and open market.  Each community would have to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision about the benefits.  That should be the right of each community just as it is the right of each individual to negotiate his or her economic situation.  Likewise each region, state or nation should have that choice.  I believe the benefits would far outweigh the disadvantages.  In fact, I think those communities that went to such an economic and monetary system would quickly develop real prosperity and increased wealth and well-being.

Q:  Could such a system stop wars and massive expenditures on weapons of destruction?

A:  No, not by itself.  But I think it’s effects could go a long way toward making it easier to stop such destructive behaviors.  It would remove some of the profit incentive, in that the interest on weapons and military expenditures would be eliminated.  Government would be spending its own money into existence, remember?  But there would also have to be a monetay authority, or branch of government that would have to approve any such expenditures, and hopefully, along with the changes in the way we control society’s money, we would have better controls over ways it is spent or loaned into circulation.  There would have to be new laws, and severe penalties for violating them.

**************

Having introduced a brief Q & A about what I might think is an improved monetary system that does not involve commodity money, let is now consider the gold, silver, PM, or any other form of commodity money, and the problems or relative disadvantages they impose over the public system of moeny creation outlined above.

First, and perhaps most obvious, is that any community starting from scratch, would have little or no gold to use as money, and so would have to obtain some at a cost to the community.  This one handicap could be discussed at great length, and remedies raised, analyzed and accepted or rejected.  I have done these mental exercises, and have found them so far unprofitable.  The same objections would obtain with silver, platinum, or any other commodity PM.

Second, all commodity money is inherently unstable and is subject to price controls and market manipulation.  Yes, market manipulation is real, and on a scale large enough to be inconceivable to most “outsiders” and even many “insiders”.  Both silver and gold prices have seen huge price swings of 50, 100 or 200 percent or more within short periods of months or a few years.  Huge disparities in the ratio of silver to gold has existed in different parts of the world, and those disparities have been exploited by empires, rulers, priests and traders going back thousands of years.  That these disparities were closely guarded secrets is evidenced by the fact that the famous “Silk Road” between east and west was not named the “Gold & Silver Road”, which was by far the more profitable reason for the trade along that route.

***************

INFORM YOURSELF!

Would you really like to understand the current financial meltdown and coming world depression, Global NWO, Centralralized money control by private banksters, and worldwide economic blackmail?

Would you like to become part of the solution rather than remain a part of the problem?  If so, you must educate yourself beyond simplistic partisan positions, and this is no easy task amidst such an imposing sea of confusion, misinformation, and deliberate disinformation and deceptions.  Lies and special interests are everywhere, but you must dig deep for the truth that will set you, and all of us, free from the economic bondage in store for us and our descendants.

My main suggestion would be to obtain the book, Web of Debt, by Ellen Brown.  She has done more to “demystify” the subject of money more than anyone else I have read.  Stephen Zarlenga’s The Lost Science of Money had been my favorite until I recently finished Web of Debt.  Both books have excellent road maps to get out of the disaster we have scripted for our nation, and the world.  The important thing is to begin the needed discussions and debates.  For further education and information on what you are not being told by mainstream media or official sources, I ask you to read these books or watch the online videos.

The first two videos are very educational, and highly recommended for basic starting information:

Simplest Video = Money as Debt (47 min) – watch it free here

Comprehensive Video = MoneyMasters (3.5 hrs) – watch it free here The Money Masters is more comprehensive, longer (3.5 hours and 2 disks).  These videos will very accurately indentify the root causes of our financial meldown and the coming Greatest Depression.  You may have to watch them several times before the big picture really sinks in.

Once you have the basics, these next two videos are the real comprehensinve truths you need to know to protect you and your loved ones:

Video:  America: Freedom to Fascism by Aaron Russo – bipartisan and shocking.

Aaron Russo Inverview … the most shocking video you may ever see.  It ties all of the above together into a chilling view of “The Matrix” or what is happening “behind the curtain”.  These may not be available for very long.  Please download them if possible.

Another outstanding free online series of short video presentations is by Chris Martenson.  This series is one of the finest I’ve yet seen, and jam packed with good and reliable info.  I suggest watching lessons 6, 7, 8 and 9 (each about 6 to 8 minutes) of this outstanding presentation by one of the brightest teachers I’ve ever heard on the subject.  The series of video lessons is not yet finished, but if you watch 6,7, 8 and 9 on money, you will want to watch the entire series over time, and explore the gold mine of references on the coming financial tsunami.  You need to prepare for the events ahead.  Your faith will be tested.

This website has a cornucopia of great articles and presentations on the widest range of monetary and finance topics.

For real comprehension of our monetary and economic problems, and how to get out of the money trap we are now caught up in, you will need to obtain the best books written on thise subjects, and devote some time to study them.  You simply cannot fully wrap your mind around the enormity of these issues without doing some serious homework.  Trust me when I say that almost everyone who claims to have solutions to our problems, don’t, and their “solutions” will in fact only make things far worse by playing right into the hands of those who have designed the grand chess game we are all playing.  And we are all playing, like it or not.

For instance, a popular solution advanced by certain schools of economics teach that the way out is a return to the gold or silver money standards.  This is simply untrue, and the worst move that humanity could make, because it returns the money power to the Money-Moguls, the parasites who are now sucking our nation dry.  All I have time to do now is impress the reader that ALL major schools of economics are owned and controlled by the archetects of the NWO!  The methods that will deliver us from our bondage have been systematically suppressed and ridiculed by the power brokers who are destroying our independence and liberty.  In 99% of the cases what the economics experts will advise is wrong, because that is what they are paid to teach and to advise.

John Kenneth Galbraith, in a moment of candor, spoke truly:  “The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it (p15). The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.” – John Kenneth Galbraith, Money: Whence it came, where it went – 1975, p29.

With that in mind, here are the books I urge people to read:

Best Book (By Far) and most recent I’ve yet found on up to date events:  Web of Debt (Publisher’s website reviews and comments)   Author Ellen H. Brown’s website packed with good info and the best articles

Amazon Reviews of Web of Debt are extremely useful to guage the opinions of others on any book one is considering.  My own review of this book is among over 40 posted there.

Another Revealing Book = The Lost Science of Money – The Mythology of Money – The Story of Power.    Author Stephen Zarlenga’s website on Monetary Reform I attended their annual monetary reform conference in Chicago this September, 2008.   Zarlenga’s book would be the best if it were simpler for the average person to follow and understand.  It is deep, philosophical, scholarly, and a priceless treasure for those who really want to gain in-depth comprehension of the secret and hidden history of money and the power that flows from its control.

Best History, Comprehensive = Carrol Quigley – Tragedy and Hope: The History of the World in our Time:     This is an amazing expose’ on the inside workings of the forces behind the NWO now being created in our world.  It is actually now already an accomplished fact, and has been for about 40 or more years.  It’s big, long and complex, but it’s the most educational book about the modern history of the NWO in existence, IMO.   Quigley is a brilliant historian whose credentials are impecable.  He was Bill Clinton’s most influential professor and mentor.

An excellent capsule summary of many very important books that bear on the coming economic collapse:  “How the World Really Works” This book is especially important for its capsule summaries of the highlights of a handful of the most important books written in the last 50 years:  A Century of War, Tragedy and Hope, The Naked Capitalist, The Tax-Exempt Foundations, The Creature from Jekyll Island, The Politics of Heroin, Dope Inc., and others.  Disclaimer:  I do not agree with most of the author’s solutions. The book is valuable only for highlighting the problems.

These are factual resources of the highest integrity and scholarship – all of them.

Additional comments from Jere (FedNix)

The choice of where we spend each US budget dollar is between “guns and butter”, as stated by a true conservative, Pres. DW Eisenhower, in 1961.  He also warned the US citizens about the present and ever-growing dangers that our nation was being taken over by a “Military- Industrial Complex”.  He may or may not have been aware how the private central banking control over our money funnels taxpayer funds into non-productive spending, and bombs and bullets fit that category better than anything else I can think of.  They are built to be destroyed in war and battles or become quickly obsolete in the arms races the financial banking interests sponsor.

This is not a left – right or Democrat – Republican issue, as some on this forum strive so hard to portray it.  We will never solve the problem as long as we remain deluded that this is a partisan political issue.  This is an issue of the survival of our culture and even our civilization. Our current economic system is in collapse, and that collapse will escalate despite the Fed and central bankers frantic behind-the- scenes financial chicanery to make sporatic “recoveries” seem to occur.  The private central bankers control the printing presses that crank out our dollars, at taxpayer expense, and can use them in very creative ways in the global NWO economy to “prop up the dollar” and depress the prices of gold, silver, and other precious metals and commodities.  They use taxpayer money (debt) to massively manipulate the stock markets through “naked short sales”, buy-backs, and other manipulation schemes far too complex to go into here.  The the books I recommed, or at least watch the online videos on Youtube, Google, Yahoo and personal websites to see for yourselves how real this all is.

BTW, I am an investor in Precious Metals, mostly silver, retired for the past 10 years and have followed the global markets since I was a kid.  I have a bachelor’s degree, and have done extensive post-graduate sudies in many fields.  I have a positive net worth, and I listen to or watch a huge variety of news and information sources.  I subscribe to at least 40 or 50 information services via the internet and email.  All of the information I relay here is factual and reliable.  The fact that our economy is collapsing like a house of cards has been broadcast for many years by numerous authorites, economists, insiders and whilstleblowers, and the case they make is ironclad, if one takes the time to follow it.  For instance, David Walker, Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office, is touring the nation warning citizens of the impending national bankruptcy, and has done so since 2003.  Please watch just one or two minutes off this 7 minute video and you will begin to understand the economic truth.      I do not agree with all of Walker’s opinions and positions, especially on his recommended solutions, but at least he fully realizes that the problem is real and imminent.

There are numerous videos and articles on the web, YouTube, Brasscheck, Google Video, etc, that reveal various aspects of the NWO menace.  However, only a few that I know of really encompass the big picture.  However, before we can ever solve our problems we must see clearly what they are, and what led to them.

No complex problem can ever be solved until its true nature and deepest root causes are fully understood.  We are a long way from realizing that goal, and the NWO forces intend to keep us from ever doing so.

God will help those who are determined to help themselves and those they love.  But until a critical mass of humanity makes a firm decision to do so, we will suffere the consequences of laziness, selfishness, neglect, greed, and ignorance.  Our first task is to discover the root causes of our financial and economic problems, and underneath it all lies the proper and advanced conceptualization of money.  It is that ignorance and lack of comprehension that the archetects of the NWO most exploit in order to enslave humanity in their debt service.  Ellen H. Brown and Stephen Zarlenga do the best job I have yet found in showing us the way out of the maze and back to the potential utopia that is our ultimate destiny.

Please read their books, and as many other good ones as you can find on this most important of human material problems.

Jere L Hough   (FedNix or FedFixNix on public forums)

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

The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy spending power of the Government and the buying of consumers. The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Governments, but it is the government’s greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles, the long-felt want for a uniform medium will be satisfied. The taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. The financing of al public enterprises, and the conduct of he Treasury will become mattes of practical administration. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity. ABRAHAM LINCOLN

“The Federal Reserve (Bank) is one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever seen. There is not a man within the sound of my voice who does not know that this Nation is run by the International Bankers.” ― Congressman Louis T. McFadden

My agency in promoting the passage of the National Bank Act was the greatest financial mistake of my life. It has built up the monopoly which affects every interest in the country. It should be repealed; but before that can be accomplished, the people will be arrayed on one side and the banks on the other, in a contest such as we have never seen before in this country. SALMON M. CHASE, Treasury Sec. under Lincoln.

Under the Federal Reserve Act panics are scientifically created; the present panic is the first scientifically created one, worked out as we figure a mathematical problem.

HON. CHARLES A. LINDBERGH SR., writing of the Panic of 1920

The few who can understand the system (check, money and credits) will either be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favors, that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of the people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interest. — ROTHSCHILD BROTHERS OF LONDON

“THE EYES OF OUR CITIZENS ARE NOT SUFFICIENTLY OPEN TO THE TRUE CAUSE OF OUR DISTRESS. THEY ASCRIBE THEM TO EVERYTHING BUT THEIR TRUE CAUSE, THE BANKING SYSTEM!” ― Thomas Jefferson 1819

ALL THE PERPLEXITIES, CONFUSION, AND DISTRESS IN AMERICA arise, not from defects in the Constitution or confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from DOWNRIGHT IGNORANCE of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.” ― President John Adams

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25 Responses

  1. Congratulations and thanks for writing one of the best summaries I have seen on the information we really need to oppose the Fed with any degree of success.
    I have recently purchased Ms. brown’s book, Rothbard, and oneof Dr. Paul’s (but his reliance on gold is not a good sign, right?). I would support your efforts asyoucan avail me of them as best I can; maybe we can leave our country better than we find it, if only a real way can be found to effect a new start…besides
    HR1207/S604, which I fear will both fail.

    • Dr LaMar, You are welcome, and thanks for stopping in. Glad you are getting EH Brown’s book, Web of Debt. It’s the best book available on the money crisis. Another one is “Lost Science of Money“. You are right about Dr. Paul’s book. As much as I admire Ron Paul, he is stuck up to his eyeballs in the Austrian School Economic theory, and it is seriously flawed on the commodity money issue. I’ve been reading Von Mises, Rothbard, Lew Rockwell, and other Austrians and Libertarians for 30 years, and know whereof I speak. Paul is on target as far as his diagnosis is concerned. It’s just his Rx that is a “poison pill”.

      Leaving our world better is what it is all about, isn’t it? But it may be too late for that now. Even leaving a legacy of what went wrong and how to rebuild a better system might be hoping for too much right now. The Federal money reforms will fail for now, especially with Healthcare Reforms on the front burner to divide out attentions. But both are very necessary, if we are to survive as a representative democracy.

      Thanks again.

      • Jere,

        When I was emailing back and forth with Paul he sent me a copy of his local currency idea. I agree with you. It was the best I had ever seen as well. However, I had some serious criticisms of it. But then again I have serious issues with all local currency ideas anyway.

        His paper was called Digital Coin. I have a pdf of it if you want it. It really is quite eloquent but at the end of the day (to me) it suffers many of the same flaws all “credit at the point of transaction” systems have. If you ever want to discuss it, I would be happy to read it again and go over my old critique. I read some of my old emails to refresh my memory on Paul’s concept. I must say he did a really good job at tackling some key issues and his refutations of my critiques were very strong.

        I think that in the future Paul’s ideas may come to fruition. I haven’t seen his new movie yet. If his Perpetual Coin idea is in it I am very interested to see it.

        • Thanks Greg. I already have the PDF’s and just finished watching the MaD part 2 series on youtube last weekend. Yes, I believe those ideas are in there somewhere. If not they are here:

          http://www.digitalcoin.info/index.html

  2. I forgot to check the follow-up box for e-mail if you prefer

  3. So you see no chance of the government declaring the Fed to be just another regular bank and take over the printing of money and the Fed’s institutions and infrastructure to better ends? Should not our government printed/generated money just enter circulation and that be the end of it except for the inflation it causes without adding it to the national debt? But we would still owe about 1/2 the ND to Japan, China, etal as long as their investment money was not also “fiat”, right? We could deal with these scoundrels as the legal issues develop, declaring the 16th null and void negating their “charter” to print money or whatever is proper, and the Fed national debt part (1/2?) also null and void if shown to be the result of criminal or even treasonous deeds. We could perhaps follow a modern example of monetary policy as in North Dakota’s actions, which apparently runs surpluses? Why are so many learned people seemingly in the dark, uninvolved about this…all just fatNhappy enough to not bother…so far…as part of the Fed’s plan? If I ran my dental practice like the Fed runs the country, all my patients would be near death…even if it is only due to tooth problems ! And is it as I have only heard that the Fed can bring the military to bear to enforce it’s grip on printing money and other issues as it sees fit? Is not the ownership of fiat money the central idea in this entire discussion?

  4. Jere here is a copy of the letter I sent to AMI’s blog. I was reading Brown’s article on her reply to AMI’s attack on her possition. I believe I read in there that Brown’s site is no longer allowing new accounts and that you were moderating her board. Is this correct? In any case, if you like please add this article to your site or web of debt. I would like to see who comments on it or what you or Ellen have to say. Feel free to send me a note.

    Jamie,

    Great article! You never let me down. Gordon has kept me up to date on the debate between the AMI Federal solution and Brown’s State-by-state solution. Of course I know them both well. My name is credited on the AMI act!!! And you know full well my stance. I do believe that the federal solution is the BEST solution.

    But here is my only critique. As we all know the fractional reserve process is an immoral yoke around all our necks. Taking on debt to have a money supply…whether it be to private or public institutions is to me a repugnant idea. But what Brown has suggested fits a hole that AMI has yet to tender a viable solution. The State bank idea eliminates the GAIN from fractional banking to private institutions and returns it to the people. Even though AMI proposes to create money debt free –and so it does—the act does nothing to stop debt free money from being fractionally expanded by the commercial banks thus generating great GAIN to the banks. This is a cold hard fact.

    Your case point number 3….argues that it is not about the interest but it is about the debt is only true to a point. Whether the money starts out as debt or ends up as debt that is fractionally expanded you ALWAYS end up at some amount of interest extraction spread over time that mathematically outstrips the money supply itself. AMI’s contestation with Brown is thus MOOT!

    Brown’s position of various state run banks does in fact cure this phenomenon of extraction where AMI has yet to address. I have read Fisher’s book on the 100% solution have found it silent on a solution for fractional expansion which is why Henry Simons backed away from it. Fisher like AMI proffered that only loans could be made from savings accounts as a half-hearted strike against the money power. But this does absolutely nothing to stop fractional banking. That is a cold hard fact. Still, I am a proud backer of Fisher and AMI.

    I think personally, in the end AMI is going to lose the argument with Brown and her supporters for the hearts and minds of any who would be influenced by the monetary reform community based on this structural gap as I have outlined. AMI should work on a solution that is defendable rather than defending its status as the moral and constitutionally legal foundation to reform. Times change. Laws change. And it is quite apparent that the constitution has been greatly weakened. If we took a stark examination in just exactly how many ways the constitution has been usurped I think we could hardly imagine the government once framed by it. The constitution sadly, is somewhat of a relic. Not progressive but ‘aggressive’ politics across the spectrum has seen to this.

    The future doesn’t rest on the past. It is to be framed by the rational or undone by the worst of human avarice. It is our choice.

    AMI, I support you, but I wait for you. I have been waiting for close to 5 years now. My critique today is the same as it was when I was working to find the language to put in the AMI Act that cured just exactly what I have addressed here. I failed to find it then and clearly outlined my concern then. I reiterate it today. I am proud to be named on the act. I am proud to have played a part in the most important question of our time outside perhaps the environment. I am proud to tell everyone I know about AMI. But I ask……

    When is AMI going to provide a full solution that is defensible beyond rhetoric?

    • Dear Gregory, Thanks for your excellent comments. You have covered much ground that I too have given considerable thought. I will try to compose a reply that measures up. I do agree with you on all major points, with only some minor variances in our thinking.

      First, I have not yet seen your post appear on the AMI blog site. I posted two comments 4 days ago that are still awaiting moderation, or have been rejected without explanation. I also wrote SZ a letter a week ago requesting some explanation of why my registration for the conference was denied, and why he hung up on me telephone call. No response yet. Since I have probably written 500 articles and comments in the past three years boosting the AMI and AMA, along with Z’s book, and have attended the last two conferences in 07 and 08, I am at a loss for words on this matter. I have never written or spoken a disparaging word against AMI or Zarlenga. I can only guess that the sudden “cold shoulder” from Stephen is because of my help with Ellen Brown’s Web of Debt website and forum.

      To address your introductory comment, it was only the Web of Debt FORUM that is no longer open to user activated registrations. I still sign up those who request it by letter with a brief statement of their interest. But yes, I am helping to moderate the WOD blog site as well. However anyone can post there without registration. Only the first comment is held for moderation in order to keep the flakes, rabid anti-reformers and junk away. You are free to post there (on Ellen’s blog) if you wish.

      I do want to make it plain that I see this “controversy” as one invented by Steve Zarlenga. Both Ellen Brown and I have been staunch and vocal advocates for federal money reforms, and the AMI/AMA. Stephen has done much groundbreaking work on meaningful money reform, but I think this issue is pure petty jealousy over Brown’s popularity, and the rave reviews (131 at last count) of her book on Amazon. I agree with Bill Still that it seems SZ has a burning need to be the singular leader of the reform movement, and will tolerate no competition in the arena of ideas. He has expressed his disdain for almost every other reformer I’ve mentioned to him. IMO, this is a self-defeating authoritarian character trait. If I were a bankster and wanted to derail the money reform effort I would do my best to “divide and conquer”, and that is what it appears he is doing. I simply don’t understand it.

      Thanks for you post. I will reply further soon.

      • Jere,

        Thanks for the encouraging words. When you find the time I would love to hear more on what you described as “minor variances in our thinking”. I am very open (unlike others) to hear ideas. What is weird about Stephen is he is willing to allow conference speakers (several of them infact) prattle on about local currencies which will never amount to anything ever. But the minute you start talking about significant reform or criticize the gapping hole in Fisher’s 100% solution he excommunicates you from the flock. Back in 06 I was basically tossed out of his inner circle before I even got a chance. This after hours and hours spent on the phone with him discussing ideas. All I did was prove to him that 100% solution as he described it cannot ever work. In fact it made the expansion of the money supply by the commercial banks even worse as the concept of the limiting factor of a reserve was essential ly removed thus increasing the theoretical limit of expansion to an unbound value. 100% reserve as describe to me by Stephen and others in his circle will essentially affect a 0% reserve outcome and is thus the factual opposite of the AMI mission.

        I tried to get this across to him back in 06 and again in 07, when I finally realized I wasn’t going to be heard or allowed to present these facts I got the message. I haven’t really talked to him since. It is a shame really. Now that I have actually figured it all out. I have the solution. Just not sure how to present it yet. Kinda working it out. And the funny thing is…..I base my solution on Fisher, just a correct interpretation of Fisher!!!! Stephen is adamant that a solution be based on an “accredited” economist. Which is why nothing but Fisher and Simons will do. Which is EXACTLY what I gave him but he rejected. I can’t figure it out.

        Today, AMI has clearly obfuscated what the definition of 100% reserve solution is. They have stayed very far away from defining the variables and structuring the language. I don’t know if I had anything to do with that or not. I did send several emails out to higher ups in AMI and got pretty much the same answer back, which basically centered on the moral justice of reform. I get that. We all get that. But nothing by way of rational acknowledgement let alone acceptance of reality, which is 100% doesn’t work as those in AMI “understand” it.

        More I have had several conversations with Jamie on this subject. He knows exactly what I am talking about. He even has some of my old notes that Stephen had in his emails as attachments. In fact it was Jamie who called me in 08 before the conference and got me thinking on the subject again. I brainstormed and like a week later I formulated a more robust and complete idea, which essentially cleared up a flaw in my old idea but was basically the same structure. I wanted to share it AMI but I wasn’t even allowed to speak to Stephen. So go figure.

        Ellen is definitely barking up the right tree. She may not know the reasons exactly why she is right but I can explain it mathematically why she is right. And it is the math that AMI and everyone else in monetary reform is missing. Well I have that now and I just am figuring out the best way to lay out the solution. Maybe if I get it going you guys can help me get it out there. Who knows?

        More I can point to a SLEW of economists that have touched on various ideas relating to my solution. I won’t be hurting for primary sources. I can even show where Keynes and Friedman agree with me. They BOTH acknowledged that a nominal interest rate above ZERO was a destabilizing influence in the monetary system. Everything else about economic theory is the attempt to cope or get around this fact. At best our economists have been treating the disease not inventing a cure. But if we learned anything from the pharmaceutical industry, it is that the money is in the treatment…..not the cure. So it is with the economics profession.

        Ellen, sort of leapfrogs right over this rule of economics when she suggests that we channel the interest flow back to the state. She is absolutely correct in this line of thinking. It is ONLY in this way that we can have nominal interest rates be GREATER than ZERO!!! That is it. There is no other way around it. This is raw factual mathematics at work here, not my opinion. Any sovereign power could begin this process WITHOUT any capital infusion. It is absurd that California would ever need to go to the bond pits to acquire what it already has. California has an INFINITE supply of money and it is big enough to tap into it without the permission of the federal government. It is the 8th largest economy in the world and it greatly contributes to the largest economy (the U.S.). California could declare their IOUs as legal tender and voila they have their own currency. It is as simple as that. Well maybe….I would keep an eye out for Blackwater mercs showing up! LOL.

        AMI even stumbled on this concept when they assert that the commercial banks must be forced to borrow money from the federal government to bring up their customers’ deposits to 100% reserves. Thus just as Ellen espouses, the interest flow is redirected to the state. I can’t see why AMI would reject a premise that it itself espouses. Unless they don’t understand why they believe what they believe and can’t tell the sameness of their beliefs and Ellen’s. The only technical difference between them is that AMI leaves a backdoor open to commercial bank expansion of the money supply and Ellen’s position closes that door. Ellen by leaps and bounds wins the technical argument. This is a flat fact and I can destroy any who would dare debate me on this!!!

        However, there are stark social and political differences, which AMI wins hands down by working at the federal level. Sorry Ellen. Unless you are the next Joan of Arc, it ain’t gonna happen. Thus we are right back where we started. Both fail for different reasons.

        More Ellen hasn’t come out to declare a full position on state owned banks. Please correct me if I am wrong here. For that idea to be complete these states MUST issue a sovereign currency. It is not good enough that they expand the US dollar. They must be able to actually ISSUE money and spend it into circulation. That is a sovereign power. Otherwise these banks would just be another set of too big to fail institutions being bailed out by the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury via the taxpayer. It is a laughable notion that the huge state owned banks would escape some event like the subprime to prime mortgage meltdown. They would have been up to their eyeballs in bad loans!!! Which would have to have been bailed out. So I don’t see the difference without issue power part of the package.

        And as far as I know, the Bank of North Dakota does NOT issue its own currency. It is just another commercial bank like any other in the system except the state gets some profits. It certainly is not so fundamentally different that we can point to it as an example of anything typifying a concrete example of reform. You have to dig a whole lot deeper than that. The only logical conclusion that we can draw from Ellen’s position in the social/political framework then is…revolution or succession. Certainly at the very least financial segregation which would of course demand bi-lateral trade treaties not only with the U.S. but all the other countries affecting in action what was not legally declared by law….a new independent government.

        I can see both sides of this debate. Not only do I see it, I have been there and back for several years now. I have actually matured so much in my monetary comprehension that I can fluently describe every step the Fed took (well what I can see in their financial statements) to bail us out of this mess and frankly they did a bang up job! The financials tell such a story that it blows my mind. One of the stories that hasn’t been told is not only did the banks get bailed out….they got paid to get bailed out and I am not talking about TARP money or loans. The banks are straight up getting paid by the Fed. At the same time the Fed is burying all those junk mortgages inside of Agency Debt. These agencies have the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government and no doubt will pay the interest on all that new agency paper that is now backed by junk mortgages. BRILLIANT!!!!!! Devious, but brilliant.

        Anyway I could go on and on and on. Perhaps it is time for me to start talking? I don’t know. Let me know if you would like me to make more comments. However I would rather write original articles rather than write replies. Let me know if you want a commentator or something. I am sure I could write plenty.

        • Gregory, Wow!!! This reflects my thinking almost exactly! This is terrific stuff, especially about the sovereign money issue. I’ve written about this aspect of money reform myself. Especially the concept that in a good representative government sovereignty is supposed to reside with the people, and be delegated upwards to consensual and elected governments at all levels. This means that NO state, nation or federation should have any powers that are not specifically delegated and enumerated by the people. This concept includes one of the ultimate sovereignties: the right of the people to create money, and that right arises from the right of free people to enter into contracts. All money really is in the end is a contractual obligation, or a bookkeeping credit or debit entry against either assets or a credit line. It should work very much like a Visa debit/credit card. Interest on debts should be received (at least partially) by the government, and would replace that amount of taxes. State chartered banks could split the revenues from interest, and state run banks could return all the revenues to the people.

          I always knew the 100% solution was flawed somehow, but you have helped me narrow down the reasons. I am in your debt.

          Yes, it is definitely time for you to “start talking”. I think Ellen Brown would also appreciate your thoughts on this.

          The main problem I see with state issued “sovereign money” is that there would be a constitutional issue involved, as Zarlenga correctly, I think, notes. Ellen cites case law suggesting that there are ways around this, and I also think that there are. It is inherent in the sovereign right of free persons to enter into contracts. That means credit and debit obligations.

          Yes, you may comment freely here, as often and as much as you wish, and although I can’t speak for Ellen, I’m pretty sure your comments would be welcomed there as well. With your permission I would use some of them or refer the links to wherever you post them. I will also add you to my money reform email distribution list.

          • Jere,

            Please feel free to send links out to anyone you wish. If you want to quote me….that would be sweet!!! I don’t think I have been quoted before. It would be an honor. I am pleased you have found my comments substantial enough.

            You know I have sort of read between the lines in your positions. You seem to be creeping to a LETS model by which credit is brought into existence in the contract between people. I understand this notion of sovereignty vested in the inalienable being of the soul. But upon just basic examination of the contract of one soul to another we must be governed in our nature if even by our own conscience. So this begs the question by what standard weight and measure shall we pick for conscience? Yours? Mine? Or do you suggest that the deed of clapping hand in a barging is sacrosanct and indeed blessed by the all-knowing prime mover? And if such causes arise, an angel of unsurpassed virtuousness will divine for us resolution to our contentions. If that were the case God would not have charged Moses to set Judges above the people. (I hope I got that right!)

            So lets take a look at our Soul Sovereign Credit idea. And I don’t say this to be facetious. Literally you are suggesting like all LETS people do, is that credit is a function of personal integrity. If that is not the soul, what is? So we have set the stage and put every person’s value system in command of the means of exchange. Everyone in essence is the creator of his or her own currency. Hmmm lets think about that ramifications of this perception model.

            First, this type of model explicitly destroys people who ruin their credit by souring a contract. But how would we know this? There would have to be a monster database tracking all contracts of course for each and every other person to review before they would accept credit from said person. “Bust a deal….face the wheel” as they said in Mad Max Beyond Thunder Dome. Pretty draconian don’t you think? Lacks mercy and forgiveness right on the face of it. More, what if the person is black, a Jew, an Arab, or a woman or gay or XYZ? Shall we force certain credit quotas? But for simplicity lets just assume that all are welcome to feast and only screwups are punished. And more screwups correlates to more tracking of everybody else. But that is just one sidebar cancer of this idea.

            Next, the obvious result is that honest but dumb screwup people would be destroyed while gangs of crony thugs would run rings of credit protection rackets. It is very simple. I accept your credit….you accept my credit…..we spend spend spend spend spend. When people come a calling to take their claim on our products or services….”sorry we had a fire”. You will just have to hang on to that credit. Lets call this process the Individual Soul Sovereign Credit System. This is at the heart of most Barter Exchange Models. You pull from the system creating a credit then you pay the system when the credit comes back to you in demand of product or service.

            Which bring us to the next point….now that our victim has been burned he will want to spend that credit somewhere else which now DEMANDS that Individual Soul Sovereign Credit be transformed into a Universal Soul Sovereign Credit and be accepted everywhere. Hmmm uh oh are we breaking down yet? For a universal credit unit to function you need universal rules. Sounds like government to me.

            But for the moment Individual Soul Sovereign Credit Principle and that we are all Godly men and Women and can be trusted. Does this mean we will all have credit at our disposal?

            Lets examine the credit issuing potential of Wal-Mart versus you. Lets say Wal-Mart wants to hire me to paint their store and you want to hire me to paint your house. Under an Individual Soul Sovereign Credit system Wal-Mart wins hands down. Look at what I can buy with their credit money. What would you have to offer me in comparison? Sound real grim for you and all the other small business people. Anyone really. People NEED Wal-Mart’s Credit because Wal-Mart offers more life stuff than you ever could.

            But lets change gears and move to a Universal Soul Sovereign Credit system where Wal-Mart credit and your credit are inter-exchangeable and both are accepted everywhere…. Wal-Mart still wins because they can use their size to issue more credit at cheaper cost than you EVER could and you would be forced to accept it. In this model size absolutely equals velocity. Wal-Mart would be the defacto issuer of credit in minute one of hour one of day one before you even got out of bed. Wal-Mart would become the government by lunchtime.

            How could Wal-Mart use this power to their advantage? Can you say ASSET BUBLE the likes we have never seen? Wal-Mart creates credits to buy property from itself (a subsidiary). Back and forth and back and forth it goes, ever increasing the value of the assets that drive its credit quality in the first place. This is a Land Bank. But this time there is no collapse as with all land banks because Wal-Mart can spontaneously invent paper entities to become new buyers in the pyramid. Now protection of credit and value becomes a full on head to head race with inflation. Who suffers? Wal-Mart? Don’t bet on it. Only the poor get slammed by inflation.

            I could seriously go on and on and on nuking the LETS ideology. LETS people know nothing about which they presume to control. I believe in the better nature of our souls. I do. But that nature comes from humility, never power. If we were to assume that the power of the contract is the source of money then you have made a deal with the DEVIL

            At the end of the day there would be nothing but raging Class Warfare.

            • Gregory, Sorry to have taken this long to reply, but your post is long and complex, and I have been otherwise occupied.

              Thanks for all your comments. They are appreciated.

              However, you do seem to be reading more into my thoughts about the ideal nature of money than I have actually expressed…quite a bit, actually You went on at considerable length “Nuking the “LETS” ideology” when that really doesn’t describe my thinking. In other words, you done a marvelous job of refuting a position I don’t hold.

              I’m also not sure where you are going with this entire notion of individual soul sovereign credit. I think the sovereign individual should have the right and power to delegate sovereign money creation to higher government powers at different levels depending on the nature and place of the transactions involved. But the commentary section is hardly the place for a discussion of such scope.

              I am in agreement with both Zarlenga and Brown about the first priority of money being PUBLIC, and that money creation and distribution should be absolutely transparent, and strictly accountable to the highest ethical and moral standards, with capital punishment for graft and corruption involved.

              Distinctions that you draw above between Wal-mart money and an individual’s money would be non-existent. All money in a properly designed public money system would be equal. But again, this is not the time or place for such in-depth discussions on monetary systems.

              We actually have a forum for such monetary proposals and/or ideas at
              http://www.forum.webofdebt.com
              although it is mostly defunct at the moment because I don’t have time to properly moderate it, and neither does Ellen. Drop me a note if you’d like to register to post there.

              Later,

              • Jere,

                Do me a favor and just delete my last post. It is just a rant against LETS systems and the self-centered perspective that drive them. All I was saying is that I don’t think we can just assume that there is a God given right to the individual to create money just because that individual can enter into a contract. When money is created it affects everyone in the system.

                If you say you are not a LETS advocate I believe you. Just get rid of that last post. It is not relevant to the disscusion of the AMI Act or the State model of banking.

                • Actually Greg, I think your observations on LETS are useful So I would prefer to leave them for now. Actually some of my ideas do have things in common with LETS-type systems, just not as you picture them above.

                  I would like to return to the subject when I have more time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. Jere, I don’t consider Zarlenga to be able to hold a candle to either you or ms. Brown…he is a lightweight IMO, of course who am I but an interested bystander, new to all this. I wish more people were on both your wavelengths, and will try to cut/paste your sites whenever I can as I blog..if that’s ok with you.

  6. Dr. LaMar, Thanks for the kind words. Anything I write on money reform is open for free distribution for educational and non-profit purposes, so you may cut & paste away. It’s more than ok, it’s appreciated.

    BTW, your 1/2 scale replica of the Saratoga is a remarkable achievement in the realm of boat-building. I’m an old wind-power salt myself, and if I were younger I be lusting after such a vessel. Well done is an understatement. I would urge people to follow the link to your site for a look at something extraordinary.

    Cheers,

    • Thankyou for the kind words on my first ship effort, a bit rough, not really rigging accurate, but it works well
      enough to get me by when I am privileged enough to be invited to show it, in uniform each year Commemorating the Battle of Plattsburgh of September 11, 1814. (the GOOD 9/11). There’s a week of fun things to do during festivities, last year drawing reenactors from all over, even the west coast.
      We usually have the largest contingent of “batteau” in the country do mock battle at 1 pm Sat/Sun after my stint 12-1 pm at the very site of the battle at the mouth of the Saranac river. It remains the only battle in American history to generate (4) Congressional Gold Medals !

  7. as just an update, from the smattering I’ve read on LETS systems, it would seem to work locally only if bound by some legal contract or such that people would honor their debts after buying, and would have to offer collateral to that effect? It would be too difficult to manage state/nation-wide, right? there would not be “Fiat” monetary problems as with the Fed, and purchasing power would be according to goods presented, not taken out as a debt from “thin air”. My take on the Fed recently is that it finally occurred to me that the total national debt isn’t the real game per-se, the interest on the debt IS the real problem, as that IS in the national budget every year, they knowing full well that the principal will never be paid back, it just gives them total control over us.

    • Yes, Dr. LaMar, I am in essential agreement with you here. I see the local money/credit exchange systems working much like a credit/debit card system, only on a non-profit basis. There would have to be a central organization that would receive savings, either in some kind of money, work hours, or other agreed upon standard of value. They would also establish “credit lines” based on real assets or monthly incomes. All credits and debits would be settled monthly as cash. Interest would only be charged on outstanding balances, as credit cards do now. This takes care of most of the non-payment or default problems Greg described above.

      There would have to be limits on this kind of system, so that the Wal-Mart situation Greg described could not occur. Separating out personal from commercial accounts might be one answer. There are others.

      This basically gives you a cash (asset) – debit (liability) type electronic system at the community level, but it could be used on higher levels as well, with adjustments.

      Paul Grignon, creator of Money as Debt I and II has the best system I’ve yet seen. I’ll see if I can find the link and post it.

  8. Here’s the Youtube link for “Money as Debt II, part 1 of 8.

    Be sure to take the time to watch all 8 parts. Especially watch the last part, where solutions are examined, including LETS type systems. His comments on local money are in line with my thinking on those matters.

    It would be difficult for me to find high enough praise for this video series. It is that good. Those who are really struggling to make sense out of our failing monetary system should review difficult parts until they are clearly understood. The information is that essential.

    When it comes to the essentials of democratic government it must be understood that there are certain minimums that are required to maintain self-government. A fair, just and sustainable money system is one of those essentials. Democracy simply cannot be maintained without a sound money system, and we do not have that now. Money reform is needed now. It can’t wait. The hammer is falling.

    Those who have not already seen “The Money Masters” by Bill Still, and/or “Web of Debt” I, should find the time to view these wonderful educational tools that fully explain our money dilemma. If these were required viewing untold impending grief could be averted.

    • Hi Jere, I have not watched the “8” yet, but just the beginning of the first one, which says most of it for me…No bank, commercial or not, nor trust co., etc. should be able to “generate” money lest we repeat the 19th century with failures, runs, etc. IMO, the government alone should print fiat money and regulate it with absolute strict limits and conditions for same, esp. as to distribution rules, deficit spending, and even for emergencies so that inflation is controlled to a rational rate to account for growth of the economy, etc. All banks would borrow from the government central bank with principal and interest being returned to the people as expenditures for the usual government programs, which we could fight over as we always do to recirculate the money and keep the wealth of the nation rising as taxes replaced all but a small part of the money supply each fiscal cycle…with NO Fed as it is now of course, NO monetizing of debt ! BTW, I am starting to study Ezra Pound and E. Mulins on the Fed, with new names to look up as a result of course.

  9. Here is my idea:
    1) We essentially need an orderly bankruptcy and liquidation of the United States’ financial system.
    2) I suggest we create a government owned bank and transfer all deposits of the private commercial banking system to the new government owned bank. This “transfer” is really just new money creation. This new money will be digital cash (electronic version of physical paper cash). Very much like reserves at the FED.
    3) Note that the plan will not create net new money since we will be destroying all deposits of the commercial banking system in the process.
    4) All assets of the commercial banking system will be transferred to the government and auctioned off in an orderly manner over the next 10 years. The proceeds from the sale would go the United States treasury and not the commercial banks. The assumption here is that commercial banks deserve nothing since the entire industry would have been most likely destroyed any way. Even good banks would have been destroyed due to bank runs and defaults if the government had allowed the dominoes to fall. Of course bank shareholders, bank bond holders and counter parties of bank derivatives would not receive anything.
    5) After the transfer FDIC protection will be removed for any private bank which wishes to remain in business or any new private depository institution or bank. From that point on the government should make it absolutely clear that there will be no more bailouts and no more conversions. This will discourage (but not completely eliminate) fractional reserve deposit banking and private money creation that results from pyramiding of government created money. This will also limit debasement of the currency that results from fractional reserve deposit banking. In fact, we can have “free banking” from that point on and not even have reserve requirements or capital requirements. All depositors who use private banks will be fully at-risk. The industry will have to set the interest rate high enough to attract depositors.
    6) The new government bank will act as an electronic “piggy bank” only. All deposits will be 100% reserve and it will not make any loans. Loan making will be left to the private banking system (with no deposit insurance or a possibility of a future bailout). The new government owned bank exists only as a “safe” money storage and a payment clearing system so the public does not have to carry around physical paper cash to make purchases and pay bills.
    7) Of course this plan is not without pain or cost. Cost of funds for banks and borrowers will probably rise as bank deposits are a source of very low cost money for the banks. Nothing is free. We are just exchanging higher cost of funds for removal of systemic failure risk. Economically we are recognizing that when money is loaned there is always credit risk.
    8) We are just separating the payment and clearing transaction system which is absolutely necessary for day-to-day commerce (no credit risk) from the loan banking and investment system (has credit risk).

    Mansoor H. Khan
    http://aquinums-razor.blogspot.com/

    • Thanks for your ideas Mansoor. However, it is apparent that you have not read much on this site, or on other leading money reform sites. Many of your key ideas are already incorporated in those presented here, such as transferring money creation from the private to the public sector.

      However, there actually are far more productive, less painful solutions available, in book, article, video, film, and even drafted legislation in place on these 2009 economic crises.

      Here’s a great starting point:

      This short 7 minute video may be the best most valuable basic explanation of money, and what is it in form and function, that I’ve yet seen:

      http://www.digitalcoin.info/The_Essence_of_Money.html

      Check it out, and follow the other links here an on the sites referred to here for comprehensive presentations on practical and workable money reforms.

      Thanks for your comments,

  10. All centrally controlled fiat currency systems of the past have “failed” on the basis of inflation and/or the weight of accumulating debt..

    All decentralized asset based systems of the past have also “failed”, not for above reasons, but for reasons of poor liquidity on the further basis of poor underlying logistics and distribution qualities. This includes gold.

    Combining debt free store of value qulities with liquidity is the answer. It’s been an integrating process over the last 100 years. Our answer already exists. There is no crisis. There is only a market challenge.

    • @ therooster,

      And the point is???

      As you have demonstrated on the Web of Debt blog, you seem unable to express a cogent idea. Not one of the above paragraphs makes any sense whatsoever. All are based on “fuzzy” words that sound technical, but are nothing but economic doublespeak. For example:

      What does centralized or decentralized mean, and how does the demarcation between them affect anything said in this post?

      You fail to recognize basic definitions, such as the fact that an “asset based” money system can be, and usually is, a “fiat system”. You point out that both types of systems have failed, but cloud the reasons in undecipherable gobledegook that would make Alan Greenspan proud. “Poor liquidity”, “logistics” and “distribution”? Really?

      And your final profound answer is “combining debt free store of value qulities with liquidity”? LOL I’ll see your Alan Greenspan and raise you a Ben Bernake and a Hank Paulson!

      Thanks for the belly laugh. Nero fiddles wile Rome is burning.

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