Patrick Barron ~ During the years of the Roman Republic, Cato the Elder ended every speech with the phrase “Delanda est Carthago” (Carthage must be destroyed). Rome had fought two wars with Carthage, yet the threat to the Republic remained. Cato saw Carthage as an existential threat and concluded that Rome would not be secure as long as Carthage existed. So fervently did he hold this view that he ended every speech, even about completely different subjects, with the famous phrase. I believe that we Austrians need to adopt a similar phrase to remind the American people that the US faces an existential threat from the machinations of the Federal Reserve Bank. “Delanda est in Susidium Foederatum Bank”…The Federal Reserve Bank must be destroyed. Like Carthage, the Federal Reserve Bank cannot be controlled or restrained. Either it or our republic will survive, but not both. For the sake of our nation, the Fed must be destroyed.
Founding the Fed Instead of Ending Fractional Reserve Banking
The Fed was founded under false economic premises–to prevent bank runs by providing temporary liquidity to banks which found themselves unable to redeem their certificates and demand deposits for cash and/or specie. The real cause of illiquid banks–fractional reserve banking–was never seriously addressed. It was assumed that banks had the legal right to invest their customers’ demand funds in loans and that runs were caused by over indulging in this practice. But as Murray N. Rothbard explain in What Has Government Done to Our Money?, loaning demand funds instantly places the bank in an insolvent position, for it cannot redeem all of its demand accounts for cash or specie. Through the process of lending demand funds, the banks have created fiduciary media out of thin air, reducing their reserve ratio below one hundred percent. If the banks do this on a very modest basis, the public may not be aware of the fraud. However, once the rumor starts that the bank is illiquid, there is a literal “run” to the bank to withdraw demand funds. In such a case, even a bank that only modestly lent its demand funds might find itself unable to honor all withdrawal claims and would be forced to close its doors. Continue reading
“Banking is fraudulent whenever bankers sell uncovered or only partially covered money substitutes that they present as fully covered titles for money.” ~ J. G. Hülsmann
The production of money in a free society is a matter of free association. Everybody from the miners to the owners of the mines, to the minters, and up to the customers who buy the minted coins — all benefit from the production of money. None of them violates the property rights of anybody else, because everybody is free to enter the mining and minting business, and nobody is obliged to buy the product.
Things are completely different once we turn to money production in interventionist regimes, which have prevailed in the West for the better part of the past 150 years. Here we need to mention in particular two institutional forms of monetary interventionism: (fraudulent) fractional reserve banking and fiat money. The common characteristic of both these institutions is that they violate the principle of free association. They enable the producers of paper money and of money titles to expand their production through the violation of other people’s property rights.
Banking is fraudulent whenever bankers sell uncovered or only partially covered money substitutes that they present as fully covered titles for money. These bankers sell more money substitutes than they could have sold if they had taken care to keep a 100-percent reserve for each substitute they issued.
The producer of fiat money (in our days, typically, paper money) sells a product that cannot withstand the competition of free-market moneys such as gold and silver coins, and which the market participants only use because the use of all other moneys is severely restricted or even outlawed. The most eloquent illustration of this fact is that paper money in all countries has been protected through legal-tender laws. Paper money is inherently fiat money; it cannot thrive but when it is imposed by the state. Continue reading
Challenging a Sacred Cow of Banking Dogma
Excessive leverage by the banks was one of the main causes of the Great Depression and of the 2008 financial crisis.
As such, lower levels of “fractional reserve banking” – i.e. how many dollars a bank lends out compared to the amount of deposits it has on hand – the more stable the economy will be.
But economist Steve Keen notes (citing Table 10 in Yueh-Yun C. OBrien, 2007. “Reserve Requirement Systems in OECD Countries”, Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Divisions of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs, Federal Reserve Board):
The US Federal Reserve sets a Required Reserve Ratio of 10%, but applies this only to deposits by individuals; banks have no reserve requirement at all for deposits by companies.
So huge swaths of loans are not subject to any reserve requirements.
Indeed, Ben Bernanke proposed the elimination of all reserve requirements for banks:
The Federal Reserve believes it is possible that, ultimately, its operating framework will allow the elimination of minimum reserve requirements, which impose costs and distortions on the banking system.
Ian R. Crane discusses fractional reserve banking and fraudulent mortgages with Roger Hayes from the British Constitution Group.
Mainstream media is having a field day with the fiscal cliff threat, with its usual flourish of fear mongering on tax matters and all things budget related.
However, the voices of reason are resonating among some who deny any real financial dangers exist since the government is hiding trillions of dollars from us in the usual esoteric way they do business.
Enter Walter Burien and the Comprehensive Annual Financial (CAFR), a second set of books hidden from the public that fully discloses the massive amounts of liquidity governments at federal, state and local levels have squirreled away and carefully not mentioned to us.
These off-budget funds are composed of profits our government has made through investing our tax dollars in large corporations. The federal government owns 70 percent, in some cases, of the global corporations who suck huge profits out of the world economy and engage other nations in conflict for nefarious reasons, such as control of key resources.
Some ten years have passed since Walter Burien, an accountant in New Jersey, stumbled upon the CAFR while looking over the Budget and Finance reports of that state.
What if there was a financial system that would eliminate the need for the federal government to go into debt, that would eliminate the need for the Federal Reserve, that would end the practice of fractional reserve banking and that would dethrone the big banks? Would you be in favor of such a system? A surprising new IMF research paper entitled “The Chicago Plan Revisited” by Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof is making waves in economic circles all over the globe. The paper suggests that the world would be much better off if we adopted a system where the banks did not create our money. So instead of a system where more money is only created when more debt is created, we would have a system of debt-free money that is created directly by national governments. There have been others that have suggested such a system before, but to have an IMF research paper actually recommend that such a system be adopted is a very big deal. At the moment, the world is experiencing the biggest debt crisis in human history, and this proposal is being described as a “radical solution” that could potentially remedy some of our largest financial problems. Unfortunately, apologists for the current system are already viciously attacking this new IMF paper, and of course the big banks would throw a major fit if such a system was ever to be seriously contemplated. That is why it is imperative that we educate people about how money really works. Our current system is in the process of collapsing and we desperately need to transition to a new one.
One of the fundamental problems with our current financial system is that it is based on debt. Just take a look at the United States. The way our system works today, the vast majority of all money is “created” either when we borrow money or the government borrows money. Therefore, the creation of more money creates more debt. Under such a system, it should not be surprising that the total amount of debt in the United States is more than 30 times largerthan it was just 40 years ago.