Get ready for a shock if you don’t already know….
Every day countless millions of transactions are facilitated with money. Why do we need money? How does it get into “circulation?” Who puts it there? Who creates money? And on what basis? Is it the government? If not, why not? Who is it? And how do they know how much to “print?” What if they add too much or too little to the economy?
Three chapters of my book How to Profit from the Coming Great Depression are devoted to these questions. Most people are shocked when they first learn about our “fractional reserve” money system, which has sewn within it the seeds of its own destruction.
First of all, we need money because the barter system is too unwieldy. If you are a building contractor and I am a potato farmer, and I want you to build me a house, how am I going to pay you? How many potatoes can you and your family eat before they go rotten?
Clearly we need something that represents both houses and potatoes. But note that that does not make money a resource in itself. It is merely a vehicle for transferring the value of resources from one person to another. There are natural resources, both under the ground and above it, and there are human resources – labor and intellect. Put these together and man can produce. But although money may be used to value and transfer these resources, money is not a resource itself. Those who control money really want the resources that money represents.
Centuries ago things like gold and silver were used as money, before we had notes and coins like today. Remember the old western movies where highwaymen would hold up the stage coach and people would have to hand over all their valuables? Why, on earth, would people carry their gold and silver with them? Because they had nowhere else to put it.
This created an opening for the goldsmiths, who were the forerunners to our modern day bankers. They built large, secure vaults and allowed people to deposit their precious metals in these safes. In return they gave people “receipts” confirming the amount of gold held on their behalf. In time people began trading with the receipts rather than the gold. Today these receipts are called banknotes.
But that’s not all the goldsmiths did. They even paid interest to those who had deposited gold in their vaults (e.g. 3%), but then lent the gold out to others (in the form of more receipts) at say 6%. That’s how they covered their costs.
In time the goldsmiths noticed that nobody ever came back to collect their gold, and not all being honest, began to lend out more in new “receipts” than was represented by the gold in their vaults. In time there was ten times as much “money” in circulation as there was gold in the vaults.
That’s exactly how our money system operates today. For every dollar you deposit in a bank, the bank lends out about ten dollars. Money is created by banks – out of thin air! All money comes into existence by way of a bank loan. Less than 5% of it is ever converted to notes and coins. Most of it is never anything but a balance on a computer at the bank.
A hundred questions come to your mind. Right? They are all answered in my book.
Why do I say the system has sewn within it the seeds of its own destruction? It has a use-by date. That is why we have an economic depression at least once each century. It is not a question of if the system implodes. Only when it implodes.
Let’s say you borrow £100,000 from the bank (which takes security over your real estate worth £150,000). But you have to pay back £110,000 with interest added.
Where does that other £10,000 come from? You will have to get it from someone else. Where will they get it? What’s the only way money comes into existence? They will have to borrow it from a bank.
Can you see how in our debt money system it is not possible for everyone to pay their debts? Some have to go bankrupt. And as money is sucked out of the system in interest by the banks, money supply is reduced. The only way it can be replaced is with more borrowed money. So debt must rise exponentially. Can you see now why we have a debt bubble and why there is no solution to it other than a massive purging, with all of the horrific deflationary economic consequences, not to mention social dislocation that will come with it?