Majority think they know what money is, but after reading this, they understand they were wrong. Essential reading (including the links). Via Golem XIV.
There is a particular scene in the film “It’s a wonderful life” in which the hero of the story is trying to prevent a run on the Bailey Savings and Loan. In an effort to calm the anxious savers wanting to withdraw their money George Bailey cries out “you’ve got it all wrong, the money’s not here, well your money’s in Joe’s house, that’s right next to yours, and the Kennedy house and Mrs Maitland’s house and a hundred others”.
As films go it is a genuine classic. But unfortunately it has perhaps unwittingly perpetuated a whopping misrepresentation of how banks actually work; a little white lie that the IMF have recently just driven a sledgehammer right through.
Their working paper, titled “The Chicago Plan revisited”, seems to have slipped under the mainstream media attention (and most of ours!) during the summer lull. That is until Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Telegraph picked it up a few weeks ago. At the core of the IMF paper is a deep seated analysis of how banks actually function in the economy and their role in the money supply. It is nothing short of revolutionary in that the paper gives full acknowledgement of, and support for, an intellectual movement that has doggedly criticised the very nature of money. Criticism that has so far been completely ignored and dismissed by mainstream economics.
Guest post by Gold Silver Worlds.
My advice to everyone is simple and clear: “Get out of the current financial system, avoid paper money and the banking system in general and move into physical precious metals.” David Stockman has put it this way: “ABCD – Anything Bernanke Cannot Destroy!”
Confiscation is already here. I am not talking about outright confiscation of assets, but the confiscation of the buying power by inflating the money supply. If you keep your money in a bank account or “invest” it in bonds, you are actually losing money in real terms (i.e. after inflation). The decrease of your wealth basically results in an increase of the wealth of governments and banks, hence fulfilling the definition of confiscation.
John Maynard Keynes, British economist who lived from 1883 till 1946, once said:
“By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”
If you believe that the only confiscation will be through inflation and that the current system will still exist for the next 10 or even 20 years, then you can easily invest in assets that use paper solutions with claim status such as funds, ETFs, certificates, claim accounts etc. However you should consider that these solutions all depend on a functioning financial system. Furthermore, most of those instruments contain a “cash settlement clause”, which gives the issuer the right to suspend all redemptions and services in the case of “unusual market conditions” and the like.
Must read interview with Michael Hudson, via Renegade Economist.
KF: We welcome to the show Professor Michael Hudson, Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the leading Post-Keynesian university in America. It’s been fantastic to see, Michael, that the public profile of UMKC has really taken off with Randall Wray, yourself and Stephanie Kelton being quoted quite widely these days. Can you explain what Post-Keynesianism is?
MH: The fact that we all have a very similar approach is what has enabled us to challenge the neoliberal Chicago School. Our approach is heterodox – we see that money is created, basically, on computer keyboards. When a bank lends money, they create a deposit by writing a loan. You sign an IOU, the bank has a promissory note from you to pay them interest and they open a deposit in your name. The Federal Reserve does the same thing, as does any central bank, except for Europe’s. On their keyboards, they can simply do what a commercial bank does, namely, create money by creating a bank deposit for the banks to draw on. That is basically how the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the national banks of China, Russia and other civilized countries create a finance of government deficit. That is why government debt in almost every country has gone up and up and up every year for the last few centuries. And as the government spends money into the economy, this is the money and the spending and the income that enables economies to grow.