We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, December 3, 2010

From the "Wealth of Nations" to the "Debt of Nations"

from Washington's Blog

Let me direct your attention to the following author's statements toward the end of the article:
As I wrote in October, in a post entitled "The Founding Fathers' Vision of Prosperity Has Been Destroyed":
The ability for America and the 50 states to create its own credit has largely been lost to private bankers. The lion's share of new credit creation is done by private banks, so - instead of being able to itself create money without owing interest - the government owes unfathomable trillions in interest to private banks.
America may have won the Revolutionary War, but it has since lost one of the main things it fought for: the freedom to create its own credit instead of having to beg for credit from private banks at a usurious cost.
The so-called "founding fathers" is a term frequently used to refer to those people who established the main institutions of the US shortly after the War of Independence. The term has taken on an almost religious-like meaning. These historical figures are now regarded as almost demigods whose virtue is beyond criticism. 

What this otherwise brilliant blogger misses is the reality that many of them were the first in the US to privatize banking in the form of the Bank of North America. According to The Lost Science of Money they used as their model the Bank of England. This institutional arrangement has been referred to as a "central bank".  They create the nation's money supply by lending money to their respective governments.

Private individuals, mostly "founding fathers" contributed some of the start-up money, but this fell short a bit and government money ended up contributing about 63%. Essentially it was managed by the private owners, and of course, for their benefit. Except for brief periods in US history, the money supply has been under the control of private banks, and in more recent history in a similar central bank arrangement by the Federal Reserve with some superficial participation by the federal government to provide a cover of legitimacy. Nowadays The Fed creates money "out of thin air" with the government's sanction (fiat money).

From the article one can see how there are layers upon layers of banks. 
Of course, there is no bright line between private and central banks, since big banks own the Fed, and the world's central banks - in turn - own the BIS.
At the bottom of this banking empire are the individual banks like Citibank that are owned by private individuals and institutions. Some of the individuals are major investors and members of the ruling class.