April 15 Meeting – FOLLOW THE MONEY

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Our meeting topic and objective was to explore our Monetary Policy and our current Economic Crisis. We asked the question why are we bailing out banks in the United States and Europe with taxpayer money–to the tune of Billions and BILLIONS of dollars? What part do banks play in our economic woes and possibly in our foreign policy?

We started to look at Monetary Policy by glancing to the past. How did the United States start off at it’s founding. As we learned it was monetary policies that were actually the cause of the American Revolution and our quest for freedom.

"The refusal of King George III to allow the colonies to operate an honest money system, which freed the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators was probably the prime cause of the revolution." Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father.

We wanted to know, “The Story of Money”…

To view the entire history of our currency the best source is… The Secret of Oz…an award winning documentary.

One of the most interesting historical facts is the story of Marine Major General Smedley Butler, at the time of his death in 1940, the highest ranked, most decorated officer in the US. He was recruited to lead an overthrow of the US Government by some Wall Street tycoons. He pretended to go along with the scheme but then exposed the plot to Congress. Congress refused to act and when President Roosevelt learned of the planned coup he demanded the arrest of the plotters, but they retaliated with the threat to deliberately collapse the then fragile economy and blame Roosevelt for it. No action was taken.

After retirement Major General Butler wrote, "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service as a member of our country’s most agile military force–the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent more of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big business, for Wall Street and for the bankers…I was rewarded with honors, medals and promotion. Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three city districts. I operated on three continents." General Smedley Butler, former US Marine Corps Commandant, 1935

When it became obvious that the allies were going to win WWII, the Allied powers created the Bretton Woods Agreement and the Dollar became the global reserve and trade currency with other currencies tied to it. There were two conditions, one, there would not be over-printing and two, it would always be convertible to gold at $35/oz.

President Nixon suspended the gold convertibility in 1971 and started the environmental movement. The real purpose of the "land grab" was to pledge pristine lands and their vast mineral resources as collateral on the national debt. Eventually it encompassed 25% of the nation.

With land running out, a deal was struck with Oil producing nations to exchange military protection, for the sale of their oil in US Dollars and an agreement to invest those Dollars in Treasury Bonds redeemable by future generations of US taxpayers. The concept was labeled the "petrodollar".

In 2000-02, Iraq requested and was granted, the right to sell their oil for Euros at the UN in the "Oil for Food" program. One year later the US re-invaded Iraq and placed Iraq’s oil back on the world market only for US Dollars.

In Libya, Gaddafi instituted a state-owned central bank, the Gold Dinar currency and announced that Libya’s oil was only for sale with the Dinar. Shortly thereafter, the US invaded Libya imposed a private central bank and returned oil output to dollars only. The gold that was to have been made into Gold Dinars is, as of last report, unaccounted for.

According to General Wesley Clark, the master plan for the "dollarification" of the world’s oil nations included seven targets, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. Venezuela, which started selling their oil to China for the Yuan has been added.

The ties to Private Central Banks issuing the public currency as a loan with interest seemed to be at the core so we turned our attention to understanding how that works.

We found a 6th grader in Canada who also wondered and started looking with her Dad, and put the pieces together. She spoke to a Rotary group and brought the house down and made a video. It all seems so simple…

Here’s another look at how it works…

Have we followed the rules…or are we completely out of control?

What happened to set off the current crisis? And what are all those terms like sub-prime mortgages, CDO’s and credit default swaps (Derivatives). Keep in mind the Derivative market is totally UN-regulated…how big is that derivative marketplace–currently $1.2 Quadrillion (Quadrillion is 1000 Trillion)…we are now definitely getting very nervous just trying to fathom the financial hole we’re in and a way out of it…

Well wait…what have we been doing…raising the debt limit…the numbers can really be difficult to follow. Can we bring that down to a level we can understand…Yes we can…

We wanted to look at one more aspect of the current banking dilemma… Cyprus and how depositor’s money was taken and answer the question, could it happen here… we investigated and found a template for "Financial Cleansing" and a new term, "Bail-In"…

Now that we had a grasp of the problems…was there any light at the end of the tunnel? Or was there just gloom and doom…was there any viable banking alternatives available to us…the answer YES!

First we took note of Iceland and what worked for them…

Then we took a look close to home at the state of North Dakota with low unemployment and a growing economy and asked what is making a difference there…

So as an organization we support auditing the Federal Reserve and investigating alternatives in monetary policy. Looking and remaining open to new possibilities, like the Public Banking Institute and concepts like Banking in the Public Interest, are places to start to build new a new consensus and future.

We want to know what opportunities exist for those of us in Highland County and for the State of Ohio. We will continue to search for the truth and alternatives that will support our economic well being in the coming days ahead.

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