Money from nothing
The powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences.
Today global finance drives the world economy.
An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.
Marinus van Reymerswaele - Moneychangers
The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing; and the process is, perhaps, the most, astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented.
...central banks create money by buying securities, such as government bonds, from banks, with electronic cash that did not exist before. The new money swells the size of bank reserves in the economy by the quantity of assets purchased.
The flip-side to this creation of money is that with every new loan comes a new debt. This is the source of our mountain of personal debt: not borrowing from someone else's life savings, but money that was created out of nothing by banks. ... By creating money in this way, banks have increased the amount of money in the economy by an average of 11.5% a year over the last 40 years. This has pushed up the prices of houses and priced out an entire generation.
When money starts as debt, paying the interest in addition to the principal requires more money to be earned as income than has been created. That makes it necessary for the supply of money and the accompanying indebtedness in society to keep growing which has damaging systemic effects for both the environment and society. For example, the economic growth that supports an increasing money supply requires more of the Earth's resources to be turned into commodities. ... Growing indebtedness works in favor of those who lend money into existence and against those who borrow and pay interest.
But with respect to future debts; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age...? ... This would put the lenders, and the borrowers also, on their guard. By reducing too the faculty of borrowing within its natural limits, it would bridle the spirit of war, to which too free a course has been procured by the inattention of money lenders to this law of nature, that succeeding generations are not responsible for the preceding.
Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
We are at war and have already taken the first steps in its financing. If all the many succeeding steps that we shall have to take in the field of finance and elsewhere are as successful as this first step in our financiering, we shall find ourselves in fortunate circumstances. Good financiering cannot win a war, but modern wars cannot be won without good finance.
The war of 1917-18 was by far the most expensive this country had ever known. Yet the cost of that war, which seemed so tremendous at the time, appears small in comparison with the cost of the present struggle. ... Both war periods are characterized by striking changes in the way banking is carried un. Some of these changes could hardly have come about under normal peacetime conditions... Because of the ability of the banking system to create the credit it provides, banks occupy a residual position with respect to government borrowing. What cannot be obtained from other sources, such as taxation and borrowing from the public, must presumably be furnished by the banks. ... The First World War marked the beginning of a period of exceptional growth and prosperity for commercial banks. ... The basic principles of Treasury policy in the present war may be summarized as follows: ... Whatever funds are needed must be provided, for finance is the servant, not the master, of wartime economic policy, and peacetime conceptions of what is sound financial policy cannot be allowed to interfere with the prosecution of the war.
The strength of the US economy after second world war enabled the US dollar, backed by gold, to become the world's reserve currency. When the US abandoned the gold standard in 1971, the dollar remained supreme, and its position was further boosted in 1974 when the US came to an agreement with Saudi Arabia that the oil trade would be denominated in dollars. ... With everyone clamouring for dollars, all the US had to do was print fiat dollars and other countries would accept them in payment for their exports.