Green Island Backgrounders

{{NOTE: Banketeering is somewhat replaced by Dave's later March 2009 essay Global Financial Meltdown: Forces beyond our control, or the greatest scam ever? - read em both if you have time, but go straight to Global Financial Meltdown if you're only looking for one today ... }}


Dave Patterson
Sept 2008

The Canadian banks, in collusion with the most senior levels of your government, have engineered one of the greatest frauds in Canadian history over the last 30 years, and stolen over two trillion dollars from Canadian taxpayers, and the tap is still running.

Click on the poster to download
a 2-page summary PDF to print and share...
banketeering poster Private banks create almost all of the Canadian money supply through made-from-thin-air 'loans' deposited in the loanee's bank account. And that's a lot of money, a lot of debt - currently close to three trillion dollars a year in Canada. And banks collect interest on money they create - and that is a hell of a lot of interest for the privilege of creating money out of thin air. To put it in perspective, the government, through the Bank of Canada, creates about $50 billion per year (banknotes and coins), about 2% of the Canadian money supply. Constitutionally (BNA Act, Bank of Canada Act) the government could and should be creating much more, if not all, of the money supply. Contrary to the mythology spread around by the banks and their servants, this would not be inflationary, but would actually be much less inflationary, and lead to a much more stable economy overall.

Letting banks create our money supply is bad for many reasons (bad for us, that is to say, obviously pretty good for them):
  • huge windfall profits to a small privileged group of private citizens (bank owners/'investors'), paid for by all other citizens both directly and through taxes to pay for interest on unnecessary government borrowing, which is very unfair to most Canadians who must actually work for their money
  • a country that does not control its own money can hardly be called sovereign - how many policies have we seen put in place the last few decades justified through 'economic imperatives'? We have gutted many programs Canadians did/do not want gutted in the name of paying interest on the government debt, a debt which would not have been incurred if we were creating our own money - bank profits trump sovereignty.
  • very important financial policies carried out without the knowledge or approval of the people, and thus highly undemocratic
  • systemic, serious inflation because we must pay interest every year on our money supply leading to reduced living standards for most, as costs always rise faster than incomes
  • ongoing bank bailouts as the banks abuse their money-creation powers, leading to bubbles and crashes from which they must be rescued with yet more taxpayer dollars, creating a very unstable economy and also making the inflation mentioned in the last point much more serious
  • the slow but inevitable turning over of all of the country's assets to those creating the money through their collection of collateral and as governments scramble to sell things, usually at well-below-market value, to get money to pay their debts and interest, as we have been seeing with the selloff of public infrastructure to private interests the last 30 years
  • and the $$2 trillion theft mentioned in the title - the infamous Canadian national debt resulted from a major financial policy change in the 1970s which allowed banks to create virtually all of our money, including for the government to borrow, through which, over the last 30 years, over two trillion dollars of Canadian taxes have been funneled to those banks and other 'investors' as 'service charges' on the debt, all of it completely unnecessary, as the government could have created enough money itself (~$100 billion) through the Bank of Canada, either at zero or nominal interest, to avoid incurring any private bank debt at all (the two trillion includes interest paid on provincial and municipal debt, which could and should also be funded by the Bank of Canada at no or nominal interest). Because of this 'terrible crushing burden' the national government, beginning with Mulroney/Wilson and then put on steroids by the tagteam of Chretien/Martin, claimed the necessity of gutting our social programs, etc, thus the current healthcare crisis, crumbling infrastructure, selloff of public assets, etc. You can believe the involved government officials incurred this debt out of stupidity, or they were well-meaning officials who simply made poor decisions, but most non-naive people would be more inclined to say that the financially smartest people in our governments and banks knew and know very well what they do, and were doing, and thus the title of this piece - the intentional changing of a central government financial policy that lead to this huge turning over of money to banks and other investors, when a much more fiscally responsible policy had been used in the past and was/is still available, and with which this debt would not have been incurred, thus the two trillion would not have been paid. Fraud - using some type of 'creative accounting' you have available to you because you have a fiduciary responsibility to someone, then betraying that trust to funnel money from its proper owners to some other entity. Criminal fraud. Massive criminal fraud. It's a hard thing to accept of our leaders, but no other explanation fits the facts once you understand the situation.
    (the notion that governments creating money is wildly irresponsible and leads to immediate crushing inflation is simply nonsense, and actually contrary to the facts, as it is private banks, whose motive is private profit rather than fiscal stability, creating money which is inflationary, and it was/is highly irresponsible of the government to give the private banks this power - irresponsible or even criminal, as I believe it to be when done for fraudulent reasons, as any honest, knowledgeable assessment indicates must have been the case here).

And that may sound pretty far out, but it is all true. If you think that stealing two trillion dollars of Canadian tax money is serious, maybe you would be interested in reading on. That's only the beginning.

If you're still being resistant, thinking whoa, dude, Canada's a great country, we have honest officials, this could never happen here - I agree, with a caveat or two. Canada once was a great country with dreams to be a really great country, and is still better than most - but they are slowly but surely taking all that greatness away, while doing their best to make you, and everyone else, think things are just fine, as they once were - if you fully understood what was happening here, I expect you and a lot of other people would be beating on some doors, and not with garlands of roses. 'They' being the bankers and a small group of wealthy elite who have the money to make things happen their way, and without much useful public discussion.

This scam is relatively new, and has been initiated by some very clever people who, like any good scam artists, want to have stolen all you have and be safe somewhere beyond your reach before you realise you've been taken, and you are not reading about it in the media because they quite understand the power of the media, and control that too. If that sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory - it is. It's also true - conspiracies are real (ask any lawyer about 'conspiracy to do this and that' in the lawbooks), theories explain things (ask Newton or Einstein or Darwin how useful theories can be), and there have always been a few men who desire great wealth and power and are willing to do what it takes to get them, including lying and stealing and worse, and Canada is not immune to their attention, and that's just true, and it would be you who would be crazy if you believed otherwise.

If you have noticed things going downhill a bit, or a lot, in various ways the last few years, but can't really understand why - reading this may enlighten you - pretty much everything is related to money in the modern world, and our problems are very directly related to money-shortage. And it's getting short because it's being leached out of 'our' public accounts into 'their' private ones. And maybe once you understand this a bit better, you might get angry enough to do something to stop this banketeering scam while we still have a country left to save. Like any cancer, the longer you ignore it, the closer to the end you are.

Economy in trouble .... has been for awhile, actually manic-depressive
We all know that the economy is presently in considerable trouble, has been bouncing in and out of trouble for the last 30 years, really, since the banks took over the money supply creation, kind of like a manic-depressive person, alternating between periods of wild highs and terrible depressions. This is not good in people, and it certainly is not good for an economy, at least for most of the people (banks tend to do fine in either state, especially with a sycophantic government ready with taxpayer money when they get too excited with their speculations and require bailouts). They talk endlessly about financial and economical things in the media, inflation, interest rates, taxes, trade, productivity, cost of living, debt, etc and etc. But they never talk about the single most important thing of all - where does the money come from that is at the center of all that stuff? How much is there anyway floating around in Canada? Who decides on how much there should be and creates it? Wouldn't that be important to know as you think about what is happening? Might this have some bearing on everything? Of course it does - we all know the classic definition of inflation - too much money chasing too few goods - so who decides how much money there will be in our economy? Just in general terms, shouldn't you, as a concerned Canadian citizen, understand the source of the money supply in Canada, at least so you can have an opinion as to whether or not it is being handled well? If you don't understand this, aren't you a bit like a child, not questioning the adults about important things? Do you regard that as a suitable attitude for a citizen in a democratic society?

If you assume the government does all this stuff, and of course they are doing the best they can, then you really do need to continue reading - most of our economic problems today result from (a) the one simple fact that the government does NOT create most of our money, nor does it really regulate it very much, and (b) most people have no idea what is really going on with the money supply.

jefferson banking quote The basics ... There are two sources of 'legal' money in Canada - from the government, through the Bank of Canada which has created over the years, and currently maintains (taking in degraded bills and destroying them, issuing new ones), about $50 billion of 'cash' circulating money (bank notes and coins), and from private banks, which create spendable credit money through loans. The most recent figures I can find total to something like 2.5 trillion dollars worth of loans outstanding in Canada (about one trillion in consumer loans, 1 trillion in government debt, and half a trillion in business loans - refs at end, and it's probable the figure is closer to three trillion today). The common belief is that banks take in deposits of 'real' money and loan them out again, but if this were actually true, that would be a very good trick, making 2.5 trillion in loans from 50 billion in 'real' money. In actuality, banks just create money essentially out of thin air. There are some theoretical limits on what banks can do in terms of this money creation power, but effectively what government oversight there is (very minimal, also mostly theoretical) kicks in after the fact, and, relying on great amounts of 'consumer and business confidentiality' and the ability to instantly transfer money all over the globe with modern communication systems, the system results in banks creating pretty much as much money as they want, and the government 'overseers' having very little idea of what they are doing until well after any problems related to over-creation of credit become obvious. The banks have some self-imposed limits, they understand that too much money is inflationary to the point of destabilizing everything and will damage them eventually, but these limits are very amorphous, and tend to the very high side - there is a big grey area between what is ok and what becomes dangerously inflationary, and as investors seeking profits, dominated by the more aggressive types thinking more of making some financial killing rather than the wellbeing of the economy, it's not a challenging question to see which side of that equation the banks tend to play on, and to understand they like to 'push the envelope', which is proven by the current economic situation and a long string of bubbles and bailouts over the last 30 years, all the direct result of too much money being created for speculative purposes.

So in the end, practically speaking, the simple fact is that about 98% of the Canadian money supply - the money that gets shuffled around the country between employers and employees, citizens and governments, between bank accounts through cheques and debit cards, and etc, is almost all created by private banks, in the form of loans to consumers, businesses, and governments .

'Yea, so what? - those are big numbers, but whatever you say, the system seems to work ok ...'

- well, if you'll recall the current sub-prime mortgage crisis, of which various Canadian banks have been involved, and a series of other financial crises dating back to and before the huge Savings and Loan 'scandal' in the US or the major Canadian bank bailouts of the early 80s and 90s, you might see the system is not actually functioning all that well at all, with the current tottering financial infrastructure and millions of small investors losing their life's savings, houses, pensions, etc every time we have one of these bubble-crashes. Such crises are obvious signs that the banks create too much money as credit, creating the bubbles we have been seeing regularly since the late 70s, which inevitably crash, requiring substantial or even huge government bailouts (your tax dollars, that is to say), and also doing often great financial damage to millions of 'little people' who engage trustingly in the 'government overseen' system and get taken to the cleaners. This sort of thing should not be happening, ever, and would not if the money system was under the public control of a responsible democratic government making policy in the interest of 'we the people' rather than in the interest of maximising bank profits (when I say 'democracy' or 'democratic' I do not mean our current system, but actual 'we the people' democracy, wherein politicians are our servants not our masters and decisions made about monetary policy, including the money supply, are made in public not in secret, by 'we the people' rather than mandarins behind closed doors - would you and your fellow citizens, in a town hall meeting, allow a bank you controlled to create a few hundred billion dollars to make an attack on a foreign currency, or to fund something like the current housing bubble crisis? I think most 'average' people would not, yet such vast speculative activities are things private banks seem to eagerly embrace, even seek out, as they search for the maximum 'return on investment'). According to the Canadian constitution, our government is responsible for the money supply, and that they have effectively turned this responsibility over to private banks so that the provision and control of the money supply benefits the few at the expense of the many, and the many don't even know what is going on, is not democracy, or a government responsible to 'we the people'.

media poster A reminder ...
Something to stick in your head from the first as you ponder the existence of such a massive conspiracy is this - wealthy people control banks. The same wealthy people control newspapers and other media, and have significant input into 'your' government - when was the last time you sat down with a cabinet minister as the wealthy do regularly? If the people running the banks and running the newspapers want you to think the financial system is just fine, or at least to keep you looking in certain ways and not in others when problems are talked about, that is what you are going to hear. That's not in any way crazy conspiracy theory, it's just fact. Would you go around slagging your boss if you wanted to keep your job? Why do you think reporters would be any different? If you were running a newspaper and had things you did not want talked about, would you hire a reporter (or managing editor) who insisted on his/her right to talk about such things, or look for somebody more agreeable to your desires? Do you think senior reporters who get lots of good travel budgets to interesting places in the country and around the world and get to meet all the interesting and important people like their jobs and want to keep them? If you had such a job, would you risk it by calling your boss a crook? Or those important people?

It ain't rocket science, none of this is. Just reality in action. And although your media might talk about some real things, there are a few very important things, such as this money supply scam, it obviously prefers to avoid getting into. Actually, what the 'great free Canadian media' in your country gets up to is as bad a story as what the banks get up to, which maybe we'll get to in another essay.

Banks creating money is bad news in pretty much every way, at least for 'we the people' ....
Let me point a few things out to you that you're not getting in the CBC 'backgrounders' or 'economics' courses or government information packages about some problems with letting private banks create most of our money, aside from the obvious one of creating too much and fueling speculative bubbles and the ensuing crashes.

The first and main thing is - banks, of course, demand interest on loans. We all know this - but think about the implications of that, if they are not simply lending out money they already have on deposit, but are actually creating 98% of the nation's 2.5 trillion dollar money supply and charging interest on that.

The thing is - in the big picture, they create that (currently in Canada) approximately 2.5+ trillion bucks, and expect interest on that every year - but they don't create any extra or special money to pay that interest so - what happens? Where is that interest money going to come from? Money gets shuffled a lot in a multi-trillion dollar economy with billions of business and personal transactions every day, and over time, and every year the money supply increases due to natural growth, loans get paid and new ones created, and inflation plays a small role as it reduces the current effective demand of old loans, but eventually there is only one possible outcome - the banks gobble up collateral. It's like a huge game of musical chairs, and as the rules of musical chairs make losers inevitable, so the current rules of money creation make it completely inevitable that every year a group of players loses out as there is no money to shuffle for the unlucky ones, and the banks get their collateral. And over time, if you think of it some more, you can see the result is equally inevitable - the slow but steady turning over of all the real property in the country to the private banks (and individuals who control those businesses, for that's all a bank is, a business) allowed to create the great bulk of the Canadian money supply. As inevitable as night following day. No other outcome is possible but the transfer of all the hard assets of the country created by hard working Canadian people being turned over to those who control the money.

They know this. They prefer you don't.

But why should a small group of highly privileged individuals be given this huge power, to create a nation's money supply out of thin air, through loans to citizens who have no other place to borrow money, demand interest on that money they have created out of thin air, and then collect the property of those citizens who cannot meet that interest demand? What sort of 'democratic' decision ever gave them this power?

Keep this very clear, this is not 'normal' banking as you have been lead to believe, where the banks happily take in the deposits of citizens, and then pay interest on your deposit, and loan out some of the accumulated money to others at interest - these people are creating money, huge amouns of money, out of thin air, and loaning THAT money at interest, and then collecting real property when some of those loanees cannot come up with the interest on their loans. And that is one hell of a racket, when you think about it - and did you ever participate in some discussion about running your country wherein you said you would be happy to have this power of creating YOUR national money be placed in the hands of private banks? This is nothing like the acceptable business of taking deposits and paying interest, and loaning some deposited money back out and collecting interest - this is creating most of the nation's money from thin air and charging interest on the made-from-thin-air money and raking in huge profits thereby, including even creating huge amounts of money to loan to 'our' government - and no sovereign people should be allowing that kind of private power in their country, at their great expense.

But what alternative?
The immediate question, of course, is what alternative is there? - and the answer is equally obvious, We the People, through OUR democracy, create our own money supply, and enter it into circulation essentially interest free. People will still be able to get loans, of course, but from a 'we the people's' bank at much, much smaller rates of interest than banks charge (and therefore available more easily as well), as this is essentially 'we' loaning money to 'us', and there is no benefit to charging ourselves any interest beyond a service charge of some sort to maintain the service. Banks can still operate in the traditional way if they want to - but no money creation, as that is something no private persons or businesses should be allowed to do in a sovereign nation, only We the People acting collectively through OUR government should be creating OUR money.

banketeering illustration The Shyster objects ... and we respond
Those who support the current system of bank-created debt money immediately start mocking this idea, claiming that governments creating money only leads to high inflation. This may indeed be a danger in certain undemocratic and/or irresponsible governments, but a responsible, democratic government under the control of intelligent, well-informed and engaged citizens is highly unlikely to do so (think of yourself at a public meeting talking about our money supply - would you, after all the arguments were on the table and the possible ramifications of all options and proposals well explained, vote for wildly inflationary and risky policies and speculation, or for caution and sanity? The people who object to government controlled money think the average citizen is an idiot who would laughingly try to give him or herself a million dollars hahaha aren't we smart!!!! - I disagree ... actually, it is the out of control bankers who do such things, creating huge amounts of speculative money with no public oversight to fuel their latest speculative frenzy, and do not want democratic oversight getting in their way, as we have been seeing for the last 30 years ...).

But luckily we don't have to rely on theory or rhetoric for examples of the relative merits of the outcomes in Canada of government-controlled vs bank-controlled money creation, as we have a very solid and real example, right from our own modern history. As a quick demonstration of the relative 'responsibilies' of banks and government in terms of controlling the money supply, and a short but necessary history lesson, consider the Canadian money supply from the mid-1930s to the present.

We'll all recall the Great Crash of 29, followed by the Great Depression of the 1930s, both caused by unregulated banks first getting very much out of control and creating far too much money, and then not creating enough to keep people working through the depression years (this works ok for the banks, as when there is not enough money circulating, they gobble up collateral like pigs at a trough - not so ok for the millions of people with no work losing property, of course). In those years Canada did have a somewhat more responsible (to the people) government, and the Bank of Canada was instituted for just this reason, to assume at least some money creation power in Canada (as mandated in the original constitution of the country, the British North America act of 1867) and put some controls on the obviously seriously irresponsible private banks. And then after this the Canadian government fought in WWII at huge cost, then oversaw the creation of a very prosperous country following the war with good jobs in a strong economy, a world-class health care system, subsidized first class education, pensions, UI, modern high quality infrastructure, etc and etc - using the Bank of Canada to create a considerable amount of our money, whilst still allowing private banks to augment the money supply, under careful regulation. And the economy during this time of great growth and prosperity was strong, we had no national debt of any significance, and no serious inflation problems.

Then came the 70s, and as part of the 'new economics' that became dominant in those years in the US and spread like a malignant cancer through the world known as the Washington Consensus and its self-serving insistence that 'the market knows best!!', and under the strong prodding of a growing-ever-stronger corporate sector to reduce corporate taxation and become more 'business friendly', the Canadian government (with no useful public discussion, it might be noted, think again of the media here as well - as you ought to be realising, this most important of all government functions is NEVER discussed publicly in the media - they don't want you thinking about this at all) got out of hands-on oversight of the Canadian money supply, including creating some itself for government use. They turned that power over to private banks once again, apparently everyone forgetting the lessons of the 1920s, and it took only a few years until the beginning of the ongoing story that persists today of bank bailouts, serious inflation, speculative bubbles, currency speculation and insecurity, the establishment of the half-trillion-dollar Canadian national debt which has sucked over two trillion dollars of interest out of our taxes since the early 80s, and etc etc etc etc.

So we have, to summarize the main point, a lengthy period of time we can look at in which the government directly oversaw and was involved with the creation of the Canadian money supply, and the economy was strong and stable and non-inflationary, and growing steadily. And then we have an almost equal in length period of time in which the government stood down from their constitutionally mandated fiduciary responsibility to We the People and the banks were allowed to create the nation's money supply with little oversight, and this second period, although showing great economic growth, has also been an ongoing series of major financial problems related directly to the creation of far too much money. (unnatural and uncontrolled rapid growth is not necessarily good - think of cancer, for instance...) Based on these two time periods, you can judge for yourself whether private banks or a responsible (to the people) government is more likely to manage the economy well in the interests of the majority of non-bank-investor citizens. Banks and their investor-controllers have the primary goal of maximising their ROIs, whilst a (truly) responsible government has the goal of a stable economy for its citizens. The two approaches to policy are going to lead to very different results - as a comparison of the two suggested times clearly reveals. (and if you're thinking 'but what about the oil shock?!? of the 70s' - yes, a significant but handleable problem by a responsible government, the problems I speak of in terms of over-creation of money are separate, and much bigger - again, when you have a banking/'investor' sector whose primary goal is maximising their profit, they will deal with something like the oil shock considerably differently than would a money-supply sector under the control of the federal government, acting primarily for the wellbeing of we the people, attempting to control the disruption and maintain stability rather than using it for the financial gain of certain privileged players, and to hell, really, with how many little people suffer during it all ....)

Systemic, and serious, inflation
Aside from the utter insanity of a sovereign people allowing a private entity in their midst to create their money supply at huge profits and with maximising those profits in mind rather than financial stability for the community, thus very seriously compromising both that sovereignty and the financial stability of the community, there are a couple of other very serious related problems resulting directly from allowing private banks to create our money that need to be understood.

Serious, systemic inflation is the first such problem. We know that inflation is not a good thing, although a slow and steady inflation over the years is somewhat inevitable as our economy grows more mature and complex, and need not be harmful to anyone if handled responsibly, but this 'natural', manageable inflation is going to be exacerbated to unnatural and harmful levels when almost all of your money supply demands interest each year - again, a completely inevitable process, but this time benefitting those in certain places and very much negatively impacting everyone else, as we have seen. Either you allow the economy to retract each year by the amount of money taken out of it to pay the interest on that bank-created debt money supply, and businesses allow their profits to fall each year as that interest circulates through their suppliers and their own expenses, or you create more and more money/debt just to pay interest, which is of course inflationary in itself, and everyone who can raises their prices year after year, in that 'inflationary spiral' we have all heard about (for some reason the business writers like to (quite falsely) blame workers demanding small increases in their salaries for such things, but as I pointed out earlier, you need to consider who the business writers are working for when reading or hearing such things).

To borrow from a saying the 'new economists' like to use, modern systemic inflation does not impact all boats equally. We all know that businesses are protected, and more, from inflation - if a business has an expense increase of 3% they raise their prices 5%, and on we go. The main problem with inflation is, of course, that the wages and salaries of 'we the people' NEVER keep up with rising prices (on average; there may be a few powerful unions who seem to do ok for a time, but the majority of workers do not belong to powerful unions, and even the unions fall behind over time), so the more and faster the inflation, the more and faster we fall behind. Many people reading this will remember the first of the two eras I spoke of earlier, the times when a responsible government managed the money supply in the interests of a stable economy, during which time inflation was low, and prices reasonable in relation to income, and one working adult with a half-decent job could support a family, save for retirement, put the kids through university, own their own home and have a comfortable life, and etc - but during the second time, the era of bank-created money and the attendant, systemic hyper-inflation, those days are long gone, and now it takes two working adults with above average jobs to have a comparable lifestyle for their family, prices are high and growing higher for everything, and as you undoubtedly well know, things are falling further and further behind for almost everyone, with significantly lower savings than even ten years ago, and significantly higher average debt for every family.

Which strikes me as a pretty significant problem in terms of 'So what - everything seems to be working ok...' - do you really believe that it's ok that it takes two adults working to support a modern family when one adult working could do so 40 years ago? That you need to consider a new mortgage to put your kid into university when 40 years ago the kid could do it on a summer job? You might consider that maybe it only seems 'ok' because, again, the people controlling the money control the media, and they don't want you comparing what is ok today with what was ok before they took over, and thinking about the roots of this situation, and what is happening in the bigger picture I am showing you here.

If the money supply is created and controlled by a government responsible first and foremost to We the People rather than banks and investors, this built-in, systemic, highly destructive and unavoidable hyper-inflation is removed, as 'we the people' charging interest on money we create for our own use, thereby fueling systemic inflation, would obviously be both a foolish and unnecessary move.

The Canadian national bogey man ....
The second major problem directly related to the government abandoning its money-creation function and turning it over to private banks has been the Canadian national debt, which I mentioned briefly earlier but deserves a closer look. A VERY closer look.

This national debt is almost half a trillion dollars, where it has been hovering for the last 20+ years, since Mulroney, eating up 30-40 billion of our taxes each year in 'interest' payments. Mulroney and the corporate media blamed the acquisition of this debt on 'tax and spend' Liberals (an enduring, and very false, meme, simply the corporate media demonizing those who dare to speak against the corporate agenda, but that too is stuff for a different essay ...) and Canadians living beyond their means, but in reality the debt was the result of the Trudeau government turning over the money-creation powers of the Bank of Canada to private banks during the 70s, shortly followed by a few years of usurious interest rates set by the same Bank of Canada during the early 80s - all completely unnecessary, all completely related to allowing private banks to control the Canadian money supply, and going crazy with their newfound powers (and all exacerbated by the Trudeau government at the same time beginning the era of lower and lower corporate taxes, thus seriously impacting government revenues and practical spending realities, but that too is part of a longer story - a story you need to do some self-study on, as you never get anything useful from your corporate media). But we have paid very close to a trillion dollars in interest on that national debt in the ensuing years, every penny of it unnecessary, if We the People were controlling our own money supply as we did prior to this radical change in policy. (and if you add in provincial and major municipal debt, which can and should also be provided by the Bank of Canada interest free, but they were forced to go to private banks for their needs and incur interest-demanding debt, that figure easily doubles)

Downsizing Canada .... (whilst upsizing bank and corporate profits)
And when you think of what policy changes have been done in the name of that debt, the desperate state of our health care system and other things after 30 years of these 'neoliberal' (or 'neoconservative' - same thing) policies, you can see that the repercussions of allowing private banks this power are very much not trivial - the 'so what?' is very large indeed. (for your information - of the over 500 billion dollar national debt, less than 100 billion was ever borrowed for actual program spending, over several years, which could have easily been accomodated interest free by using the Bank of Canada as earlier governments had done - all of the rest of the debt was simply interest on interest, and money borrowed to pay interest, goosed to the stratosphere during those years of double-digit interest rates I mentioned - about as fiduciarily irresponsible for a government 'of the people' as could be imagined)

And it all goes much further as well ....
Well, if what I have written so far hasn't persuaded you that we need to get control of both our democractically elected but obviously not democratically controlled government and our money supply, there's not much left to say. But consider also the frenetic pace and pressure of modern life - some people seem to thrive on the 'excitement' and insecurity, but most people are feeling considerably more stress and insecurity than they really want in their lives, I think, and it is all related to letting private banks control the economy through their money creation power and the endless feeding of the interest machine that requires, and also the corporate imperative of endless growth and out-of-control speculation anywhere they think there is a buck to be made, based on essentially unlimited 'credit' from the banks whose investors also wish to get in on the feeding frenzy, to rake in maximum takings from all the little people before the whole speculative bubble crashes down around everyone. The environmental destruction we see all over the world is also very much related - if the economy was slower, if we were more interested in simply maintaining a good and peaceful life, a safe and clean environment and community, with slow and steady and stable growth as people devised new and better ways of doing things, rather than feeding that endless growth of the corporate cancer, most of the impetus for this growth-based destruction would be removed.

You just need to ask - is this really necessary? Can we have a modern economy, modern technology, without all this pressure? Is the purpose of our economy, our country, our lives, to maximise the ROI of a small number of (already obscenely wealthy) investors, or to create a good and stable society for all of us to live in? I don't see why we can't have that stable, peaceful, prosperous society, starting simply by removing private banks from the money creation function, which would essentially turn down the heat on everything as a government controlled money supply would provide us with a stable money supply that did not demand all that extra work to pay interest on each year, whilst still providing all the money needed for normal, responsible growth. People will still look to improve their, and our, lives through new inventions and ways of doing things - and we will and can incorporate them into our lives as we wish. People would still be free to invest as they wished - but with money they had already accumulated, not great amounts of speculative money created by out-of-control banks for just that purpose, with no care about the lives of the millions of little average people which will be seriously effected when the ensuing bubbles burst, as they always and inevitably do.

Warning re false path..
There are many who say the solution to our economic problems is a return to the gold standard. I disagree, quite strongly. The problem with fiat money is not that it is not backed by gold or some other thing, it is who controls it, as should be obvious from what I have discussed above. If we control it democratically, and tie its issuance to something substantial such as the value of the infrastructure of the country, and it is simply a means of exchange (with some store of value use, any money will function this way) rather than a commodity itself, which the modern speculators have turned it into, it need not be inflationary at all. A gold standard, whilst perhaps having some value in much earlier times, has many problems in the modern world, I think. First, most gold is currently privately owned, and I don't even want to think of the screaming if some government was to attempt to claim all the gold in the country to set a gold standard - but otherwise, we are simply trading bankers as masters to gold-owners as the controllers of our economy, and neither is democratic. Secondly, the gold supply is somewhat finite, the economy is growing - it seems silly to tie an economy to something that is limited in supply. Third, what if we have a gold standard, and some modern terrorists nuke it or clever thief steals a lot of it? Or the owner of a significant amount gets in a snit and takes out of the country? The economy grinds to a halt? That seems pretty unclever. A strong economy is not based on a hammer over our heads of any sort, or trusting experts in the finance community making decisions in secret based on their 'superior' knowledge, it is based on intelligent, democratic control of our government and money supply, and the ensuing trust we all have in OUR strength and diversity.

Our problems the last 30 years have not been because we use fiat money, they have been because we have had a two-faced monster controlling our money - on the surface, they say they are doing the best for all of us, but in reality they have been concerned primarily with maximising private profits by manipulating the money supply, and not caring how much damage is done to the economy or people of the country.

It is time we put that to a stop. Understanding the money supply is the necessary first step.

You ought to google around and verify things yourself, but here are a few places to start -

The Money Masters (google if this link doesn't work, things have a way of changing) - an excellent history of the struggle between the bankers and those who preferred democratic contol of the world's money supply. We know who is winning, so far ....

An exact 'authorised' figure is hard to find for Canadian 'legal tender' in circulation (scamsters avoid verifiable stuff like the plague, as you no doubt know), but these two non-conspiracy-theory sources give figures indicating the same ballpark - Taxtips (question 1, about half way through - 40 billion) and Bank of Canada Fact Sheets - Seigniorage Revenue (last para, 35 billion 'in recent years' - prior to 2001, and we've come quite a ways since then in every way - remember, I'm only trying to get you in the ballpark here, not do an academic study of any kind)

Business debt - - Canadian business debts rise

Consumer debt - Where Does the Money Go: The Increasing Reliance on Household Debt in Canada (from the CGA, Certified General Accountants of Canada, probably reliable non-conspiracy theory data)

Government debts - anyone reading this will be aware that the federal debt is something under $500 billion now, but was around $550 billion for many years, and the debts of the provincial governments and major municipalities - all of which can and should have been assumed by the Bank of Canada more or less interest free but were part of all of this banketeering scam - amount to at least as much. Go google.

A few books with more info (there are many more, but these are a starting place):
  • Web of Debt by Ellen Hodgson Brown
  • Grip of Death by Michael Rowbothom - not online, but worth getting your library to order for a very good history of banking and all this money-creation stuff - he has a very good short article introducing it all at Prosperity UK, where you will also find a lot of other good info
  • The Lost Science of Money, by Stephen Zarlenga of the American Monetary Institute - - I haven't read this, but it sounds very good
  • James Robertson and the New Economics Foundation - - many books and articles
  • The Two Faces of Money - again, I haven't read this, but the web page has quite a lot of good info (quotes, etc), and the book seems to cover the territory well, without the libertarian 'let the market rule!!' snake in the grass you have to watch for with stuff like this ...
  • Just google Monetary Reform, and you'll get lots of interesting reading

Greenways cover

If you thought this short essay useful, you'd probably enjoy a read of Green Island, a story of a modern social democracy where We the People have finally displaced the bankers from our government, and things work much better. We follow a couple of old Utopians around Green Island as they see how things are done in a truly democratic society - and then follow the excitement as, predictably, the bankers are not about to sit idly by and allow the work of centuries to be undone by a band of hippies, and attempt a regime change with their military arm, the US army. This regime change gets a bit of a shock, however. Green Island too has something a little harder under the green glove.

box cover And don't miss Dave's warning about what is happening to our society - They're Building a Box - and You're In It - wolf in sheep's clothing, iceberg approaching, water getting hotter, think of it how you will, but you need to become aware. (an earlier version of Banketeering appeared in this book)

Onward Rocinante - the search for Green Island