Submitted by William Bonner, Chairman – Bonner & Partners
Squirrelly and Subtle
Yes, we were in London, taking care of business. Now, we’re back in Buenos Aires. We’ve tried medication. We’ve tried prayer. We’ve tried heavy drinking – all in an effort to understand how our crazy money system works. And where it leads.
You’d think it would be easy. It’s just Central Banking 101, no? Well, no. It is squirrelly… and diabolically subtle. We doubt anyone understands it – especially those who are supposed to control it.
The basic unit for the system is a kind of money the world has never had before: the post-1971 fiat dollar. It’s paper money – worth as much as people think it is worth … and managed by people who think it should be worth less as time goes by.
Photo via Pixabay
What a Business!
Who are these people? Who do they work for? You might say they are “public servants.” But that implies they are working on the public’s behalf. Nooooo sireee…
They are employees of a banking cartel that is owned by private banks. These banks have a license to lend money into existence, earning interest on their loans.
It is no surprise that their share of US corporate profits has risen fourfold since President Nixon ended the quasi-gold standard Bretton Woods system. What a business! Their cost of goods sold is next to nothing. A few strokes on a keyboard and millions… billions… heck, trillions… of dollars are created.
As our friend and economist Richard Duncan points out in his book The New Depression, the amount of liquid reserves banks have to hold against their loans is now so small they provide “next to no constraint” on the amount of credit the system can create.
Banks just have to maintain a certain “capital adequacy ratio.” This restricts their lending to a multiple of their equity capital (money provided by their shareholders). Of course, money is valuable only as long as there is not too much of it. The market can absorb a little counterfeited money. But there’s a limit. And that limit has been greatly increased, thanks to:
- 1) A worldwide overcapacity of output, financed by previous lending
- 2) A huge glut of cheap labor, also largely brought forth by the credit expansion of the last 30 years
Without these unique circumstances, central banks’ irresponsible policies – ZIRP and QE – would probably have caused inflation to rise to the double-digit range already … maybe higher.
Proof of Richard Duncan’s contention: prior to the crisis, a negligible amount of bank reserves “supported” trillions of dollars in outstanding bank credit. QED, reserves actually don’t matter anymore in the “fractionally reserved” system. However, it is still necessary to understand the money multiplier theory in order to fully grasp how the system works – click to enlarge.