Economy Ellen Brown Original

Ellen Brown: The Real Antidote to Inflation

The Fed has options for countering the record inflation the U.S. is facing that are far more productive and less risky than raising interest rates.
[Images Money / CC BY 2.0]

By Ellen Brown / Original to ScheerPost

The Federal Reserve is caught between a rock and a hard place. Inflation grew by 6.8% in November, the fastest in 40 years, a trend the Fed has now acknowledged is not “transitory.” The conventional theory is that inflation is due to too much money chasing too few goods, so the Fed is under heavy pressure to “tighten” or shrink the money supply. Its conventional tools for this purpose are to reduce asset purchases and raise interest rates. But corporate debt has risen by $1.3 trillion just since early 2020; so if the Fed raises rates, a massive wave of defaults is likely to result. According to financial advisor Graham Summers in an article titled “The Fed Is About to Start Playing with Matches Next to a $30 Trillion Debt Bomb,” the stock market could collapse by as much as 50%. 

Even more at risk are the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are the backbone of the productive economy, companies that need bank credit to survive. In 2020, 200,000 more U.S. businesses closed than in normal pre-pandemic years. SMEs targeted as “nonessential” were restricted in their ability to conduct business, while the large international corporations remained open. Raising interest rates on the surviving SMEs could be the final blow.  

Cut Demand or Increase Supply?

The argument for raising interest rates is that it will reduce the demand for bank credit, which is now acknowledged to be the source of most of the new money in the money supply. In 2014, the Bank of England wrote in its first-quarter report that 97% of the UK money supply was created by banks when they made loans. In the U.S. the figure is not quite so high, but well over 90% of the U.S. money supply is also created by bank lending. 

Left unanswered is whether raising interest rates will lower prices in an economy beset with supply problems. Oil and natural gas shortages, food shortages, and supply chain disruptions are major contributors to today’s high prices. Raising interest rates will hurt, not help, the producers and distributors of those products, by raising their borrowing costs. As observed by Canadian senator and economist Diane Bellemare:

Raising interest rates may cool off demand, but today’s high prices are tightly tied to supply issues – goods not coming through to manufacturers or retailers in a predictable way, and global markets not able to react quickly enough to changing tastes of consumers.

… A singular focus on inflation could lead to a ratcheting up of interest rates at a time when Canada [and the U.S.] should be increasing its ability to produce more goods, and supplying retailers and consumers alike with what they need. 

Rather than a reduction in demand, we need more supply available locally; and to fund its production, credit-money needs to increase. When supply and demand increase together, prices remain stable, while GDP and incomes go up. 

So argues UK Prof. Richard Werner, a German-born economist who invented the term “quantitative easing” (QE) when he was working in Japan in the 1990s. Japanese banks had pumped up demand for housing, driving up prices to unsustainable levels, until the market inevitably crashed and took the economy down with it. The QE that Werner prescribed was not the asset-inflating money creation we see today. Rather, he recommended increasing GDP by driving money into the real, productive economy; and that is what he recommends for today’s economic crisis. 

How to Fund Local Production

SMES make up around 97-99% of the private sector of almost every economy globally. Despite massive losses from the pandemic lockdowns, in the U.S. there were still 30.7 million small businesses reported in December 2020. Small companies account for 64 percent of new U.S. jobs; yet in most U.S. manufacturing sectors, productivity growth is substantially below the standards set by Germany, and many U.S. SMEs are not productive enough to compete with the cost advantages of Chinese and other low-wage competitors. Why?

Werner observes that Germany exports nearly as much as China does, although the German population is a mere 6% of China’s. The Chinese also have low-wage advantages. How can German small firms compete when U.S. firms cannot? Werner credits Germany’s 1,500 not-for-profit/community banks, the largest number in the world. Seventy percent of German deposits are with these local banks – 26.6% with cooperative banks and 42.9% with publicly-owned savings banks called Sparkassen, which are legally limited to lending in their own communities. Together these local banks do over 90% of SME lending. Germany has more than ten times as many banks engaged in SME lending as the UK, and German SMEs are world market leaders in many industries. 

Small banks lend to small companies, while large banks lend to large companies – and to large-scale financial speculators. German community banks were not affected by the 2008 crisis, says Werner, so they were able to increase SME lending after 2008; and as a result, there was no German recession and no increase in unemployment. 

China’s success, too, Werner attributes to its large network of community banks. Under Mao, China had a single centralized national banking system. In 1982, guided by Deng Xiaoping, China reformed its money system and introduced thousands of commercial banks, including hundreds of cooperative banks. Decades of double-digit growth followed. “Window guidance” was also used: harmful bank credit creation for asset transactions and consumption were suppressed, while productive credit was encouraged.

Werner’s recommendations for today’s economic conditions are to reform the money system by: banning bank credit for transactions that don’t contribute to GDP; creating a network of many small community banks lending for productive purposes, returning all gains to the community; and making bank behavior transparent, accountable and sustainable. He is chairman of the board of Hampshire Community Bank, launched just this year, which lays out the model. It includes no bonus payments to staff, only ordinary modest salaries; credit advanced mainly to SMEs and for housing construction (buy-to-build mortgages); and ownership by a local charity for the benefit of the people in the county, with half the votes in the hands of the local authorities and universities that are its investors. 

Public Banking in the United States: North Dakota’s Success

That model – cut out the middlemen and operationalize community banks to create credit for local production – also underlies the success of the century-old Bank of North Dakota (BND), the only state-owned U.S. bank in existence. North Dakota is also the only state to have escaped the 2008-09 recession, having a state budget that never dropped into the red. The state has nearly six times as many local banks per capita as the country overall. The BND does not compete with these community banks but partners with them, a very productive arrangement for all parties. 

In 2014, the Wall Street Journal published an article stating that the BND was more profitable even than JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. The author credited North Dakota’s oil boom, but the boom turned into a bust that very year, yet the BND continued to report record profits. It has averaged a 20% return on equity over the last 19 years, far exceeding the ROI of JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, where state governments typically place their deposits.  According to its 2020 annual report, in 2019 the BND had completed 16 years of record-breaking profits. 

Its 2020 ROI of 15%, while not quite as good, was still stellar considering the economic crisis hitting the nation that year. The BND had the largest percentage of Payroll Protection Plan recipients per capita of any state; it tripled its loans for the commercial and agricultural sectors in 2020; and it lowered its fixed interest rate on student loans by 1%, saving borrowers an average of $6,400 over the life of the loan. The BND closed 2020 with $7.7 billion in assets. 

Why is the BND so profitable, then, if not due to oil? Its business model allows it to have much lower costs than other banks. It has no private investors skimming off short-term profits, no high paid executives, no need to advertise, and, until recently, it had only one branch, now expanded to two. By law, all of the state’s revenues are deposited in the BND. It partners with local banks on loans, helping with capitalization, liquidity and regulations. The BND’s savings are returned to the state or passed on to local borrowers in the form of lower interest rates.

What the Fed Could Do Now

The BND and Sparkassen banks are great public banking models, but implementing them takes time, and the Fed is under pressure to deal with an inflation crisis right now. Prof. Werner worries about centralization and thinks we don’t need central banks at all; but as long as we have them, we might as well put them to use serving the Main Street economy. 

In September 2020, Saqib Bhatti and Brittany Alston of the Action Center on Race and the Economy proposed a plan for stimulating local production that could be implemented by the Fed immediately. It could make interest-free loans directly to state and local governments for productive purposes. To better fit with prevailing Fed policies, perhaps it could make 0.25% loans, as it now makes to private banks through its discount window and to repo market investors through its standing repo facility.

The Bhatti/Alston white paper was called “How Our State and Local Governments Can Save More Than $160 Billion a Year by Cutting Interest Payments to Investors.” The authors wrote, “Instead of making more cuts to critical services in our public budgets, it’s time we look to cutting the exorbitant profits Wall Street makes from our municipalities.” 

They noted that interest payments on municipal debt transfer more than $160 billion every year from taxpayers to wealthy investors and banks on Wall Street. These funds could be put to more productive public use if the Federal Reserve were to make long-term zero-cost loans available to all U.S. state and local governments and government agencies. With that money, they could refinance old debts and take out loans for new long-term capital infrastructure projects, while canceling nearly all of their existing interest payments. Interest and fees typically make up 50% of the cost of infrastructure. Dropping the interest rate nearly to zero could stimulate a boom in those desperately needed projects. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimates in its 2021 report that $6.1 trillion is needed just to repair our nation’s infrastructure. 

As for the risk that state and local governments might not pay back their debts, Bhatti and Alston contend that it is virtually nonexistent. States are not legally allowed to default, and about half the states do not permit their cities to file for bankruptcy. The authors write:  

According to Moody’s Investors Service, the cumulative ten-year default rate for municipal bonds between 1970 and 2019 was just 0.16%, compared with 10.17% for corporate bonds, meaning corporate bonds were a whopping 63 times more likely to default. …[M]unicipal bonds as a whole were safer investment than the safest 3% of corporate bonds. … US municipal bonds are extremely safe investments, and the interest rates that most state and local government borrowers are forced to pay are unjustifiably high.

… The major rating agencies have a long history of using credit ratings to push an austerity agenda and demand cuts to public services …. Moreover, they discriminate against municipal borrowers by giving them lower credit ratings than corporations that are significantly more likely to default. 

… [T]he same banks that are major bond underwriters also have a record of collusion and bid-rigging in the municipal bond market. … Several banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, have pleaded guilty to criminal charges and paid billions in fines to financial regulators. 

… There is no reason for banks and bondholders to be able to profit from this basic piece of infrastructure if the Federal Reserve could do it for free. [Citations omitted.]

To ensure repayment and discourage overborrowing, say Bhatti and Alston, the Fed could adopt regulations such as requiring any borrower that misses a payment to levy an automatic tax on residents above a certain income threshold. Borrowing limits could also be put in place. Politicization of loans could be avoided by making loans available indiscriminately to all public borrowers within their borrowing limits. Another possibility might be to mediate the loans through a National Infrastructure Bank, as proposed in HR 3339

All of this could be done without new legislation. The Federal Reserve has statutory authority under the Federal Reserve Act to lend to municipal borrowers for a period of up to six months. It could just agree to roll over these loans for a fixed period of years. Bhatti and Alston observe that under the 2020 CARES Act, the Fed was given permission to make up to $500 billion in indefinite, long-term loans to municipal borrowers, but it failed to act on that authority to the extent allowed. Loans were limited to no more than three years, and the interest rate charged was so high that most municipal borrowers could get lower rates on the open municipal bond market. 

Private corporations, which the authors show are 63 times more likely to default, were offered much more generous terms on corporate debt; and 330 corporations took the offer, versus only two municipal takers through the Municipal Liquidity Facility. The federal government also made $10.4 trillion in bailouts and backstops available to the financial sector after the 2008 financial crisis, a sum that is 2.5 times the size of the entire U.S. municipal bond market.

Stoking the Fire Without Burning Down the Barn

Playing with matches that could trigger a $30 trillion debt bomb is obviously something the Fed should avoid. Prof. Werner would probably argue that its policy mistake, like Japan’s in the 1980s, has been to inject credit so that it has gone into speculative assets, inflating asset prices. The Fed’s liquidity fire hose needs to be directed at local production. This can be done through local community or public banks, or by making near-zero interest loans to state and local governments, perhaps mediated through a National Infrastructure Bank.

86 comments

  1. It’s as if nothing else is put in the bundle here, Ellen. I know you are stealth with a focused arena of BND and inflation, but we have so many bigger issues.

    The entire aspect of Capitalism around price gouging, this war (planned pandemic) profiteering, billions made, billionaires upping their felony caches, the bizarre dead-from-the-neck up Biden Admin BBB et al, that is the issue.

    Wall Street, based on gambling with commodities, and not just pork bellies. Milk, wheat, housing loans. The system of Vanguard and State Street and BlackRock owning the world brings us to this moment of begging for help when it’s the gouging capitalism and the planned and proscribed shortages of nurses, phlebotomists, long-haul drivers, construction workers, etc, etc.

    How is this solved, using the formulas you point to here, Ellen. The lesser of evils in terms of economics? You know, Ellen, the deal. Pandemic?

    Paul Haeder
    2:09 PM (40 minutes ago)
    to Janet, Shoults, Michael, Chris

    Here you go for the end of the year, start of Winter, that Dark Winter.

    https://dissidentvoice.org/2021/12/citizens-and-experts-call-for-a-halt-to-covid-19-vaccine-rollout-in-india/

    excerpt:Citizens and Experts Call for a Halt to COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout in India

    The mass rollout of COVID-19 vaccines should be halted immediately. These experimental vaccines pose serious dangers. That is the message contained in a statement from concerned citizens soon to be forwarded to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
    The statement’s signatories include medical scientists, doctors, epidemiologists, civil servants, civil society organisations and “deeply concerned mothers, fathers, husbands and wives”.

    Concerned citizens of India can sign on to the ‘The Truth of COVID-19 — The India Statement’ prior to its dispatch to the PM in the link provided at the end of this article.

    Internationally renowned professionals in the field of medical science have also joined this effort by offering their expertise, including Dr Mike Yeadon, Dr Peter McCullough, Dr Pierre Kory, Dr Roger Hodkinson, Professor Sucharit Bhakdi and Dr Tess Lawrie.

    The statement comprises two parts. Part one is a five-page summary of the main points and recommendations. This is supported by part two, a 62-page document which quotes the relevant literature and has dozens of references to back up the assertions made about the vaccines, COVID-19 and the vaccination programme.

    Some of the key points and recommendations contained in part one are summarised below.

    The statement begins by saying that a coronavirus vaccine has never before been used successfully. One problem has been the development of antibody disease enhancement (ADE). The vaccine produces antibodies, but sometimes this does not prevent disease – it instead makes the disease more serious and ADE can extend into the future (this has been seen before, for example regarding the rollout of a Dengue vaccine in Manila).

    excerpt for the next one —

    When did parts of the left get so contemptuous of the principle of “bodily autonomy”? Answer: Just about the time they started fetishising vaccines as the only route out of the current pandemic.

    Only two years ago most people understood “bodily autonomy” to be a fundamental, unquestionable human right. Now it is being treated as some kind of perverse libertarian luxury, as proof that the “deplorables” have been watching too much Tucker Carlson or that they have come to idealise the worst excesses of neoliberalism’s emphasis on the rights of the individual over the social good.

    This is dangerous nonsense, as should be obvious if we step back and imagine what our world might look like had the principle of “bodily autonomy” not been established through centuries of struggle, just as were the right to vote and the right to health care.

    https://www.unz.com/jcook/the-lefts-contempt-for-bodily-autonomy-during-the-pandemic-is-a-gift-to-the-right/

    The Left’s Contempt for Bodily Autonomy During the Pandemic Is a Gift to the Right

    excerpt for the next one: The Curious Covid Case of Aaron Rodgers: an “Incomplete Pass?”

    The contradictions and mixed-messaging around the COVID-19 “pandemic” continue to accumulate and swirl as the “Global Health Emergency” approaches its second anniversary. For example: Just as the Phase-3 trials of the Pfizer “Vax” have come under scrutiny for alleged shoddy methodology by its sub-contractor Ventavia in Texas, the partially Big Pharma-funded FDA has unanimously approved COVID jabs for children as young as 5, even though young people are by far the least vulnerable group to the Virus. Meanwhile, places like highly “vaxxed” Vermont, Gibraltar, and Israel have been experiencing intense COVID spikes of late, whereas relatively restriction-less Florida, a retirement home haven, is doing just fine. What to make of this confounding data?

    On top of everything else, there is the issue of the “miracle vaccines” themselves, which have quite remarkably proven to wane in efficacy within mere months of being administered; perhaps we should refer to them as “Partial Immunity Shots,” instead? Nevertheless, the incoherent Biden Administration has dubiously double-downed on “Jabbing!” everything in sight. “Haven’t they heard,” one might reasonably ask,”that tiny, 100% vaccinated Gibraltar is canceling Christmas because of that Grinch, COVID-19?”

    Recently, the high-profile celebrity sports action figure Aaron Rodgers reluctantly scrambled into this pandemic fray, causing Mainstream Media pundits to hyperventilate with rabid calls for the star NFL quarterback to be sacked every way to Sunday. Even the mighty New York Times weighed in with this November 8 headline: “Scientists Fight a New Source of Vaccine Misinformation: Aaron Rodgers.” The “reason” for all of this brouhaha (besides, perhaps, a slow news cycle…)? Rodgers, 37, had finally tested “positive” for COVID-19. However, it was then damningly revealed that Mr Rodgers is not, in fact, “vaxxed,” despite his pre-season response that he was “immunized” when asked about his “vaccination” status. “Oh, the Mendacity!” to quote Burl Ives’ character from the film version of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

    https://dissidentvoice.org/2021/12/the-curious-covid-case-of-aaron-rodgers-an-incomplete-pass/

    excerpt for the next one, and, yes, CP Hopkins uses colorful language in one of the paragraphs:

    And so, as 2021 goose-steps toward its fanatical finish, it is time for my traditional year-end wrap-up. It’s “The Year of the Ox” in the Chinese zodiac, but I’m christening it “The Year of the New Normal Fascist.”

    And what a phenomenally fascist year it has been!

    I’m not talking amateur fascism. I am talking professional Class-A fascism. Government and corporate sanctified fascism. Bug-eyed, spittle-flecked, hate-drunk fascism. I’m talking mobs of New Normal fascists shrieking hatred and threats at “the Unvaccinated” as they are dragged off “Vaccinated Only” trains, painting Nazi-era messages on their windows of their stores, leaders of government fomenting mass hatred, TV commentators literally quoting sadistic Nazi SS doctors, leftists going full-fascist on Facebook, concentration camps, Goebbelsian propaganda, censorship of dissent … the whole nine yards.

    Here in Europe, things are particularly fascist. One by one, New Normal countries are rolling out social-segregation systems, ordering “lockdowns” of “the Unvaccinated,” and otherwise persecuting those who refuse to conform to official New Normal ideology. Austria has made “vaccinations” mandatory. Germany is about to follow suit. “Covid passes” have been approved in the UK. Greece is fining “Unvaccinated” pensioners by reducing the amount of their state-pension payments. Swedes are “chipping” themselves. And so on.

    In New Normal Germany, “the Unvaccinated” are under de facto house arrest. We are banned from society. We are banned from traveling. We are banned from protesting. Our writings are censored. We’re demonized and dehumanized by the New Normal government, the state and corporate media, and the New Normal masses on a daily basis. New Normal goon squads roam the streets, brutalizing pensioners, raiding barber shops, checking “papers,” measuring social distances, literally, as in with measuring sticks. The Gestapo even arrested Santa Claus for not wearing a mask at a Christmas market. In the schools, fascist New Normal teachers ritually humiliate “Unvaccinated” children, forcing them to stand in front of the class and justify their “Unvaccinated” status, while the “Vaccinated” children and their parents are applauded, like some New Normal version of the Hitler Youth. When New Normal Germany’s new Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, announced that, “for my government there are no more red lines as far as doing what needs to be done,” apparently he wasn’t joking. It’s only a matter of time until he orders New Normal Propaganda Minister Karl Lauterbach to make his big Sportpalast speech, where he will ask the New Normals if they want “total war” … and I think you know the rest of this story.

    The Year of the New Normal Fascist — https://dissidentvoice.org/2021/12/the-year-of-the-new-normal-fascist/

    1. Thanks; always appreciate your comments. I may be wildly incorrect, but I seem to recall from an older post you mentioning your birthplace as Barbados, if no longer home (?). And since a recent post of yours made reference to the metaverse, here’s this piece of the puzzle being assembled for our (virtual) enslavement:
      Barbados is opening a diplomatic embassy in the metaverse
      https://www.seattletimes.com/business/barbados-is-opening-a-diplomatic-embassy-in-the-metaverse/

      1. Ahh, the conservative, pro-technocratic, fascist Seattle Times. Paywall.

        You’ve read Alison McDowell, I hope. Read her, watch her videos, and more. Her latest, but you have to go back to see just how criminal these Digital Gestapo are. Social Impact investing/bonds/mafia.

        Quoting her —

        I’m working on a longer piece about the social impact investing landscape in Brazil, but I wanted to quickly share my response to a clip I pulled from an interview on Derrick Broze’s “The Conscious Resistance Network” page. It’s short, only 90 seconds. In it Broze touches on what he considers problematic uses of blockchain as well as positive use cases. He says that poor children having the chance to get paid to play video games to cover necessities for their families – he mentions repairing their homes – was a good thing. I could not disagree more. This post fits within a much larger story of data-colonial predation by social impact investors targeting the children of Brazil and Rio De Janeiro’s favelas in particular.

        https://wrenchinthegears.com/2021/12/22/poverty-identity-and-child-gamers-in-rios-favelas/

        Here’s Ellen’s Wiki(CIA) Pedia page:

        Life and career
        She attended law school at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was Book Review Editor of the UCLA Law Review and obtained her J.D. in 1977.[citation needed] Her law review article, “Restrictions on Alternative Medical Practitioners in California: A Legal and Economic Analysis,” published in the UCLA Law Review in 1977,[4] was cited in the dissenting opinion in People v. Privitera, 23 Cal.3d 697 (Cal. 1979) by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Rose Bird, who called it “an excellent and exhaustive review of case and statutory law” on alternative medicine.[5]

        Brown was a civil litigation attorney in Los Angeles for ten years.[6]

        In 2011, Brown founded the Public Banking Institute (PBI) to promote research and advocacy of public banks.[1] In 2013, Brown published The Public Bank Solution, revisiting her arguments in Web of Debt, tracing the history of public banking, and discussing various options to implement it in the contemporary economy.

        In October, 2013, her opinion piece on public banking, “Public Banks are Key to Capitalism”, appeared in The New York Times.[7]

        In 2013, Brown announced her candidacy for California State Treasurer on the Green Party ticket in the 2014 election. On December 27, 2013, the Green Party of California endorsed Brown’s candidacy.[8] Brown received 6.5% of the vote during the June primaries, putting her in third place among three candidates, and thus not qualifying her for the general election due to California’s “top two” primary system.[9]

      2. In one of a thousand nutshells, or in this case, grape skins: amazing the beautiful people in California, all those Demon Crats, too, see their 150.00 $ wine flights as theirs, baby, and no externalities. Again, just do this thought experiment with banana pickers, coffee harvesters, letture, tomatoes, beeft, pig, eggs.

        Capitalism is the disgust of that offal on the tongues of us, the 70 percent who do not have stock options and 401 K’s and pensions and what have you, suckers.

        https://theintercept.com/2021/12/21/wildfires-wine-country-vineyard-workers/

        Headline: GRAPE PICKERS CRASH LAVISH SONOMA WINERY BANQUET DEMANDING BETTER WILDFIRE PROTECTIONS — “The grapes are insured, so the employer’s covered when it comes to the actual crop. But workers have no pay if they don’t work.”

    2. You’re both right.
      The issues at stake are larger than anything traditional monetary and fiscal policy can handle. We’re deal with total system shutdown, not inflation.

      Inflation = too much money chasing too few goods.
      System Shutdown = too little money chasing no goods.

      QE as originally envisaged, however, is not traditional and will address the issues at stake, as Ellen suggests. QE applied as Ellen suggests builds supply chains where and when they are needed. Full Stop.

      You are both right.

      1. Yes. The “too little money” is in large part due to absorption into the speculative casino non-economy. Analysts at the Fed have noted the steady decrease in money velocity over the years. It this was curtailed, there could be an influx of real usable money into the real economy.

      2. @Mrs. Debra L. Carr de Legorreta
        The rest of the world, meaning everyone on Earth beside humans, are rooting for a total system shutdown. Best thing that could happen, because this system is killing the planet and the life on it.

      3. @Paul Lebow
        I don’t eat meat. I used to eat wild fish until I saw Seaspiracy. I knew that commercial fishing was ecologically bad, but that film showed me that it’s far worse than I had thought.

    3. —> The Fed has options for countering the record inflation the U.S. is facing that are more productive and less risky than raising interest rates.

      Nonsense. The only solution for safely lowering the debt-to-GDP ratio is with real economic growth and real growth will not be seen again until debt-free market based medium makes its way into circulation to grease the economic wheels.

      That debt-free medium has to come from the free market, bottom-up because the Fed has no SAFE & SANE method by which to introduce debt-free money into circulation without creating a massive and devastating POP in the humungous debt bubble. That bubble has to safely leak and it can only safely leak if the assets to support real growth come by way of the free market from the bottom-up. The process needs market governance with just the right of market stealth.

      Market law rules here and the monetary law of weights and measures has to be revisited now that the measure of value (USD) is now fully scalable and can support debt-free transactions along with market gold and silver backed currency from the grass roots. The legal door is wide open and has been open since Dec 31, 1974. It’s only the marketplace that had to catch-up with the development of the tools that allowed user friendly capability . It’s the consumer who now has the stage.

      Wise as serpents and gentle as doves, we must be.

      https://www.usgoldbureau.com/gold-confiscation

    4. I know and agree, there are other giant problems to be addressed, but I’m limited in what I can write on. It was a pretty presumptuous title, but ScheerPost wants them short, and the editor and I couldn’t think of anything better. Thanks for your comments.

    5. Paul+Haeder: Reading your “comment on Ellen Brown’s article was very interesting, as it turned out to be an article on the “Planned-Pandemic ” using the Covid-19 virus and the additional “variants” to keep the general public fearful and obedient to authoritarian rule for the benefit of the “invisible empire” of the greediest people living today. On that note, I’m in agreement with you, but the “comment” posted above did not contribute to Ellen Brown’s informative article : “The Real Antidote to Inflation.”

      The author provided her readers and believers in public or community-owned banks, especially the success they have had in Germany. There is a growing movement among the young generation in the U.S for creating these kinds of lending institutions for “the Good of the Community” and they are eager, to make it happen, but at this critical time, haven’t the resources, money, or political connections to “make it happen!” But as the saying goes: “If there is a willing,there is a way.”

      1. Trying to tie in so many loose ends, sir. In fact, the idea of Ellen writing a piece and then we all reading it is fine. With a comments section (many places have stopped the comments section for obvious reasons) we then get the possibility of folks going off the deep end or making tangential comments loosely or very thinnly related to the original piece.

        Look, if you take the entire frame of the billionaires controlling markets, governments, lending institutions, financial sectors, and that’s with the prostitution of politicians and others in our society, then a state bank seems like the old fly swatter for the rabid sasquatch. It’s still a slap at that monster, but a meaningless slap in the scheme of things.

        OF COURSE, we need our USPS to be a source of check cashing with no fee, and a place of credit, too. Ralph Nader has been advocating for that, as well as Ellen’s deep look at state controlled banks. But do you not think the planned collapse of our economy, our small business sector, our organizing (feet on the ground) abilities put a dent into any forward motion to have a state control where state and municipal payrolls end up? If you have been looking deeply at how many “services” there are now deployed for managing insurance, payroll, HR, hiring, firing, and if you look at how many app step and how many computing and management hoops are embedded now in big and medium and now small business, the Planned Pandemic and the Zoom Doom are part of that continuing process of taking agency away from common people and putting their entire lives — health, medical, education, cultural, spiritual, community, travel, work, recreation, healing, death — into the hands of scum who making money doing nothing but gouging and scrapping pennies, dolllars and multiple K’s$ from the average person. Fees, taxes, penalties, code violations, tickets, tolls, add-ons, servicing charges, processing takings, all of it in a giant eminent domain mentality are killing the average person.

        Imagine, a society that allows for PayDay loan theft? Imagine the pawn shop mentality of the average lawyer, accountant, investor, CEO, economist. Imagine the takings on forced abritration. Imagine a country that is at-will, precarious and anti-worker with loads of laws (sic) against collective bargaining. Imagine that world now where some of us who know science and can study the past, present to understand the future, that we want bodily autonmy. Then apply that on many levels.

        So, in sociology, they call Facebook groups opposing this or that, corrosive communities. It is a perjorative, in many ways, against citizens organizing for community autonomy. Sociologists have studied the corrosive power of this new anti-social Social Media.

        So, I’d say, let me blow off steam, and if the comments I make stray to far afield and from the center of the original article herein, just move on.

        Quoting:

        “I regard Neoclassical economics as not merely a bad methodology for economic analysis, but as an existential threat to the continued existence of capitalism – and human civilization in general. It has to go. “(Steve Keen’s book, The New Economics: A Manifesto (2021), p. 155).

        Strong words? Of course, but they are wholly warranted. Neoclassical economics is the official scientific underpinning of capitalism as well as its main ideological defence, and according to Keen, it fails in both tasks. Contrary to received opinion, neoclassicism cannot explain capitalism – either in detail or in the aggregate – and the policies it prescribes do not support but undermine the very system it defends. It must be scrapped, says Keen, and the purpose of his book is to explain why and outline what should come in its stead.

        Half a century worth of research and writing on the subject has made Keen one of the world’s foremost critiques of neoclassical economics. His previous bestseller, the rigorous-yet-accessible Debunking Economics (2011), dismantled neoclassical microeconomics. His new volume hammers its macro framework.

        The book focuses on three key issues: (1) the bizarre neoclassical perspective that money, credit and debt do not matter for the macroeconomy; (2) the neoclassical insistence that the economy’s complex, nonlinear turbulences are best explained in linear, self-equilibrating terms; and (3) the fact that neoclassicists have hijacked the economics of climate change, using patently false assumptions to justify do-nothing policies with untold future consequences.

      2. I agree with just about everything you said, sir, in your reply to me. On that, I think we’re on the same page. I’m complimenting you on the reply, as I believe it ties in to Ellen Brown’s article and past articles of this sort. The top priority, in my opinion, is getting off the Wall Street grid of “Grand Theft Usury” and the “greed is good” motto of the financial parasites with their creative forms of legalized extortion, or if you will, money “extractions” with fees for this, fees for the that, which were almost non-existent, decades ago.

        I’m certainly glad you are vigilant and spread the information around, for those who haven’t succumbed to the 24/7 propaganda machine of MSM.

      3. Thanks, Frank. Yes, I respect Ellen Brown, for sure, and she publishes her things over at Dissident Voice, where I have been publishing for more than 15 years. My journey is a bit different than most — lived in Canada for a while, Azore, Maryland, Paris, Munich, Scotland, as a kid, then to AZ, Fort Huachuca and onward throughout the Southwest as a dive master in the Sea of Cortez, and journalist in Tucson, Bisbee, Mexico, Texas, elsewhere, to Spokane and Seattle and Portland and now here on the Central Oregon Coast.

        Ground-truthing hard living a life of precarity. I just think that academics and sustainability wonks and others who consider themselves elite or dream hoarders or even woke, to include writers and others, they are sort of off in terms of what really is happening in the world.

        I think my battles with the choir have been much more difficult than dealing with retrograde libertarians, Republicans, anti-people conservatives — people of another mother, another political way (communist) and with other values outside of Murder Incorporated’s “values.”

        I wonder if Scheer would even touch this:

        https://jessicar.substack.com/p/the-bnt162b2-mrna-vaccine-against

        Or any of it, really —

        https://harvard2thebighouse.substack.com/p/logistical-and-technical-exploration?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjo5MjQxODIxLCJwb3N0X2lkIjo0MjcxMTYxNiwiXyI6IjgwOE9hIiwiaWF0IjoxNjQwMzg5NDUzLCJleHAiOjE2NDAzOTMwNTMsImlzcyI6InB1Yi03NTc5NCIsInN1YiI6InBvc3QtcmVhY3Rpb24ifQ.FjAIL6NsVx_SCBZl-VMoY0BZJ96Lg2WZxLPxqR60ETc

        The failings of higher education, k12, mass media, business leadership, politics, sort of planned in one sense, and other ways accidental stupidity.

        But, that public education, man —

        “Traditional education can be seen as sculptural in nature, individual destiny is written somewhere within the human being, awaiting dross to be removed before a true image shines forth. Schooling, on the other hand, seeks a way to make mind and character blank, so others may chisel the destiny thereon,” —Gatto, The Underground History of American Education

        https://dissidentvoice.org/2021/12/will-charter-schools-improve-education-in-france/

        https://dissidentvoice.org/2021/12/the-real-antidote-to-inflation-stoking-the-fire-without-burning-down-the-barn/

        https://dissidentvoice.org/2021/12/heres-to-our-health-well-to-the-health-of-the-profiteers/

      4. Paul, I’m very impressed with your writing and sincere commitment in getting the word out to the public.
        I glanced at the links you provided and your articles…too much for me to read at one time, but again, you’re on the mark on quite a few things.

        On “education,” the origin from the Latin, to “educe” or bring forth or draw out, elicit, evoke, as a form of educating students (of any age) in answering or inquiring to the teacher or instructor something regarding the subject matter, rather than sit in a classroom, auditorium, or under a tree or whatever and just hear the teacher impart the knowledge he or she has on a given subject. As you already know, the educational system has changed for the worse, over many decades, and even more detrimental with the G. W. Bush “train to test” methods which has been a complete failure for the children, but very successful for the SOB’s you mentioned.

        Very few people want to know the truth about things and have let themselves be “standardized, politically correct, non-inquiring entities,” designed by the rich-filth and the ruling-class of power-mad devils.

        We are on the same page! It’s late in the day but I’ll say Merry Christmas, and may 2022 be your best year ever! And ease up on those “academics” like Ellen Brown. She’s on our side, brother! And so is Robert who’s website this article is posted on. And one more thing. Your friend Joe rocks! I love what he said!
        Happy New Year!

      5. The value of public banking is not so much that it offers a solution to our dysfunctional system, but rather it sends the message that the king has no clothes, that we the people can take the reins away from the “experts”. Very few, including bankers themselves fully understand the system they are cogs in. As Ellen points out, virtually all money is issued as credit, when, as Lincoln’s Greenback proved, it should be issued as an asset to the people.

  2. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, I wish people would stop obsessing on little green pieces of paper. We all need money to survive in this society — and that’s the heart of the problem — but people’s obsession with it, from both the left and the right, is really annoying unevolved behavior. There are far more important things in life than money, starting with life itself (and I don’t mean just human life).

    A better approach would be advocating for big systemic changes, like getting rid of a cash economy and money altogether. Bartering would be far superior, both from environmental and a spiritual perspectives, to list just one possible improvement. Nitpicking about things like inflation won’t solve anything important and will just perpetuate this evil materialistic system.

    1. There is a tech track to alternatives with de-fi and the blockchain. As a technologist, I’m fascinated by that space. All the hype and drama over NFTs aside… it is a highly democratized technology stack at the moment–and NFTs are just a stepping stone in the evolution of blockchain tech. It feels like the early days of the net… but also like a window of freedom is fast closing.

      Meta could be seen as a fast-moving play on this openness (or to let the capitalist system absorb it versus it be externalized as a rival). Prospects for internet-like public rights (via legislation) protection of the blockchain with something close to (now defunct) net neutrality are non-existent. Any hope in this next technology rev introducing potential for constructive social change would have to materialize in the next few years.

      The potential for blockchain, AI, automation & what Koetler called exponential technologies is very all real, albeit caricatured in the mainstream. If I have any hope it’s that any one person can pick up a keyboard and do ridiculous and unprecedented things with technology these days. It’s what keeps me coding…

      1. @Joker Public
        I was advocating the elimination of money and its replacement by something a lot more connected to the real world, like bartering. Substituting one form of symbolic wealth for another won’t fix the problem to which I was referring.

      2. Not good to fetishize money as something concrete to be “replaced”. Money is the language of exchange – how the wealth each of us creates can be accessed by those who need that wealth. Money and language both can be misused for sinister purposes. What is needed the democratic issuance and distribution of money so we all can access the wealth society creates.

      3. @Paul Lebow
        That’s simply not true Paul. Money allows more aggressive greedy people to accumulate far more wealth than if they were limited to bartering. Hell, over 90% of the activity on the stock market has been just buying and selling different currencies for at least the past 25 years. I think we agree that money per se isn’t the root of the problem, but the elimination of it would make things a lot better.

      4. Money is a system not an object. People never question the process of money creation – to most it is just “air” that they don’t have enough of. That is clearly your interpretation.

      5. @Paul Lebow
        Money is a symbol of wealth, nothing more, nothing less. Dollar bills are certainly objects by definition.

    2. But it is not the little green pieces of paper that are unhappy. 🙂 God bless Douglas Adams wherever he may be with the dolphins.

      1. @Paul Lebow
        Like capitalism, money is a cancer on the planet, and so are societies that depend on it.

  3. Oh. So, for 70 percent of USA folk, the skyrocketing price of food is killing them. Skyrocketing utilities, commutes, fuel prices, etc., etc. This is how poverty pays for the 30 percenters. The Professional Managerial Class, the Creative Class, the professionals, the STE in the S.T.E.M. Imagine the price of food is not much of an issue for the 30 Percenters, except for their investment portfolios. They trade in death, in mortgages, in the price of things, the value of nothing.

    Oh. So bartering is the key? Read David Graeber’s Debt. Read this amazing piece, and see how a small elite and small percentage of folk, some call chosen, have mucked up the world.

    https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/12/investigative-reports/meet-ghislaine-daddys-girl/

    Almost everything these people touch is not only perverse, but turned into gold for them and poverty and pain and death for the rest of the world. Oh, Israel spy agencies. Oh, the entire mess of the Royals and the (Rot)hschilds and such, you know, they have a controlling interest in the death and destruction of faraway place:

    See if Robert runs any of this?

    https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/12/investigative-reports/meet-ghislaine-daddys-girl/

    The attendance of Royals at this Ghislaine-hosted gala was not some lucky break for Ghislaine or her “philanthropic” efforts, as Ghislaine had already been close to the royals for years, with subsequent employees and victims of Ghislaine having personally seen pictures of her “growing up” with the royals, a relationship allegedly facilitated by the Maxwell family’s ties to the Rothschild banking family. Ghislaine was heard on more than one occasion as describing the wealthy and influential Rothschilds as her family’s “greatest protectors,” and they were also among Robert Maxwell’s most important bankers, who helped him finance the construction of his vast media empire and web of companies and untraceable trusts.

    It was also during this period that Ghislaine learned some unusual skills, including how to pilot airplanes, helicopters, and submarines, and became fluent in several languages.

    Then, abruptly in 1991, Ghislaine and her entire remaining family saw their fortunes shift dramatically—at least in public—with the death of Robert Maxwell, a death that most of the Maxwell family and most of his biographers regard as a murder, an act allegedly performed by the very intelligence agency that employed him.

    According to journalist John Jackson, who was present when Ghislaine and her mother Betty boarded her father’s yacht shortly after his death, it was Ghislaine who “coolly walked into her late father’s office and shredded all incriminating documents on board.” Ghislaine denies the incident, though Jackson has never retracted the claim, which was reported in a 2007 article published in the Daily Mail. If Jackson is to believed, it was Ghislaine – out of all of Robert Maxwell’s children – who was most intimately aware of the incriminating secrets of her father’s financial empire and espionage activities.

    As Part 2 of this series will show, the evidence points to this being the case, particularly with Ghislaine’s entry into New York’s elite social circles having been planned by her father before his 1991 death. Of course, those social connections in New York, as well as those in Europe and elsewhere, would prove instrumental in the operation and protection of Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual trafficking and blackmail network. Ghislaine’s slippery behavior in the years that followed, including activities both related and unrelated to the sex trafficking of minors, show that Ghislaine inherited much more than her personality from her father as she, along with several of her siblings, played a key role in keeping alive various aspects of her father’s legacy, including his espionage activities.

  4. Interesting and real perspective. This country, the total forms of capitalism, rotting from the inside out.

    https://portside.org/2021-12-22/im-twenty-year-truck-driver-i-will-tell-you-why-americas-shipping-crisis-will-not-end

    Build Back Better Biden-Manchin-Redneck Republicans — all rich and perverted souls.

    Quoting the trucker —

    What is going to compel the shippers and carriers to invest in the needed infrastructure? The owners of these companies can theoretically not change anything and their business will still be at full capacity because of the backlog of containers. The backlog of containers doesn’t hurt them. It hurts anyone paying shipping costs — that is, manufacturers selling products and consumers buying products. But it doesn’t hurt the owners of the transportation business — in fact the laws of supply and demand mean that they are actually going to make more money through higher rates, without changing a thing. They don’t have to improve or add infrastructure (because it’s costly), and they don’t have to pay their workers more (warehouse workers, crane operators, truckers).

    The ‘experts’ want to say we can do things like open the ports 24/7, and this problem will be over in a couple weeks. They are blowing smoke, and they know it. Getting a container out of the port, as slow and aggravating as it is, is really the easy part, if you can find a truck and chassis to haul it. But every truck driver in America can’t operate 24/7, even if the government suspends Hours Of Service Regulations (federal regulations determining how many hours a week we can work/drive), we still need to sleep sometime. There are also restrictions on which trucks can go into a port. They have to be approved, have RFID tags, port registered, and the drivers have to have at least a TWIC card (Transportation Worker Identification Credential from the federal Transportation Security Administration). Some ports have additional requirements. As I have already said, most trucking companies won’t touch shipping containers with a 100 foot pole. What we have is a system with a limited amount of trucks and qualified drivers, many of whom are already working 14 hours a day (legally, the maximum they can), and now the supposed fix is to have them work 24 hours a day, every day, and not stop until the backlog is cleared. It’s not going to happen. It is not physically possible. There is no “cavalry” coming. No trucking companies are going to pay to register their trucks to haul containers for something that is supposedly so “short term,” because these same companies can get higher rate loads outside the ports. There is no extra capacity to be had, and it makes NO difference anyway, because If you can’t get a container unloaded at a warehouse, having drivers work 24/7/365 solves nothing.

    1. Thank you Paul+Haeder for “punching up”. Bob & Co. have no clue as to how the lower 2/3 or 4/5 of wealth and income make possible their material and financial privilege. The Cult of Meritocracy is alive and well on these pages.

      1. Have you noticed that these fellows and women all are cut from the same middle of the road, sort of progressive cloth?

        There is a war going on out there, and has been way before Ray-Gun. These elites and professorial types, the mid level book writers, et al, they have zero idea what it is like living in this penury world of fines-fees-penalties-violations-code infringements-taxes-tickets-tolls-regressive taxation. Daily, I work with the underserved, under-represented, under-class, under-edcuated, under-cared for. Not perjoritives on my part, believe you me.

        But these beautiful people, these wine sippers, these folks who sit at their lofty places and write about us, the disenfranchised. I’ve been with them as a journalist, as an educator, as a literary writer, as a social worker, and an environmental warrior. Been with them when I taught various branches of the military real college classes. Been with them at urban planning and sustainability conferences. Been with them at MFA literary events. Been with them dealing with substance abused, homeless, developmental disabled.

        They are rotting from the core because they can’t see how rotten the systems they boast about and work within are, and how the entire system and capitalist scam and Murder Inc., co-opted the lot of them. Almost all of us, until we do what we are told, hide what we know, and follow the leaders and heads so we do not end up on skid row, or in a trailer somewhere watching the Elites and Chosen Few defecating more rot on Info-Enter-Tainment.

        Imagine, all those Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime shows about the elite and the Powerful Goy and Jews and Whites and Rich and Powerful going Breaking Bad. Never will you see those folk in there novelas, soaps, mini-series.

        But plenty of toothless poor whites, or messed up Blacks and Latinos depicted in their warped fictionals and in their docu-dramas. Imagine just following the rot of a Kissinger and Family or Families of Maxwell or Soros or, all those Zionist terrorists from old and now, well, they will not allow those scripts past the censors since the billionaires own the entire show.

        Here’s a good piece, “The Belly of The Daily Beast and Its Perceptible Ties to the CIA

        Part 2 of a two-part series takes a deep dive into the history of the CIA’s central role in orchestrating news and editorial coverage in America’s most influential liberal national media outlets — and its continued hold today.

        https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/the-daily-beast-ties-to-cia/?utm_source=salsa?utm_source=salsa&eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=313f5c39-0690-421a-9124-f8861b4b1e8f

        Part One — “CIA’s Extraordinary Role Influencing Liberal Media Outlets Daily Kos, The Daily Beast, Rolling Stone”

  5. These essential control options will be taken away from you by a loan institution. As if that weren’t enough, the bank also has the ability to refuse renewal of your policy and, in the event that the house is sold, to cancel it entirely. However, if the insurance was purchased through a third-party provider, you have the right to have a say on these areas.

  6. @Paul+Haider Can you say in less than one million words what your concrete policy plan would be? After skimming your “War and Peace” length posts, I inferred that much of what you wrote had no bearing on the article at hand.

  7. Debating bartering is not productive. How would you put such a system into effect without causing the agricultural economy and systems of distribution to collapse? How would you keep people from starving to death in the near term? Most people do not produce goods in the home and have nothing to trade. How would they get the products they need to survive? How would you keep social chaos to a minimum in the interim? Sure, barter sounds good on paper but would be a disaster if implemented on a large scale. It may work at a local, small scale.

    1. @Prem Chand
      Oh really? So the only debate you’ll allow is that which supports the Earth-destroying status quo? No one said that we should return to bartering immediately or even by next year. But it certainly can be done eventually, because that’s how people used to exchange wealth before they used money. A return to bartering may require other major changes like a large reduction in human population, but that would also be a good thing. If it takes 1,000 years to accomplish this, so be it, but it’s the only right way to go.

  8. Thank you, Ellen Brown, for your ideas on this issue. I always find your economic analysis to be informative and thought provoking. I also appreciate that you make what are otherwise complex issues easier for people to understand.

    As others in the Comments section have indicated, if we were in an equitable economic system, your plan for loans for SME production and infrastructure make perfect sense. But it seems to me that, back in 2009, which I think was the advent of QE, this was the stated intent. Apparently, the fix was in.

    A few questions for you…

    It’s my understanding that, just as raising interest rates would explode the debt bomb, wouldn’t a stoppage of cheap money to the wealthy and powerful financial institutions…like financial heroin to the addicts, likewise cause a similar crash? In fact, isn’t it true that the mere mention of raising interest rates results in stock market tremors?

    When thinking about our economy, I can’t help but return to the research that was done by economist Mark Skidmore and Catherine Austin Fitts. Their exhaustive study indicated that some twenty trillions dollars was removed (stolen) from the U.S. economy starting in the late nineties.

    This theft is an indication that the so called financial elites have given up on the U.S., and rather than invest in America, it appears to be liquidation time. The recent, six month or so, political theater referred to as “Build Back Better” suggests this, I think. Its demise was always the intent.

    I appreciate that you read and respond to reader comments, and so would enjoy hearing your thoughts.

    1. A cynical but probably accurate assessment 🙁

      One has to ask, why on earth would a state not opt for a state-owned bank. It may be due to lack of confidence and expertise in taking over the real accounting operations – so they “outsource”. It takes manpower and expertise to run the BND

      1. @Paul Lebow
        Because the politicians in office work for their donors, not their supposed constituents. Bankers make a lot of money, and they contribute some of that money to political campaigns and parties in what amounts to legalized bribery. We have the best government money can buy!

      2. It’s true but too simplistic. The financial industry has made things so complex and byzantine that even a well-meaning public official would be reluctant to challenge the status quo. Hopefully people like Ellen will educate the public so that a bottom up movement can take hold.

      3. @Paul Lebow
        It’s not true that the government can’t figure out how to do banking. The government has a bank in North Dakota. And the reason that banks have been allowed to make their accounting and other financial systems so complicated — which, BTW, is for the purpose of ripping people off and getting away with it because no one can understand the accounting; AT&T does this with their phone billing — is that we have the best government money can buy, so it all comes back to that.

    2. Thanks Charles. Yes agreed, the PTB see it as liquidation time. The problem is the global debt, which can’t be repaid. The big institutional players are all interconnected – they all invest in derivatives, etc., so if one big player goes down (like Evergrande), they all go down, like pulling a thread from a knit sweater. That’s why we need a “reset.” Resets are always about clearing the board and starting the game again. Ernst Wolff in this podcast, https://odysee.com/@jermwarfare:2/ernst-wolff:f4, says the economy is intentionally being crashed so people will be willing to accept their new A.I. Internet of Things and Bodies, UBI in place of wages, and interconnected digital currencies controlled from the top (e.g. probably an IMF SDR reserve currency). The challenge for the non-big-players (us) is to design a new game with a level playing field and rules that are fair to all. Even more challenging will be getting our model implemented! But we have to try. Hope springs eternal …

    3. @Charles Badal
      Build Back Better was a ruse for the purpose of passing the Earth-destroying infrastructure bill, which will benefit developers, contractors, and the rich through theft of public assets aka “privatization.” Joe Manchin recently said that he never intended to vote for BBB, and let’s face it, he represents coal companies and other nefarious interests, not the people of West Virginia. The so-called progressives in Congress are either totally naive for trusting Biden/Pelosi/Schumer when they promised that they would get BBB passed and that the “progressives” in the House should vote for the infrastructure bill without BBB passing the Senate first, or they were in on the scam. I’m guessing the latter.

      1. Thanks, Jeff, and agreed. In this case, I was referring to BBB more as a symbolic gesture toward some interest in investing here at home.

        But of course, you’re correct in your assessment of it as just another large transfer of wealth upwards.

        I suspect that some of the worst of it will be passed in other legislation, such as the hiring of thousands more IRS agents, further investment in 5G, etc.

  9. Patches to the capitalist economy, courtesy of Scheerpost. Why not nationalize the big banks? Create a “North Dakota State Bank” everywhere. Corporate debt is a problem caused by the system itself – falling profits, a tendency built into capital accumulation. ‘Our’ central bank is really run by private bankers. Why? The stock market is at a record high, inequality is at levels not seen in history and we have to save the stock market? Yes, because it is a lynchpin of the system and will throw us all into misery. We are its prisoners. Low interest rates and no interest rates (for corporations) is designed to drive us all to invest in the securities markets. To amp the commodities circuit, the dangerous ‘growth’ economy, the environmental catastrophe. To make up for pitiable wages. Now we have zombie corporations and many zombie households. Small businesses are ‘defined’ by our erratic govt as any place with under 50 employees – including every McDonald’s franchise, etc. It hides the real breadth of large firms. Most small firms are just feeder ramps to the large firms anyway. Focus on these firms. They should be socialized under workers’ control… especially the carbon companies – now.

    1. @Red Frog
      Ooh, now there’s an idea I can get behind! Not as good as eliminating money altogether, but definitely a substantial move in the right direction.

  10. Thank you for such clarity of financial thinking, Ellen.

    If I had it within my powers, I’d appoint you Chair of the Fed, with a mandate to support the formation of public, community and cooperative banks all across America.

    Keep up the great work!

  11. Ellen a wonderful Xmas gift, a solution for current inflation. I will reduce it and focus it for my contact list. Thanks!

  12. By Catherine Austin Fitts

    Our lives have increasingly been shocked by events, often referred to as “false flags,” progressively used to justify more central control. Many of these events have been preceded or accompanied by planning and simulation exercises, which sometimes appear to contribute to the engineering of such incidents.

    One of the latest “exercises” to raise serious questions as to whether global leaders, rather than looking to avoid and manage risk, are instead engineering a “problem-reaction-solution,” was Event 201.

    Event 201 was a pandemic simulation conducted in October 2019 by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Health Security, the World Economic Forum (WEF), and the Gates Foundation with involvement of former and current members of the U.S. intelligence and national security leadership.

    Given the timing of the events related to Covid-19, Event 201 raised unanswered questions about the use of health mandates and restrictions to fundamentally reengineer global governments and access to resources—not to mention engineering a significant increase in the size and wealth of the billionaire class—all of which constitute a de facto global coup d’état.

    Event 201 occurred on October 18—immediately after the start of the new federal fiscal year on October 1, 2019. This was also one year after the adoption of Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board Statement 56 (FASAB 56) as an administrative policy permitting the government to run secret fiscal books. With the closing of the 2019 fiscal year, the federal government had the capacity to run a trillion-dollar budget and Treasury market entirely behind the secrecy screen of “national security.” The potential flexibility this secrecy offered for the financing and cover operations of the global coup was unprecedented.

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently announced that it sponsored, on December 9, “war games” simulating a major cyberattack on global financial markets and banks. Israel led the exercise, dubbed “Collective Strength,” with the participation of five of the G7 nations (U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy—Japan and Canada were not included) as well as Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, United Arab Emirates and Thailand. Representatives from the IMF, World Bank and Bank for International Settlements (the “central bank of central banks”) also participated.

    The games included consideration of the impact of “fake news” on the financial markets and contemplated extreme interventions, including “a coordinated bank holiday, debt repayment grace periods, swap/repo agreements and coordinated delinking from major currencies.”

    The IMF war games took place five months after July’s Cyber Polygon 2021, a WEF-sponsored simulation of cybercrime that focused on global supply chains and disruptions.

    What is the meaning of the IMF war games? As with Event 201, we are left with many unanswered questions.

    What we do know is that the push is on to build an all-digital financial control system using vaccine passports and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which will confer central bankers with significant—if not complete—control over individual financial transactions.

    We also know that central bankers continue to aggressively promote vaccine mandates despite overwhelming scientific and medical evidence that the injections are producing more death and disease than the phenomenon called Covid-19.

    In addition, we know that regulators in both the United States and European Union have been working steadily since the 2008-2012 financial crisis to develop a regulatory structure that can easily engineer bail-ins permitting the funding of liquidity problems and fraudulent collateral shortfalls with depositors’ assets and retirement savings. Given recent moves to assert greater oversight over the cryptocurrency markets, this could also include controls on or access to the taking of traditionally unregulated digital assets.

    Given the escalating pushback around the world against the global coup, is it possible that central bankers and intelligence agencies would engineer cyberattacks and bank bail-ins to try to force vaccine mandates and passports? Or, watching retail investors’ growing concern about the integrity of financial markets and the deterioration in the rule of law, are these players just worried about the dependency of the large global banks on the repo and short-term markets?

    Whether the issue is mismanaged markets, theft, or the forcing of depositors into totalitarian financial control systems, there are no answers to our many questions that inspire confidence in the current governance or management of central banks and the financial system.

    But there is one thing we do know: Nothing good can come from health passports and mandates. As a financial professional, my takeaway from reviewing the description of the IMF war games is simple. Do everything you can to stop vaccine passports and stop health mandates.

    If you love liberty, including your financial liberty, then—as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. reminds us—“resist, resist, resist.”

    In from Subscriber:

    “Ripley’s ‘believe it or not’ – the U.S. Fed conducted repos of [unwanted] U.S. government debt on Friday, Dec. 17 in the amount of 1.704 Trillion—a new all-time high.

    The debt limit was increased on Thursday by $2.5 Trillion but now they need to ‘issue’ new debt to raise cash and bolster the Treasury’s depleted piggy bank in a market that already has 1.704 Trillion in debt ‘looking for a home’ while the Fed’s balance sheet currently stands at $8.756 Trillion [another fresh all-time high].

    At what point does complete global U.S. dollar rejection become a reality? My guess—soon.”

    1. @niko
      I agree with the attitude of your Catherine Austin Fitts quote, but where is the evidence that there is “overwhelming scientific and medical evidence that the injections are producing more death and disease than the phenomenon called Covid-19.”? I haven’t seen anything like that, nor do I personally know anyone who’s been substantially harmed in any way by the any of the vaccines (Jimmy Dore said that his 2d dose made him sick, but I don’t know him personally).

      BTW, Catherine Austin Fitts worked in the Bush I administration and became anti-war afterward in an apparent attack of conscience. She then correctly pointed out that the reason that the administration proceeded with prosecuting Iraq war I despite the massive (but all too passive) street demonstrations in opposition was that they ignored the demonstrators. Instead, they saw that Americans were buying SUVs in droves, and realized that what people prioritized was low gasoline prices, so they went to war for oil despite the supposed opposition to doing so.

      1. Oh, Ellen. So many credible and deep looks at DARPA, H1N1, Moderna’s dirty dealings, DARPA, UNC, Biosafety Labs in USA, Canada, Europe, Israel and China: SARS-CoV2. So-so much on Fauci and Gang. So much on Gates and Gang by journalists and researchers. So-so much on BMGF, Wellcome Trust, and on and on and on. Pretty intimidating, no, all the truth out there, and obfuscation of truth!

        This is a time if amnesia, agnotology, delusion, and collective Stockholm Syndrome. Imagine, all that work on gain of funciton. All that work on media ruled by Pharma, Tech, Poisons, Oil, you get it, I know.

        Interesting, trying to sift through the deaths (globally) and the Covid-19 causes attributed to them, or blaming obesity or pre-existing medical problems on death after vax. Oh, that death by ventilator syndrome!

        But this is a two plus two plus two event, and while the mainstream media and the left are working hand in hand to NOT add it up 6 to discover the origins of this amazing respiratory illness (sic), and you know, knowing the origins, the diabolical processes behind the dark virus experiments, all the animal infusions of viruses, all of that, plus the massive torture facilities like pig and poultry and bovine warehouses of super breeding, super/supra bacteria, viruses, funguses, prions, and the waste waste waste sprayed into the air, and all of the dirty dealings of WEF and Klausy Boy, all of that, it is not looked at in this narrative.

        No matter how stiff-arming one is while in league with the grand scientists (always honest, always true, always working for the public’s well being — hahahaha), to not want to know how the sausage was put together, that is another delusion of MSM/Corporate Propaganda Engines. What are the origins, the experiments, the people behind the scenes way before the experimental vaccines rolled out?

        To not want robust debate about policy x and policy y, good or bad, mandates, intended and unintended consequences, what have you, here we are, and have been since Pearl Harbor and bombs bombs away onto Japan, then the entire ranch (freedoms, democracy) has been sold down the river.

        There is common sense missing in almost every system in Capitalism. The co-opting of people and colonizing of minds is a very cleaver Eward Goebbels Bernays thing, don’t you know. We have 80 years of technology and science without the public being encouraged to be systems thinkers!

        I just wonder if that British funny compilation of collapsing and dying folk caught on cameras, and put to music is really what you are after, though, Ellen? More than 1,000 deaths from the vax, Ellen. Would a Xmas song work for showing old footage of Jews piled up onto heaps work? Funny? Viet Cong lined up in murder rows set to music, funny? The graves of students in Mexico murdered by narco-government-military put to a Xmas jingo work? You get the optics.

        Ellen, you know better. All this Jon Stewart crap is crap, and Jimmy Dore is not a journalist, but he admits it. His show is just plain old critical thinking, rough, sure, but still, not much of that going on with the CIA-loving Corporate Media winkers/wankers.

        You get the picture. And, music background set for all those Japanese maimed by mercury thanks to Minamata’s Chisso company? Minamata disease is a neurological disease caused by severe mercury poisoning. Signs and symptoms include ataxia, numbness in the hands and feet, general muscle weakness, loss of peripheral vision, and damage to hearing and speech. In extreme cases, insanity, paralysis, coma, and death follow within weeks of the onset of symptoms. A congenital form of the disease can also affect fetuses in the womb and may cause cerebral palsy. We know the issues, Ellen. Funny videos are, well, more of the mass psychosis of consumo retailepethicus.

        I have to say I am prejudiced (rightly so) against Brits and UK and Rhodes Scholars and Rhodes himself and UK-USA copulation through history, so any Masterpiece Theater bunk, or a funny video with a Brit accented songster, well, chilling. . So, this jinogistic compilation of people collapsing, well, put the music to injured and dying girls who got their 2nd and 3rd HPV Merck jab. (here, my two-bit story on my dealings with HPV at a Planned Parenthood training in Seattle — https://www.hormonesmatter.com/tag/hpv-vaccine/ )

        It’s lunacy not to look at where the money goes, where the money is made, who makes the profits, and what the eugenicists’ agendas are.

        Fauci and Company — RFK, Jr., now turned into what, in the MSM/Corporate Propaganda Continuing Criminal Enterprise? A monster? Lunatic? What the hell?

        Jimmy Dore (and yes, he is lambasted and accused of all sorts of no-no’s)

        https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/jimmy-dore-rfk-jr-bestseller-the-real-anthony-fauci/?utm_source=salsa&eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=313f5c39-0690-421a-9124-f8861b4b1e8f

        https://youtu.be/pckSLm6Fgis

        Article: Here’s Why mRNA COVID Vaccines Might Be Messing With Our Innate Immunity: A pre-print study provides evidence to support what many prominent immunologists and vaccinologists have been saying for a long time — mRNA COVID vaccines are causing immune system dysregulation.
        By Jessica Rose, Ph.D.

      2. This article seems somewhere between disingenuous and erroneous, depending on whether the author knows what he’s talking about (great name, though). In order for this not to be hysterical propaganda, it needs to show what PERCENTAGE of people had SERIOUS adverse effects (looks like around 2% had adverse effects, but I don’t have time to read the analysis, I normally rely on abstracts, synopses, or conclusion sections of studies and what the relevant scientists say). Just throwing out raw numbers of adverse effects and not even saying what percentage of those were serious is meaningless.

        Be aware that I’m not a supporter of industrial society, including western medicine. I don’t even go to a doctor unless something is seriously wrong with me that my body can’t heal on its own. I hate needles and I don’t like artificial chemicals, including vaccines being put into my body. But there are plenty of good arguments like that against vaccines without making up stories about them causing more harm than the virus. If you want to make that claim, you need statistics to back it up, and I haven’t seen anything like that.

        I’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of adverse effects from the COVID-19 vaccines were relatively mild and short-lived, which is exactly what I’ve been told by people who got adverse effects from these vaccines. I felt pretty bad by the time I went to bed the day of my first shot, but by the second day the effect was mild, and it was gone by the 3d day. (I only got vaccinated to please my wife, and the deal we made was that she wouldn’t bug me to get any boosters, which I won’t be getting.) I know literally hundreds of people (my wife and I are involved with music, my wife has a band), many of them friends, and all but one are vaccinated. None of these people have had serious adverse effects from the vaccines. There are over 330 million people in the U.S., and 85% of the adults here have gotten at least one vaccine shot. A few thousand deaths and serious adverse effects are not much when looking at the big picture here.

      3. Jeff, I replied to your post here but it appears to have been disappeared by the moderator.

      4. @niko
        I understand that this is at least somewhat nuanced, but the percentage of people who got substantial bad reactions to the vaccines is small, measured in one in thousands. That’s not to say that the effects don’t happen because they surely do, and it’s been found that the Moderna vaccine causes heart problems when given to certain age groups. We also agree that we shouldn’t trust any of the pharmaceutical companies, or their lackeys in government or media. But making unsubstantiated and/or greatly exaggerated comments about a conspiracy — there’s no conspiracy, they’re openly lying in order to make more money for the pharmaceutical companies — just leads most people to ignore what you say.

      5. Trying again; here’s the original reply that disappeared:

        Information, insight, and learning can be gained from others independent of their politics, though with polarized, sectarian divisions and cancel culture at large it’s easy to find people who shut down such possibility as soon as most any deviation, even if not non-negotiable but incidental or trivial, from narrowly circumscribed boundaries of their own identities has been detected. I’m aware of some of Fitts’ background, but in her case and hopefully many others, there can be enough common ground among different self-interests to form an effective coalition or united front to fight strategies and goals of a war waged against all of us in different ways.

        Yes, I’m not clear without further explanation on what Fitts means in the statement you highlight. Increased mortality rates and excess deaths have begun to be correlated with injections. But data and research as to aggregate death counts are less developed, largely because of censorship and repression. There’s also extensive evidence and documentation as to how death due to covid has been vastly exaggerated, by as much as roughly 95% for instance as a result of this proportion of the deceased having comorbidities dismissed by top-down regulation, as from the CDC, suspending examination of causes of death in favor of attribution to covid. So maybe Fitts has this in mind, too.

        The officially controlled (CDC/FDA) Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) is notoriously deficient, with notable research like the Harvard Pilgrim study showing underreporting by as much as 100%, such that recent report of roughly 20,000 deaths in the US may mean hundreds of thousands or millions of deaths, which certainly would rival or overshadow (inflated) covid counts. Even at 20,000, this is more death than has been reported in all previously thirty years of VAERS. This is an ominous departure from precedent when public health demanded protection of the public from pharma and its vaccine products with only tens of deaths, as when the 1976 swine flu fraud came to a halt after roughly fifty deaths among the vaccinated.

        Already, exposure of the poisonous properties of the covid non-vaccines, or gene and cell therapy, from the mRNA-manufactured spike protein making for blood clotting and immunocompromised effects, to graphene oxide and nanotech parasites turning recipients into electromagnetic conductors and transmitters for 5/6 G cellular networks, attest to ticking time bombs implanted in people, with evidence increasingly emerging that different batches of these still alarmingly secret products of the national security state have been sent to different areas and populations.
        In addition, past bioweapons R&D has included selective targeting of population groups based on race and ethnicity.

        In short, there are more than enough red flags or alarm bells (e.g., suppression of unprecedented numbers of athletes dropping dead) to call for the complete cessation of these injections unloaded upon the general population in blitzkrieg style, aka Operation Warp(ed) Speed. That there instead remains a universal and permanent vaccination agenda, with mandates and passes to enforce it, indicates that public health emergency is about anything but our safety in providing cover for converting humans into experimental lab rats in egregious violation of both the Hippocratic Oath and Nuremberg Code, perhaps already having ushered unprecedented numbers of people into time- and space-staggered genocide.

      6. @niko
        What she meant was that superficial actions like family-friendly demonstrations have no effect except making the demonstrators feel good about themselves. She meant that these are oil wars, and that every drop of gasoline that you buy supports them. She meant that supporting these wars by driving is infinitely more important than whether you demonstrate against them, because the politicians pay attention to the former and ignore the latter (they watch what you DO, not what you SAY).

        I’m done debating the vaccine issue with you because you sound like a conspiracy theorist to me. You have a preordained position, then look for facts to support it, which is backward from sane & rational thinking. Of course anything unnatural that you put into your body has some negative effect, even if that effect is unnoticeable. And no one is denying that SOME people get serious negative effects from the COVID-19 vaccines. But the wild claims that you make have no supporting facts.

  13. Thank you Ellen for such a cogent article on how our current system, as flawed as it is, can at least use the tools it has at its disposal in a beneficial way.

    Clearly the money supply is a major factor in the inflation equation, but why is the textbook definition of inflation selectively ignored. Right now we don’t have the economic capacity in place to absorb existing money, in large part for the reasons you give. We don’t invest in ourselves.

    While capitalism will always lead to destructive speculation, and our bank-created money will always lead to wealth inequality, until the money system can be replaced with one not based on debt, let’s bend it in a direction that will reverse the “too few goods” side of the inflation equation.

    Keep fighting Ellen!

  14. Thank heavens someone is advocating we inject substance into the economy rather than money!

    The only way to insure a steady increase in local production in every country is to flush free trade down the toilet and increase tariff walls on all goods. High and consistent tariff walls assure fairness and allow long term investment in local production, higher productivity and wages and lower debt.
    Also moving production back to developed nations will reduce CO2 emissions and waste. Will the cost of goods increase? Yes but the cost will reflect all costs, rather than a cheap price with debt the hidden component.
    Government revenues will rise from tariff sources and income taxes can be reduced accordingly. An environmentally progressive tax system should be based on consumption, much less on income.
    Cheers and and a Healthier New Year!

    1. @John Meyer
      We don’t want to increase production anywhere. What’s needed is a massive REDUCTION in human consumption, more so in the rich countries like the U.S., but everywhere in the modern world. The increased production/consumption that you want is gobbling up the planet along with the life on it.

      1. Jeff,
        What I’m recommending will reduce consumption, environmental damage and waste. Yes, we will have to do less with far lower inputs but whatever we consume, we should make as much of it as locally as possible. That means all costs are included and all standards are transparent and it also increases productivity, real wages and levels of equality.

      2. @John Meyer
        If what you propose reduces overall consumption, I’m all for it. My position is that people need to move toward living a lot more simply & naturally and in a lot smaller numbers. I’ve heard far too many liberals and leftists promoting the idea that poorer societies should become more destructive in order to gain wealth. Quite the contrary, we need to become a lot more like them in their lower consumption.

      3. The philosopher Mortimer J. Adler argued that in a just society no one would have so much that others did not have enough. By enough, he meant “the goods that are necessary for a decent human existence.” And by “goods” he included the opportunity for a quality education, access to good medical care, time for involvement in civic affairs, and the opportunity to engage in leisure. By these measures the system of socio-political arrangements and institutions of every society (other than, perhaps, small tribal societies not plagued by hierarchical privilege) fail.

        Clearly, financial and monetary institutions and practices have for many centuries been dominated by a privileged few. The British author Fred Harrison suggests that the real escalation of hierarchical privilege was triggered by the conversion of nature from that of a commons into a commodity that could be bought and sold. In Britain, the process began with the signing of Magna Carta, falsely held up as the beginnings of democracy. In reality, Magna Carta ended whatever degree of reciprocity still existed in feudal societies, turning the land over to a rentier elite able to claim the rent of land that was collectively produced and rightfully belonged to all members of the community. Fast forward to today and we see that the earth is certainly able to provide the goods of a decent human existence, if only so much of the planet and its resources were not monopolized by those who make use of unearned income to pay for lavish lifestyles, conspicuous consumption and the ostentatious display of personal wealth.

      4. @Edward J. Dodson
        You’re talking about social & economic concerns. The concerns that I prioritize are the Earth and everyone* living here, not problems that only affect humans. Capitalism needs to be abolished because it is consuming the Earth and all life on it BY NECESSITY. If capitalism were merely a social and economic problem, I’d say let the people in each society choose which system they want. The problem is that these thing affect a lot more than just humans.

        *I refuse to use “thing” or “it” as pronouns or descriptions on nonhumans. Nonhumans are every bit as much Earthlings as humans are and have every bit as much of a right to live and thrive as humans do (maybe even more, since humans act as a cancerous tumor on the Earth).

  15. G’day Ellen

    Just a few thoughts!
    I really am an advocate of LVT and if you the Aussie system working you “may like” it.

    Also, I just can’t help feeling that by Easter next year we will have a “credit squeeze”

    Keep up the good work

    John

  16. Some thoughts after forty plus years in the financial services sector:

    1) Every state and most cities and large town ought to charter a public (not-for-profit) bank to serve the community.
    2) Commercial banks should be required to possess or acquire the cash balances with which to make loans. Thus, banks must be required to conform to accounting standards adhered to by all other types of business entities.
    3) Any financial institution that accepts government-insured deposits should be prohibited from making loans for the purchase of land or accepting land value as collateral. Purchasers of real estate should be required to draw on savings in order to purchase vacant land or land on which an improvement is to be constructed or already exists. If the purchaser does not have the savings, other investors not protected by government-insurance, will offer the case and price appropriately for the risk.
    4) If we are to continue to rely on fiat currency as legal tender, this currency (and its digital equivalent) should be issued directly by the Treasury and (subject to restrictions designed to maintain stability of purchasing power) spent into the economy.

  17. Ms Brown,

    Thank you for this important contribution to the conversation about inflation. If we had more banks fulfilling traditional service roles you describe instead of acting like predators and literally killing the host (see Michael Hudson), our citizens and small businesses would be much more successful.

    Please don’t be discouraged by (the appropriately named) Haeder, who seems to be dissing your contribution because it doesn’t solve ALL of our problems. I must admit, however, that Mr. Haeder appears to have a remarkable grasp of the depth and range of our problems, and found his discussion of these issues fascinating.

    Finally, it seems that every article regardless of the subject elicits mandatory rants from anti-vaxxers comparing us with Nazi Germany for just trying to protect people from themselves. The alarming burnout rate among my fellow health care professionals (we’re nearly all fully vaccinated and boosted, and somehow still alive!) is largely driven by so many deluded people not doing their civic duty to protect themselves and their fellow citizens.

  18. Hi Ellen,
    Spot on! The problem is increasing supply, particularly from the small-to-medium enterprises. Given the precarious existence of these businesses, I should have realized that increasing the interest rate would hurt them, but you’ve made it clear it would kill many if not most of them. Local, independent banks focused on SME’s is another great idea, and we have the example of South Dakota to point to.

    Yes, there’s a wider context. To use a medical analogy, the patient has cancer. But right now the patient is bleeding out, and we need to apply immediate first aid. (Though I’s think that thousands of smaller banks might be a counterweight to Blackrock and Vanguard.)

    Keep up the good work!

  19. “in America the citizen has been transformed into a client; the worker has been transformed into a consumer…in america equality means money”. Christopher Lasch

  20. There is a problem in attempting to fix the economy while staying within the rules of the banking system. Workers, however, have been disenfranchised by outsourcing to Asia, and the more importantly by the four huge technological revolutions rolling in: Robotics, GPS, self-driving cars, container ships and delivery vans Communication with uninterrrupted in surveillance in handy iPhones, 3-D printing, AI and the looming war on China will will not bring the Coming of Jesus Christ our Lord to save us from chaos.

    The German exports are greater than the Chinese probably has to do with finished products vs. assemblage of components. The i-Phone was a good example several years ago. Chinese hands working on assembling added $10 to GDP while i-Phones sell for $500-1000. The Germans protect their industries and their workers.” Socialism, prenatal to grave healthcare, tuition-free education, to the with a stipend for food and living expenses. Danish farm boys became world-class engineers. India graduates one million engineers, China 700,000. China especially graduates engineers who drank from a standpipe and defecated over a hole. They bring useful high tech installations all over the world and drink from standpipes and crap over the local hole.

    The United States does not have a banking problem. The average family has increasingly been propped up by the ephemeral magic of bail-outs and QE, which seems more the jargon of pornograph promotion. If the props of our consumer economy were removed, there would be chaos. Just say NO to chaos!

    $32 trillion in off-shore banks don’t just sit in a digital warehouse. Offshore banks were the brainchild of the Bank of England in the City of London. Transactions off-shore launder money, skim off billions world leaders and their kin. The King of Jordan was the latest star in the tabloids. The Paradise papers and the Panama Papers etc didn’t change anything. The King of Jordan and his family may end up on the chopping block of history. It must have been fun to watch the digitaries and generals of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungairan Empires who once wore plumed caps, their chest’s festooned with ribbons on tight-fitting belted jackets, matching trousers and fine leather boots after their empires were butchered and bled.

    Anyone who takes the time to construct and write their best is a pleasure to meet. I once asked, “Has an emoji dictionary been published?”

    Be well & happy.

    Merry Christmas!

    Richard

  21. I find Ellen Brown’s analysis of our current inflation problem persuasive: 1) a pandemic-related supply problem to which global markets cannot react quickly enough that 2) requires providing credit to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) locally through not-for-profit community banks, instead of raising interest rates which would exacerbate the problem.

    Like Ellen, I deeply appreciate Paul Haeder’s concerns (and niko’s concerns) about “so many bigger issues”, but I do wish he’d focused more on the issue at hand. His citation of Ellen’s opinion piece on public banking, “Public Banks are Key to Capitalism” looks to me like it might have been prejudicial because I feel sure she thinks public banks would be key to any post-capitalist system and our transition to it, and in this regard I wish he had not just brushed off a state bank as “a meaningless slap in the scheme of things”. OTOH, I really appreciate other comments of his including those on Steve Keen’s books on economics, and on his own life journey.

    Re Michael Glenn’s “Nonsense” reaction to Ellen’s main point summarized beneath the title of her article, I know this is a common emotional reaction of which I too have been guilty, but I feel like I must say that IMO it’s not respectful in what needs to be our collaborative inquiry.

    Re MichaelG’s argument “That debt-free medium has to come from the free market”, I wonder how Ellen would answer him now that we’re finally waking up to the great extent to which our notion of the free market is a myth — that what really rules are the rules we establish for key matters that govern the market such as copyright, patent, and bankruptcy law.

    Similarly, I wonder how Ellen would answer 1) Irene R. Adams’ objection that “These essential control options will be taken away from you by a loan institution. . . .”; 2) Charles Badal’s question that “just as raising interest rates would explode the debt bomb, wouldn’t a stoppage of cheap money to the wealthy and powerful financial institutions . . . likewise cause a similar crash? . . .”; and 3) Red Frog’s existential concern that since “amp[ing] the commodities circuit” will continue to amp our “dangerous ‘growth’ economy . . .”, won’t we need to “socialize” SME’s “under workers’ control … especially the carbon companies” as we provide credit for them — or, I’ll add more generally, to establish accompanying decarbonization measures in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

    Finally, Paul Lebow speaks my mind in saying, “Thank you Ellen for such a cogent article on how our current system, as flawed as it is, can at least use the tools it has at its disposal in a beneficial way. . . .”

  22. Ellen — Some good work over here, Alison McDowell. Social Impact “investing” and “soul harvesting.”

    https://wrenchinthegears.com/2021/12/26/its-time-to-talk-social-impact-investing-in-brazil-glenn-greenwald/

    Elizabeth Hinton’s From The War On Poverty To The War On Crime contains further insights into the ways in which the social safety net of Johnson’s Great Society was used to extend police presence in communities of color through public housing and afterschool programs.

    More: It is vital that more people start to understand how social entrepreneurs and impact investors intend to corral today’s youth into mixed reality; take away their economic independence; condition them to a surveillance panopticon; farm them for compliance data; and package their futures as commodities to be traded as asset backed securities rated based on how they utilize privatized welfare or blockchain Universal Basic Income.

    Quoting Alison:

    If they can package it right, tell a compelling story, all this horror will fit nicely into BlackRock’s ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) portfolios. It must. That’s the whole point; to keep capital circulating through creative new forms of militarized debt finance. Brazil is well on its way as I will demonstrate in the posts that follow. The country, with guidance from Ronald Cohen’s GSG (Global Steering Group, formerly the G7 Impact Investment Task Force) adopted a national strategy for impact investing, ENIMPACTO, in 2018. Recommendations included the following:

    Use public banks and development agencies to seed impact markets.

    Cultivate public-private investment deals with hybrid finance products.

    Use public resources to incubate impact business with private partners, especially women led.

    Support the creation of impact businesses by NGOs.

    Outsource government services to private partners, especially those serving low-income people.

    Encourage pension funds to shift into ESG investments.

    Preference impact businesses in government procurement

    Support development and adoption of social impact bonds.

    Create networks of impact focused angel investors.

    Support education around impact policy and impact entrepreneurship in higher education.

    Develop supportive regulatory environment for impact businesses, social impact bonds, and management of endowments.

    Foster impact assessment culture (data surveillance).

    Promote impact investing through advertising campaigns and institutional forums.

    Because of what I’ve seen firsthand, living not far from Wharton Business School, I feel compelled to share the information and insights that follow. The City of Brotherly Love, while exalted as a cradle of democracy, is home to institutions with imperial intent. These campaigns are being insidiously deployed through the export of economic policies that have set the stage for the pay-for-success takeover of public welfare systems around the world.

  23. It seems the economy has become so massively complex, manipulated, controlled & corrupted that conventional logic & rules no longer apply0
    The Market is no longer structured nor does it function as it has for the past 200 years.

    “But corporate debt has risen by $1.3 trillion just since early 2020…”
    “In 2020, 200,000 more U.S. businesses closed than in normal pre-pandemic years. ”
    “Oil and natural gas shortages, food shortages, and supply chain disruptions are major contributors to today’s high prices. ”

    Here’s some interesting data on the current state of the formerly “red-hot” North Dakota oil & gas market:
    https://www.dmr.nd.gov/oilgas/riglist.asp
    Currently, there are 23 active rigs (as of 12/26/21).
    This is down significantly from 68 on 12/26/18, and 56 from 12/26/19.

    The “pandemic”, which crashed oil & gas, and a number of other markets, decimated many smaller producers, driving them out of business, leaving mainly corporate behemoths.

    With those “pesky” smaller producers out of the way, smaller producers whom helped drive down prices (as competition tends to drive pricing lower), the corporate behemoths were able to command more market share, eliminate more competition, and drive pricing upwards.

    The same has largely occurred in the meat industry, among numerous other industries.
    https://globalcomment.com/could-antitrust-laws-outlaw-meatpacking-monopolies/

    Big Banks & Big Asset Management firms have been pushing for inflation for long time, in quest to drive relatively sluggish profits higher.

    Here’s an interesting set of charts outlining the devastation of SME’s that has been ongoing, since the late 1990’s:
    https://eig.org/recoverymap#mapInfographic

    Here’s an interesting chart from the Federal Reserve outlining the massive reduction in the number of publicly-listed companies in the U.S., since the late 1990’s:
    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DDOM01USA644NWDB

    Since the Great Recession, corporate debt has risen significantly, owing much to record-low FED interest rates, and used largely for corporate stock buybacks, which have reduced the number of outstanding shares, creating one of the largest stock market bubbles that has ever been seen.
    But creating more value & equity for the largest shareholders, those Big Banks & Big Asset Management firms.

    These Big Banks & Big Asset Management firms have managed to grab control of much of the economy, via large shareholdings, not just in the U.S. but across the globe.
    This can be confirmed by investigating & researching SEC ownership filings.
    More info can also be found in places like this link:
    https://wallstreetonparade.com/2021/12/a-bloomberg-column-says-the-macho-culture-and-risk-taking-on-wall-street-is-dead-in-the-same-year-that-it-blew-up-archegos-with-85-percent-margin-loans/
    Which talks of the massive derivatives held by just four banks, but fails to mention that those four banks are all tied back to the Big Asset Management firms, whom exist as the largest shareholders of those banks.

    With the continued Armageddon of smaller businesses, and continued fevered-pacing of corporate M&A’s, less & less competition is the trend.
    Less competition means reduced production, again leading to higher prices.
    By creating those “Oil and natural gas shortages, food shortages, and supply chain disruptions”, etc.

    The complex & highly-convoluted schema of virtual monopolies, via large shareholdings, has become like Standard Oil on steroids.

    Higher prices will lead to greater revenue for the fewer remaining mega-corporations, leading to better ability to reduce corporate debt, eventually leading to a push for higher interest rates (once corporate debt becomes more manageable).
    Each leading to greater squeezes on Consumers (whose debt is also rising, but with reduced abilities to raise income to better pay off those debts), with those mega-corporations, and their Big Bank & Big Asset Management firms reaping the benefits.

    All this the result of a corporato-socialist neo-feudal economy.
    Which is a wholly planned economy, with the FED serving as the central planning authority, at the behest of those Big Banks & Big Asset Management firms whom largely own and/or work in conjunction the FED (consider the relationship between BlackRock and the FED, for example).
    I.e. corporate socialism, for the wealthy.

    With the Big Banks & Big Asset Management firms maintaining such massive control over numerous economies, they effectively maintain control over politics, and governance.
    Most people now exist most solely to produce and consume from these Big Banks & Big Asset Management firms (though most aren’t aware of their massive holdings, nor control).
    Much like feudal times of eras past.

    History has shown, time & again, that wealth tends to concentrate in the hands of a few wealthy Elite.
    And those wealthy Elite then use the power & influence of their wealth to unduly influence public policy, to their continued benefit.
    This happens regardless of the economic model (i.e. regardless whether “capitalist” or “socialist” economy).
    The American Revolution was initiated largely in response to a vast concentration of wealth, with those Elite using their controlled mega-corporations of the day, like the South Sea Co., the East India Co. , et al., to unduly influence & corrupt the British government, for their benefit, and to the detriment of “common” citizens.
    Those mega-corporations maintained control of some 24 percent of the entire population of the world at the time (via British territories, colonies, and such).
    British Authors, John Trenchard & Thomas Gordon, via their 18th century essays entitled Cato’s Letters wrote of this schema of malfeasance.

    Back then, those mega-corporations were running a massive fraud involving rapidly growing public debt.
    But it’s happening again in the contemporary era.

    Even worse, in contemporary times, as these Big Banks & Big Asset Management firms continually put an ever-greater squeeze on Consumers, they are simultaneously using their wealth & influence to garner “social-welfare” contracts from the government.
    Profiting by working to keep “commoners” down, then profiting even more by providing mere scraps, in the form of “social-welfare”, to those commoners.

  24. Interesting, the Scheer Report is failing the Pandemic Report. Here, good stuff from Canada —

    https://zeroanthropology.net/2021/12/26/protecting-the-pandemic-from-the-people-perpetual-panic-permanent-emergency/

    Quoting:

    There are some suggestions that the Omicron variant could well end “the pandemic”. And that is a problem. It is a problem on two fronts. First, a variant that not only defeats the “vaccines,” but that also reduces the pandemic to a minor endemic phenomenon, is not one that can be exploited to generate profits for a transnational pharmaceutical giant like Pfizer, which has effectively captured the Canadian market and enjoys a near monopoly, plus a free sales-force (consisting of politicians, civil servants, academics, journalists, and many others). Second, any scaling down of illness removes the thin cover used by the state to centralize and maximize political power, under the pretext of an endless “state of emergency”.

    First, what do we know about Omicron? Medical authorities in South Africa have already explained, and emphasized repeatedly, that the virus is following its normal course of evolution towards a strain that spreads easily and is far less lethal—indeed, its symptoms are very mild. Scientists elsewhere have concurred. In South Africa, Omicron has been accompanied by a reduction in hospitalizations, and deaths. Mild symptoms have been the worst of the Omicron experience there, and elsewhere. As of December 12, the WHO reported not a single death anywhere could be attributed to Omicron—after months of circulation in Africa. While fanning the flames of fear about overwhelmed hospitals in Canada and the US, in South Africa a published study found that persons with Omicron were 80% less likely to be hospitalized than if they caught another variant; compared to Delta infections, Omicron infections are associated with a 70% lower risk of severe disease. South African authorities are still wondering why Europe and North America are freaking out. (Answer: the freak out is calculated.)1

    South Africa reminded us of some very important facts that are overlooked too often: Africa, with a negligible percentage of people being “vaccinated,” has evaded the worst of the “pandemic,” a fact that somehow baffled First World scientists. There simply has been no pandemic in Africa, by any long-standing definition of a pandemic. This has brought forth another fact: the worst of the Covid experience has been primarily centred in First World countries, which had the strictest measures, states of emergency, lockdowns, and mass “vaccination” that has approached between 75% and 100% of their populations. More than that, countries that imposed or enforced few or no restrictions, have fared the best—in the Caribbean region, that was Haiti, which rejected the importation of “vaccines” and which could not or did not impose or enforce masking and social distancing. Haiti has fared the best in the Caribbean under Covid; it has done better than nearby Cuba (which has developed two vaccines of its own), but it has even done better than its next door neighbour, the Dominican Republic, where incomes are higher, the injection rate is higher, and serious restrictions were imposed and enforced. Sweden, Florida, and Texas might occupy attention in Western-fixated media, obsessively concerned with their immediate experience, but none of these are the real test cases of what happens when places adopt diverse responses. The really important cases are instead to be found in Haiti and the African continent.

  25. I see locally most of the major banks are shutting their doors and moving on line to avoid the overhead. Making it much more difficult for small business to deal with cash & loans.
    Rural communities are already feeling the pinch. Who has the time to drive 20 miles to see the bank and back?
    It is obvious that the large banks are looking for bigger profits and Wall Street loves that. But Main Street needs the attention now more than ever.
    A preposition to have the US Postal System incase in banking has been brought up. This would help make USPS more viable and serve many more rural areas.
    Just a thought.

    1. Note the immense increase in the wealth for the 1% households, following the Fed’s money-printing scheme and interest rate repression in March 2020.

      A household is defined by the Census Bureau as the people living at one address, whether they’re a three-generation family or five roommates or a single person. In the third quarter, there were 127.4 million households in the US, per Census estimates.

      Those top 1% households were the primary beneficiaries of the Fed’s policies during the pandemic. And they have hugely benefited since the Financial Crisis. They benefit the most when the Fed prints money (QE), which is designed to inflate asset prices, which benefits those that hold the most assets the most. This is not a secret. It’s the official policy of the Fed and the desired outcome of these official policies is officially called the “Wealth Effect.”

      Billionaires got more billions, half of Americans got peanuts.
      The Fed doesn’t provide separate data on the truly rich (the 0.01%) and the Billionaire Class, a distinct class in American society whose members often get named in the media with specific titles that have “billionaire” in them. They’re the prime beneficiaries of the Fed’s monetary policies.

      According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the top 30 US billionaires are worth a total of $2.23 trillion. On average, that amounts to a wealth of $74.5 billion per billionaire among the top 30 richest US billionaires. Three months ago, each of the top 30 US billionaires at the time was worth on average $69.2 billion. So, over the three-month period, the average billionaire among the top 30 US billionaires each gained $5.3 billion in wealth.

      But the bottom 50% households, that huge mass of Americans, on average gained just $6,900 in wealth over the third quarter. And the wealth disparity between the top billionaires and the bottom 50% exploded.

      You can kill someone with reckless usage of percentages. If I give a homeless person $5, and he already has $5 in his pocket, I increased his wealth by 100%. But he still is homeless and still doesn’t have any wealth. Percentage increases are touted as a way to show that the wealth at the bottom increased, when in fact, it increased by only peanuts because the bottom 50% have so little and even a big percentage increase is still nearly nothing, compared to the billionaire class.

      Over the past quarter, the average wealth of the top 30 US billionaires increased by 7.6%, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. This amounts to an increase of $5.3 billion per billionaire. This is a huge amount of money for one person to gain due to inflated asset prices in one quarter.

      The average wealth at the bottom 50% increased by 14% during the quarter. But this amounts to only $6,900, further blowing out the wealth disparity between them and the billionaires by the billions per household!

      Within each category of wealth, the range of wealth is huge. The top 1% range from those who’re just run-of-the-mill wealthy to those who’re worth tens of billions of dollars. The bottom 50% range from the desperately poor to those who’re comfortable with a modest house, a small 401k, and some durable goods, and weighed down by lots of debt.

      https://wolfstreet.com/2021/12/27/my-wealth-effect-monitor-wealth-disparity-monitor-for-the-feds-money-printer-economy-december-update/

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