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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Dark Hole: How the Fed Prints Money Out of Thin Air

William Greider, The Nation

If Congress chooses to take charge of its constitutional duty, it could similarly use greenback currency created by the Federal Reserve as a legitimate channel for financing important public projects -- like sorely needed improvements to the nation's infrastructure. Obviously, this has to be done carefully and responsibly, limited to normal expansion of the money supply and used only for projects that truly benefit the entire nation (lest it lead to inflation). But here is an example of how it would work.

President Obama has announced the goal of building a high-speed rail system. Ours is the only advanced industrial society that doesn't have one (ride the modern trains in France or Japan to see what our society is missing). Trouble is, Obama has only budgeted a pittance ($8 billion) for this project. Spain, by comparison, has committed more than $100 billion to its fifteen-year railroad-building project. Given the vast shortcomings in US infrastructure, the country will never catch up with the backlog through the regular financing of taxing and borrowing.

Instead, Congress should create a stand-alone development fund for long-term capital investment projects (this would require the long-sought reform of the federal budget, which makes no distinction between current operating spending and long-term investment). The Fed would continue to create money only as needed by the economy; but instead of injecting this money into the banking system, a portion of it would go directly to the capital investment fund, earmarked by Congress for specific projects of great urgency.

This is what Ellen Brown, author of Web Of Debt, has been advocating strenuously - get rid of the Fed and have the government print its own money without any indebtedness to private bankers. The national debt is beyond repaying anyway. Who still believes it could possibly by paid down? The current system is bound to snap.

I'd be in favor of another Estate in government, in addition to the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, called the Monetary branch. Members (say, 12 of them) would be appointed by the president, confirmed by Congress and would serve open-ended terms similar to Supreme Court Justices.

The infamous Mayer Amschel Rothschild Quote, "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws", is a pretty good indication that the People, not private interests, ought to control their own money supply.

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