Why Central Banks?

I have long argued that the interest-based, debt-money, central banking regime is both dysfunctional and destructive, and advocated for the decentralization of control over credit and the creation of exchange alternatives that use privately issued currencies and direct clearing of accounts among buyers and sellers.

There is a considerable body of literature that makes the case for free money and free banking, most of which has been ignored. These ideas have been overwhelmed by the economic and financial orthodoxy which stands in support of the political status quo which centralizes power and concentrates wealth.

For governments, central banks serve as “lenders of last resort,” enabling deficit spending through their purchase of government bonds and manipulation of interest rates, while for the banking cartel, government serves as “borrower of last resort,” sustaining their privilege of lending money into circulation and charging interest on it. Whenever this unsustainable system threatens to implode (as it did in the crisis of 2008), the government steps in to take bad (private) debts off the bankers’ hands and place them on the shoulders of the citizens (“bail-outs”). When the next bubble reaches its climax, we will likely see another round of “quantitative easing,” but when that proves to be inadequate, we will likely see some combination of inflation and outright asset confiscation known as “bail-ins” (partial seizure of bank balances).

In his recent review, Leonidas Zelmanovitz, highlights the main points in Vera Smith’s book, The Rationale of Central Banking and the Free Banking Alternative, which was published in 1936. Paraphrasing Smith, Zelmanovitz concludes that [Keynsian policies are] “not necessary to solve the problems they are purported to solve; most likely, they are part of the cause of the problem. Furthermore, there is an alternative, and that alternative is free banking,.” and, ” You can have good money without central banking and central banking does not guarantee good money.” You can read the entire review on the EconLib website.

Another classic source on free banking is Henry Meulen‘s, Free Banking (London: Macmillan, 1934). Free download available here. I will provide some excerpts from that source in a future post.


5 responses to “Why Central Banks?

  1. Thomas, Thank you for the clarification. The Treasury is a government department long since overrun by the interests of the private, Federal Reserve System. The Fed’s objective is not public service; rather its objective is to profit at the peoples’ expense. The banking elite, as you say, are the owners of the transnational, private, banking conglomerates. The Federal Reserve System is a criminal organization. The Fed is a private firm independent of, and unaccountable to, the American Government. During congressional hearings Fed officers report to Congress in double talk (Bernanke), or stonewall in response to inquiries. Everything the Fed professes to be true about their motivation to uphold the wellbeing of Americans is a lie. The sole purpose of the Fed and its owners is to dominate, and to rupture the lives of the less powerful. You be well.
    https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/082115/why-do-some-people-claim-federal-reserve-unconstitutional.asp

  2. A paper from the World Bank exposes a big problem in bank accounting for money creation. Here:
    The “accounting view” of money: money as equity (Part I)
    http://blogs.worldbank.org/allaboutfinance/node/916
    The “accounting view” of money: money as equity (Part II)
    http://blogs.worldbank.org/allaboutfinance/node/917
    The “accounting view” of money: money as equity (Part III)
    http://blogs.worldbank.org/allaboutfinance/node/918

  3. Dear Thomas, The money that the government uses to cover its operating cost is barrowed from the central bank. President Reagan’s Grace Commission proved that all national income tax is used to pay interest on government loans from the central bank; and perhaps, foreign creditors. The central bank’s ultimate objective is to foreclose on the government in order to expropriate all public assets. You be well. Reed C. Kinney

    • Reed, the central bank is an instrument of the banking cartel. To be accurate, interest paid to the Fed on its holdings of U.S. government debt obligations is repaid to the Treasury, after Fed expenses are deducted. True, the United States in in hock to the banking elite. It has already been foreclosed.

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