TED Conversations

Gregory Pipkins

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Creating a simplified (as possible) understanding of the global banking system and the way economics work.

I'd love to hear a TED talk that explains the financial system in a way that is clear, concise and can be taught to a 6th grader. Maybe I'm reaching, but I don't mind :)

I think so many of my own struggles with finance stem from a lack of understanding the principles that found the system of monetary exchange the world operates on.

Informed people make better decisions. That's my theory. So, the idea I'm proposing is to seek out the person or team of individuals who could present the scenario of our economic system in a fun, simple, and relevant way using examples that we can all understand and relate to down to a Jr. High level, and then, to give us advice on ways we can fundamentally change our and our communities' economic health for the better, for the long run.

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    Mar 9 2013: Lies are better hidden when they are in a pile of jargons, bureaucracy and endless paper trail.
    But real things do have a twist to them that may make it difficult to understand with the mind of a child.
    It is good to strive for understanding; however, too much knowledge could lead to more questions and confusion than nearer to helpful understanding.
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      Mar 9 2013: If Man can figure-out how to fly to the Moon and back surely he can get a grasp on how the Federal Reserve System functions. I think Mr. Pipkin's idea has a good chance for success.And, boy would it be good for the world!
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      Mar 9 2013: I agree that lies are certainly best hidden when the surrounding context is as confusing as quantum physics, and as subject to change as the universe itself. However, that's why I believe it's necessary for us to uncoil this vast subject at it's core and begin to teach it to one another and to our children so that they can grow into their own knowledge of it and not have it dominate their or our lives from behind closed doors.

      I can't help it. I seek knowledge which leads to wisdom which leads to understanding. It's in the soul.

  • Mar 9 2013: Beware of simple explanations.

    People continually complicate things with the simple purpose of keeping themselves in a high paying job. I have found this true of every profession I have had close contact with, including bankers, medical care, information technology and,of course, lawyers. Just when you think you have figured out what one of these groups is doing, they change the game. Good luck with your quest, but I doubt you will find any simple explanations that continue to be adequate over a long period of time. There are good reasons why many subjects are not taught in high school, and this is just one of them.
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      Mar 9 2013: I agree.

      Your response has helped me get clarity and more focus on what I'm looking for: a fundamental explanation of HOW and WHY the system of money is so confusing. Explained in a way that will get people to ask their own questions. One of my more specific questions is directly related to your last point: Why isn't economics and the money system taught in our schools? I'd love to have a former high level official at the WB or IMF or even Dept. of Economics give an ex-pat explanation for the ages.
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    Mar 9 2013: A foundation has been laid already. Here's a QUOTE: "The 5 Objectives of the Federal Reserve System: 1) Stop the growth of competition in banking. 2) Obtain a franchise to create money out of nothing to be used for lending. 3) Gain control of the cash reserves of all banks so the more reckless ones can be exposed to currency drains and bank runs [thus creating a cartel]. 4) Get taxpayers to cover the cartel's inevitable losses. 5) Convince Congress that this is all to protect the public."- Ed Griffin, The Creature From Jekyll Island, ch.1.
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      Mar 9 2013: I am sympathetic and somewhat familiar with this brand of thinking, Mr. Long. However, I've been suspicious, distraught, and downright angry to the point of exhaustion for so long that now I need concrete evidence and understanding. Still, I recognize that the complexity of the issue and the desire to keep the system confusing and far from kitchen table conversation is at play here. That's why I'd love to have it broken down by a funny, compassionate, economist and/or someone simply in the know who can make it all relevant. I think I'm interested enough that it doesn't necessarily have to be "funny" or even "compassionate", but I think it would help to keep a larger audience's attention.
      • Mar 10 2013: try going to wiki for fractal banking and central banking and follow the threads from that I googled and wiki a lot about this topic after watching Zeitgeist: Addendum and couldn't believe what I learned the movie simplifies banking so that you can get the gist of it the learn more as you go forth
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        Mar 10 2013: You idea for a factual but entertaining presentation is not without merit, but alas, I don't think it is likely that anyone who is capable of meeting such a difficult demand would be willing to do so. The market for the instruction you seek is quite limited. There is no fame or fortune to be gained. Most folks don't want to know how the global economy works and the few who do are soon plunged into the exhaustion, confusion, and anger you speak of. I have suggested a book (you really should read it) and Mr.Harder has offered sound advice. Another book called Secrets of the Temple, by William Greider is helpful but nowhere near as eye-opening, informative, and digestable as Griffin's work. Know this for certain, the Federal Reserve System and the IMF are the primary tools being used by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) to establish global Socialism. No one who is sold-out to the current system is going to put anything in the way of their own gravy train. I think we must educate ourselves and not wait for someone to make it all clear to us.
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          Mar 10 2013: What is your take on those in power creating a world wide currency?
        • Apr 6 2013: to pat if its not to late for you to read this. not only do i agree that we should have a world wide currencey but i also had the thought that all products and all services profits should be goverened to no more than X percent over bottom line costs of making said product and or services. what do you think? ya i know the people with the money would never let it happen but what do you think of the concept?
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    Mar 9 2013: I agree

    Not exactly what your are looking for but good none the less


    This one is pretty good:

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      Mar 9 2013: I want to respond fully to both videos, but I'll have to get to the "Money and Banking" on youtube when I have more time. As far as Niall Ferguson, you're correct that it's not really what I'm looking for, but I am glad to have further insight into what Niall terms as the "6 Killer Apps". It's a very interesting take and I agree that competition, in it's truest sense, is very healthy. However, "laws that begin with reason" is a far cry from what the West has done. If reason means that human conditions and rights take a backseat to things like property and profit, then yes, Mr. Ferguson is correct. However, to me, reason has more to do with enlightenment and less with economic conservation. I digress. Still, I appreciate the views that are shared and I appreciate you, Mr. Gilbert, for sharing with the rest of us.

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        Mar 9 2013: "If reason means that human conditions and rights take a backseat to things like property and profit, then yes, Mr. Ferguson is correct. However, to me, reason has more to do with enlightenment"

        Which view creates more reason in reality? Not in theory but in fact?
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          Mar 9 2013: "Reality" will be different for every person and being. Yet, we all come together to form the totality of reality. This is why I said specifically "to me" reason has more to do with (spiritual) enlightenment, with Reason being equated to "what makes the most sense". Spiritual enlightenment is a process of breaking down the false images one has created for itself, and on a larger scale, which one has been nurtured to believe in. Profit and property are also terms that are subject to the eye of the beholder. To one person, profit and property may be money and things owned, respectively. While to another person, they can be collectively taken as lessons learned. It just depends on where one's spirit or soul is on it's journey.
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        Mar 10 2013: One view espouses the necessity of regulation and laws and government

        The other is the corollary

        Which creates more enlightenment? Spiritual or otherwise?
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      Mar 10 2013: RE: "What is your take on. . . "The CFR is the hidden governing body of our nation. Read Shadows of Power, by James Perloff. The New World Order will have one common currency. People's ignorance and apathy is greasing the wheels for the implementation of global Socialism under the irresistably capable leadership of the CFR. It is virtually a done deal.
      EDIT- Reagan quote deleted.
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        Mar 10 2013: How do you imagine this new concept of currency?
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          Mar 10 2013: Please don't trust my opinion here, but I think it will be exactly like the game of Monopoly. Imagine trying to introduce "money" other than the various color-coded denominations supplied by Parker Brothers (or whoever owns the game now) with the game. It wouldn't work because everyone agrees to use the game money only.
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        Mar 10 2013: That seems odd coming from Reagan. He was anti centralized government. I have heard things about the CFR before. As you know I am not complacent, but to be honest I need something more substantial than a quote and a book about Jekyll island.
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          Mar 10 2013: Good idea sir. Honesty is the best policy. I too will look for other sources on this unlikely sounding quote from an Economic Summit in the Spring of '83 in Williamsburg, VA. Maybe Ronnie just wanted a global currency without a global government? By the way, Jekyll Island is off the coast of Georgia where 7 men met in 1910 to secretly to form the banking cartel that would become the Federal Reserve System. The book is not about the island contrary to the title.
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          Mar 10 2013: There is no reference offered by the author (Griffin) beyond the time and place of Reagan's alleged comment. I have deleted it from my comment. Thanks for your vigilance
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          Mar 12 2013: I contacted the publisher and they provided the reference for Reagan's quote. The reference is “Say No to the New World Order” by Gary Allen. It was published in 1987 by Concord Press of Seal Beach, CA. The quote can be found in Chapter 13 on page 234. So I will put the quote back in: "National economies need monetary coordinating mechanisms, and that is why an integrated world economy needs a common monetary standard. . . But no national currency will do-- only a world currency will work."-- Ronald Reagan at 1983 Economic Summit in Williamsburg, VA.
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        Mar 10 2013: Yes I'm familiar with the event. It does seem plausible given that Woody got the FED passed which was not the 1st central bank in the U.S. But facts are useful as even the writer of your book might color his story some?
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        Mar 12 2013: Was it an effort to get away from countries devaluing their currency? Like China does now in order to get economic advantage.
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          Mar 12 2013: I'm over my head now, but that sounds like something Ronnie would have pushed for.
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        Mar 13 2013: Ok Thank you
  • Mar 12 2013: I believe that anything too complicated to (easily) grasp hasn't advanced beyond a socially primitive stage, until it's made intuitive to most people. This is true even of technologically "advanced" systems if they're over-complicated. And it might be especially true of closed systems.

    The best way to clearly explain the financial system is to transform it to be remarkably elegant. And this will happen with strategies that smartly simplify and open the financial systems. Too few eyes are why it grows complicated.

    Here's a few analogies, trends, and examples of how and why financial systems will change for the better and their "mysteries" disappear:

    Better banking:


    With enough eyes, all bugs are shallow:


    Socially-responsible business:


    Transparent businesses:


    You can message me if you have any questions about these.

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    Mar 9 2013: you would not believe it. but i recommend you a book:
    Murray Rothbard - The Mystery of Banking
    it takes longer to read than a TED talk, but worth the time
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      Mar 9 2013: Thank you, my good man! Will add to the reading list.
  • Mar 9 2013: Why not? Remember that many people will not need a sleeping pill....Okay they won't listen anyway. Probably most who would listen on TED are already well informed. Some people are curious - some aren't. The important thing to read is Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mckay. The bubbles are from long ago, but people haven't changed in the last two hundred years. Transportation has changed a great deal except rush hour driving. When I am in a traffic jam, I play a visualization game, Just suppose that there were chariot lanes and Bodica or the chariot racers from Ben Hur were speeding by as they would be. My Dad used to tell me that many modern health improvements were myths. Look at the graves of your relatives in rural Texas and see all the 80-year-olds. I did and he was right. They ate lots of food with lots of fat, did physical work, and were not around a large number of people. I've read that about magical places like Okinawa and Iceland . I did spend a year on Okinawa when I was a Marine officer. Wonderful place except so much American military there. Oh Iceland Chess players like Bobby Fisher used to like to go there because nerds love to see the most beautiful womrn in the world. The men all had perfect vision because they are fisherman with cod to fish and farmers. Why am I on this tangent? Bankers and promoters ruined the economy there according to the news. More is better if they let you keep it. Only if you get to keep it. "Nor all that glisters, gold."Ode on the death of a favorite cat, drowned in a tub of goldfishes.