Tom Britton

Director, Teacher, Language School

This conversation is closed.

To what extent are Americans worried about the fact that the Federal banking system is a private institution?

Is the privatisation of the Federal bank (to 10 stake holders) part of the American capitalist dream of freedom? To what extent does the general American public attribute the national debts of the U.S to abuses by the Federal bank? Is it abuse at all or is it in fact a justifiable part of American freedom? Do Americans think that it is, for any reason at all, justifiable to put a debt on every piece of currency that enters circulation? If the Federal bank was not a private institution, what would happen to America?

Closing Statement from Tom Britton

Thanks to everyone for your input. I look forward to seeing how far the central bankers will go before the majority of the general public starts realising what is going. I suspect all of us lot will be long gone by then, if it ever happens.

  • Oct 18 2013: I find this discussion interesting. In 1832, Andrew Jackson vetoed the bill to extend the charter of 2nd Bank of the US. In his message why he vetoed the bill, he listed the following reasons:
    It concentrated the nation's financial strength in a single institution,
    It exposed the government to control by foreign interests,
    It served mainly to make the rich richer,
    It exercised too much control over members of Congress,
    It favored northeastern states over southern and western states,
    Banks are controlled by a few select families.
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    Oct 21 2013: Hi Tom,

    I like Noam Chomsky's take on the current debt crisis and the role of the fed.
    (the full lecture is worth watching if you don't mind the repetitive nature of Chomsky's work.)

    My own opinion is that: the issuer of currency is clearly the master of those who subsequently use it.
    So the question is - who controls those 10 stake-holders?
    The US federal government is not to be dismissed as irrelevant here.

    The deeper question is about currency itself. My opinion is that currency has only value to a community in transition - and only when that transition is from a setback to re-establishment of a tenable position.
    After the communities equilibrium is achieved, the retention of money propels the community to over-population and collapse.
    The default economy of humans appears to be a gift culture - it operates on prestige earned by the giver. A monetary economy grants prestige to the greatest hoarder - the taker.
    Dmitry Orlov is worth listening to - he has observations about soviet economy that were withheld from the west for a long time. We need to re-learn this to get even close to what's actually going on.
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    Oct 16 2013: Very good points in my opinion. But I don´t ask whether or not the Feds are doing a good job or not, I wonder more whether, just like in the UK or mainland Europe, the whole thing is a bit of a charade. It is supposed to be a Federal bank. Federal meaning that, of course, it is governed by the state. I´m questioning whether it is really governed by the state at all. Doing away with the central banks would, in theory, create a freer market economy. But while we´ve got it, leaving it in the hands of stake holders seems like a bizarre concept. Inflation is partly due to the fact that the debt is ever increasing. Why do we have this debt? Why is the money LENT to the population?
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      Oct 17 2013: Thanks Tom for all your comments.
      And precisely, I've never really figured why (in the U.K) the government has to borrow money from the banks, and pay interest on it. They're the government for goodness sake. (Well, unfortunately no longer, their governance is dictated by the Central Bank and the big banking players, in essence).
      I'm sure you've seen "The Goldsmith's Tale: Money as Debt" on Youtube, Tom; but for anyone who hasn't - please watch it.
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    Oct 16 2013: Sadly the (planned, and scripted) dulling of American education, and the dumbing down of American media has done it's work. The average American has no clue what the federal reserve is, or what it does. They have little, or no understanding of currency manipulation, monetary policy, deficits, debt, debt limits, defaults, default swaps, quantitative easing, bonds. They are so totally ignorant that they don't really care anymore to learn. The average American ,or citizen of many other nations for that matter doesn't give a dam about it. They are consumed with consuming, Iphones, World of Warcraft, NFL scores, soccer stats, Tea bagging, dancing with the stars etc. The plaintiff cry we always hear is, "those bastards when are ( "THEY" ) going to fix things" ? The God dam government ! It's the government ! That's the government's problem. Who the hell do these poor dumb bastards think the government is? It's like the meth addict that thought he could just try it once as an experiment, get an idea of how it feels, and never worry about getting hooked. Next thing you know their teeth are falling out, and they're living on a heating grate in a cardboard box. Therefore it's up to the extraordinary scholarly people with a social conscience and an understanding of (governance, and monetary policy) to make the case and go to war for the rest in mutual self interest. In my view the international banking system while providing the capital to finance the worlds economies is at the same time the biggest drag on economic dynamism. The entire system has become so hierarchical , so proprietary, so secretive, so utterly corrupt, that they must be considered, for all intents and purposes a group of terrorist organizations seeking to dominate sovereign governments. Tey're skimming every single dollar, drachma, dinar, yen, won, and pound. We are already far far down the road to international criminal manipulation, and oligarchic fascist totalitarian world government. We are at war.
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    Oct 15 2013: Extremely concerned by a system that was meant to keep us enslaved to it. Extrememly concerned by the fact that the powers that be will sacrifice the financial security of millions to appease those who are in a position of power and control over our entire monetary system. Extrememly concerned that the possiblity of doing something about it has dwindled with each generation to almost non-existent. Extrememly concerned that an individual who speaks out about it and tried to influence a mass movement against it could find themselves myteriously taken out of the equation and the true version of events covered up by the power hitters in our gov. The people we elect to represent us will sell us out in a heart beat for a chance to be re-elected and to hold onto their already overwhelmingly powerful position of influence. We are nothing more than pieces to be manipulated on a board game to them. And that's what we will continue to be until a game change transfers the power out of their hands and onto individuals with the self control to handle that kind of power and enough moral integrity to do the right thing with it.
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      Oct 15 2013: So, We are still speaking of the Federal Reserve System? Your comment could have been applied to the entire Federal Government. Don't miss understand me, I believe that the Federal Government has become a crony system and needs some serious changes to make it again responsible to the American people.
      But, in a practical matter, if we were to do away with the Central Bank, what would we replace it with, that could be better....

      PS I don't think there are such people that have the moral integrity to handle that kind of power.
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        Oct 15 2013: The economy would be much better off without the FED. If I could change one thing it would be to get rid of the FED. You are ignorant on an important subject, you should read up on it
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          Oct 16 2013: Actually Pat, I have looked the Fed with a critical eye, I just don't see a viable alternative. We do away with it, now what? Look, I am not a fan. I have read a number of alternatives, I can poke a hole in all of them. If I can see the holes, just how bad are they?
          Do you have a way to establish a central bank? I am all ears or on TED, all eyes.
      • Oct 16 2013: Mike Colera,
        You said, "PS I don't think there are such people that have the moral integrity to handle that kind of power."
        Does this mean you think those in power and control have this so-called "moral integrity" to handle the power they now have?
        That is ludicrous to me. They have shown a complete degradation of any moral character of any kind and if you are correct, then this does mean American'ts need to not only replace their system with a just one, but also to get those in power, out of the power, by whatever means necessary.

        You also said, "But, in a practical matter, if we were to do away with the Central Bank, what would we replace it with, that could be better...."
        You mean that is all the critical thinking you are capable of, about 2 seconds worth?
        Well, your points carry no weight in that regard. Best you leave making a new and just system to those Americans who wish, want to, and can think critically in new and profound ways.
        Jacque Fresco has ideas that he has worked on for at least 75 years. No one else has worked on anything such as a re-engineering of society like Fresco has. No one, except those who wish to keep the dying, rotting status quo alive, which when thinks about it, is absurd. It's rotten, it's dying. Why keep it? It's worthless. It is letting down the people, but not those who lack moral integrity to run everything into the ground.
        Is Fresco's work perfect? No but there is nothing else on the horizon except abject failure and horror.
        What will most people say to that? Fresco is a joke, yet they have worked on nothing, and they only will speak in circles with the same old language from the same old tools, all of which have failed.
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          Oct 16 2013: Mr.Chance.
          Someone much smarter then me has said "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" . No, don't get me wrong, there are honest people out there, Smart people who could be well qualified to become public servants... Problem is most of them want no part of government service.
          Yes, I have to admit, I have held my nose as I pulled the election level. I have voted the best of bad choices. But, maybe, I will get better choices in the future... one can only hope.
          I read Fresco's work. Was it Sinclair that wrote about a great place to live... memories fade. But, I find Fresco, Sinclair... Sinclair is a better novelist...
          I see no way that Fresco's theories could ever be viable in the real world..
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        Oct 16 2013: Mike

        You have demonstrated that you are very informed on other threads, don't go myopic on this subject.

        Before 1913 we did not have the FED. Just look at the facts the U.S. economy boomed from the 1870s through 1912 without the FED.

        After the FED there was excessive credit created and the inevitable boom that followed burst and gave us the great depression.

        The FED is NOT part of the Constitution, yet is sold to the complacent citizens as necessary. It is only necessary to those who make a parasitic living by Enslaving the uneducated (Us).

        Go over to the Mises institute for the straight dope on this subject. Or follow .Krisztian's link for the full monty.

        This stuff is life changing.
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          Oct 16 2013: Sorry Pat,
          We got the Fed because of crash and burn of the economy in 1907 while under a free banking period. In fact, there were several bumps in the road during the boom you mentioned.
          Now, it has been said that the establishment of the Fed was the plan of the progressive party to bring the country into their political point of view, I can't confirm this, but I wouldn't be surprised. However, there was a cry across the country for the congress to fix the banking system and this is what we got.
          Hey, I got to call them the way I find them.

          I am familiar with the Mises Institute. I came across them in my readings. I find them a little over the top.
          I would like the federal government address those tasks as defined by the constitution and stop doing things they were not intended. It should reduce the Federal Government by more then half. I would like to repeal the 17th amendment. Restrict the 16th in the taxing of income. I would like to see the presidents cabinet reduced to 7 secretariats. Term limits for congressmen to two terms like the president. I would consider the terms of congressmen and the president to 5 years. I would like for the SCOTUS .to review all the amendments and insure from a legal standpoint that there are no conflicts with the basic constitution. I have found a few that disturb me if they are ever challenged. .
          I am flattered that you find most of my threads informed. You could get a number of challenges on that comment.
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        Oct 16 2013: Mike

        If that is what you see you just are Not looking.

        The difference between the "crash and burn" economy and the FED economy is stark and much worse with the FED and it's meddling.

        There is a ton on this at the Mises org. Since you don't want to look I can't do anything for you.
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          Oct 16 2013: II have read some of the missives of the Mises Org. To sum it up, they do not like the Fed and made a strong case to rid us of it. But, as I have said, I can't see a replacement. We still need a central bank and I don't trust the Treasury to do it.
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        Oct 16 2013: That is simply not true. Do you have anything to corroborate that view?
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        Oct 27 2013: 1. Where exactly is the line drawn between the FED and the Fed Gov?
        2. Those who seek to be in a position of power ought not to be given all...not even a little bit. Those who are best suited to lead will be recognized by those who are already following.
        3. The Conspiracy Theories behind the FED being started are just that...conspiracy theories, however they are compelling and believable which gives great cause for concern.
        4. You find the Mises over the top. Everything about our modern day society is over the top.

        We have a monetary based system as it stands, yes, but who decided that monetary is the only acceptable system?
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          Oct 27 2013: 1. The FED is referring to the Federal Reserve, a central banking organization, et el. established in law ca. 1913. It was established as an independent banking system from the Federal Government. It was to keep the politician's hands off the nation's money supply.
          2. Agree.
          3. I find conspiracy theories questionable. Usually, they are extreme and call for some suspension of belief. Also need many people to be involved. All who must keep the secret. Possible probably, probable not. so much.
          4. Mises Organization. As I understand them, they are or propose an extreme libertarian political philosophy. I am not comfortable with extreme political philosophy. I could be wrong.

          Monetary System. We have a world of over 7 billion people. A monetary system is the only really practical way of exchanging goods and services
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        Oct 27 2013: I know the definitive difference between the FED and the Fed Gov. I was wondering where you personally would draw the line that divides them from a personal perspective.

        Think about the people who are most likely to be involved in a conspiracy theory. These are people who only circulate amongst themselves anyways. The classes are separate and money talks. Not many conspiracy theories are all that questionable, in fact far too many of them are rather enlightening. Finally answering all those nagging questions regarding holes in the story that now seem to be filled.

        Extreme political philosophy is having a FED which borrows $ that can never be repaid. If every single dollar was used to repay our debt to the FED we would still be left with the interest and all the imaginary money that was created with the gentle depression of a few keys on a computer.

        The only reason money is "the only really practical way of exchanging goods and services" is because we haven't been taught that there might be other systems.
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    Oct 15 2013: The FED is not the only national bank which is in private hands, the so called Bank of England is also owned by a hand-fill of individuals and are very secretive about who exactly those individuals are. Once upon a time back in the mid-1800's the FED and the Bank of England did belong to the people and were managed by our respective governments for the greater good of our nations.
    I think that the privatisation of Banks such as the FED and the Bank of England was a determined ploy to ultimately subvert the power of governments which is given to them in trust by the electorate through the ballot. Not sure about the USA, but here in the UK our government is increasingly impotent in the face of the transnationals and the banks - in fact our Chancellor of the Exchequer (the equivalent of your Head of the US Treasury) is actually fighting the EU with British Tax Payer Pounds to ensure that there is no cap to the gargantuan bonuses which bankers are allowed to pay themselves irrespective of whether they have made real or imagined profits for their firms and our economies.
    Not so long ago I revisited the Zeitgeist which explains how a handful of bankers were able to convince our politicians to sell them our National banks and set up the ponzi scheme which masquerades as "the banking system".
    The current system, which was established when our governments sold-us-out it is designed to keep them [the government] and us as individuals in debit, thought I don't think they [politicians] knew or realised this at the time. Essentially if we are in credit the system just doesn't work.
    As to whether the practice is a justifiable method to ensure freedom, I would argue that the reverse is true and that over the past 200 years since this in my view catastrophic event occurred there has been a veneer of freedom, democracy and growth - however like all Ponzi schemes, it's unsustainable. If the FED was not a private institution, equality and real democracy would flourish.
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    Oct 28 2013: I believe most Americans are still under the impression they can not change anything from within. Most American's are worried about themselves and tend to believe success equals wealth for themselves rather than success equals what I have done for the benefit of all. Most don't give a damn about the answer to this question. We follow the same old mouse trails. Law is "correct". "It is what it is."
  • Oct 20 2013: Check your own resources but i used to study the Fed and its origins. My teacher in High School told me the Federal Government has the right to distribute the nations wealth and monetary system. I quickly told her that she was mistaken, the Fed(Reserve Grp) allows the American government to distribute a printed bank note at a set value. John D. Rockefeller and his group of Titans designed the Federal Reserve Banking System in the early 1900's. Jekyll Island is the supposed origin of designing Americas Finance;

    The Du Pont family (english banking and technology billionaires)
    The Rockefellers (immigrant oil and banking)
    The Kennedys (alcohol distribution, and politics)
    The Rotschilds (Richest family in the world out of EU)
    The Astor family is also on the list of millionaire early settlers.
    J.P. Morgan of course

    They seem to be bankers of Britain, US, probably the world. I know the Central Bank idea was opposed by Americans for a very long time and the early Banks were even forced to shut down. These guys are the ones who made the new, unchallenged scheme.

    I wouldn't read into it much however, Du Pont Agriculture Company is a very widespread genetic research and Farming industries in the world. They have production companies in every line of distribution you will ever think of. Rockefeller and Carnegie supplied millions to the government and JP Morgan bailed the US out of bankruptcy. I love the research topic but to be honest, the population of America does not care. They do not know many facts but will insist the wealth of America was found at the end of a rainbow.

    Plus they return a lot of money in the form of Philanthropy and Consulting Services. I think they are now intertwined with the Government 100% I dont get why nobody cares but I do.

    Ron Paul was the only Governor i have seen question the banks directly. He was like whats all this bull shit? it was reported a long time ago on many National Networks but it was immediately forgotten.
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      Gord G

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      Oct 20 2013: "They do not know many facts but will insist the wealth of America was found at the end of a rainbow. "

      Great line.
      • Oct 20 2013: I am glad you think so Gord! Thanks for the the support, keep posting on ted convos. I'd like to hear more from you.
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      Oct 20 2013: The wealthy you have listed are now old money, which means the titans of industry listed are gone and their descendents are living on residuals.The new wealthy.... Gates, Buffet, Dell, The Waltons are well known even in my area, the Butts family and the Pace family are wealthy, but you don't really hear of these "wealthy" in the pejorative "wealthy" oft times described in TED comments. So, who are these undefined wealthy? Often the term bankers are alluded as the mean over reaching wealthy.... OK, let me add more overreaching wealthy that are lining their pockets at the expense of the average Americans....the UAW.... the SEIU.... the AFL-CIO.... Friends and family of high level government officials who start green companies so badly planned that are doomed to failure but recipients of Government aid. Those are the wealthy that are sucking the the life out of the American economy.
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        Oct 21 2013: Well it depends how you define residuals. What would you call 300 trillion in family fortune, left overs? Buffet and Gates are very little fish. I hope you're not paying attention to Forbes.
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    Oct 18 2013: Lets go back to prehistoric days of free living and let the American Government, influencers, rich people, and all the institution like Federal worry of what to do, why we should worry and suffer, its waste of time and energy.

    Just Kidding!! But I really wish we could do so! God bless America.
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    Oct 16 2013: Sadly the U.S.of A is probably the poorest example of anything political other than just how much the democratic process can be corrupted and manipulated by special interests and the self-righteous. The stranglehold the Tea Party has on the Republican Party - the party that abolished slavery and now leads the nation in discriminatory thought - speaks volumes about the nation's decline as a place of intelligent political thought or practice. Add to that the manner in which wealth has suborned the political process in that country and one is left with the perspective that what the average American thinks about their governance or their institutions of governance is irrelevant to those that dominate that governance.
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      Oct 16 2013: So, you won't be voting Republican next November. And why are you so down on wealth? Wealth is a thing. Neither good or bad, just a thing. Or are you saying that there are people that use their wealth in an unacceptable manner. I can understand that. Where you hurt my feelings as an average American is saying that what I think is irrelevant to those who dominate my governance. Maybe, I know they are out there and I am waiting my chance to take out those that are currently dominating my governance.
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    Oct 16 2013: Let's see,
    In our history, we have had a series of Central Banks, we are with our 3rd attempt and intervening periods of time free banking. It would seem that the worse times in the American Economic History were during the periods of having Free Banking.
    I don't see the Department of Treasury acting as the central bank... talk about political influence.
    Although a great idea, I don't see using a hard currency... gold, silver... there just isn't enough to sustain all 300 mil of us.
    We could do away with the Feds and the corresponding national banks and then we are looking at 50 state banking systems and 50 players on every big deal. Scary....
    And I also realized that in the last 50 years the value of our paper currency has depreciated by 90%.
    I have a menu from the restaurant where we had our wedding reception dinner.
    Deflation is not that good and the Fed keeps printing more money in the attempt to increase business expansion and subsequent additional employment, maintaining interest levels and trying to keep the crooks from stealing all the cookies.
    Granted the Fed has not been successful, but who can do better? I can't think of them.
  • Oct 16 2013: Have you ever seen the video entitled "AMERICAN DREAM" on youtube? It's a very interesting explanation and clarification about the FED. You'd better get deep into the story and verify the historical references before confirming everything shown in the video, but I'm quite right if I say that the quotation by Thomas Jefferson reported in the video is true :
    "We must make our choice between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. I place ecomnomy among the first and most important of republican virtues and public debt is the greatest of the dangers to be feared. It is incombent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them, will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the very continet their fathers conquered."
    It is believed that, irrespective of the fact one is an extraordinary scholarly man or not(as somebody has said), contract out our debts is very dangerous, because it means that we are outsourcing our life
  • Oct 16 2013: It is all part of a greater underlying problem which is immorality. All of our institutions reflect the same problem over and over again, greed. We don't just take what we need, we take until it is all gone. We constantly upset the balance of nature. We are constantly creating institutions that do not have to pay for their mistakes (corporations, Fed & all banking systems, politics, justice system, education, defense..) This is unsustainable in any system. Like in an Ponzi scheme the last man standing is left holding the bag with nothing in it. Our original constitution took this seriously and had built in balances, however it has been rewritten out of existence by greedy politicians due to an uneducated public. It is our own fault, we had the tools and stuck our head in the sand while they slowly took them all away. Any good system has checks and balances, give a little, take a little. We cannot keep taking everything, we have to give something back for the next generation or there won't be one!
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    Oct 15 2013: chairman of the fed is appointed by who?
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      Lejan .

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      Oct 15 2013: Big money lobbyists are targeted at and financed by whom?
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        Oct 15 2013: why lobbyists target the fed? why they don't target walmart?
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        Oct 15 2013: because the fed has state granted power, and walmart does not.
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          Lejan .

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          Oct 15 2013: and could someone manipulate 'state power' in his/her fashion by 'big money'?
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        Oct 15 2013: to a degree. the first is voters, of course. no politician in the right mind would risk losing the next election for some dollars more. but it would also be irrational not to take money if they can get away with it. it is a delicate act of balance.
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          Oct 15 2013: Delicate only for the clumsy ones.

          Add a little extra for campaigning, add a nice job offer on top of it (for later), help a little in framing to cover true intentions and Voila! the safety net couldn't be any better.

          For someone to whom 'not taking such a package' was irrational, there was no intention to be a representative in the first place.

          Conclusion: It is irrelevant by whom the chairman of the fed is appointed by
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        Oct 15 2013: others' job is always easy. but it is not random who gets to be a politician and who does not. i can assure you, aspirants are way more numerous than actual office holders.

        misleading, deception, lying, manipulation ... insidious they might be, but not easy by any means. i almost feel respect. almost.
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          Oct 15 2013: I was talking about good morals, not jobs. And I have respect to those who keep their good morals.
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        Oct 15 2013: how could you possibly forgot your own point in 45 minutes?
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        Oct 15 2013: then it is even worse
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        Oct 15 2013: obviously, it is incomprehensible that you argued badly.
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        Oct 15 2013: it is definitely not as i wish. i wish you were using sensible ontopic arguments.
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        Oct 15 2013: alas, nothing new
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    Oct 27 2013: Ang,

    Personally, I have to stand by the law that established the Federal Reserve. I would also stand by the conviction and punishment of anyone violating that law. I have no perspective on where a line is drawn.
    The law is the law. I really have no opinion.

    You make a point on money as an exchange medium. When mankind first gathered into small villages and the bartering of goods and services began, it seemed to work well. As there were more and bigger villages, a system of reducing value of goods and services to a more manageable construct brought mankind to a monetary system. Now, over the years, I have heard many theories on better methods of exchanging goods and services. Some enunciated on these pages. None that withstand rational evaluation. I wait to hear of the next great idea.
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    Oct 26 2013: Given that government is a corporation, does it matter which corporation prints the money?

    What is the difference between "public" and "private"? Companies traded on stock exchange are, technically, "public companies". Anyone can buy stock, become a co-owner, and vote in the stokholder's meetings. Is this what stock owners want? Control over decisions of the company? I think, most stock holders have no idea what those companies do, much less - how to improve them and make more profitable. Most people just want to make some cash.

    I don't know if I need to worry about it. As I listen to the media, there seem to be too many things that I "need to worry about". I have hard time choosing what to worry about first. Good health and enjoying life seem like good priorities. I worry that if I worry too much, I will miss these priorities.
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    Oct 22 2013: Hi Tom,

    I'll do another post here because I think it's kinda important for those who can follow the thread all the way from the root.

    Most will not be willing . ah well , not everyone alive can live very long - we all die.

    The important thing is that we all don't die. It's a species thing. We are human, we want to stay .. we don't need to stay but we should try - we are wired to care about our kids .. there's nothing "wrong " about that .. cows care about their calves - and before a calf is 1 year old .. we call that veal.

    We are veal to something else ..

    If we are to be more than crops, we had better get real.

    If we fail .. we are veal .. or venison .. or lamb.

    Have you ever tried to eat a chicken that died of old age?

    That's what happens when you get to know a chicken .. when she dies .. well, your jaw and teeth are not capable of eating what she left behind .. other animals do that stuff without breaking their teeth.

    We do all this money stuff .. in the old religions - most of this is called a "gleenng the field". The margin of the poor - the 99%.

    My grandfather told me about the depression - there were many people picking the fields after the harvest for enough starch to make a weak milk for the children who's mothers were dry.

    This is sad stuff.

    Except for those who have the prescience to silently slink down off the flanks of the tower of babel.

    That's a hard call - bring who you can .. feel no guilt for those who still think the tower will penetrate heaven and save us all - it just doesn't work that way.

    All that can be done is our best.

    Does that make sense to you?

    (edit for spelling - I'd rather the opportunities for mis-interpretation are eliminated - this is an important task for those who care about the many - as many as possible .. which cannot be all - that's the sadness)
  • Oct 21 2013: Tom,

    What would you like see replace the Federal Reserve? Banco de Espana?
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    Oct 21 2013: Tom... 300 trillion? Way too many zeros... All the old family wealth could go 300 billion... but...liquid funds are probably way way lower.
    A small farmer just outside of my town is a multimillionaire according to the tax collector on his land. But he has to borrow money to by a used car. It's liquidity...
  • Oct 21 2013: This system has bothered me to sense the moment i first discovered it and i can not find any way to justify it but i've found that the problem isn't weather or not its justifiable. People generally are not even aware what the federal reserve is, let alone that it's separate from the government. The problem is that so far no one has really noticed. This topic wasn't even brought up in my economics class... you would think that's one of the most important lessons to cover wouldn't you?
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    Oct 20 2013: If the Federal bank was not a private institution, what would happen to America?

    America has PHD for "washing money". They can always find the way. And the whole world is hostage into that.
    They are controlling money flowing, and money,the artificial creation, make them free to make arificial crises.
    Sometimes I wonder whom do we owe, why,how...?
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    Oct 19 2013: We have beaten the Feds et el. just about to death. I have said that most Americans don't really care. I have read a number of the problems that have been laid off on the Feds and how they do business. Now I am not one who will say the Feds are without sin. Much needs to be done to fix all the problems in oversight etc. But, many have commented on the Banks, the Wealthy. and the usual pinatas we see beaten.
    It is not fractal reserves, the concept central banking....
    It is Keynesian Economics that have upset the apple cart. Consider since 2007 The Federal Government using the Federal Reserve and their cronies have given us all the misery we have today. Have I just expressed the obvious?.
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      Oct 19 2013: Not exactly. It doesn't matter what silly ass idea they come up with as long as they can't finance it into perpetuity when it should be liquidated. And that is an ability peculiar to the FED.

      Fractionsl banking is another flavor of leverage. The problem is they make a bigger bubble and a bigger bust. Same with derivatives and to some extent credit cards.

      The problem is when the nanny state sells us mutts on the idea that it will be too gruesome to let them fail.

      The discipline has to be to force them to comply with Darwin's law.
  • Oct 18 2013: They own every dollar that is printed. We just borrow from them. They are the masters. They can finance (buy) any politician. We have no leaders, just puppets. No one talk about this because no newspaper is foolish enough to bring it up.
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    Oct 18 2013: Pat,
    You got me... As I see it, the Mises Organization holds to the Austrian School of Economics and members of Mises have gone on to form the FEE. There was no direct comment on the Federal Reserves. It was the overall economic policies I read about and when Mises was mentioned in this conversation, I mistakenly run the ideas together.
  • Oct 17 2013: Before coming to a solution we must first assess the problem. First, the American people have forgotten their law (self included) and thus have become victims of ignorance. Rather than growing a pair like the people of Spain, Greece, Brazil and many more who demand change from our "elite," we live in constant fear of something bad happening to our house or car or sunday football. So until we drop the adopted child of the Baby Boom Generation aka consumerism, we will live in debt hell forever!
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    Oct 17 2013: Tom,
    You make a strong case against the US Central Bank. Agreed. But, Americans don't care. Not a concern.
    I make the point, that the central bank system is better then the alternatives. Does some of the missteps of the 1913 law need fixing? Yes, many, including more oversight and and accountability. But Americans don't care. Save the dozen or so who will make comment in this conversation.
  • Oct 17 2013: What I like the most about America is how the powerful white leaders in charge of the nation do nothing for the country and call themselves real Americans. Hispanics, blacks, and other immigrants aren't good enough to be American, yet they're the ones turning the gears of the nation, while all the elites sit on ridiculous piles of money that they could never spend in 5 lifetimes. I'm sure it wouldn't be a big deal if the "elites" poured 3% of their net worth in the US economy with nothing expected in return.

    In the meantime, China is taking its sweet time before cashing in on the US debt. It won't take long before the value of the dollar collapses to a point where people wouldn't wipe their feet with the bills. And when that time comes, greedy rich "Americans" will realize that all along, they only thing they truly ever had was money.
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    Oct 17 2013: This is a very interesting conversation; thank you Tom.
    The bit that scares me though has already been lived through several times in history - and maybe is about to happen again.
    When a small group of controlling people get too much power, it goes to their heads, and they think they can do anything and always get away with it. At some point they get too clever (or too powerful, or too ruthless) for their own good; and the ship crashes and sinks drowning millions in decades of misery with them. Of course, they'll be some of the ones on the few life-rafts. (It's already happened in a relatively minor way in Portugal, where I currently live).
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    Oct 17 2013: Here is a little know fact for ya mIke. 100 % of the income tax peeled off your wage slip is used to pay off the interest on the money printed by the beloved Federal Reserve. ........notice I say interest. I wouldn´t say pay off the "debt" because... well you can´t pay off a debt with borrowed money.

    Is this starting to make sense to you?
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    Oct 16 2013: I guess I am the only one in this conversation with a kind word for the Feds... well, I don't have a really kind word but....

    It came about after the depression of 1i907, when the public got to the congress and said to fix it. They came up with the 3rd Central Banking System in American history.
    Now, I can list all the problems that have come from the Feds that have been listed here and maybe be able to add a few that were overlooked. I bow to no man in my ability to find fault..
    But: When I look at the current congress and Department of the Treasury to take back the activities of the central bank with all that could mean and leave only 50 state banking systems and all that that means... Beneke doesn't seem that bad.
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      Oct 17 2013: What is the role of the Federal bank? Is it to make a profit from allowing the country to have a currency? Ideally, no. But that is the only thing it does. The stake holders are not elected, it is privately owned. It drains an incredile amount of wealth from the government (your money) and gives it to the ultra-wealthy. And I´m not talking about Buffet and Trump who are merely chicken feed. I´m talking about quadrillionaires who are way off the Forbes BS list. They are fraudsters bleeding the country dry. Really bleeding it dry. The United States does not issue it´s own currency, the Federal Bank lends it to them at interest. It is completely absurd. The government does not run the economy by any stretch, unelected bankers do. Under the current regime, whenever the U.S. government wants more currency to be created it has to go into more debt, it is as simple as that. RIght now, every single dollar printed in the U.S carries debt before it even enters currency. Every dime of the U.S economy is borrowed. It is now mathematically impossible to ever pay off the U.S debt. Take a look at your dollar bill. It says "Federal Reserve Note" at the top... that´s a clue. The money that institution makes is unfathomable. It´s up to a trillion dollars a year, straight out of the U.S pocket, it´s all paid in taxes. So where does that money go to, back into the economy?? It is hoarded by the people that really rule the planet. The same people that want put a miro-chip in your arm. The reality is that the Federal Reserve creates money out of nothing. This institution serves America absolutely no purpose at all.

      The huge predator megabanks that now dominate the U.S. banking system use the Federal Reserve as a tool to make money. One of the ways they do this is called the U.S. Treasury carry trade. What happens is that the Federal Reserve lends huge amounts of money to the megabanks for next to nothing, and then these megabanks use all that cash to buy U.S. government debt.
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      Oct 17 2013: Furthermore, as I´m sure Pat would be quick point out, the Federal Reserve devalues your currency. Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the U.S. dollar has lost 96 percent of its purchasing power. Even just a 2 percent rise in inflation can wipe out your purchasing power by half within a generation.

      The Federal Reserve manipulates the U.S. economy by setting national interest rates. By keeping rates high or low, the Federal Reserve has the power to create economic growth or to destroy it. That is what causes the crashes and fixes them again. When the economy crashes, the government has to borrow more money and the Fed makes even more profit. Every crash was orchestrated, including the one you mention in your comment. That particular one was a J.P Morgan tactic to try to convince the American public that they needed a Fed Bank. It was BS. A massive con, huge in fact. They also have the power to inflate massive bubbles and to pop them. Most Americans blame to presidents like Bush or Obama for how the economy is doing. The truth is that they really don't have that much control over the economy compared to the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve also controls your national money supply. They can pump trillions into the economy or pull trillions out without being accountable to anyone. This can have disastrous consequences. For example, after the U.S. stock market crash of 1929, the Federal Reserve continued to contract the money supply. Many analysts (those who aren´t working as a propaganda tool) believe that this was one of the key things that precipitated the Great Depression. The Federal Reserve is not part of the U.S. government.. In defending itself against a Bloomberg request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, the Federal Reserve objected by declaring that it was "not an agency" of the U.S. government and therefore it was not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
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      Oct 17 2013: More? The words of Ron Paul - "The regulations should be on the Federal Reserve. We should have transparency of the Federal Reserve. They can create trillions of dollars to bail out their friends, and we don’t even have any transparency of this. They’re more powerful than the Congress." The Federal Reserve has not undergone a true comprehensive audit since it was create in 1913, it answers to no-one.

      This is more or less the same story accross the planet. Goverments don´t rule us, central banks do.

      The consequences are incredible. It is literally destroying our planet.
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    Oct 16 2013: OK,
    The Federal Reserve System has not been a stellar example of non partisan political disregard as has the Postal service and the Mortgage Fannies,
    But Hamilton and Franklin both saw Communication and Banking were functions of the Federal Government. I don't remember home mortgages in the mix.
    Here is my point. What would the money and letter situation be if these services were full functions of the Federal Administration?
    Now, say what you will, but I think The Feds have been as much of a victim of bad Government policies as the rest of Americans.
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      Oct 16 2013: You are ignorant on this subject, please see my other post
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    Oct 16 2013: for those that care about the theory and history:

    Murray N. Rothbard: What Has Government Done to Our Money?

    available for free in pdf format:
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      Oct 16 2013: Hi Kristían, thanks for the link. Does this material contain any information about the consequences of privatising the central banking system to profiteers?
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        Oct 16 2013: it contains information about how central banks in general destroy the economy, about why central banks can not come to life on a free market, about how the state created central bank in the US.
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          Oct 16 2013: and who, in your opinion, controls the central bank in the US? The government?
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        Oct 16 2013: wikipedia: "Board of Governors [...] are appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate "
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          Oct 16 2013: I think it is a question of whether or not you believe the FED bank is governed by the president or not. I, for one, do not. We have the same situation in the bank of England and in the EU central banks. A central bank strangling the economy. Whether or not to have a central bank at all is another debate. Evidently, to have a truly free market economy, a central banking system is a no no. But a central banking system is what we´ve got, globally, and it isn´t about to go away.

          Kristian, presumably you are aware that presidents, over the last 100 years, have sold their power that they had over the bank in exchange for campaign funds? You are aware that the central bank has stake holders that run the state bank at profit, arguably with disregard for the common citizen?
        • Oct 20 2013: Thomas Jefferson believes there is no taxation without representation. While representation has been frugal and most people dont know who to point at, i do. There has really only been two worth mentioning for the past 30+ years. The Fed is a Board like Kris said, Alan Greenspan was the Head chair for many years, then Ben Bernanke. Both are extremely quick witted men. Both have been in office while a financial crisis threatened our livelihoods. Also Logic- Fed Speak was invented by Alan Greenspan as a way of dodging questions, in order to "keep stock holders confident" while they address the nation.
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        Oct 16 2013: you are arguing from two points of view at the same time. you say that the legal or formal status is relevant and you also say that it is not relevant.

        if you assume that big business controls formally government organizations, then what is the difference between "private" or "public" central banks? it does not matter. if this is the case, even the department of health or education is under private control.

        so what your point after all?
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          Oct 16 2013: I am not saying that it is irrelevant at all, what I am saying is that it is a separate point entirely and not included in the title of this "conversation".

          I´m under the impression that you think that the private sector is not exploiting the Federal bank. Am I right in thinking that?

          My point is that I want to know if Americans are concerned about the Federal bank being exploited by profiteers outside of the government. Obviously, exploitation exists outside and inside the government, so much so that the government and private sector is very blurry indeed. But essentially, the Fed bank isn´t federal at all. If it is the case that the central bank doesn´t even so much as function as a regulatory distributor of money, then the consequences could, potentially, be dire. Many have accused these top central bankers of orchestrating wars and keeping a minute percentage rich. This, as is explained in the link that you provided, is "hoarding". There are a massive range of issues that could seriously damage the entire planet if the Fed bank is in the hands of profiteers. Some more far out thinkers have even suggested that massive financial melt-downs have been designed by central banks and that this debt crisis in America is, at this very moment, part of a plan to bring more money and power to the central bank.
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        Oct 17 2013: oh, not at all. my point is that the FED is only called private, it is in fact a state organization. obviously it is hugely susceptible to bribing and serving big business. just as any state organization. but not because it is private. exactly because it is part of the government.

        if you follow the link i gave, you find out that banks for long tried to establish some FED like organization, but they couldn't. they sought help from the state. people at that time understood that it is a violation of everyone's rights. but in the course of a century, one small step after the other, they they succeeded. it is an unholy alliance. the state and the banks share the loot.
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          Oct 17 2013: Quite right. They share the loot but very little of the power which is still in the hands of the bank. But saying that the state shares the loot is somewhat of an over statement. The state pays a massive never ending price. I presume you meant that the fat cats skimming off the top inside the government share the loot.
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        Oct 17 2013: nope, the power is in the hands of the state. as i said, banks tried hard to establish something like the FED. they could not without the state. the state does not pay, they benefit. without the FED, the government have only one income: taxes. with the FED, they can inflate and they can borrow. at the end, the people pays for the party. but they don't see it. inflation and debt are insidious ways of taxation. the government couldn't care less if banks also make money. in fact, it is good, as they can get some of that too, as bribes.
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          Oct 17 2013: Do you think that the government still has more power than the Federal Bank?
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        Oct 17 2013: the fed is an arm of the government, one of the many
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          Oct 17 2013: Arguably, Roosevelt sold off what little power the government had over the Fed over a hundred years ago in exchange for campaign funds.
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      Oct 16 2013: Kris,
      Pat Gilbert has already beaten me up on my apparent disregard for and their positions on monetary.
      I am not happy with a central banking system. It has, is and will make a mess of the economy.
      But, we do away with it tomorrow, now what?
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        Oct 17 2013: the fed is just half the problem. the true root is fractional reserve. it is immoral and an obvious violation of contract. but with the help of rulers (kings first, governments later) it was legalized, and now it is so deeply part of banking, you look like tinfoil hat lunatic if you question it.
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          Oct 17 2013: I am not questioning your point, but if we didn't use the fractional reserve would there be enough money to cover all that is in play? I didn't look it up but it has to be in the trillions.
          The banking system is a mess and flim-flammery is all over, and we don't seem to punish the guilty.... but in reality, how else can a nation of over 300 mil pop and nearly $25 trillion in activity manage? Or am I asking the question beyond answer.
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        Oct 17 2013: The US constitution originally required the (United States Treasury) to exclusively issue new currency, not a (global banking cartel). The FED has become a (world wide shadow government) overriding the will of the people not just in the U.S. but everywhere, through the (World Bank) and (International Monetary Fund). They're destroying precious constitutional rights to self governance, and monetary control. The oligarchs, or robber barons of the early twentieth century created this mess, not a bunch of welfare queens looking for food stamps. The concept of fractional banking can be debated into eternity. Good, or bad it is the matter of ( degree ) to which fractionally is exercised that is at the heart of the problem. Fractional banking as practiced for centuries has created an overall inflationary oscillation, and upward spiral of money costs. Today it has become an out of control tool funding the grand casino for insanely wealthy hedge fund managers, and oligarchs who will stop at nothing to gain the sickening, pathological ,prestige of having the most toys, and the ability to abuse the most slaves. Thats you. and me by the way, the slaves I mean. The Fed is an abomination by any standard. Worse yet our congress a wholly owned subsidiary mouthpiece for the private Fed is selling the American people out to the highest bidder and most Americans sadly are to ignorant or confused to see it. If we simply read some treatises on the subject by Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and hundreds of others who had the most intimate knowledge of currencies and banking that simply doesn't exist today we could save ourselves. But alas ignorance seems to be bliss.
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        Oct 17 2013: "would there be enough money to cover all that is in play?"

        what determines the price of a loaf of bread? how many loafs people offer and how much money people offer. the two meets somewhere. if we have fewer loafs, the price is higher. similarly, if we have fewer money, the "price" of money in terms of loafs will be higher. that is, more loaf for the same amount of money. that is, loaf is cheaper. it is perfectly logical. if there is more money out there, prices get higher accordingly.

        therefore, there is no "right" amount of money. prices adjust.
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          Oct 17 2013: Yes, in theory, but in the real world... we have seen hyperinflation and deflation. Neither is good.. There is a right amount of money... that amount which is not inflated or deflated in it's value. that being said, the US dollar has inflated 1000% in the last 50 years. That is an indictment of the Feds poor policies. I would say we need to redo the laws of 1913.

          What I can't see is the Treasury going into the banking business. I have watched the US Federal government get into health, education and welfare. We have more sick, illiterate, and more poor people then ever..
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        Oct 18 2013: hyperinflation of government managed paper money. that's the point. we need money that is fixed in amount, so nobody can inflate it. like gold, or some electronic money. or, free money. repel all legal tender laws, all laws making it more difficult to use alternative moneys, and see what people choose.
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          Oct 18 2013: I agree. There is a need to limit or fix the value of money in play. Right now the Fed can ask for money without any limit from the treasury.

          But, this conversation is about a central bank and do Americans care. I say, most don't care and I don;t know how a country this size could function with out a central bank..
        • Oct 20 2013: Well Kris, Gold Standard system was in place until the Feds found a better alternative to issuing currency. Where did the Gold go? It use to be on display and it belonged to every citizen of America holding a bank note.
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        Oct 18 2013: vice versa. the FED can create money, and the government "asks" them to do so. informally.

        how could it function: much better. government controlled inflation destroyed all moneys in existence so far. it is only a matter of time. romans managed to destroy even gold coins. you know, if a soldier shows up at your stand, and offers you a "gold" coin that does not even resemble gold, you tend to accept it. if another merchant tries this ...
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          Oct 18 2013: Not quite. Only the treasury can create money. the Feds can ask, but the President can refuse.
          Now the Fed does sell money to national banks and returns profits to the treasury.. Money is a commodity like oil or gold or.... wheat. As a commodity, it only holds value of what someone else will exchange for it.
          Too many people give money more credit then it is worth.
          I have enough money to meet my needs and at my age I have no wants. And there is the story. Too many people have a great list of wants and no means to exchange for those wants. They are all about money, who has it and how they can get it. Many ask the government to meet these wants for cash and the government complies by putting more money into play and is not the central banks problem, they get more to play with and the cheats get more to steal.
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        Oct 18 2013: i don't know where do you get your information from, but the FED is in charge with controlling the money supply. this is not up to debate.

        the government is of course the ultimate decision maker, but they control the money supply through the FED, which actually creates the new money.
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          Oct 18 2013: Kris,
          We are splitting hairs. The question are Americans concerned about the Central Bank and they are not. The mechanics of who what when and where are not really that important to most Americans, Banks are buildings on the corner of the street where you get home loans and credit cards.. They will give you a checking account and a money machine card. That is all most Americans know about banks and that is all they care.
          In America, There were three periods of time where we had a Central Bank. We are in the 3rd period. In the intervening times we had free banking more or less. It didn't work well during those periods/

          The US Central Banking systems is not working and the 1913 law needs serious
          remaking. .
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        Oct 18 2013: as i explained earlier, the fed is not the root of the problem. fractional reserve is. but without a central bank, inflation is limited and ends in a bank run. while with the fed, it leads to a never ending credit expansion which eventually destroys something, either the government or the economy.

        americans are not concerned. europeans neither. nor anyone basically. this is the true genius of the concept. how can you rob someone with the guy liking it?
        • Oct 20 2013: You are both right. Most people do not care about it. However, most people here that i have questioned have no footing in a discussion. I want to discuss facts with my teachers, friends, and family but i cannot because they have no facts about it. i find myself educating them, which i dont mind :)
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    Oct 16 2013: Tom, I, for one, am concerned. The fed was a major player in the depression of 1929. Congress gave up Constitutional responsibilities and as Ben Berneke told Congress, "I don't answer to you." The fed lists as assets Maiden Lane I - III and AIG. AIG was in the news for all sorts of violations and received bailouts.

    Jefferson was adamant that if banks ever gained control they would be the downfall of the country.

    I believe that the fed should be done away with and Congress and the Department of the Treasury should do the job assigned to it by the Constitution.

    All of this crap about the 1% and the poor .... the fed ensures that this occurs and will stay as such. So if Obama was really serious about redistribution he would not be targeting the 1% he would be targeting the fed .... alas it is only talk any way. The wall street protests were also misdirected ... should have been against the fed.

    I read about the fed but am still not smart on the whole issue ... I am however, aware and afraid.

    I think we are on the very edge of a recession and a depression perhaps at the same time .... the fed is a major player in the events causing this crisis.
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    Oct 15 2013: I as one American am not overly concerned. I would further wager that most Americans don't care. Having read the history of the Federal Reserve Banking System, I tend to agree with the decisions made at that time.
    Is it a perfect system? No,
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    Oct 15 2013: BTW the FED is not part of the constitution despite Hamilton.
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    Oct 15 2013: To a way to small extent.
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    Oct 15 2013: They don't.

    For all practical purposes the FED is public. That is not to say it is not controlled by the cronies. It is one of the main tools to keep the rich rich and the poor poor. It would be useful to talk about how this is accomplished.