Banks

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This chapter of the new Crash Course series has not yet been made available to the public.

Each week over the rest of 2014, in sequential order, a new chapter will be made publicly available (we've currently published up to Chapter 2)

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This chapter of the new Crash Course series has not yet been made available to the public.

Each week over the rest of 2014, in sequential order, a new chapter will be made publicly available (we've currently published up to Chapter 2)

If you don't want to wait, you can:

video

This chapter of the new Crash Course series has not yet been made available to the public.

Each week over the rest of 2014, in sequential order, a new chapter will be made publicly available (we've currently published up to Chapter 2)

If you don't want to wait, you can:

 

video

This chapter of the new Crash Course series has not yet been made available to the public.

Each week over the rest of 2014, in sequential order, a new chapter will be made publicly available (we've currently published up to Chapter 6)

If you don't want to wait, you can:

 

video

This chapter of the new Crash Course series has not yet been made available to the public.

Each week over the rest of 2014, in sequential order, a new chapter will be made publicly available (we've currently published up to Chapter 2)

If you don't want to wait, you can:

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In the Crash Course we will learn a few foundational Key Concepts. None is more important than exponential growth. Understanding this will greatly enhance our chances to form a better future.

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The purpose of this section is to show you that the US government has radically shifted the rules during times of emergency and that our monetary system is really a lot younger than you might think.

In 1933, newly-elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to counter the falling money supply in a most drastic manner. To accomplish this he confiscated all privately-held gold and immediately devalued the US dollar. This goes to show how governments, in a period of emergency, can change rules and break their own laws.

Fast forward to 1971, when President Nixon “slammed the gold window,” ending its dollar convertibility. Without a gold backing, there was no hard, physical limit to how many paper dollars could be issued.

What will it be like to live here when our nation is creating a trillion dollars every four weeks? How about every four days?

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Here’s a quote from a Federal Reserve publication entitled “Putting it Simply”: When you or I write a check, there must be sufficient funds in our account to cover the check, but when the Federal Reserve writes a check there is no bank deposit on which that check is drawn. When the Federal Reserve writes a check, it is creating money.

Wow. That is an extraordinary power. Whereas you or I need to work to obtain money, and place it at risk to have it grow, the Federal Reserve simply prints up as much as it wishes, whenever it wants, and then loans it to us via the US government, with interest.

All dollars are backed by debt. There are two kinds of money out there. At the local bank level, all new money is loaned into existence. At the Federal Reserve level, money is simply manufactured out of thin air and then exchanged for interest-paying government debt. And perpetual expansion is a requirement of modern banking.

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Before we begin our tour through the three Es (the Economy, the Environment, and Energy), we need to share a common understanding of this thing called money.

Money is something that we live with so intimately on a daily basis that it probably has escaped our close attention.

Money should possess three characteristics. The first is that it should be a store of value. Historically, gold and silver filled this role perfectly because they were rare, took a lot of human energy to mine, and did not corrode or rust. By contrast, the US dollar pretty much constantly loses value over time – a feature which punishes savers and enforces the need to speculate and/or invest. A second feature is that money needs to be accepted as a medium of exchange, meaning that it is widely accepted within a population as an intermediary within and across all economic transactions. And the third feature is that money needs to be a unit of account, meaning that the money must be divisible and each unit must be equivalent.

It is crucially important that a nation’s money supply is carefully managed, for if it is not, the monetary unit can be destroyed by inflation.