Fractional Reserve Lending

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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 7)

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

 

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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 6)

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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Antes de ocuparnos de los acontecimientos actuales debemos conocer las circunstancias que nos condujeron a ellos.

Me propongo ofrecer una versión extraordinariamente breve de la reciente historia monetaria usamericana. Este capítulo pretende demostrar que el gobierno de Usamérica ha alterado radicalmente las reglas en situaciones de emergencia y que nuestro sistema monetario es mucho más reciente de lo que ustedes creen.

Después del pánico de 1907, cuando el banquero privado J.P. Morgan intervino como prestamista de última instancia, los bancos iniciaron una campaña a favor de una solución gubernamental. En 1913 se decidió la creación de un cártel, auspiciado por el gobierno federal, que recibió el nombre de Reserva Federal. Dicho cártel aparentaba ser gubernamental, pero en realidad no lo era. La masa monetaria de la Reserva Federal debía permanecer en manos de las entidades bancarias que formaban parte del cártel, no el gobierno usamericano ni tampoco el público. Esta situación no ha cambiado en la actualidad. Por eso, lo que denominamos Reserva Federal es en realidad un cártel bancario auspiciado por el gobierno federal y autorizado a crear dinero mediante préstamos.

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En este capítulo estudiaremos el proceso mediante el cual se crea el dinero.

Permítanme que les presente a John Kenneth Galbraith. Durante muchos años fue profesor en la Universidad de Harvard y también intervino en el mundo de la política durante los gobiernos de Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy y Lyndon B. Johnson; entre los diversos puestos que ocupó, fue embajador de Usamérica ante la India durante el mandato de Kennedy.

Fue uno de los pocos galardonados en dos ocasiones con la Medalla presidencial de la libertad.

Se trata claramente de un personaje fuera de serie. Acuñó una frase famosa sobre el dinero: “El proceso que permite crear dinero es tan sencillo que nadie se lo puede creer”. A continuación vamos a ocuparnos de ese proceso.

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Bevor wir uns den derzeitigen Geschehnissen zuwenden, müssen wir wissen, wie die Entwicklung bis hierhin verlief.

Ich erzähle Ihnen nun eine stark geraffte Version der jüngeren amerikanischen Finanzgeschichte.

Diese Kapitel bezweckt, Ihnen zu zeigen, dass der amerikanische Staat die Regeln in Krisenzeiten radikal verändert hat und dass unser Geldsystem in Wirklichkeit viel jünger ist als Sie vielleicht meinen. 

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Wenn wir je verstehen wollen, was in der Finanzwelt gerade vor sich geht, dann müssen wir damit beginnen Geld zu verstehen und wie es geschaffen wird. Deshalb werden wir diesen Prozess der Geldschöpfung hier untersuchen.

Lassen Sie mich Ihnen John Kenneth Galbraith vorstellen. Er lehrte viele Jahren an der Harvard University und war politisch aktiv. Er diente den Regierungen von Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, und Lyndon B. Johnson. Neben anderen Aufgaben war er unter Kennedy Botschafter der USA in Indien.

Er war einer der wenigen, der zweimal die ‚Presidential Medal of Freedom’[1] erhielt. Ganz offensichtlich eine bemerkenswerte Persönlichkeit.

Über Geld machte er die berühmte Aussage: „Das Verfahren, wie Geld geschaffen wird, ist so einfach, dass sich unser Verstand dagegen wehrt.“ Genau darüber wollen wir nun reden.

Sollten Sie diesen Teil nicht auf Anhieb verstehen, machen Sie sich keine Sorgen. Das Entstehen von Geld ist eine wahrhaft bizarre Angelegenheit, besonders wenn man beginnt darüber nachzudenken.



[1] Anmerkung des Übersetzers: Einer der höchsten zivilen Auszeichnungen der USA 

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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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Here we will explore the process by which money is created. In order to appreciate the implications of our massive levels of debt, you have to understand how the debt came into being.

John Kenneth Galbraith once famously said, “The process by which money is created is so simple that the mind is repelled.” We’re about to discuss that very thing. Money creation is a bizarre thing to ponder. It is actually a very simple process, but it’s really difficult to accept.

Money is loaned into existence. Conversely, when loans are paid back, money ‘disappears.’

There is a federal rule that allows banks to loan out a proportion, a fraction, of the money they have on deposit to others. In theory, banks are allowed to loan out up to 90% of what people have on deposit with them. Because banks retain only a fraction of their deposits in reserve, the term for this process is “fractional reserve banking.”