Bretton Woods


Peak Prosperity

A Brief History of US Money - Crash Course Chapter 9

The rules get changed (a lot)
Friday, August 15, 2014, 5:29 PM

Looking at the past 100 years of the US dollar's history, one theme becomes abundantly clear: in times of crisis, the US government has no issue with changing its own rules or breaking its own laws. And those "temporary" emergency measures have a nasty habit of quickly becoming permanent. » Read more


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 8)

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


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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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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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?