THE U. S. DEBT PYRAMID SCAM
The bottom line to the story is -
I see that the latest report of the Federal Reserve Board shows that there was a staggering $25.6 trillion of credit market debt outstanding in the U.S. at the end of 1999—the total debt burden of the people of the U.S. having about doubled since 1990, and increased by $2.25 trillion in 1999 alone!
Now $2.25 trillion dollars—that is more than the value of all the gold and foreign currency reserves of all the countries in the world—in fact, at today’s gold price, that is more than twice the value of all the gold ever produced in the world. Or to bring it down to more personal terms, $2.25 trillion dollars of increased debt in the U.S. in one year works out at about $375 for every man, woman and child in the world, and nearly $8,500 for every man, woman and child in the United States.
In one year the per capita U.S. debt burden, including all household, enterprise and government debt increased by almost $8,500, to $95,000.
One has to ask, of course, where has that $2.25 trillion dollars of new debt in the U.S. credit market come from?
The easiest way to answer the question is to relate it to what happens when you ask your bank manager for a loan of say $100,000 and the bank agrees to that in return for the deeds of your house and, lets say, $100,000 of interest payments for the five year period of the loan.
Having agreed the terms of the loan, there is now some fancy fingerwork on a computer keyboard and that’s it! No depositors have been told that their money has been lent to you, because it hasn’t. The $100,000 loan to you, for which you have handed over the title deeds of your home, is new money in the economy and a new asset for the bank—part of its riches. Just like that!
And that $100,000 is going to be deposited in either the same bank or other banks in the banking system, to give the banks the right to lend yet again to other borrowers up to near enough the full amount of the new deposits—and then these new borrowers will deposit their loans in the banking system, giving the banks the right to lend yet again—and so on and so on and so on.
Of course, international regulations set by the Bank of International Settlements (B.I.S.) in Switzerland require that banks hold reserves of not less than 8 percent of loan assets; however, the necessary growth in capital adequacy to keep pace with the growth in loans, and hence money supply, is easily organised: in part by creaming off some of the interest that is charged to borrowers, and in part by the bank credit that comes back in the form of capital investment in the bank.
For, obviously, there are winners out there making money with the money that originated as debt money from the banks—which is to say, there are winners accumulating more of the money supply than they need or want to spend on goods and services—and these winners are ‘wisely’ investing some of their winnings back in banking. So once again there is a shortfall of money in society, unless there is more borrowing, with more assets pledged to the banks and other financial institutions.
Just think about it—how every mortgage contract supports a pyramid of more and more debt. And extend your thinking to take in the fact that the total debt owed on all owner-occupied housing in the United States is now well over $6 trillion, having grown by over $.6 trillion in 1999.
What that means is that $.6 trillion of ‘money’ has come into the economy in one year to boost the nation’s money supply—the nation’s means of exchange—the life blood of the U.S. economy—thanks to a great number of householders surrendering the deeds of at least $.6 trillion worth of housing to the banks and other financial institutions that make up the credit market!
Furthermore, with respect to the total mortgage debt of over $6 trillion, it means that the title deeds to over half the owner-occupied housing in the U.S. is now held by the banks and financial institutions that make up the credit market.
My estimate of a total equity value of under $12 trillion of all owner-occupied housing is based on figures in Housing Statistics of the United States (edited by Patrick Simmons, Bernan Press, 1997). My source is The Grip of Death, by Michael Rowbotham (published by Jon Carpenter, who, incidentally, have just brought out a second book by Michael Rowbotham on our debt enslavement called Goodbye America).
What we have to think about here is Michael Rowbotham's question in The Grip of Death, "Is it proper to rely upon housing debt to create the nation’s medium of exchange?" And the answer is clearly, "Hell no!"
It is really alarming to know that nearly all money in the economy is debt number money, created out of nothing essentially.
Apart from the rank injustice and stupidity of it, just imagine what would happen if all money on loan from the banks and other financial institutions that make up the credit market were to be repaid. Then the banks and so on would be out of business and there would only be the coins and notes issued by the government left in circulation as legal money tender—coins and dollar bills with a purchasing value of not much more than $1 trillion for a country needing at least twenty times that amount of money to keep going economically.
Here please note that the money supply of every country in the world today is dependent on banks and financial institutions taking ownership, essentially, of an ever-growing proportion of the housing stock—as well as holding I.O.Us in different forms against an ever-increasing proportion of the revenue of industry and commerce and government tax revenues.
When Sir Josiah Stamp, a director of the Bank of England in the 1920s, stopped to think about how banks make their money, he was so amazed, he wrote:
"Banking is conceived in iniquity and born in sin. Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money and with the flick of a pen (nowadays, with speedy fingers over a computer keyboard) they will create enough money to buy it back again. Take this great power away from them and all great fortunes like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier world to live in. But if you want to continue (to be) the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money and to control credit."
And this is what The Nobel laureate scientist Frederick Soddy had to say in the 1920s about how banks were making money then—(and please bear in mind that the banking system’s control of the world economy is now very much greater):
"The whole profit of the issuance of money has provided the capital of the great banking business as it exists today. Starting with nothing whatever of their own, they have got the whole world into their debt irredeemably, by a trick.
"This money comes into existence every time the banks ‘lend’ and disappears every time the debt is repaid to them. So that if industry tries to repay, the money of the nation disappears. This is what makes prosperity so ‘dangerous’ as it destroys money just when it is most needed and precipitates a slump.
"There is nothing left now for us but to get ever deeper and deeper into debt to the banking system in order to provide the increasing amounts of money the nation requires for its expansion and growth.
"An honest money system is the only alternative."
An honest money system? Was Soddy referring perhaps to what Thomas Jefferson had in mind, when he said in 1800 or thereabouts—
"The issueing power of money should be taken from the banks and restored to Congress and the people to whom it belongs. I sincerely believe the banking institutions having the issueing power of money are more dangerous to liberty than standing armies."
Well Abraham Lincoln tried that. He needed money to meet the expenses of the Civil War and the banks wanted over 30 percent interest. So Lincoln by-passed the banks and created 300,000 dollars worth (an enormous sum in those days) of government-issued, debt and interest-free money notes—which came to be called ‘greenbacks’. This worked so well, Lincoln was inspired to formulate a Monetary Policy in 1865 for more of the same when the Civil War was over. He wrote:
"The privilege of creating and issueing money is not only the supreme prerogative of government, but it is the government’s greatest creative opportunity... The people will be issued with a currency as safe as there own government. Money will cease to be the master and become the servant of humanity. Democracy will rise superior to money power."
A few weeks later he was assassinated. Is there to be another form of Civil War in the U.S., of the people against the banks, to put Lincoln's monetary policy, with improvements, into effect? This is a serious question.
For just think what it means—a credit market with $25.6 trillion, which is $95,000 per head, of debt assets—debt assets that have to be serviced. This means that the whole economy is now servant to the money-lenders—who are now only interested in lending big to big spenders promising big profits from financial speculation, property deals, star wars, gulf wars, Kosovo incursions, huge construction projects, etc., etc.
Anything but what is needed to help us create a sustainable lifestyle and bring the earth back to health. And why?—why the bigism? Why the bombings and ‘peace keeping operations’ to support the bigism?
Because the debt pyramid scam requires it—because there is a debt, and you can't service the debt without creating more debt, and the only way you can create more debt is to pretend that you are going to have a really big-time, profitable tomorrow to borrow against today—Yes, the only way you can create more debt now, by the principles that rule the privately owned credit market, is to degrade commodities, degrade labour, degrade goods and services and go the limit in creating inflated capital values in over-priced stocks and shares and properties—as the collateral for yet more borrowing, more debt.
That is why the stock market value of Microsoft, the most highly capitalized corporation in the world, increased by $120 billion in one week in December 1999, for example—$120 billion being about equal to the value put on a whole year of economic activity (GNP) in Finland, or Greece, or South Africa.
Microsoft's Christmas time market value was then a staggering $600 billion, 77 times earnings, 28 times revenue.
AND SUSPECT EARNINGS AT THAT.
For according to the investment advisor Bill Parish of Parish & Company, underlying the spectacular ‘success’ of Microsoft is a big fraud. Microsoft is not a profit-maker but a loser hiding losses.
According to Bill Parish, "The fundamental problem is that Microsoft is incurring massive losses and only by accounting illusions are they able to show a profit. Specifically, Microsoft is granting excessive amounts of stock options that are allowing the company to understate its costs."
He goes on: "You might ask yourself, what would happen to Microsoft’s stock price if the public suddenly realized that they lost $10 billion in 1999 rather than earning the reported $7.8 billion? If 80 percent of its stock value or roughly $400 billion is the result of a pyramid scheme..."
Does this mean that the U.S. debt pyramid of $25.6 trillion could collapse if Microsoft's little pyramid scheme is brought to an end through exposure? The thought is mind-boggling.
And if the U.S. debt pyramid goes (flickering out into Microsoft cyberspace, as it were), surely the other major debt pyramids of Japan and Europe will go also—debt pyramids which I estimate must amount to another 35 trillion in dollar equivalence—towards a total world debt burden of not less than $11,000 on every man, woman and child alive.
WE ARE AT THE BOTTOM LINE HERE: Is Microsoft going to be the undoing of Wall Street, and through Wall Street, the global financial ‘Tower of Babel’—or rather, to untangle the metaphor, is Microsoft going to be the undoing of the U.S.-cum-global debt pyramid scam?
The answer to that is, "Could be", judging from the evidence posted by Bill Parish in a 22 February 2000 update to the original exposé at http://billparish.com/msftfraudfacts.html.
The Microsoft pyramid scheme, writes Parish, "is now accelerating and destabilizing both the stock market and overall economy, corrupting the Federal Reserve’s efforts to control the money supply and triggering false inflation. Microsoft, once a great technology company, has indeed become a ‘pied piper’ of financial fraud."
Perhaps this was also the view of Microsoft's own internal auditor—"a respected Deloitte and Touche veteran", writes Parish—who settled for $4 million under the Federal Whistle-blowers Act after being given the option to resign or be fired. What he had done? He had "noted" that "earnings manipulations at Microsoft", which were "designed to meet expectations", were "illegal and constituted fraud."
While considering these rather alarming revelations, please do also spare a thought for the prisoners in the U.S.—two million prisoners, up from 500,000 in 1980 and one million in 1990.
According to an article in the 15 February issue of The Guardian in England, with under 5 percent of the world’s population the U.S.—this most powerful country in the world—now has one in four of the world's prisoners. Why?
Maybe the fact that the U.S. prison industry now turns over $35 billion a year has something to do with it—and builds new prisons that cost $7 billion each, and, with over 500,000 employees, employs more people than any private enterprise apart from General Motors, and has a powerful lobby in Washington: maybe all this has something to do with it.
Maybe the fact that the money makers and servile politicians who really ought to be in prison and are not has something to do with it also!
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Boudewijn Wegerif is project leader of the Monetary Studies Programme at Vårdingeby Folkhögskola (adult education College), S-150 21 Mölnbo, Sweden
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