Nearly 100 years after its creation, the power of the U.S. Federal Reserve has never been greater. Markets and governments around the world hold their breath in anticipation of the Fed Chairman’s every word. Yet the average person knows very little about the most powerful – and least understood – financial institution on earth. Narrated by Liev Schreiber, Money For Nothing is the first film to take viewers inside the Fed and reveal the impact of Fed policies – past, present, and future – on our lives. Join current and former Fed officials as they debate the critics, and each other, about the decisions that helped lead the global financial system to the brink of collapse in 2008. And why we might be headed there again. (From imdb.com)
Every dying Empire has its truth telling prophet and America had its own with Chalmers Johnson. Johnson correctly compared the decay of the American empire, with its well over 600 overseas military bases, with the fall of the Roman Empire whereas the Senate becomes a wealthy corporate club and irrelevant compared to the ruling Military Industrial Congressional Complex
Chalmers Johnson was a truth teller and prophet in a political environment where few would stand up to the interests and secrecy of the Pentagon and the intelligence community ~ and since his passing in November of 2010, many of his prophetic fears have been realized in the Obama administration.
Collaborations and partnerships are gradually forming nation-wide to combat money in politics, specifically against the Citizens United supreme court ruling in 2010. A directory of many of them can be found at United4thePeople.org (not all listed have the same agenda).
Independent offshoots pertaining to the pursuit of money out of politics have involved stamping money with custom-made designs with messages:
“get money out of politic$!”
“the system isn’t broken, it’s fixed”
“corporations are not people, and money is not free speech”
Phi Beta Iota: Defacing currency is a crime in the USA. An excellent summary with applicable passages from the law can be found at Google Answers, here (for “coin” but not cotton currency). While this is an important demonstration of public loss of faith in government (and promoting a 28th Amendment to the Constitution), getting money out of politics is not the problem. There is nothing wrong with the USA that cannot be fixed simply by restoring the integrity of the electoral process and hence of the government. Complete information on how to do this is at We the People Reform Coalition. With respect to money itself, local communities should be doing everything they can to eliminate landlords using eminent domain as needed, and moving all money from all local stakeholders into local banks.
Ever since the beginning of the financial crisis and quantitative easing, the question has been before us: How can the Federal Reserve maintain zero interest rates for banks and negative real interest rates for savers and bond holders when the US government is adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt every year via its budget deficits? Not long ago the Fed announced that it was going to continue this policy for another 2 or 3 years. Indeed, the Fed is locked into the policy. Without the artificially low interest rates, the debt service on the national debt would be so large that it would raise questions about the US Treasury’s credit rating and the viability of the dollar, and the trillions of dollars in Interest Rate Swaps and other derivatives would come unglued.
In other words, financial deregulation leading to Wall Street’s gambles, the US government’s decision to bail out the banks and to keep them afloat, and the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy have put the economic future of the US and its currency in an untenable and dangerous position. It will not be possible to continue to flood the bond markets with $1.5 trillion in new issues each year when the interest rate on the bonds is less than the rate of inflation. Everyone who purchases a Treasury bond is purchasing a depreciating asset. Moreover, the capital risk of investing in Treasuries is very high. The low interest rate means that the price paid for the bond is very high. A rise in interest rates, which must come sooner or later, will collapse the price of the bonds and inflict capital losses on bond holders, both domestic and foreign.
The question is: when is sooner or later? The purpose of this article is to examine that question.