# Federal Reserve

by Jonny_trigonometry
Tags: federal, reserve
 Quote by Pengwuino I'm not sure you understand what you are saying. When you put money (or in your analogy, gold) into a bank, you do so with the understanding that your money will be used to fund loans and investments. In return, you recieve interest on your money (or gold). This also has nothing to do with lending money out (not sure why you tried to make such a connection). When you lend someone $100,000, you physically give them$100,000. That is $100,000 out of hte banks hands. Now if this money doesn't exist, i'm sure mortgage lending companies around the world would have noticed by now. You also seem to misunderstand the borrowing ratio the Fed uses. When a bank wants to borrow money, it must have 10% of that money on hand. I believe it's like what we know as a down payment although I'm not really sure if thats the best analogy... The money is there, bank's can't just magically create it... it's just not where layman would think it is. That 10% figure you pointed out is called the reserve ratio, it doen't have anything to do with the ammount of money in the bank's safe, but rather the ammount of money in balances. So since those balances can't be paid off with the money in their safe, they are borrowing money that they can't "physically" claim. You can't say that mortgage companies know that the money is real simply because they use it, after all, if they have numbers in their account, it must be real right? It comes down to the fact that money is simply what is accepted by people using it. When a bank doesn't have enough money in the safe to pay out all the accounts it holds, it doesn't have any money to lend. Yet it does lend money, and charges interest. Now change your thinking for the local bank you do business with to the Federal reserve. They are the last say in where money comes from, so in thier perspective, they physically don't have the money that they lend out with interest to the government. P: 1,522  Quote by Jonny_trigonometry You can't say that mortgage companies know that the money is real simply because they use it, after all, if they have numbers in their account, it must be real right? It comes down to the fact that money is simply what is accepted by people using it. When a bank doesn't have enough money in the safe to pay out all the accounts it holds, it doesn't have any money to lend. Yet it does lend money, and charges interest. Now change your thinking for the local bank you do business with to the Federal reserve. They are the last say in where money comes from, so in thier perspective, they physically don't have the money that they lend out with interest to the government. Money exists outside of the dollar bill. Money exists in equity, money exists in shares of stock, money exists wherever there is value. There is no intrinsic "money" quality within a green piece of paper, our government just arbitrarily deems them to have value, and because of the backing of our government, people value them. Banks do not hold all their equity in the form of paper money, because they need to invest money to earn money, and investment of money is necessary to be able to pay an interest to those who have deposited their money with you. If banks held everyone's money on site, then there couldn't be any interest paid to those who deposit their money in the bank, and there would be no point at all to a bank. I had honestly thought this issue was burried after FDR dealt with the banking crisis... Sci Advisor P: 288  Quote by Jonny_trigonometry …You show your lack of understanding… I’m not a big fan of the FR but I suggest you improve your own understanding of the system. Finals are approaching; so far you have scored 0.0% P: 533  Quote by wasteofo2 First of all, every quote you used to critique the Fed is horribly outdated; everyone of your sources is dead, and know nothing about how the Fed operates. You said the Fed isn't part of the Government, but showed no evidence. Again, it's like saying the State Department isn't part of the Government. You said that the Fed is controlled by lobbyists, but showed no evidence. I do not. However, I didn't really state any of them, besides that you shouldn't attack a modern institution with quotes from people who died before it was even created. I don't have a prejudice against your opinon. I'm not an ardent Fed supporter. I haven't put in very much time into thinking about whether or not the Fed is as good as an alternative must be. All I'm saying is that you presented a very shoddy case arguing your point that really wasn't even a case of any sorts. You're just adding in all sorts of things as this is progressing, people are pulling your ideas out of you like dentists pulling teeth, when you should've presented your ideas in a cohesive manner at the beginning so we could have a decent discussion. You didn't say this till quite a bit into the thread. Please explain how privately owned central banking systems are any differently than publicly owned central banking systems. Furthermore, please explain how it is "a crime" for bankers to lend out people's money? That is the entire principal of a bank. If you want to literally keep your exact money, you buy a safe. Putting it in a bank says that it's alright for the bank to lend it out, and that you get an interest rate on your deposited money. Yes, it's true that if everyone wanted all their money back they couldn't get it in cash, but this is true of any system of banks, publicly or privately owned. Simply because there isn't enough physical cash to cover all the money in the banking system, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It's just all invested in many various things. I think we're making progress here. So you agree that the total balances in all banks isn't physically there in the safe. Why do you think this came to be? Is there not enough cotton and polyester to print all the cash? I would argue no, it's because the way things are done actually introduces money out of nothing. All the money in all the accounts is mostly just a bunch of hot air, but since people accept it as real, all the sudden there is a bunch more money to use to lend to people and charge them interest. To me, I think its a bad thing to put people in debt with money that you don't even have. Sure some people can make an interest on the money they put into the bank, but you may already know that the average american is indebt about 18,000 bucks. Everyone has a mortgage payment right? Don't tell me that just because a person gains interest on a savings account that means that they don't have a mortgage payment. The fed is not a government institution, and I don't need to provide evidence because anyone who has researched this will know that it is privately owned, so this shows that you haven't researched as much as i have so far. I can't offer incriminating evidence that the Fed's directors are chosen by government officials for reasons that make both parties rich, but I can offer arguments. If I went and found a bunch of tidbits about how so and so took someone to lunch or to a meeting at a 5 star hotel in italy via a private jet or something, you might not regard that as evidence of so and so's ability to persuade the other person to vote for a specific person to the Fed's board of directors. At least I hope I've inspired you to research the fed, and come to a conclusion of wether or not you think it's good or bad. By the way, I did make the distinction between private and public central banks in my first post P: 533  Quote by GENIERE I’m not a big fan of the FR but I suggest you improve your own understanding of the system. Finals are approaching; so far you have scored 0.0% … oh, so you're in a position to judge my understanding? What do you know about how it works? why do you adamently reject my arguments? PF Gold P: 7,120  Quote by GENIERE I’m not a big fan of the FR but I suggest you improve your own understanding of the system. Finals are approaching; so far you have scored 0.0% … That was rather childish to say the least.... P: 533  Quote by wasteofo2 Money exists outside of the dollar bill. Money exists in equity, money exists in shares of stock, money exists wherever there is value. There is no intrinsic "money" quality within a green piece of paper, our government just arbitrarily deems them to have value, and because of the backing of our government, people value them. Banks do not hold all their equity in the form of paper money, because they need to invest money to earn money, and investment of money is necessary to be able to pay an interest to those who have deposited their money with you. If banks held everyone's money on site, then there couldn't be any interest paid to those who deposit their money in the bank, and there would be no point at all to a bank. I had honestly thought this issue was burried after FDR dealt with the banking crisis... ok, so you're saying tha fractional reserve banking is needed in order that banks throughout the nation can keep doing what they are doing? Yeah, thats a valid argument. I don't know what you mean when you mention that FDR did something to bury this issue. This is true, what you describe is how things are done in banks, and you describe that money is simply a measure of what people value. What I'm claiming is that the Federal reserve is not a good thing because it is privately owned (by money changers of course). PF Gold P: 7,120  Quote by Jonny_trigonometry ok, so you're saying tha fractional reserve banking is needed in order that banks throughout the nation can keep doing what they are doing? Yeah, thats a valid argument. I don't know what you mean when you mention that FDR did something to bury this issue. This is true, what you describe is how things are done in banks, and you describe that money is simply a measure of what people value. What I'm claiming is that the Federal reserve is not a good thing because it is privately owned (by money changers of course). One of the major flaws of the banking system manifested intself during the Great Depression where you did indeed have a run on the banks. FDR passed legislation that really fixed these problems, that is what he is talking about. Also, the Fed, like wasteofo2 said, is about as privately owned as the Supreme Court.  P: 1,522 Johnny, the money isn't made up, and it's not that hard to understand. It isn't some grand plot against America or anything, it's just how banks work. I think about 1/3 of the total money in the U.S. economy is actually represented by paper bills, the rest is invested. The government could do whatever they wanted in regards to printing money, and could print it all, but the fact is that the extra bills printed would be useless and just take up space in bank vaults or whatever, since that money would still be used for investments. During the Great Depression, everyone wanted to take their money out of the banks. As you've noted, banks don't literally have all the cash they're liable for. As a result, many banks closed. This scared people, and caused them to make sure they rushed all their cash outta the bank before their bank closed and left them with nothing. Naturally, more and more banks closed. FDR declared a national banking holiday, and all banks were closed. He then got on the radio and explained to all Americans exactly how the banking system works, where the money really is, and why they shouldn't feel the need to take all their money out. Then FDR and the Congress initiated Federal backing of bank deposits up to a certain amount (I forget exactly what amount), and that amount has substantially risen since. Look this up and see if you can find a copy of FDR's actual fireside chat. It'd go a long way to helping you see what's actually going on. What I was saying was I thought FDR explained all of this already, you just don't understand how the banks work, and I'm way too tired to really get into it. By the way, I still think it's ridiculous for you to say the Fed is privately owned. Show me some evidence damnit. You can't make an outlandish claim that there's this shadow organization of private "money-changers" who underhandedly control the Federal Reserve and then treat it as if you're saying something obvious, like Peanut Butter has Peanuts. That's a very extreme claim, and with an extreme claim, the burden of proof lies on you.  P: 533 nope, it is a private bank. Owned by investors, the investors can't make the decisions of the Fed by law (the 1913 federal reserve act, which they pushed into existance), but they can lobby the government to appoint members to it's board that see things the same way as them. It is in thier interest to be viewed as part of the government, because the people will think that the fed does everything in the interest of the people. FDR made permenant changes in that he started social security, the WPA, and other public works projects. He also did temporary things which were needed at the time to basically improve the confidence of the american people in thier banks, thus giving them the faith to make deposits, and not make runs on the banks. This didn't eliminate fractional reserve banking though, it just made things so that it can work more efficiently. Some think that fractional reserve banking is okay, in fact a good thing because it puts a bunch more money into the economy, but where does it put the money? In the hands of banks, which use it to lend to people and charge interest to thier liking. It may be that fractional reserve banking creates money out of nothing (ie. with no labor involved to back it's value), but that doesn't make it right. It gives more power to those who hold the money over those who use the money. When you take things up to the top, the Federal reserve is a kind of bank that has only one client, the american government. They can choose to restrict or increase the ammount of issuance, controling bank runs, and untimately having the power to create a banking crisis, which then FDR had to try to solve. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search http://www.save-a-patriot.org/files/view/frcourt.html  PF Gold P: 7,120 Find some better sources jonny, generic google searches and websites trying to sell you something don't cut it around here (or well, besides this subforum :P)  P: 533 what about the court case which proved it to be privately owned? Lewis v. United States, 680 F.2d 1239 (1982) What source do you want? isn't Wikipedia good enough? This may all be new to you, so by all means, research research research Let me reiterate my main arguemnt. The nation ought to issue currency to its own people, because there is no intermediary that charges interest for thier service in this task. All that extra interest is more dibilating than meets the eye, and can be averted by doing something similar to greenbacks (money directly issued to the people). The nation needs a central fiat (not based on gold or silver or anything tangeble) money system, but it doesn't need it to be in private hands. All this talk about fractional reserve banking is an aside. It would still exist after a changeover to a public federal reserve, but could be dealt with in different ways then, and instead of putting the extra money into private banks, it could (by a change of law)go towards paying for government programs like social security and pay off national debt.  Emeritus PF Gold P: 3,634 You want to pay for government programs using the money that people put in banks? Then what happens when someone wants to make a withdrawal? You tell Jonny Retiree to give back his social security check for that month? Or are you saying that interest should continue to be charged, but go toward paying government programs? P: 712  Quote by wasteofo2 All of your quotes are from far before, or nearly directly after the Federal Reserve Act was passed. All of these figures are far removed from our present state of being. What centralized monetary institutions were in the 1700's and 1800's, and what figures from those periods thought of them, don't necessarily reflect the reality of what one specific centralized monetary institution has become in the year 2005. What was said about the Federal Reserve before WWI doesn't reflect what it has become in 2005. Alan Greenspan blaimed the Federal Reserve for putting too much money in the market and becoming the architect of the Great Depression in his essay Gold and Economic Freedom of the 1966. Here it is. The essay is under free domain.  An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense-perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire-that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument of laissez-faire and that each implies and requires the other. In order to understand the source of their antagonism, it is necessary first to understand the specific role of gold in a free society. Money is the common denominator of all economic transactions. It is that commodity which serves as a medium of exchange, is universally acceptable to all participants in an exchange economy as payment for their goods or services, and can, therefore, be used as a standard of market value and as a store of value, i.e., as a means of saving. The existence of such a commodity is a precondition of a division of labor economy. If men did not have some commodity of objective value which was generally acceptable as money, they would have to resort to primitive barter or be forced to live on self-sufficient farms and forgo the inestimable advantages of specialization. If men had no means to store value, i.e., to save, neither long-range planning nor exchange would be possible. What medium of exchange will be acceptable to all participants in an economy is not determined arbitrarily. First, the medium of exchange should be durable. In a primitive society of meager wealth, wheat might be sufficiently durable to serve as a medium, since all exchanges would occur only during and immediately after the harvest, leaving no value-surplus to store. But where store-of-value considerations are important, as they are in richer, more civilized societies, the medium of exchange must be a durable commodity, usually a metal. A metal is generally chosen because it is homogeneous and divisible: every unit is the same as every other and it can be blended or formed in any quantity. Precious jewels, for example, are neither homogeneous nor divisible. More important, the commodity chosen as a medium must be a luxury. Human desires for luxuries are unlimited and, therefore, luxury goods are always in demand and will always be acceptable. Wheat is a luxury in underfed civilizations, but not in a prosperous society. Cigarettes ordinarily would not serve as money, but they did in post-World War II Europe where they were considered a luxury. The term "luxury good" implies scarcity and high unit value. Having a high unit value, such a good is easily portable; for instance, an ounce of gold is worth a half-ton of pig iron. In the early stages of a developing money economy, several media of exchange might be used, since a wide variety of commodities would fulfill the foregoing conditions. However, one of the commodities will gradually displace all others, by being more widely acceptable. Preferences on what to hold as a store of value, will shift to the most widely acceptable commodity, which, in turn, will make it still more acceptable. The shift is progressive until that commodity becomes the sole medium of exchange. The use of a single medium is highly advantageous for the same reasons that a money economy is superior to a barter economy: it makes exchanges possible on an incalculably wider scale. Whether the single medium is gold, silver, sea shells, cattle, or tobacco is optional, depending on the context and development of a given economy. In fact, all have been employed, at various times, as media of exchange. Even in the present century, two major commodities, gold and silver, have been used as international media of exchange, with gold becoming the predominant one. Gold, having both artistic and functional uses and being relatively scarce, has always been considered a luxury good. It is durable, portable, homogeneous, divisible, and, therefore, has significant advantages over all other media of exchange. Since the beginning of Would War I, it has been virtually the sole international standard of exchange. If all goods and services were to be paid for in gold, large payments would be difficult to execute, and this would tend to limit the extent of a society's division of labor and specialization. Thus a logical extension of the creation of a medium of exchange, is the development of a banking system and credit instruments (bank notes and deposits) which act as a substitute for, but are convertible into, gold. A free banking system based on gold is able to extend credit and thus to create bank notes (currency) and deposits, according to the production requirements of the economy. Individual owners of gold are induced, by payments of interest, to deposit their gold in a bank (against which they can draw checks). But since it is rarely the case that all depositors want to withdraw all their gold at the same time, banker need keep only a fraction of his total deposits in gold as reserves. This enables the banker to loan out more than the amount of his gold deposits (which means that he holds claims to gold rather than gold as security for his deposits). But the amount of loans which he can afford to make is not arbitrary: he has to gauge it in relation to his reserves and to the status of his investments. When banks loan money to finance productive and profitable endeavors, the loans are paid off rapidly and bank credit continues to be generally available. But when the business ventures financed by bank credit are less profitable and slow to pay off, bankers soon find that their loans outstanding are excessive relative to their gold reserves, and they begin to curtail new lending, usually by charging higher interest rates. This tends to restrict the financing of new ventures and requires the existing borrowers to improve their profitability before they can obtain credit for further expansion. Thus, under the gold standard, a free banking system stands as the protector of an economy's stability and balanced growth. When gold is accepted as the medium of exchange by most or all nations, an unhampered free international gold standard serves to foster a world-wide division of labor and the broadest international trade. Even though the units of exchange (the dollar, the pound, the franc, etc.) differ from country to country, when all are defined in terms of gold the economies of the different countries act as one--so long as there are no restraints on trade or on the movement of capital. Credit, interest rates, and prices tend to follow similar patterns in all countries. For example, if banks in one country extend credit too liberally, interest rates in that country will tend to fall, inducing depositors to shift their gold to higher-interest paying banks in other countries. This will immediately cause a shortage of bank reserves in the "easy money" country, inducing tighter credit standards and a return to competitively higher interest rates again. A fully free banking system and fully consistent gold standard have not as yet been achieved. But prior to World War I, the banking system in the United States (and in most of the world) was based on gold, and even though governments intervened occasionally, banking was more free than controlled. Periodically, as a result of overly rapid credit expansion, banks became loaned up to the limit of their gold reserves, interest rates rose sharply, new credit was cut off, and the economy went into a sharp, but short-lived recession. (Compared with the depressions of 1920 and 1932, the pre-World War I business declines were mild indeed.) It was limited gold reserves that stopped the unbalanced expansions of business activity, before they could develop into the post- World War I type of disaster. The readjustment periods were short and the economies quickly reestablished a sound basis to resume expansion. But the process of cure was misdiagnosed as the disease: if shortage of bank reserves was causing a business decline- argued economic interventionists-why not find a way of supplying increased reserves to the banks so they never need be short! If banks can continue to loan money indefinitely--it was claimed--there need never be any slumps in business. And so the Federal Reserve System was organized in 1913. It consisted of twelve regional Federal Reserve banks nominally owned by private bankers, but in fact government sponsored, controlled, and supported. Credit extended by these banks is in practice (though not legally) backed by the taxing power of the federal government. Technically, we remained on the gold standard; individuals were still free to own gold, and gold continued to be used as bank reserves. But now, in addition to gold, credit extended by the Federal Reserve banks (paper reserves) could serve as legal tender to pay depositors. When business in the United States underwent a mild contraction in 1927, the Federal Reserve created more paper reserves in the hope of forestalling any possible bank reserve shortage. More disastrous, however, was the Federal Reserve's attempt to assist Great Britain who had been losing gold to us because the Bank of England refused to allow interest rates to rise when market forces dictated (it was politically unpalatable). The reasoning of the authorities involved was as follows: if the Federal Reserve pumped excessive paper reserves into American banks, interest rates in the United States would fall to a level comparable with those in Great Britain; this would act to stop Britain's gold loss and avoid the political embarrassment of having to raise interest rates. The "Fed" succeeded: it stopped the gold loss, but it nearly destroyed the economies of the world, in the process. The excess credit which the Fed pumped into the economy spilled over into the stock market-triggering a fantastic speculative boom. Belatedly, Federal Reserve officials attempted to sop up the excess reserves and finally succeeded in braking the boom. But it was too late: by 1929 the speculative imbalances had become so overwhelming that the attempt precipitated a sharp retrenching and a consequent demoralizing of business confidence. As a result, the American economy collapsed. Great Britain fared even worse, and rather than absorb the full consequences of her previous folly, she abandoned the gold standard completely in 1931, tearing asunder what remained of the fabric of confidence and inducing a world-wide series of bank failures. The world economies plunged into the Great Depression of the 1930's. With a logic reminiscent of a generation earlier, statists argued that the gold standard was largely to blame for the credit debacle which led to the Great Depression. If the gold standard had not existed, they argued, Britain's abandonment of gold payments in 1931 would not have caused the failure of banks all over the world. (The irony was that since 1913, we had been, not on a gold standard, but on what may be termed "a mixed gold standard"; yet it is gold that took the blame.) But the opposition to the gold standard in any form-from a growing number of welfare-state advocates-was prompted by a much subtler insight: the realization that the gold standard is incompatible with chronic deficit spending (the hallmark of the welfare state). Stripped of its academic jargon, the welfare state is nothing more than a mechanism by which governments confiscate the wealth of the productive members of a society to support a wide variety of welfare schemes. A substantial part of the confiscation is effected by taxation. But the welfare statists were quick to recognize that if they wished to retain political power, the amount of taxation had to be limited and they had to resort to programs of massive deficit spending, i.e., they had to borrow money, by issuing government bonds, to finance welfare expenditures on a large scale. Under a gold standard, the amount of credit that an economy can support is determined by the economy's tangible assets, since every credit instrument is ultimately a claim on some tangible asset. But government bonds are not backed by tangible wealth, only by the government's promise to pay out of future tax revenues, and cannot easily be absorbed by the financial markets. A large volume of new government bonds can be sold to the public only at progressively higher interest rates. Thus, government deficit spending under a gold standard is severely limited. The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit. They have created paper reserves in the form of government bonds which-through a complex series of steps-the banks accept in place of tangible assets and treat as if they were an actual deposit, i.e., as the equivalent of what was formerly a deposit of gold. The holder of a government bond or of a bank deposit created by paper reserves believes that he has a valid claim on a real asset. But the fact is that there are now more claims outstanding than real assets. The law of supply and demand is not to be conned. As the supply of money (of claims) increases relative to the supply of tangible assets in the economy, prices must eventually rise. Thus the earnings saved by the productive members of the society lose value in terms of goods. When the economy's books are finally balanced, one finds that loss in value represents the goods purchased by the government for welfare or other purposes with the money proceeds of the government bonds financed by bank credit expansion. In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves. This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the "hidden" confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard. http://www.gold-eagle.com/greenspan041998.html Just because these people came before or just after 1913 doesn't change principle. Just as it is not valid to say that freedom does not necessarily apply to us now because this is 2005, not 1776, similarly, it is not valid to discredit the opinions of the people above just by saying that the people were born just before 1913. Give reasons for your statements.  P: 655 I Want The Earth Plus 5% The truth about money, credit and inflation http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials...gan092099.html A Phone Call To The Fed http://www.rense.com/general29/ringring.htm  P: 1,511 A couple of points; In answer to those who likened the federal reserve to the justice department and the state department the federal reserve is privately owned unlike their examples. For those who questioned the validity of the criticisms because of their age then I suggest they research the steps JFK took to circumvent the fed and so avoid american taxpayers paying interest on non-existant money. Some believe the currency 'silver backs' he issued directly through the treasury would have spelled the end of the fed if it had continued because this currency was backed by silver with an intrinsic value whereas the fed reserves notes had no intrinsic value and relied purely on confidence. Unfortunately the issuance of this new currency stopped following his assassination but not before he had put$4 billion into circulation in competition with the fed reserve's notes which following his demise were promptly recalled. For more information see executive order 11110 http://www.john-f-kennedy.net/executiveorder11110.htm