Coverdell Legislative Office Building (CLOB)
18 Capitol Square SW Atlanta, GA 30334

Atlanta, GA

Monday, March 7 · 9:00am - 12:00pm

After presenting testimony, I engaged in a dialog with Representative Bruce Williamson on fractional reserve banking. Bruce Williamson was a gentleman. He opened with a prayer that I would be blessed to hear and concur with any time. The problem we have is that neither Bruce, myself or government are the standard. A good man's character does not make an objectively immoral practice moral or right.

Representative Williamson claimed that Georgia banks don't create money, yet he later said:
I'm not disagreeing with the fact that it expands the money supply, but I don't see that that's inherently unhealthy.
Evidently Representative Williamson doesn't understand that "Expanding the money supply" creates new dollars and is inflation.

When I said that banks create dollars from nothing, Representative Williamson disagreed yet again, stating:

Its not nothing. Its promises to pay that provides the liquidity to shop keepers, to home owners...
All you're doing there is allowing these promises to pay, that when you come to borrow the money to buy the automobile or piece of land or buy new shelving for your hardware store, all the bank's doing is turning around and lending you those dollars... It's not the collateral, its your promise to pay back.
In other words, his view is that the money is not created from nothing, rather it is created because the borrower promises to use his land, labor and capital to produce enough to pay the loan back, plus interest to the banker.  The banker has essentially no skin in the game.

If "its not the collateral", why does the banker take the borrower's collateral if the borrower doesn't pay?

In an honest system, the banker would have to loan out property that actually exists in order to earn interest. In the fractional reserve system, he creates money from thin air and then essentially loans your property to you - and gets paid interest for doing it. The bank brings nothing to the table except the legal privilege to create money.

When you borrow money for a piece of land, the money that you use to pay the seller comes from a ledger entry at the bank which is made because you agree to pay the money back. The only real asset in the transaction is the land. The banker has no equity or asset in the transaction at all. If you default, he gets the land.

Of course that ledger sheet trick works until the bubble pops, particularly when the bubble is combined with Sarbanes-Oxley and federal regulators.

Representative Williamson also stated plainly that leaving the gold standard was a mistake.
It all goes back to fiat inflation. I do not disagree one bit with the fact we should never have gotten off the gold standard. I think Steve Forbes has got it right, but all we are is dealing with the Federal Reserve Notes that our Federal Treasury is [unintelligible] the currency of the nation.
However, the Gold standard simply limited the amount of new money created from nothing by the Federal government. Creating money from nothing is always a problem because the mechanism makes an economy unsustainable. The economy is unsustainable because costless money causes a breakdown in the price mechanism and distorts the allocation of resources.  It also pillages and weakens the producers.  The banks create new money from nothing, much the same as the Federal Reserve. In fact, the banks are able to create nine new dollars for each one new dollar created by the Federal Reserve. Which is bigger? Nine or One?

If costless money is a problem and the banks create more than the Federal Reserve, then the banks are not innocent. They participate in inflating the money supply, or to use Representative Williamson's phrase in "expanding the money supply", which IS inflation. It disproportionately harms the weak and frugal. It enriches those who are granted a special privilege by government (banks) to create new money from nothing - at least from nothing that the banker owns. In the banks view, your property gives them the right to create money that didn't exist in order to charge you interest for using the money.  What a racket.  

There is so much more that can be said and the problems are far reaching and complex, but the bottom line is that fractional and fiat money cause theft and lead to poverty and oppression.

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