The Federal Reserve system: Most Americans know it’s important but most Americans don’t know exactly what it is. In this episode, discover the controversial and disturbing history of the Federal Reserve and learn how it has allowed bankers and politicians to create money out of nothing, taking value out of your bank accounts for over 100 years.
Executive Producers: Anonymous, Brandon K. Lewis
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The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin September 2010
Fed Up: An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America Booth by Danielle DiMartino February 2017
Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World by Nomi Prins 2018
Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud by David Dayen May 2016
- Article: The Fed May Have Just Extended The Bull Market by Nancy Tengler, USA Today, September 19, 2019.
- Article: The Fed Is Trapped in the Twilight Zone by Mark Gongloff, Bloomberg Opinion, September 19, 2019.
- Article: Fed Cuts Interest Rates To Prop Up The slowing Economy by Scott Horsley, NPR, September 18, 2019.
- Article: Powell Stresses Solid U.S. Outlook After Fed Cuts Rates Again by By Craig Torres and Rich Miller, Bloomberg, September 18, 2019.
- Article: Fed’s First-in-a-Decade Intervention Will Be Repeated Wednesday by Liz McCormick and Alex Harris, Bloomberg, September 17, 2019.
- Article: 5 facts about the national debt by Drew Disilver, Pew Reserach Center, July 24, 2019.
- Article: Does Trump Have the Legal Authority to Demote the Federal Reserve Chairman? by Charlie Savage, The Washington Post, June 20, 2019.
- Article: Taxing Empty Apartments Could Ease the Housing Crisis by Adele Peters, Fast Company, February 12, 2019.
- Article: Elizabeth Warren Was Right, New Law is Already Making Banks Bigger The Intercept, by David Dayen, February 8, 2019.
- Article: Oakland’s vacant-property tax takes effect, sparking hope – and alarm by Kathleen Pender, San Francisco Chronicle, January 26, 2019.
- Article: Steve Mnuchin Is a Dunce by Rebecca Burns and David Dayen, The Intercept, January 1, 2019.
- Article: Does Trump get one thing right about the Fed? by Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, November 29, 2018.
- Info booklet: I Bet You Thought By David H. Friedman, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, December 27, 2018
- Press Release: Federal Reserve Board invites public comment on framework that would more closely match regulations for large banking organizations with their risk profiles, Board of Governors at the Federal Reserve Board, October 31, 2018.
- Article: Vacancy: America’s Other Housing Crisis by Richard Florida, CityLab, July 27, 2018.
- Article: The Richest 10% of Americans Now Own 84% of All Stocks by Rob Wile, CNN Money, December 19, 2017.
- Article: Who Is Jerome Powell: Trump’s Pick for Fed Chairman by Binyamin Appelbaum and Kevin Granville, New York Times, Nov. 2, 2017.
- Article: Donald Trump Expected to Pick Shadow Banker for Key Position at the Fed by David Dayen, The Intercept, April 19, 2017.
- Article: The End Is in Sight for the U.S. Foreclosure Crisis by William R. Emmons, St. Louis Federal Reserve, December 2, 2016
- Article: Food Price Inflation Since 1913 by Tim McMahon, InflationData.com, March 21, 2013.
- Article: Hedge Funds Draw Concerns, Reuters and Bloomberg News, July 26, 2006.
- Article: Banker Joins Dillon, Read, New York Times, February 17, 1995.
- Article: With NAFTA, US Finally Creates a New World Order by Henry Kissinger, Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1993.
- Article: The Owens Bill as a Measure of Inflation, New York Times, December 13, 1913
- Article: Putting Government Into the Banking Business, New York Times, June 17, 1913
- Congressional Budget Office: Taxes
- Council on Foriegn Relations: Membership
- Council on Foreign Relations: Membership roster
- Council on Foreign Relations: Corporate Membership
- Council on Foreign Relations: Corporate Membership informational brochure
- Federal Reserve: Monetary Policy
- Federal Reserve Board of Governors: Board Members
- Federal Reserve FAQ: Is it legal for a business in the United States to refuse cash as a form of payment?
- Federal Reserve History: The Meeting at Jekyll Island
- Federal Reserve History: Monetary Control Act of 1980
- Investopedia: Monetary Control Act of 1980
- Treasury Direct: Historical Debt Outstanding – Annual 1900 – 1949
- Treasury Direct: Historical Debt Outstanding – Annual 2000 – 2018
- Treasury Direct: Interest Expense on the Debt Outstanding
- U.S. Global Investors: The Many Uses of Gold
Sound Clip Sources
Reporter: Clarify what you would do if the president tweets or calls you to say he would like to demote you as fed chair? Jerome Powell: I think the law is clear that I have a four year term and I I fully intend to serve it.
Tweet: Kyle Dunnigan, #LeavingNevreland March 6, 2019
Fox News Interview with President Donald Trump October 16, 2019
President Donald Trump: Give me zero interest rates right now and you take a look at our numbers. It’d be the greatest economy in the history of the world. Nobody would be able to compete with it.
President Donald Trump: And I fully get the whole thing, the Federal Reserve, I get it as well as any president who’s ever been here. I get it really well.
Joe Biden Speaks that Council on Foreign Relations January 23, 2018
Joe Biden: I’ll give you one concrete example. I was—not I, it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine. And I remember going over, convincing our team and our leaders, convincing them that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor, and they didn’t. So they said they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.
Hillary Clinton: So we need to move simultaneously toward a political solution to the civil war that paves the way for a new government with new leadership and to encourage more Syrians to take on ISIS as well. To support them, we should immediately deploy the Special Operations Force President Obama has already authorized, and be prepared to deploy more, as more Syrians get into the fight. We should retool and ramp up our efforts to support and equip viable Syrian opposition units. Our increased support should go hand in hand with increased support from our Arab and European partners, including Special Forces who can contribute to the fight on the ground. We should also work with the coalition and the neighbors to impose no-fly zones that will stop Assad from slaughtering civilians and the opposition from the air. Opposition Forces on the ground, with material support from the coalition, could then help create safe areas for them from the country instead of fleeing toward Europe.
Ron Paul speech at the Campaign for Liberty: End the Fed September 18, 2009
Ron Paul: But, there’s a moral argument, against the, the Federal Reserve because, we’re giving power to a few individuals to create money out of thin air and have, have legal tender laws that says, you must use the paper money. You can’t use gold as the constitution tells you you should, but you must use, paper money. And then that gives the central bank the Authority to counterfeit money, and always for good reasons, of course, to maintain a stable economy.
Ron Paul: The mandate and the Federal Reserve Act for the Federal Reserve was to maintain the value of the dollar and to have full employment, and maintaining the value of the dollar means stable prices. Well, they fail. They flown, they get an AF. They’re destroying the value of the dollar. And we have perpetual increases in cost of living and they say, oh no, it’s not all bad inflation. We’re only destroying the money at 2% per year. But it’s a lot worse than that. But 2% it’s evil too. You know, under sun money, your value of your money goes up, costs go down, cost of living goes down and you get more. And that’s how we become more prosperous. But they have totally failed in maintaining the value of the dollar, giving us stable prices. Nobody wants to talk about the inflation in Eh, in a medical care. Yes, pricing. People are unhappy because they can’t afford it or they can’t afford it because their dollar doesn’t buy as much. You say, oh no, we don’t have inflation. The government says the CPIS only going up 1% – 2%. But the cost of medicine goes up much more rampantly. But, when you create new money, the cost goes up differently for different areas. If everybody’s wages went up at the same rate as the money supply would go up, and everybody’s cost would go up the same, it would be irrelevant. But it doesn’t work that way. Your wages and your income never keep up and certain prices go up faster than others. Some people suffer more than people who get to use the money. First benefit. The people who get the money, use the money last, the average person in the middle class, they use the money and they get stuck. If you’re in retirement, you might suffer more than others. But you know, they come up with these figures and they say, oh, prices went up 2% last month. But if you exclude for food and energy, they only went up a half a percent. So it wasn’t so bad. But for some people, food and energy crisis go up and it means a whole lot.
Ron Paul: And there wasn’t time, you know, the Federal Reserve was required to have gold behind the expansion of money. So they were restrained and as bad as they were in inviting problems, they still had some restraint up until 1971. But even though the Federal Reserve Act gave the power to the Fed to buy corporate debt, they really never did that until just recently. It used to be gold and silver that they used as reserve. And then after 1971, they just used treasury bills, which was bad, but still there was some restraint on that, that depended on the amount of debt that we had. But of course, that gave license to the congress to run up unlimited amount of debt. But today what backs our dollar is derivatives. All the worthless access, the toxic access assets that we were required to buy are now held by the Fed. And we don’t know exactly how much and what they have bought. And that, of course, is why we’re arguing for the case of auditing the Fed.
Ron Paul: The other associations that I talk about in the book are the associations with the Federal Reserve Board chairman. I’ve had a few of those. And a matter of fact, just for a month or so, when I first went into congress, Berns was still the chairman. I didn’t really get to know him and it was such a short period and he was in poor health. But the one that I got to know the best in your years was a Paul Volcker. And, I gave him a little bit of a plus as far as the various members, various chairman that I’ve met because, he seemed to be more willing to discuss things on a one to one basis. Actually there was one time when we were working on the monetary control act in the early 1980s, which gave a lot more power, regulatory powers, to the Federal Reserve and to monetize debt. And I was arguing one case in the committee, that it was a dangerous thing because the Federal Reserve was given too much power to inflate endlessly and didn’t have to have any reserves whatsoever and could take interest rates down to zero or whatever. And, he was disagreeing with me and he says, look, what I’d like you to do is come over and have breakfast with me. And, that wouldn’t happen with Bernanki or Greenspan. They didn’t do that. So I did. I went over to the Federal Reserve and we had the discussion. He tried to, you know, convince me differently, but I felt like I won the argument with them because as I was leaving, he says, yes, you may be right about this, but he himself, that I may be right on the interpretation of the legislation, but he himself would not inflate. He wants this so that he has the power to restrain monetary authorities rather than to expand monetary powers. But it turns out that yes, I said, you might not want to use these powers to rapidly expand the money supply, but someday somebody else might want to do it. And of course, I make the comment, I think that some day is right here when you see what Bernanki did, you know, within a few months, doubling the monetary base. So, his authority was getting granted back at that time.
Ron Paul: He wants to know what a sound currency would look like. I think you could probably go to the period of time in the 19th century when they had sound money and gold coins circulated and certificates should circulate and could circulate. It’s the trust factor that would have to be there and you could still have electronic money and whatever. People could measure the value of the currency by something that should always be convertible. You should have a gold coin standard, and that is that you don’t have to carry the coins around, but if the government is guaranteeing – which they are supposed to be doing – guaranteeing that any certificate would be convertible into coin, and that’s better than a — standard, that means that if you have $5,000 and you’re getting worried about the government, you get to vote against the government saying, look, I want my gold coins in my pocket. And then they then would have to give you the gold coins.
Ron Paul: It’s a sinister tax is what it really is. Governments: There’s enough of a coalition together that wants to see government grow. Whether it’s for the welfare reasons here at home, or if it’s for the ideas of promoting our goodness around the world. It has nothing to do with protecting oil or anything else, but we need a military presence around the world. But if you had honest money and governments couldn’t counterfeit, these ideas would still float around, but they would be forced to pay for it immediately. If we could ever get this whole notion that you shouldn’t even allow the government to borrow, and they would have to tax us directly and say, look, if you want to do A, B, and C, we’re going to take money from you and we’re going to pay for it. This would slow things up. But there’s a convenience for those who want big government to have the tax be an inflation tax. That is to vote for all the welfare programs. Vote for all the warfare programs. Don’t be a responsible for this, morally responsible or economically responsible. Just pass the programs. And if you find your coalitions, you get reelected. And this is work to, you know, running as Santa Claus is a lot better than running against Santa Claus. And that’s been done for many, many years. But that’s coming to an end. That’s why there’s a difference right now because this system is in the process of failing.
Hearing: The Federal Budget and the Economy March 3, 2009 Senate Budget Committee
- Ben Bernanke – Chairman of the Federal Reserve
58:00 Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): I wrote you a letter and I said, hey, who’d you lend the money to? What were the terms of those loans? How can my constituents in Vermont get some of that money? Who makes the decisions? Do you guys sit around in a room? Do you make it? Are there conflicts of interest? So my question to you is, will you tell the American people to whom you lent $2.2 trillion of their dollars? Will you tell us who got that money and what the terms are of those agreements? Ben Bernanke: We explain each of our programs. In terms of the terms, we explained the terms exactly. We explained what the collateral requirements are. We explained… Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): To whom did you explain that? Ben Bernanke: It’s on our website. Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): Yeah. Okay. Ben Bernanke: So all that information is available in our commercial paper… Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): And who got the money? Ben Bernanke: Hundreds and hundreds of banks. Any bank or that has access to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s discount… Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): Can you tell us who they are? Ben Bernanke: No, because the reason that is counterproductive and will destroy the value of the program is that banks will not come to the… Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): Isn’t that too bad? Ben Bernanke: Sorry. Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): In other words, isn’t that too bad? They took the money, but they don’t want to be public about the fact that they received it.
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