What happens if we make this change and the rest of the world does not? Since the world’s markets are all interconnected and interdependent, a global change to a sustainable system is the best outcome. And, encouragingly, there is a global movement in dozens of nations to work toward their own common wealth money. However, it will take time, perhaps lifetimes. In the meantime, it will be a challenge to limit the creation of US Money to the US government. Global banks are powerful, crafty and have invested billions in creating arcane, bewildering strategies for gaming the global financial marketplace and maintaining control. Taking back our sovereign power to create our national money and maintaining that power, will require the wisdom of many to plug all possible loopholes and evasions of our sovereignty. Gathering great minds with a wealth of expertise, curiosity, and a will to innovate will be an imperative.
Changing our money system will impact international bank accounting, international bank money creation, reserves, and currency use.
Cash currency use
The US dollar is widely used abroad as a cash currency. Cash is only about 2 percent of global currency in use, but changing money systems will have an impact on its use. According to the Fed more than two-thirds of $100 bills circulate outside the US. This is a relatively recent phenomenon, rising from about 45 percent in 1990 to over 70 percent in 2011.15 The Fed reports 11.5 billion $100 bills are in circulation (2016), with a value of $1.15 trillion.16 So roughly 70 percent of that $1.15 trillion is $805 billion in $100 in circulation around the world. The Fed took the seigniorage when these bills were first introduced. The creation of cash designated for use abroad can continue, but the seigniorage will go to the Bank of the US (our new government central bank), instead of the Fed. Recipients of the dollars will experience no difference.
Global use of dollar currency often reflects instability and insecurities in other countries, and the high regard of the world for the stability of US currency, backed by our commonwealth. However, the Global GDP is nearly $80 trillion, so $805 billion in US cash dollars in global circulation is one percent of global money – relatively insignificant as far as the rest of the world is concerned.
However, if for some reason this $805 billion came home to the US, that is more significant. We’re only using about $350 billion in $100 bills here at home. Our total money supply – cash and digital credit – is about $14 trillion. That $806 billion in cash dollars coming home would increase the number of total dollars in circulation in the US by over 6 percent. That would cause inflation.
Cash dollars coming home to the US may happen with or without a system change. If the world loses respect for the US and our leadership, these dollars may come home and have a significant impact on our economy. Our dollars may also come home if the rest of the world feels more secure using their own currencies, which would be a good thing for the world. We can hope that in either event, the global dollars return home at a pace that can be accommodated comfortably.
Global banking and money creation
Remember that about 97 percent of money in use around the world is not cash; it is a digital or written record. In our current system, the big private banks that rule the US are global banks that use a reserve money creation system, creating new money in many currencies, that can then be exchanged into dollars.
This will stop.
Global banks create money for people all over the world in many currencies. In the pre-crash years of 2004 to 2008 the global bankers increased the supply of dollars held in foreign hands at annual growth rates of 12–24 percent.17 They increased the supply of dollars by making dollar denominated loans to each other, to countries – guaranteed by natural resources and future tax income streams, to global corporations and to international financial gamers. They blew up a global asset bubble that did serious harm to the world when it popped. But, the bankers made out like bandits, requiring austerity measures that cripple populations, and taking ownership of natural resources – even food supplies – so that they could extract loan repayments and interest.
Since the financial crisis, while banks slowed money creation lending in the US, global banks continued to create dollars for the rest of the world at annual rates of 8–16 percent.18 Since 2008, the global central banks have created more than $9 trillion.19 This is one reason the global banks have continued to prosper despite downturns in the US economy. The privilege of the global bankers to create this money gives them power and control over the global economy. Think through the consequences described in Chapter 6 and apply them on a global scale.
The Bank of International Settlements estimates that the supply of US dollar-denominated money created for the rest of the world grew from about $6 trillion in 2008 to $8 trillion in 2014 – and, it’s not well reported, so it may be considerably more. This additional $8 trillion in US dollar credit-money represents 13 percent of non-US global economic activity in 2014. We know $5 trillion ends up in the hands of bankers as reserves. The remaining $3 trillion moves around in the global economy extracting wealth from 99 percent of the world’s population and moving it into the hands of a very tiny few.
In 2014, a total reported money supply of $12 trillion was in use in the US, and another $8 trillion in US money created by global bankers for use in the rest of the world. So 40 percent of the dollars in the total global supply have been created by global bankers for use outside the US.
This will stop.
Global bankers must follow the same laws that will apply to bankers in the US with regard to US money. If they want to make loans or issue credit in US currency, they must have that amount from investors. Global bankers will no longer be allowed to create US money. Transition accounting changes will be the same for global banks as for domestic banks. The transition from bank money to US commonwealth money will follow the same process that it does domestically.
We the US people will take back ownership and control of our money. Instead of allowing the global banks to choose who gets newly created US money in the world – effectively determining or undermining US foreign and economic policy without the participation of our duly elected leadership – we the people will make these choices. Our choices will not need to be driven by how much profit it makes for a tiny group of global bank owners. We can choose to create US dollars for the rest of the world to use and introduce them into the global economy by giving, spending, investing or lending in a way that matches our values.
Global banks will continue to provide basic banking services for their clients – accounting, safeguarding, and transferring. Depositors will see no difference in how their banking works.
Consider what may happen if we do not choose to change our money system. Catastrophe can strike in one, or likely both of two ways.
As with a return of dollar cash, the dollars used as reserves could come home to roost. When the world for good reasons (healthy global economies) or bad reasons (the world thinks poorly of our leadership and common wealth) decides to reduce their use of the dollar – as a reserve or as a trading currency – significant amounts of the $8 trillion out in the world may come home to our domestic economy, flooding our money supply and causing calamitous inflation.
At the behest of bankers, many politicians will push to use our military might to force nations to retain their US dollar reserves, but that is a grim and devastating prospect. We’ve done it before and experience shows that it does more harm than good (Iraq, Libya, Iran). Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was promoting the idea of petro-dollars as reserves and/or dumping Iraq’s dollar reserves and switching them to the
Euro. He was succeeding in his efforts to convince fellow members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Protecting our currency dominance was a significant reason we invaded Iraq and deposed him. The invasion of Iraq and subsequent behavior of our Coalition Provisional Authority destabilized the entire Middle East and the conflagration still burns, costing hundreds of thousands of lives, including our own servicemen and women. We invaded and deposed Libya’s Gaddafi for the same reason (global financial dominance) as noted in Chapter 4.37.
We’ve used our military to protect global banking interests many times, and it has never served either our nation or the world. More often than not, we have inflamed tensions and created ongoing wars, refugees and poverty, while lining the pockets of a tiny few. So, repeating this mistake is not an advantageous solution. While it could, maybe, hold off the predictable, eventual reduction in the use of the dollar around the world, and our leadership seems intent on following a military strategy to dominate the world – however short-sighted and ineffective. It is a bad idea.
The world is headed for the same catastrophic gigantic meltdown that we face domestically. Global bankers have been expanding most currencies at exponential and increasing rates – especially the dollar. Think of the exponential curve. Double digit increases in global dollars puts us on a straight up off the chart trajectory.
In our current system, when the next and inevitable meltdown occurs, we have almost no recourse to avoid a horrendous impact on our nation’s economy; we are at the mercy of the global banks who will continue to create money for themselves, extract our natural resources and exact austerity measures that cripple our common wealth. They’ve demonstrated this is exactly how they will handle a meltdown. The list of countries raped by the global bankers is long. Read Naomi Klien’s book, The Shock Doctrine; the rise of disaster capitalism (2007) for an appalling account.20
A practical path
Commonwealth money gives our nation control over our money. We can avert catastrophe. We would be able to quarantine money returning from global use to domestic use and avoid devastating inflation. This is not possible with our current system.
And, rather than using our military might to force the world to support wealth transfer to global bankers and big corporations, we could create global dollars to increase the world’s prosperity. Instead of bankers creating dollars for global financial gaming, we could choose to create US dollars for global common wealth improvement. And, doing good in the world will regain the world’s respect. China’s government is ahead of us with such a plan, but, we can catch up.
At the international level, there will be the same need for a balance of individual nation’s sovereign powers (the I, Me, Mine), and the collaborative decision-making power of the global interdependent WE. We all share the same planet, so we will need to establish values and the parameters of control at each level.