Newspaper logo  
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

02.22 Report: Climate Denier to Lead White House Climate Panel [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]

02.22 The Uninhabitable Earth [Lots more important than all other problems put together]

02.22 Europe faces 'biodiversity oblivion' after collapse in French birds, experts warn

02.22 World's food supply under 'severe threat' from loss of biodiversity

02.22 Venezuela crisis threatens disease epidemic across continent - experts

02.21 'Moment of reckoning': US cities burn recyclables after China bans imports

02.20 Young climate strikers can win their fight. We must all help

02.20 Voyage to the Garbage Patch: the female sailors taking on plastic

02.19 Bees brought Bavarians together. And they have a lesson for us all

02.19 Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can't humans see the writing on the wall? [Fear that Trump & Fox News incite makes us avoid unpleasant information we need to know]

02.18 Tesla big battery is holding its own in a burgeoning energy storage market

02.18 Trump administration condemned over delaying action on toxic drinking water

02.16 New experimental drug rapidly repairs age-related memory loss and improves mood

02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]

02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]

02.16 My generation trashed the planet. So I salute the children striking back

02.16 US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]

02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]

02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]

02.12 Biggest offshore windfarm to start UK supply this week

02.12 Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition

02.12 Politicians are complicit in the killing of our insects – we will be next

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

02.22 So How's Your Tax Refund? Thanks to GOP Tax Scam, Big Banks Made Extra $28 Billion Last Year

02.21 Why Bernie Sanders Matters More Than People Think

02.21 Bezos Says Amazon Drones Ready to Deliver Mueller Report to Every American Household

02.21 Devin Nunes Was Trump’s Mole Inside the Gang of Eight

02.21 Alec Baldwin fears for family's safety after Trump 'retribution' threats [0:40 video]

02.20 Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him

02.20 ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates [If you can sense them, block them!]

02.20 The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet

02.20 Why Bernie Sanders' radicalism can take out Trump

02.20 Why vote for Sanders when you can have Elizabeth Warren instead?

Justice Matters

02.19 California Leads 16 States Suing to Block Trump Border Plan

02.19 Fighting pollution: Toledo residents want personhood status for Lake Erie [Hurrah!]

High Crimes?

02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]

02.16 Elliott Abrams Defends War Crimes As Happening Back In The ’80s When Everyone Was Doing It

Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism

02.21 Historian who confronted Davos billionaires leaks Tucker Carlson rant

02.20 A Centuries-Old Idea Could Revolutionize Climate Policy

International & Futurism
Sanders Has an Advantage, and It’s Not [Just] About Economics

02.22 When multilateralism crumbles, so does our rules-based order [this enables easier corruption by banks and oligarchs and may result in complete societal breakdown, chaos and war]

02.22 Trump has turned foreign aid into shabby political theatre [Psychopaths are a sub-human species without empathy or morals.]

02.21 John Oliver Compares Brexit ‘Disaster’ to Will Smith’s Genie in Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ (Video) [21:26 video; we’re approaching an Idiocracy-type of society, where stupidity is “normal”]

02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]

02.20 My grandfather was a Nazi. I’ve seen why we need the EU

02.19 Centrism isn’t the solution to the mess we’re in

02.19 Renewables need urgent investment to ease Australia's transmission bottlenecks, experts warn

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
This site Web
  Reviewing Ellen Brown's "Web of Debt:" Part V
Newspaper logo


Reviewing Ellen Brown's "Web of Debt:" Part V

by Stephen Lendman
Friday, 15 May 2009
Imagine the difference if the "banking spider....could be decapitated, returning national (money creation) sovereignty to the people themselves." In other words, the rightful owner.
This is the fifth of several articles on Ellen Brown's superb 2007 book titled “Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System -- The Sleight of Hand That Has Trapped Us in Debt and How We Can Break Free”, now updated in a December 2008 third edition. It tells "the shocking truth about our money system, (how it) trapped us in debt, and how we can break free." This article focuses on taking back our money power.
Recapturing What's Ours and Turning Scarcity to Abundance

In 1952, Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993) first published his most famous book - "The Power of Positive Thinking." It sold about five million copies and was a New York Times bestseller for 186 consecutive weeks delivering messages like: "Never talk defeat. Use words like hope, belief, faith, victory." FDR struck the same theme in saying: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

In 1900, Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz was first published, conveying "the notion that a life of scarcity could be transformed in an instant into one of universal abundance...." In real life, the secret is by taking back our money power from the private bankers who stole it in 1913, in the middle of the night, two days before Christmas, and kept it ever since.

Today's real cause of scarcity is that "somebody is paying interest on most of the money in the world all of the time," and by so doing enslaves nearly everyone in perpetual debt bondage. Meeting America's huge debt burden requires the money supply to keep expanding, "and for that to happen, borrowers must continually go deeper into debt, merchants must continually raise their prices, and the odd men out in the bankers' game of musical chairs must continue to lose their property to the banks."

The result - inevitable wars, competition, strife, inflation, deflation, recessions, depressions, debt bondage, poverty, and despair, while at the same time bankers get fabulously richer and more powerful. The obvious solution is to stop "parasitic" banks from "feeding on the world's prosperity," but the "Witches of Wall Street" don't yield easily. Dethroning them will take the process Francis Fox Piven explained in her 2006 book, "Challenging Authority." She quoted Thomas Jefferson responding to the repressive 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts saying:

"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles."

Disruptive social actions have done it as Piven explained:

"ordinary people (have) power....when they rise up in anger and hope, defy the rules....disrupt (state) institutions....propel new issues to the center of political debate (and force) political leaders (to) stem voter defections by proferring reforms. These are the conditions that produce" democratic change."

Sidestepping the Debt Web with "Parallel" Currencies

Community currencies, for example, that historically rose "spontaneously when national (ones) were scarce, unobtainable," or in the case of Weimar Germany worthless because of hyperinflation. "Hundreds of communities in the United States, Canada and Europe did the same thing during the Depression" when hard times forced creative solutions. "Like the medieval tally, these currencies were simply credits (letting bearers) trade (them) for an equivalent value in goods and services...."

Today, community currencies "operate legally in more than 35 countries...." and in North America over 30 are available in places like Ithaca, New York where Ithaca HOUR scrip is used, saying on the back:

"This is money (entitling) the bearer to receive one hour of labor or its negotiated value in goods and services. Please accept it, then spend it...."

Another example is corporate credits like airline frequent flyer miles entitling holders to free flights and other benefits like lodging, rental cars, restaurant meals and even groceries.

Computer technology provides other alternatives as well, without currencies, by facilitating trades electronically. In 1981 after IBM released its XT computer, the first electronic currency system was devised - a Local Exchange Trading System (LETS) for recording transactions and keeping accounts by simply having "an information system for recording human effort." It tallied credits in and debits out, tax and interest free, and stored electronically.

Check out these sites for more information:

The main drawback to these systems is they're small, local, and fail to address the greater problem - "the mammoth debt spider that is sucking the lifeblood from the national economy" and our well-being. Solving that requires national currency reform - returning money creation power to the people who own it from bankers who stole it.

Goldbugs v. Greenbackers

In 1896 at the Democratic National Convention, William Jennings Byran railed against Goldbugs and their moneyed interests backers in support of Greenbacker farmers and laborers saying: "You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold." The arguments went like this:

  • Bankers claimed gold was a stable medium of exchange; "sound" or "honest" money in relatively fixed supply that couldn't be inflated by irresponsible governments out of proportion to the demand for goods and services;
  • Greenbackers called scarcity a drawback letting governments condone "dishonest" money through fractional reserve banking; they'd be harmed too many previous times not to know it; also, during the 1850s Gold Rush, its supply and consumer prices rose sharply, did again from 1917 - 1920, and during the 1970s when gold rose from $40 an ounce to $800 and inflation along with it.

The debate still continues, but today's goldbugs are money reformers, not bankers who have it all going their way so why change.

As a medium of exchange, gold has serious drawbacks. In the Great Depression, it left the country, exacerbating deflation that caused the money supply and demand to contract. Another problem is that productivity is linked to its availability, but more practical matters are also relevant like needing gold bars for large purchases, something avoided by paper, checkbook and electronic money.

In the 1990s, Harvey Barnard proposed a new currency reform idea that included a national sales tax in lieu of the federal income tax with the aim of zero inflation and a stable economy. The National Economic Stabilization and Recovery Act (NESARA) he called it. His idea was for the government to issue currency in three forms - standard silver coins, standard gold ones, and Treasury credit notes or Greenbacks. Treasury notes would replace Federal Reserve ones with the Federal Reserve abolished.

NESARA was never introduced in Congress and might work if enacted. But why bother when the central problem is more simply addressed by returning money creation power to the government as the Constitution mandates. Paper currency isn't the problem. A private banking cartel controlling it is what's at issue to fix. By doing it, "the water of a free-flowing money supply can transform an arid desert of debt into the green abundance envisioned by our forefathers." It's there for the taking by simply "eliminating the financial parasite that is draining our abundance away," and there's nothing complicated about doing it.

The Federal Debt

How to pay it off is the question Congress one day must address. We can't grow our way out, but here's another way - pay it off "by turning (government) bonds into what they should have been all along, legal tender."

Economic analyst Al Martin cites a 2001 US Treasury study showing that US debt service may force the government to raise the personal income tax to 65% by 2013, and if interest can't be paid, bankruptcy and economic collapse will follow as well as for global economies within five days. The only alternative at that point would be "through currency (and) military might, or internal military power...."

However, two centuries ago, Alexander Hamilton showed "that Congress could dispose of the federal debt by 'monetizing' it, but Congress made the mistake of delegating that function to a private banking system." It can fix it by "buying back its own bonds with newly-issued US Notes" it can print in limitless amounts - debt and interest free.

It's being done now - "not by the government but by the private Federal Reserve." However, doing it leaves the bonds in circulation, with two sets of securities (bonds and cash) instead of one. "This highly inflationary (scheme) could be avoided" if the government just bought back its own bonds and voided them out - a win-win arrangement for the nation and public with only bankers losing out as they should.

It's simple to do and would be able to "extinguish the national debt with the click of a mouse." In January 2004, the Treasury did it when it "called" (paid off) a 30-year bond issue prior to its due date. Paying "in book-entry form" eliminated doing it with paper currencies or checks and turned securities from interest-bearing to non-interest bearing ones. Bondholders had a choice. They could take their redemption amount in cash or not sell and get no interest.

By this method, the Treasury "can pay off the entire federal debt....It just has to announce that it is calling its bonds and other securities, and that they will be paid 'in book-entry form.' " No cash is involved and funds received can be otherwise reinvested. The process can be accomplished gradually as securities come due. It's just a matter of doing it along with restoring money creation power to the government and making America democratic again, unbeholden to bankers.

Federal Debt Liquidation without Inflation

"Inflation results when the money supply increases faster than goods and services, and replacing government securities with cash would not change the size of the money supply." If government buys its own bonds, they simply convert from interest-bearing notes into non-interest-bearing legal tender (cash). The money supply remains unchanged, and there's no inflationary impact.

That's "very different from what happens today" with the Fed buying bonds, not voiding them out, and creating "reserves" for issuing "many times their value in new loans." It adds new cash to the money supply - a "highly inflationary (scheme simply avoided by having) the government buy back its own bonds and (take) them out of circulation."

It's also a way to solve the "Social Security crisis." Resolve it by "simply cashing out (of) federal bond holdings (in exchange for) newly-issued US notes" with no inflationary effect because no new money would be created. Bonds would become cash, remain in the fund, and be used for future pay-outs.

Fed-held securities could be cashed out the same way and just as benignly. Cash would replace bonds. They'd be voided out. The money supply would be unchanged, and inflation would be avoided. It would work no differently for foreign central bank held debt since bonds and cash are the same thing and either can be held in reserve to support their own currencies or to buy oil per the 1974 OPEC agreement.

Already sovereign debt holders are cutting back, reducing their US securities reserves but doing it discretely so as not to be disruptive. However, "the tide is rolling out, and US bonds will be coming back to (our) shores whether we like it or not." At issue is who'll buy them and whether an inflationary or non-inflationary path will be taken. So far it's the former with all the dangers involved.

Federal Reserve-Issued "Helicopter" Money

Early in the new millennium, deflationary concerns were great enough for Ben Bernanke to deliver a Washington 2002 speech titled: "Deflation: Making Sure 'It' Doesn't Happen Here." He explained that lowering interest rates isn't the sole way to inject new money into the economy. The "US government has a new technology, called a printing press (an electronic one), that allows it to produce as many US dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost." The government could reflate the economy and buy hard assets at the same time. At issue again is whether government or private bankers do it (or local communities acting independently) and the positive or negative effects of each choice.

Today we're banking cartel controlled, and it's "brought the system to the brink of collapse. The privately-controlled Federal Reserve, which was chartered specifically to 'maintain a stable currency,' has allowed the money supply to balloon out of control. The Fed manipulates the money supply and regulates its value behind closed doors, in blatant violation of the Constitution and the antitrust laws" with the full faith and blessing of the administration, Congress and courts. It "can't be held to account; it doesn't even have to explain its rationale or reveal what is going on."

Imagine the difference if the "banking spider....could be decapitated, returning national (money creation) sovereignty to the people themselves." In other words, the rightful owner.

A final article addresses a people-oriented banking system.

Steve Lendman

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen to The Global Research News Hour on Mondays from 11AM to 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national topics. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on May 15, 2009.

Public Service Ads:
Verifiable Voting in Maryland