Here is where we stand.
It is mathematically impossible for the U.S. government to pay off the U.S. national debt. EVER. You see, the U.S. government now owes more dollars than actually exist. If the U.S. government went out today and took every single penny from every single American bank, business and taxpayer, they still would not be able to pay off the U.S. national debt.
If the federal government began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay off the national debt–and then, ONLY IF, we didn’t increase the debt by a SINGLE penny.
Now why doesn’t the U.S. government just fire up the printing presses and print a bunch of money to pay off what we owe?
Well, for one very simple reason. The U.S. government does not issue U.S. currency – the Federal Reserve does. Pull a dollar bill out and look at it. It says “Federal Reserve Note” at the top. The Federal Reserve is a private bank. It is owned and operated, for profit, by international bankers.
When the U.S. government needs more money, it cannot simply create the needed money.
Instead, when the U.S. government runs out of money (which happens a lot these days) it has to BORROW IT by going over to the Federal Reserve and asking them for green pieces of paper called Federal Reserve Notes.
The Federal Reserve swaps these green pieces of paper for pink pieces of paper called U.S. Treasury bonds. The Federal Reserve either sells these U.S. Treasury bonds or they keep the bonds for themselves.
So that is how the U.S. government gets more green pieces of paper called “U.S. dollars” to put into circulation. But by doing so, they get themselves into even more debt which they will owe even more interest on.
Every time the U.S. government borrows from the federal reserve, the national debt gets bigger and the INTEREST on that debt gets EVEN bigger.
Are you starting to get the picture?
To make the situation worse, NOBODY, not even the federal reserve, has a clue how much money even EXISTS in the United States today because our financial system is based on fractional reserve banking.
When you go over to your local bank and deposit $100, your bank doesn’t keep your $100 in the bank. Instead, only a small fraction of your money stays at the bank. The bank lends out the rest to someone else. If the “someone else” then deposits the money that was just borrowed at the same bank, that “same bank” can loan out most of that money once again. In this way, the amount of “money” quickly gets multiplied. But in reality, only $100 actually exists. The system works because we do not all run down to the bank and demand all of our money at the same time. (Not that it could never happen.)
The crowd shown above is gathered in front of the Guardian Trust Company and National City Bank on February 28, 1933..
The New York Federal Reserve Bank, explains fractional reserve banking like this….
“If the reserve requirement is 10%, a bank that receives a $100 deposit may lend out $90 of that deposit. If the borrower then writes a check to someone who deposits the $90, the bank receiving that deposit can lend out $81. As the process continues, the banking system can expand the initial deposit of $100 into a maximum of $1,000 of money ($100+$90+81+$72.90+…=$1,000).”
So much of the “money”counted on bank books as assets is basically made up out of thin air.
And, in fact, most banks have no reserve requirements at all on savings deposits, CDs and certain kinds of money market accounts. Primarily, reserve requirements apply only to “transactions deposits” – essentially checking accounts.
Banks are freer today to dramatically “multiply” the amounts deposited with them than ever before. NONE of WHAT CREATED THE BANKING CRISIS OF 2008 has been fixed.
The U.S. government CAN GO OUT AND and DEMAND every SINGLE dollar from EVERY banks, businesses and individual in the United States and it would not be able to collect 14 trillion dollars. IT COULDN’T COLLECT 8.5 trillion dollars.
The Federal Reserve Banking System is a game designed which the United States Government CAN’T WIN.
We could solve this problem by shutting down the Federal Reserve and restoring the power to issue U.S. currency to the U.S. Congress (which is what the U.S. Constitution calls for). But the politicians in Washington D.C. are not about to do that.
The politicians have become more concerned with their own perpetuation than with service to society. As they blunder from crisis to crisis, they blame markets and freedom for the problems created by poor central planning and structure within the financial system.
Giving banks a monopoly over the initial allocation of credit and money enriches the banks at the expense of society. Banks and bankers — who produce nothing — allocate resources to their interests. The rest of society — including all the productive sectors — get crumbs from the table. The market mechanism is perverted, and bent in favour of the financial system.
Such a system is unsustainable. The subsidization of incompetence breeds more incompetence, and weakens the system, whether it is government handing off corporate welfare to inept corporations, or whether it is the central bank bailing out inept financial institutions. The financial system never learned the lessons of 2008; MF Global and the London Whale illustrate that. Printing money to save broken systems just makes these systems more fragile and prone to collapse. Ignoring the market mechanism, and the interests of the wider society to subsidise the financial sector and well-connected corporations just makes society angry and disaffected.
Between fractional reserve banking, extreme leverage, mismarking of books, questionable derivatives and rehypothecation is there ANY possibility of a free market?
What if these mechanisms are contrivances PURPOSEFULLY designed to skim off everything left to skim while driving the financial system the point of collapse?
Even if a financial collapse wasn’t planned, now that the endgame is clearly in sight…
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” ~Rahm Emanuel