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214 of 228 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Money is an illusion, May 31, 2009
This is the most important economic textbook since Marx wrote Das Capital. Whereas Marx goes great lengths explaining all the problems concerning the *production cycles* of capitalism, Griffin explains the *money supply* side. And this ends up being even more disturbing. Griffin explains that money is created "out of nothing", worse even, out of "less than nothing", out of DEBT. Whenever the government is in need of money, they "lend" it to the Federal Reserve, which, by the way, isn't a government institution, but a cartel of private banks, invented by the Rockefeller and Morgan families in Jekyll Island in 1910 and established by Congress in 1913. This Fed "creates" the money the government needs in the form of government bonds, ultimately made out of "paper and ink". Government then spends this money (payment to contractors etc.) and this money ends up as deposits in private bank accounts, where it is used in turn to back up private loans. More money is created "out of nothing", since banks typically lend 9 dollars for each dollar they have in deposit ! As you can see, all money is created out of debt. Would all debts be paid, all money would literally... disappear... Money which is not backed up by gold is thus an illusion.

Now, governments do all what is in their power to be indebted. Remember Bush and Obama rescued "Banks Too Big To Fail" (sic) and other Big Corporations, each time with more than 700 billion USD, without even raising taxes ! They even did better ! They lowered taxes at the same time ! Ever wondered how they perform this fascinating trick? Read this important book. Griffin shows that recollecting taxes isn't really necessary. But we DO end up paying those bills, every time government decides to "create money out of nothing". Don't be mistaken. Every time our governments expand the money supply, inflation goes up, and our money ends up being worth less. In 1966, when Greenspan was still a brilliant economist and not a corrupted chairman of the Fed, he called inflation a "hidden confiscation of wealth".

The first edition of Griffin's book was published in 1994, and has very important historical explanations and references. If you - like me - heard once too much that the actual crisis is similar to the Great Depression of the `30s, and always wanted to know what really happened then, then this book will sort it all out. As a *complementary work* in which the current crisis is explained in great detail, I would also highly recommend Kevin Phillips Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 3, 2010 6:22:13 PM PST
reviewd says:
700 billion

Posted on Mar 27, 2011 10:23:38 AM PDT
Thank you for such an indepth analysis and review of the book!

Posted on Nov 11, 2013 2:46:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 11, 2013 3:32:25 AM PST
AlexHanin says:
"since banks typically lend 9 dollars for each dollar they have in deposit !"

This statement is not correct. The money multiplier ("1 deposit of 1 dollar -> 9 dollars created") doesn't exist. Banks can create money regardless of the reserves they own. If they don't have enough reserves, they borrow them afterwards on the inter-bank market or, in last instance, at the discount window. Conversely, banks full of reserves don't necessarily make loans.

"Every time our governments expand the money supply, inflation goes up, and our money ends up being worth less."

Not correct either. For example, inflation receded under Reagan (not that he had something to do with it, though), when public deficits were huge. Monetarism is dead.

"Money which is not backed up by gold is thus an illusion."

Why "thus"? Where is the logical reasoning? The wealth you can create with what you call an "illusion" is tangible enough.

Posted on Jan 15, 2014 7:47:08 PM PST
Despite the increased money supply, derived from the Fed's creation of billions of dollars in money supply" "out of nothing", inflation has stayed at remarkably low rates, well below the Fed's own target of 2 percent annually. So there appears no crisis of the Fed's own making, i.e. beyond its indulgence in weak bank regulation nurtured by former Chairman Greenspan and Bernannke ihis first years of chairmanship until the crisis of '07-'08.

Albert Hirsch
Chevy Chase, MD

Posted on May 5, 2014 2:36:39 PM PDT
DDH in PA says:
The Federal Reserve buys bonds from the US government which then has to pay interest on those bonds to the Federal Reserve. The US government gets Federal Reserve Notes (our money) in return. This is how our "money" is actually debt. The US government pays interest on the bonds and also has to pay the value of the bonds when they mature in exchange for the Federal Reserve Notes which everyone uses as money.

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2014 12:15:49 AM PDT
AlexHanin says:
The Fed is not allowed to buy bonds directly from the Treasury.

The interests earned by the Fed (minus expenses) are remitted back to the Treasury at the end of the year.

Functionally, there is no link between government spending and bond emission (or taxes for that matter). The government asks the Fed to credit bank account, which it never refuses to do. Money (deposits) is created in the process. At the same time (actually a bit before, if I'm not mistaken), the Treasury issues bonds for an amount equivalent to the deficit because it is required to do so by law. The idea that the Treasury has to "find" the money before spending it is a misconception.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2015 6:39:21 AM PDT
Tobyw says:
The Fed must by bonds on the open market at market prices.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2016 1:34:58 PM PST
Inflation is not merely a rise in prices. A rise in prices may indicate that inflation is occurring, but it by no means indicates that inflation is or is not happening. Rather, inflation is nothing but an increase in the money supply, which HAS been increasing at a rate far higher than the Fed's own target of 2 percent annually.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/perianneboring/2014/02/03/if-you-want-to-know-the-real-rate-of-inflation-dont-bother-with-the-cpi/#7f5df656118b

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2016 1:38:29 PM PST
AlexHanin says:
'inflation is nothing but an increase in the money supply'

You've just invented a new definition of the term 'inflation', congratulations.

Posted on Apr 5, 2016 10:55:16 PM PDT
Guy, The paper trail or money trail goes beyond (or hidden behind) Morgan & /Rockefeller..to the Rothschilds. They are the real force behind the strong push to create the Fed. These 2 YouTube documentary videos explain that before Morgan's death it was thought that he was the richest man in America, I think it say. But after Morgan's death, it was discovered that he was just a "lieutenant" acting f/ Rothschild(s)...& heavily funded by Rothschild. Rockefeller was heavily funded by Rothschild, too. Same w/ Andrew Carnegie's steel. Go to this YouTube link to watch both very informative videos f/ yourself. They are accurate, as everything in the video is substantiated in this (maybe new?) book which is on display or featured @ my local library, entitled "America's Bank The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve", by Roger Lowenstein. I just briefly skimmed it & saw all of the facts mentioned in this video, minus the Rothschild connection behind the Fed Reserve centralized bank..(which was/is probably intentional, so that Rothschild can keep a low profile & public won't figure out that he is or they are the real force behind this evil system. Video says Rothschild worth is $500 Trillion dollars. Who in their right mind needs that much money? Its all about power & (evil) control. The links are: 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rtRL0vvUBQ
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76aBY_VCZfI . Thank you f/ allowing me to add 2 cents into the commentary, even though I haven't read the book. It sounds excellenct, except it is missing the Rothschild force & power & brains behind Morgan & Rockefeller. They were strategically used to make it look like this was an American plan & idea, made strictly by Americans. It was not. The Rothschilds duplicate this centralized banking system all over the world & get wealthy off of it..while corrupting & controlling ea. nation by owning it's currency, controlling it's currency's value, having nations indebted to them & thus able to manipulate nations, economies, govt.s, & so much more . (if I'm understanding these complex issues correctly..(&).. They want to own & control the world. Anyway, this book sounds excellent. I'd like to buy it. Thank you f/ sharing your helpful & informative review of it.
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