“Sound” Money Failed in the USA — New Stablecoin Bill in Congress to Protect US Banks — Excess Deaths in UK at 23% - [05-07-2023]
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THIS WEEK’S EDITORIAL
HOW SOUND MONEY POLICY FAILED TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE — THE PANIC OF 1837: It is fashionable to rage against central bankers and even commercial bankers with some people vehemently accusing them of creating most if not all of society's ills. It is time to re-consider a world of so-called “sound” money, backed by gold and when there was no central bank. That world occurred in the 19th century in the United States. BOOM wrote much of this in June 2021.
If you hate banks and bankers or if you are a true believer in the wisdom of governments or in the concept of “hard” (or “sound”) money, you should take a good hard look at The Panic of 1837 in the United States.
An examination of the events leading up to the Panic and the events that occurred afterwards are worthy of your time. All of human history reveals that most Governments don’t understand money. And the idea that the concept of “soundness” can be used to somehow tame money creation is magical thinking in action.
All forms of money are contracts of credit, based upon trust and enforced by social agreement. Human beings will always find ways to innovate in regard to contracts of credit. That is what the history of money tells us. Let’s look back to 1837.
It all started when the US President, Andrew Jackson, in his wisdom, effectively killed off the central bank which was then called the BUS — the Second Bank of the United States. That process started in 1833 but was not completed until 1836. The end of the central bank triggered a huge real estate boom as State-based commercial banks issued credit money loans in large volumes to eager borrowers to purchase land. Is this sounding familiar?
The Government became concerned. So they issued the so-called “Specie Circular”, an executive order issued by President Andrew Jackson on July 11th 1836. He ordered that payments for the purchase of public lands be made exclusively in gold or silver. Jackson was a “hard” money man who was always suspicious of banks creating credit money loans without the “sound” backing of gold and silver. The idea of the “Specie Circular” was to squash “excessive” land speculation and the “excessive” growth of the credit money supply (bank loans).
Jackson directed the Treasury Department and banks to only accept specie (Gold or Silver) as payment for government-owned land after August 15, 1836. However, settlers and residents of the state in which they purchased land were permitted to use “paper” money (bank credit) until December 15th on lots up to 320 acres. After that date, the Specie Circular effectively strangled the use of paper money.
This caused a huge collapse of real estate prices. Buyers simply could not find sufficient gold or silver to settle purchases so they stopped buying. The banks had no option but to reduce credit creation dramatically and many banks then subsequently failed (as you would expect) due to loan defaults.
The Panic of 1837 started in April; one month after Martin Von Buren became President. It was an absolute economic disaster. By May 21, 1838, a joint resolution of Congress repealed the Specie Circular. The experiment with “sound” money was decisively over.
Interestingly, a central bank was not established after that debacle. During the period from 1836 – 1862, there were only State banks with no Federal Bank. This period is called the 'Free Banking Era. Bank notes had to be issued with gold or silver backing but loan books of credit money were allowed. More chaos ensued.
During the free banking era, state banks had an average life span of just 5 years. About half of the banks failed for the usual reason of loan defaults. But some failed because they had inadequate gold and silver with which to honor note redemptions. As a result some banks innovated and began to offer central banking services to other banks. Nonetheless, bank failures continued in huge numbers.
In 1863, the National Banking Act was passed, creating a system of Federal banks. And the office of 'Comptroller of the Currency' was created to supervise those banks. A uniform national currency was also created. A huge bout of CPI inflation followed immediately with inflation hitting 24.6% in 1864. By 1870, there were 1,638 national banks and only 325 state banks.
Inevitably, with no Central Bank to provide overnight support, liquidity mis-matches occurred and banks lost faith in each other. Mistrust ruled. Outright deflation hit and stayed for dinner (and beyond) from 1866 right through to 1897. Per capita GDP in the US rose very, very slowly from $4,700 to $7,200 over thirty long years. Much economic hardship was manifest.
As sure as night follows day, bank runs occurred when depositors panicked about the security of their deposits. There were Banking Panics in 1873, 1884, 1893, 1896, 1901, and 1907. Many, many banks failed, people lost their savings and deflationary real estate crashes occurred. This is what life is like without a central bank and with cash currency backed by Gold. In other words, in such a situation, credit money — created via commercial bank loans — rules the roost with no effective controls.
But what about the early years of the 19th century? Surely it was a golden era of “sound” money? Gold rushes in the early part of the 19th century triggered mass migrations as people desperately tried to dig money out of the ground. During the early years of the 19th century, there were banking crises in 1819, 1825, 1837, 1847 and 1857.
Almost the entire 19th century in the US were desperate times indeed. It was slowly becoming obvious that a central bank was needed to provide stability to a banking sector in which inter-bank trust was badly damaged.
The concept of “sound” money (backed by Gold) failed to protect the people in the 19th century. The fact is that humans need supervision in regard to money. Banks need to be supervised strictly and have access to overnight capital reserves. A central bank must maintain inter-bank trust and must stop excessive credit creation. Easy to say — not so easy to do.
The problem is that human beings run elected governments and central banks. They also run commercial banks. One nation attempted to rid itself of such beasts. It was called the USSR – the 'Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 'where there were no elections, no commercial banks and where a lone, all powerful central bank controlled the supply of money. That institution was appointed by a group of unelected tyrants in the Central Committee, unanswerable to the majority of the people. The experiment lasted 70 years. It ended when productivity eventually collapsed in a heap because nobody bothered to do any work, waiting for all their goods and services to be delivered by a benevolent central government. Utopia achieved.
Our governments, our central banks and our commercial banks are all potentially flawed institutions because they contain human beings. Trust in our national money systems and in our national currencies is critical to keep our social system from implosion. The alternative is economic and social chaos. Beware of anyone who attempts to destroy that trust. BOOM suggests reform as a better pathway, a better discussion.
STABLE COINS AND THE CRYPTO WORLD EXPLAINED: Stablecoins are Crypto tokens (digital commodities) that mimic real national currencies. They are the bridges between the Crypto world and the real world. They enable (not always but most often) the holders of Cryptos to move their funds in the Crypto world back into the fiat currency world. Thus, they are an important service.
The sponsors/promoters of Stablecoins claim that they are fully backed by sufficient stocks of legitimate national currency held in safe depository institutions. However, this has always been doubted and recently there was serious doubt about one major Stablecoin in particular. That serious doubt triggered concerns for the stability of some financial institutions based in the USA.
Why the USA? The reason is self-evident. The currency which is mimicked the most by Stablecoins is the US Dollar. This makes all Cryptos, in effect, potential US Dollars. In other words, the Crypto world is a US Dollar Proxy world. It supports and promotes the US Dollar Empire. If you create a Crypto and people pay you for it, then the conventional currency used (most often) for such a transaction is the US Dollar. Thus, the Crypto world increases demand for US Dollars globally.
This process grows the stock of Eurodollars. Eurodollars are US Dollars outside of the US and outside of the control of the US regulatory authorities. Paradoxically, the US Dollar Empire is built on such Dollars because those Eurodollars can be increased in volume by parties other than the US government, in particular, by offshore tax haven banks. It is actually more correct to call the US Dollar Empire, the Eurodollar Empire.
Many Crypto promoters think that Crypto represents some sort of “revolution” in money. They play on this theme as a means to attract investors. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Cryptos are an invention of US intelligence organizations, created as an alternative means of boosting the volume of Eurodollars that exist globally. The first Crypto was Bitcoin and its release in January 2009 was based upon a paper released by the NSA (US National Security Agency) way back in 1996 titled “How to Make a Mint: The Cryptography of Electronic Cash”.
Some will say “No – Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto (!)”. But “Nakamoto“, [中本 or ナカモト], is a common family name in Japan, roughly meaning “middle-origin” or CENTRAL. And “Satoshi”,[ サトシ] , means INTELLIGENCE or wisdom. Central Intelligence. Think about it.
A Central Intelligence operation to expand Eurodollar volumes makes sense, especially if its founder is a mysterious, unknown and unidentified Japanese called “Satoshi Nakamoto”!
NEW STABLECOIN BILL IN US CONGRESS ATTEMPTS TO REGULATE STABLECOINS: Let’s return to the subject of Stablecoins. A new 73-page draft bill was published on Saturday April 15th by the US House Financial Services Committee proposing that the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors be given oversight of non-bank entities and digital asset firms inside the US involved in the issuance of Stablecoins.
The discussion draft was titled “A bill to provide requirements for payment stablecoin issuers, research on a digital dollar, and for other purposes”. It describes a series of proposed rules on the issuance of dollar-pegged digital assets as well as establishing requirements for interoperability, reporting and enforcement. A two-year moratorium on the creation and issuance of algorithmic Stablecoins is part of the proposal.
There is also a request for the US Treasury to study the feasibility and working impact of a digital dollar central bank digital currency (CBDC), (whatever that means). Penalties are proposed for firms and platforms that issue Stablecoins without regulatory approval. They include prison time of up to five years, as well as a $1 million fine.
BOOM thinks that this Bill will simply drive Stablecoin issuance offshore into other national jurisdictions and out of the reach of US regulators and US depository institutions. Perhaps that it is the true, unrevealed purpose because driving the Crypto world away from US shores will have the effect of reducing any negative impact it may have upon US financial institutions.
In other words, they can have their cake and eat it. And such algorithmic Stablecoins could still be denominated in US Dollars (or any other real national currency) without the pesky requirement of establishing any deposits inside the US of domestic US Dollars to “back” them. A relationship with a non US global bank or payment system would suffice to effect settlements.
As part of the draft Bill’s proposed requirements, Stablecoin issuers must “publish the monthly composition of the issuer’s reserve portfolio on the website of the issuer, in a format established, jointly, by the federal payment Stablecoin regulators.” But if a non-US based Stablecoin issuer wishes to ignore such a regulation, then BOOM cannot see why that can't take place.
The draft Bill envisages that acceptable backing for Stablecoins will include US currency, central bank reserve deposits, Treasury bills with a maturity of 90 days or less, as well as certain repurchase agreements backed by Treasury bills with the same maturity period. This is essentially a codification of the model that Stablecoins such as USDC, USDT and BUSD already follow.
The legislation also requires that redemption requests, which are when Stablecoin holders trade in their tokens for the national currency backing it, must be executed in a time frame "no longer than one day after the redemption request.” All well and good, as long as the transaction occurs inside the United States. And if it occurs outside the US, then the legislation simply does not apply.
The proposed draft Bill will protect US-based banking and depository institutions. However, it may simply transfer those risks to another national jurisdiction or to a whole group of jurisdictions. And such may trigger innovation which could create a 'Multipolar Crypto world of Proxy Currencies' and isolate use of the US Dollar inside the United States in the long term.
That could effectively be the end of the US Dollar Empire which is built on the primacy of external dollars in international trade and capital settlements — the end of the Bretton Woods world so carefully constructed in New Hampshire in July 1944, well before the end of World War 2.
As Winston Churchill once said “You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all other possibilities.”
EXCESS DEATHS IN UK 23% ABOVE 5 YEAR AVERAGE: People continue to die more than they should but no government or mainstream media company cares. Three years ago, they all “cared” greatly about a “terrible, deadly virus”. They “cared” so much that they implemented draconian measures to “protect” us all from a “horrible death”. But today, as deaths continue to occur in numbers greater than normal, all we get is silence!
Excess Death Numbers in the UK are presently 23% above the 5 year average. However, that 5 Year Average excludes the year 2020 because the total death numbers that year were low. The percentage of deaths involving Covid (having a Covid PCR Test Positive) is only 4.3% and many of those deaths would have been caused by co-morbid diseases rather than Covid. So Covid is not the Killer.
Over the last week, there has been a sudden surge in death numbers in the United Kingdom with Covid most definitely not the cause of the surge. In the week ending 14th April, there were only 9,978 deaths registered, according to the Provisional report released on 3rd May from the Office for National Statistics. In the week ending 21st April 2023 (Week 16) 12,420 deaths were registered. The week on week increase in death has therefore been approximately 20%.
The Covid so-called “vaccines” are strongly suspected of being the cause of these excess death numbers. Other possible explanations include delayed diagnosis and delayed treatments caused by Covid lockdown policies.
QB Explained: https://boomfinanceandeconomics.wordpress.com/2019/12/15/boom-as-at-15th-december-2019/ AND
BOOM’s Perfect Economy: https://boomfinanceandeconomics.wordpress.com/2020/01/18/boom-as-at-19th-january-2020/
In economics, things work until they don’t. Until next week. Make your own conclusions, do your own research. BOOM does not offer investment advice.
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BANKS DON’T TAKE DEPOSITS, THEY BORROW YOUR MONEY: LOANS CREATE DEPOSITS — that is how almost all new money is created in the economy (by commercial banks making loans). https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/quarterly-bulletin/2014/q1/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy Watch this short 15 minutes video and learn as Professor Richard Werner brilliantly explains how global banking systems really work.
AND Watch for 4 minutes, this Bank of England explanation: Money is essential to the workings of a modern economy, but its nature has varied substantially over time. This video describes what money is today.
Most economists are unaware of this and even ignore the banking & finance sectors in their econometric models.
On 25th April 2017, the central bank of Germany, the Bundesbank, released a statement on this matter — “In terms of volume, the majority of the money supply is made up of book money, which is created through transactions between banks and domestic customers. Sight deposits are an example of book money: sight deposits are created when a bank settles transactions with a customer, ie it grants a credit, say, or purchases an asset and credits the corresponding amount to the customer’s bank account in return. This means that banks can create book money just by making an accounting entry: according to the Bundesbank’s economists, “this refutes a popular misconception that banks act simply as intermediaries at the time of lending – i.e. that banks can only grant credit using funds placed with them previously as deposits by other customers”. By the same token, excess central bank reserves are not a necessary precondition for a bank to grant credit (and thus create money).” Reference: https://www.bundesbank.de/en/tasks/topics/how-money-is-created-667392
The Reserve Bank of Australia (Australia’s central bank) has also contributed to the issue in a speech by Christopher Kent, the Assistant Governor on September 19th 2018…“the vast bulk of broad money consists of bank deposits” “Money can be created…when financial intermediaries make loans“ - “In the first instance, the process of money creation requires a willing borrower.” “It’s also worth emphasizing that the process of money creation is not the result of the actions of any single bank – rather, the banking system as a whole acts to create money.”
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I don't think it is possible to "have it both ways".
I advocate for local currency and if the currency in employ is river rocks, than that is fine by me.
Just depends on where you live I reckon, but local currency is a big part of the solution for a better future. On that I hope we can agree and eff the central bankers.
There is a lot of "over-simplification" in this article I think. Some of it seems biased - if not suggestive.
I ain't no expert on fiscal banking matters, but I'm no fan of central bankers - in fact quite the opposite. Basically, I'm fedup with bankers in general.
Jackson was correct to dismiss the 2nd Bank I think, but in 1913 the central banking cartel got their revenge I reckon when they pulled a slick one in the waning days of the Congressional session...after they had their train ride and spent some time of the coast of Georgia in Jeckyl Island as I'm sure most readers here are already familiar with.