1 May 2012

97% Owned : A documentary by the Positive Money Group

I can recommend a brand new documentary called "97% Owned". The blurb says that it is "about the problems with our debt-based privatised money system. It features frank interviews and comments from Positive Money, The New Economics Foundation, PRIME, Paul Moore HBOS Whistle Blower, Simon Dixon of Bank to the Future and Nick Dearden from Jubliee Debt Campaign. It’s the first documentary to really tackle this issue from a UK-perspective, and can be watched online for free now."

It's about an hour long, but well worth it. And you get to find out who the people behind Positive Money are. It's a bit UK-centric, but I think that the arguments apply everywhere. Amusingly, my reading of Ellen Brown's "Web of Debt" (yes, another plug), taught me that there is actually one place on the planet where a government has managed to keep the right to issue its own money.  Here's how she describes it (p98): The place in question "has an income tax, but the tax is relatively low (a “flat” 20 percent), and it is simple and loophole-free. It has no inheritance tax, no capital gains tax, and no federal debt. Commercial banks service private lenders, but the government itself never goes into debt. When it wants to create some public work or service, it just issues the money it needs to pay for the work. The [...] government has been issuing its own money for nearly two centuries. During that time, the money supply has mushroomed to about 25 times its original size; yet the economy has not been troubled by price infl ation, and it has remained prosperous"

Can you guess where? Click here for the answer.

The Positive Money documentary doesn't mention the fact that a first stage for fixing the system could be to insist that Central Banks lend governments enough money to pay off the entire national debt. As far as I am aware, I'm the only one pushing for that (see my presentation "Solving the Debt Crisis"). But I would be very happy to know if there are other people pushing for the same idea (Do let me know if I've missed something).  I really believe that if the Occupy movements had been specifically asking for this, it might have been easier for them to get their voices heard.

But it's not too late. With a few million people demonstrating and telling governments that they refuse to have their hard earned taxes handed over to banks as interest charges for money that the banks didn't even have when they made the loan, I suspect that the bankers might have real problems finding people to defend them. I imagine that even David Cameron and George Osborne would have difficulty in justfying the £48 billion a year that goes directly to the bankers.


  1. "… insist that Central Banks lend governments enough money to pay off the entire national debt." What is indeed ludicrous is the fact that governments even contemplate this. They are the ones with legislative power. They should be the very ones who turn to the banks and say "the game is up, we're now passing laws that cancel all debts to commercial banks, if you don't like it sell flowers or something else." Simplistic I know but you get the drift.

  2. Well, you could just pass a law saying that we are cancelling all our debts. But the idea that the central banks generate fictitious money to pay off the fictitious money that was lent in the first place is so much more satisfying.

    The banks cannot complain, because they would receive the "money" they are owed. The fact that the "money" disappears in a puff of smoke when it gets repaid is just doing the same conjuring trick that the banks have been pulling off for centuries.

    No. I see no reason to call it debt cancellation. It's the central banks lending governments the "money" they need to pay off the debt. All perfectly above board. Nothing unfair at all.

    But boy, will the banks miss the €370 billion  a year that they have been used to extracting from Euorpe's taxpayers every year for making zero risk loans with money that they don't have.