17. nóvember 2008 | Jóhannes Björn
John Zufelt, starfsmaður fjárfestingabanka áður en hann fór á eftirlaun, sendi vald.org þessa merkilegu grein. Séð frá mínum bæjardyrum þá er þetta allt efnislega rétt. Peningakerfið er gildra og best væri að gefa út gulltryggða seðla. En það virðist fullmikil bjartsýni að halda að $650 milljónir nægi þegar nýr gjaldmiðill er búinn til. Tíu sinnum hærri upphæð hljómar nær sanni, en kannski getur einhver glöggur maður reiknað þetta dæmi.
Hitt er svo annað mál að tugmilljónir einstaklinga út um allan heim fjárfesta í gulli og ekki allir nenna að geyma það í bankahólfi. Flestir kaupa “pappírsgull” eða hlutabréf tryggð með gulleign. Það leikur enginn vafi á að ef Ísland tæki upp 100% gulltryggða seðla og fólk treysti þeim þá myndu ótrúlegar upphæðir streyma inn á bankareikninga hér frá öllum heimshornum.
En gefum John Zufelt orðið:
John Zufelt | 17. nóvember 2008
There is a saying in English: ‘Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me!’ It seems most fitting in your Country’s present situation as you are about to be ‘fooled’ for the second time by replacing a failed banking system, with the very same system, which failed in the first place.
I can assure you the new system will fail because they are designed to fail; designed to create bankruptcies and mortgage defaults, and designed to transfer their bad debts upon the unsuspecting tax payers, like you and me. Just look at the history of the Federal Reserve and the multitude of bailouts over the years the 95 years since its creation.
To describe such a system designed for corruption and failure, first one must have a Central Bank that prints currency out of paper, backed by nothing but the government’s ability to tax its citizens. This newly printed money is usually issued as new debt. This is a fast way for governments to raise money without public approval and increase their spending. Printing such pretty colored paper without regard to economic production, causes inflation; Economics 101 – when the money supply is increased without equal increases in goods and services, inflation is automatic and cannot be avoided.
The second piece in the puzzle of a corrupt system is to allow the country’s banking system to expand the money supply through Fractional Reserve Lending. Most people do not understand this most important scam, and this is perhaps the main reason why a second banking system in Iceland modeled after the first, will also fail. It works like this: Your Central Bank prints, for example, 10 Billion ISK and deposits it into the various Icelandic banks. Under Fractional Reserve Lending rules, the banks are required to hold 10% in reserves and can loan out the remaining 90%, which sounds simple enough but now comes the smoke and mirrors, and the true magic of Fractional Reserve Lending.
Let us say for ease of explanation that Bank A, receives the total 10 Billion ISK from the Central Bank, it must hold 1 Billion in reserves and is free to loan out 9 Billion. Now chances are that this 9 Billion loan will be deposited into another bank, and let’s say that Bank B receives the deposit of this 9 Billion. Now it is free to do the same equation as Bank A did. It keeps 10% or 900 million and then loan out 8.1 Billion. Now the 8.1 Billion gets deposited into Bank C, and it does the same equation – keeps 810 million and loans out 7.29 Billion, and so forth and so on for a grand total of 27 times! The original 10 Billion has now grown 9 times the amount of the original deposit of 10 Billion to a new grand total of 90 Billion ISK. That is true money creation, and when you realize that the original 10 Billion ISK was printed from paper (with no backing) to begin with, and then through Fractional Reserve Lending expanded 9 times with keystrokes on a computer, you begin to see the power of today’s banking system. Banks A, B, and C are not restricted to loans to individuals, say for a car or house, in fact they don’t like the effort attached to such small business. They want big loans and big investments to really get the interest flowing.
At this moment in Iceland you wait for a new loan. It is like paying off the Visa Card with the Master Card. I would urge you to first look at how many countries that have received IMF loans have ever gotten out of debt, and while you are at it, how many of those same countries have been forced to sell their railroads, transportation systems, water rights, airspace to waiting US Corporations?
So is there an alternative? Absolutely! It would give Iceland one of the strongest currencies in the world, and would offer very low inflation (historically less than 1% per year), plus it would enjoy world-wide acceptance. The answer is to return to the gold standard and prevent the banking system from Fractional Reserve Lending. Banks should return to their original function – to safe-keep real assets and to issue currency based on those real assets. They would be paid a fee for this service and God knows they love fees, and better still, there would never be another bank failure.
To demonstrate the viability of such a system, I ask a question: if Egill's treasure were found today by some unsuspecting farmer near Borgarnes, would it have value? The answer of course is yes because it was supposed to be gold and silver, which has a value today just as it did in Egill's time and it would have kept up with inflation and still be 'worth a fortune' in present times.
The most successful currency in the history of man has been those tied to the gold standard. A coin containing gold has immediate world-wide value and cannot be discounted nor manipulated. The best example is the "Solidus" (or nicknamed the 'Bezant') that was coined by Emperor Constantine in Constantinople in the 4th century A.D. It contained 65 grains of gold and this currency became accepted all over the known world for 800 years. If the Bezant were in existence today, it would still have a real value. 65 grains of gold equals .1369 troy ounces, multiplied by current gold price of $700USD/ounce, equals $95.83 in US dollars. This would be the current and indisputable world-wide value of the Bezant today. What other ancient currency can make this claim?
The problems that got Iceland into this mess and indeed so very many other countries, is the debt-based monetary system that prints worthless pieces of paper and issues them as debt. It was debt that got you into this situation and the "experts" now say more debt will get you out. I believe the reason so many of your citizens are thinking of leaving Iceland today is that in their heart they know that these future loans and increased debts will enslave all future generations of Icelanders as well as hand over your assets of fishing and energy and airspace, etc, etc to the bankers of the world.
My suggestion is this: As a person might go into bankruptcy and start over, so should Iceland. Say to the world, "we are very sorry, but this is what has happened. We will endeavor to repay our debts when we get going again." And to 'get going again' accept a loan from a like-minded country like Norway (currently said to offer $650 million USD value) and with this money buy gold and mint a new currency tied to gold. As with the Bezant it can have a defined number of grains with a 99.99% purity and will immediately have world-wide acceptance and value. As you get back on your feet repay your old debts and regain your pride that has been so badly injured.
To go along with this, the new banks of Iceland must stop issuing Fiat money (worthless paper) and stop the practice of 'fractional reserve lending'. The banks now become issuers of 'script money' backed and fully exchangeable' into gold. In this way there will not be inflation to take away the value of the currency, and as gold is accepted around the world, the NISK would also be guaranteed that same acceptance. Banks should return to their original function of safe-keeping real assets, and not the printers of worthless paper and speculative investors.
Of course the current 'expert' bankers will aggressively challenge all I have said because they want their debt machine to continue, but I have no doubt that a NISK (New Icelandic Kroner) tied to gold will protect the value of your currency in future and allow your economy to restart and restart trade with the world, but most of all to keep your heritage and your assets for the future generations of Icelanders.
I believe you now have a great opportunity, as no other country in this moment and that is to build a proper, strong and safe banking system that will be a model to the rest of the world. I consider myself lucky to have some wonderful Icelandic friends. My spouse and I have enjoyed your warm hospitality, fantastic food and breath-taking landscape, and we wish you all luck in your future survival.