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Aðsend grein: Peningakerfið—rót vandans

29. október 2011 | Valdimar Ágúst

Þau efnahagslegu vandamál sem samfélagið okkar er að berjast við ráðast aðallega af peningaskorti og skuldaofgnótt, frekar en skorti á raunverulegum verðmætum.

Því má segja að efnahagslegir örðugleikar nútímans byggjast að flestu leyti á því hvernig peningum er háttað, sem byggist á grundvallar eiginleikum peningarkerfisins. Kerfið sem snýr að því hvernig peningar eru skapaðir og settir í umferð, hefur innbyggða kerfislega galla.

Kerfislegir eiginleikar peningakerfisins valda óumflýjanlega misdreifingu peninga og auðs, óumflýjanlegri skuldsetningu alls samfélagsins við bankakerfið og þar með reglulegum gjaldþrotum og krepputímabilum. Mjög mörg efnahagsleg vandamál ráðast einfaldlega af því hvernig skipulagið er á peningakerfinu, en ekki neinum raunverulegum vandamálum eins og skorti á auðlindum eða mannauði. Þessi efnahagslegu vandamál sem við erum að fást við verða aldrei nokkurn tímann leyst án þess að skipulag peningakerfisins verður bætt.

Það hafa margir vitrari menn en ég gagnrýnt peningakerfið, svo að í stað þess að reyna að útlista sjálfur galla peningakerfisins, þá ætla ég að láta tilvísanir í nokkra merka menn segja það sem segja þarf. Eftirfarandi eru innihaldsríkar tilvitnanir úr ýmsum áttum og frá ýmsum tímum sem ég hef safnað saman og raðað, til þess að varpa ljósi á galla peningakerfisins og gildi þess að breyta því.

Of all the many ways of organising banking, the worst is the one we have today.

—Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England (2003–), 25. október 2010

The main area of struggle is over the monetary control of societies and that control is now exercised through obscure theories about the nature of money. If it has to be summarized in one sentence, it is that by misdefining the nature of money, special interests have often been able to assume the control of society's monetary system, and in turn, the society itself.

—Stephen Zarlenga, úr bók hans The Lost Science of Money: The Mythology of Money, the Story of Power

All the perplexities, confusions, and distresses in America arise, not from defects in their constitution or confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, as much from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.

—John Adams, annar forseti Bandaríkjanna, einn “landsfeðra” Bandaríkjanna, í bréfi árið 1806

The people must be helped to think naturally about money. They must be told what it is, and what makes it money, and what are the possible tricks of the present system which put nations and peoples under control of the few.

—Henry Ford, stofnandi Ford Motor Company, í sjálfsævisögu sinni My Life and Work (1922), bls. 179

The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. … The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it.

—John Kenneth Galbraith, hagfræðingur, í bók hans Money: Whence it came, where it went (1975)

The essence of the contemporary monetary system is the creation of money, out of nothing, by private banks' often foolish lending.

—Martin Wolf, chief economics editor, The Financial Times (9. nóvember 2010)

Commercial banks create checkbook money whenever they grant a loan, simply by adding new deposit dollars in accounts on their books in exchange for a borrower's IOU.

—David H. Friedman, úr bók The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, I Bet You Thought … (1977)

The modern banking system manufactures “money” out of nothing; and the process is, perhaps, the most, astounding piece of “sleight of hand” that was ever invented.

In fact, it was not invented. It merely “grew”. … Banks in fact are able to create (and cancel) modern “deposit money”, just as much as they were originally able to create, or call in, their own original forms of private notes. They can, in fact, inflate and deflate, i.e., mint, and un-mint the modern accounting-entry currency.

—Lawrence Lee Bazley Angas, bankamaður, í bók sinni Slump ahead in bonds (1937)

Banks create money. That is what they are for … That is the banking business, just in the same way that a steel plant makes steel. … The manufacturing process to make money consists of making a pen-and-ink or typewriter entry on a card in a book. That is all. … Each and every time a bank makes a loan … new bank credit is created—new deposits—brand new money. … If parliament wants to change the form of operating the banking system, then certainly that is within the power of parliament.

—Graham Towers, stjórnarformaður The Bank of Canada frá 1935–1955, Canadian Government's Committee on Banking and Commerce (1939)

If all the bank loans were paid, no one could have a bank deposit, and there would not be a dollar of coin or currency in circulation. This is a staggering thought. We are completely dependent on the commercial banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it becomes widely understood and the defects remedied very soon.

—Robert W. Hemphill, þingmaður og starfsmaður Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, úr bókinni 100% Money eftir Irwing Fisher (1935)

If the banking system in total creates 100 of money today and lends it at 10% annual interest, then 110 will have to be repaid by borrowers next year. But where will the extra 10 come from? Under the modern banking system, repayment of the total of bank loans plus the interest charges on them requires new amounts of money to be created. This is a big problem, because in all developed countries today it is the banking system that creates the majority of new money.

Banks create new money by lending it into existence, yet more debt results and so the cycle goes on. More and more money floating around, leading to higher and higher prices, and a debt pile that never seems to shrink.

—Grein á islamic-finance.com (Siðareglur íslams fordæma vaxtaokur)

The current financial crisis goes “all the way to the bottom.” It arises from the very nature of money and property in the world today, and it will persist and continue to intensify until money itself is transformed. A process centuries in the making is in its final stages of unfoldment.

—Charles Eisenstein (2009)

The game of debt backed money with the ever escalating interest going to private individuals is nearing an end… the mathematical outcome of the game was decided before it ever started. If you view the current situation objectively, you will come to the inescapable conclusion that the rules of the game must change. Who is it that is going to bring those new rules to you? The same people who created the current debt backed system? Have you heard of any solutions that address this root of the problem?

—Nathan A. Martin, fræðari um efnahagskerfið, af vefsíðu hans Nathan's Economic Edge

Within the next twenty years, the most profound changes in all of economic history will sweep the globe. The economic chaos and turbulence we are now experiencing are merely the opening salvos in what will prove to be a long, disruptive period of adjustment. Our choices now are to either evolve a new economic model, or to risk a catastrophic failure of our monetary system, and with it the basis for civilization as we know it today.

—Chris Martenson, vísindamaður og fræðari um efnahagskerfið, höfundur The Crash Course, af vefsíðu hans chrismartenson.com