Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Crash Course: Chapter 7 - Money Creation by Chris Martenson

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If we want to have any hope in understanding what is going on in the financial world right now,

we really have to start with understanding money and how it's created.

So here we will explore the process by which money is created.

Let me introduce you to John Kenneth Galbraith. He taught at Harvard University for many years

and was active in politics, serving in the administrations of

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson;

He was one of a few two-time recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Clearly a pretty accomplished and stand-up kind of guy.

About money, he famously said: “The process by which money is created

is so simple that the mind is repelled.” Were about to discuss that very thing.

If you dont get this segment on the first pass, dont worry, because money creation is

a truly a bizarre thing to ponder, let alone accept.

Its actually a very simple process, but really difficult to accept.

First, lets look at how money is created by banks.

Leaving aside for now where this money comes from, suppose a person walks into town

with $1000, and, luckily, a brand new bank with no deposits has just opened up.

The $1000 is deposited in the bank, and now the person has a $1000 asset (their bank account)

and the bank has a $1000 liability (the very same bank account)

Now, theres a rule on the books, a federal rule, that allows banks to loan out a proportion,

a fraction, of the money they have on deposit to others.

In theory, banks are allowed to loan out up to 90% of what people have on deposit with them,

although, as well see later, the actual proportion is much closer to 100%.

Nonetheless, because banks retain only a fraction of their deposits in reserve,

the term for this process isfractional reserve banking.”

Back to our example. We now have a bank with $1000 on deposit, and banks do not make money

-or make a living - by holding on to itrather, they make their living by borrowing at one rate

and loaning at a higher rate.

Since any bank can loan out up to 90%, the bank in our example

manages to locate a single individual that wants to borrow $900.

This borrower then spends that money by giving it to another person, perhaps his accountant, who, in turn, deposits it in a bank.

Now it could be the same bank, or a different bank,

but that really doesnt change how this story gets told at all.

With this new deposit, the bank has a fresh $900 to work with,

and so it gets busy finding somebody who wants to borrow 90% of that amount, or $810.

And so another loan gets made, and it gets spent, and rediposited in the bank,

And 90% of this new deposit is $729, which can get loaned out

and so it goes, until we finally discover that the original $1000 deposit has mushroomed into a total of $10,000.

Is this all real money? Yeah, you bet it is, especially if its in your bank account.

You might also notice here that if everybody who had money at the bank, all $10,000 dollars of them,

tried to take their money out at once, that the bank would not be able to pay it out,

because, well, they wouldnt have it. The bank would only have $1000 hanging around in reserve.

Period. You might also notice that this mechanism of creating new money out of new deposits works great

as long as nobody defaults on their loan.

Now if and when that happens, things get tricky.

But thats another story for later.

For now, I want you to understand that money is loaned into existence.

Conversely, when loans are paid back, moneydisappears.’

This is how money is created, and I invite you to verify this for yourself.

One place is the Federal Reserve itself, which has published a handy comic book

from which I actually drew this fine example.

You can find a link to that on the website under Essential Articles.

You may have noticed that I left out something very important here, and that is interest.

Where does the money come from to pay the interest on all the loans?

If all the loans are paid back without interest, we can undo the entire string of transactions,

but when we factor in interest, we discover there isnt enough money to pay back all the loans.

Clearly that is a big hole in this story, and so well need to find out where that comes from.

In doing so, well also clear up the mystery of where the original $1000 came from.

So why did we spend the past five minutes studying the mechanism of money creation?

Because in order to appreciate the implications of our massive levels of debt,

you have to understand how the debt came into being. Thats one reason.

And the more important one is tied to all those exponential graphs we viewed earlier in Section 3.

But were not quite there yet. Lets continue.

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