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Cutting Through All The Bullshit About the Fed


In 1935, Cret designed the Seal of the Board o...

In 1935, Crest designed the Seal of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

If you’re not familiar with the controversy surrounding the Federal Reserve System (“the Fed”), here it is in a nutshell:

Many people are concerned that the Fed is, instead of the benign central banking system its presented to be, a predatory system designed to fleece the American people.

Others say this is just baseless conspiracy theory.

Who’s right?

I really have no bloody idea.

When it comes to the Fed, there is so much conflicting information … It’s quite hard to tell fact from fiction.

After combing through tons of data, talking to dozens of people (including a former Fed employee), and spending hours of my free time trying to get to the bottom of it all …

Well, I don’t feel I’m any more educated on the subject today than I was when I began this journey.

So, what does one do?

One crowdsources, that’s what one does.

Translation: I need your help.

I’ve boiled the issue down to several key questions I believe will help get to the heart of the matter.

I may ask more questions in a follow up post. Either way, at the end of this process I’ll take what is learned and turn it into a short factual primer on the subject (with primary source backing up each point).

First, here are some facts that I do believe are verifiable …

(My apologies for not sourcing these points, I’ll include that in the final follow up along with all important facts discovered and/or debunked … if you can dispute any of the following, please do so.)

1. The Fed is not a department of the U.S. government in the way that, say, the Department of Defense is. It has “public and private aspects.” It is a system comprised of 12 privately owned “reserve banks.” Congress does appoint the members of the governing Federal Reserve Board, and it does control how much each of the board members earn as salary. It also grants the Fed its statutory authority. However, unlike the Department of Defense, the Fed acts completely independent of any branch of the U.S. government. None of the 3 branches of government have the authority to overturn or dictate any of the Fed’s decisions or actions, but congress can change the statutory authority of the Fed. (The Federal Reserve Act has been amended 200 times since it was passed in 1913.)

2. When the U.S. needs money, the Fed creates money out of thin air in the form of electronic deposits, interest on which the Treasury pays to the Fed. (gross simplification here – but the general idea is correct)

3. A portion of those interest earnings are refunded to the Treasury.

If anyone can dispute or source the above facts, please do so in the comments below.

Now, here are the questions …

Note that some of these questions are a re-verification of the points above. Others are completely separate.

1. Who are the owners (shareholders) of the 12 Reserve Banks?

2. Besides appointing the members of the Federal Reserve Board, does the U.S. government have any other oversight over the decisions made by the Fed? That is, can any of the 3 branches of Federal Government overturn any decisions made by the Fed?

Put another way: if the people are not happy with any of the actions taken by the Fed is our only recourse to change the statutory authority of the Fed after the fact?

3. What is the net profit the Fed earns on its loans to U.S. government per annum?

4. What percentage of the Fed’s interest-earnings are returned to the Treasury and what percentage are kept?

5. It states on the Fed website that the 12 Reserve Banks are not for-profit institutions. However, it is hypothesized by some that not all of the interest-earnings the Fed collects are returned to the Treasury. If the 12 Reserve Banks are not for-profit, where then does this profit go?

6. Or am I mistaken, and is it that all of the interest-earnings are in fact returned to the Treasury? It indeed says on the Fed website that “all” of the earnings after “expenses” are returned to the Treasury. Do we then have a full line-by-line accounting of all of these expenses?

7. Does the Fed earn additional interest on its other holdings? If so, where does this interest go?

8. The Fed stopped producing an M3 report in 2006. Why, and will it generate this report again in the future?

9. When Bloomberg asked the Fed to disclose the recipients of $2 trillion dollars in “emergency loans” made using taxpayer dollars, they refused. Where did that money go?

10.
It’s stated on the Fed website that the reason for its independence is to “keep politics out monetary policy.” By that same logic, shouldn’t the Department of Defense be independent so we can “keep politics out of military policy?” And so on … What makes monetary policy so special that it is exempt from the usual oversight and control?

Before answering, here are some guidelines:

– Include primary source in your response when possible.

– Pass this post on to anyone you know who you feel can contribute meaningfully.

Thanks in advance for your support.

As you can see the issue is not as simple as presented in many of the conspiracy sites, books, and films that are popular today. For example, many of these rather hysterical conspiracy screeds talk about fiat currencies, electronic deposits, interest made on those deposits, etc – but fail to disclose that (at least) some of it is returned to the Treasury. (Indeed, according to the Fed website, “all” of it is.)

What’s really irksome is the manner in which many of these conspiracy theorists operate. They present their theories as verifiable fact and then respond angrily when pressed for primary source. All the while they do their best to whip people up into a frenzy. An effort that is usually followed up with a pitch to order a video.

Now, conspiracies do exist, of course. Any time people collude in private that is technically a “conspiracy.” Such intrigues have occurred throughout history, no one could dispute.

And some of the people who write on these subjects do so quite rationally and thoughtfully. Certainly such thoughtful and rational voices exist among those who write about the Fed. I’d like to find them … and the truth.

P.S. Thank you to Gene Simmons, Director of the National Debt Awareness Center for spreading the word about this project. The NDAC site is full of extremely useful information.

There is a lot of work left to be done and we need your support. Please spread the word to other scholars who can support this effort.

If you’re not familiar with the controversy surrounding the Federal Reserve System (“the Fed”), here it is in a nutshell:

Many people are concerned that the Fed is, instead of the benign central banking system its presented to be, a predatory system designed to fleece the American people.

Others say this is just baseless conspiracy theory.

Who’s right?

I really have no bloody idea.

When it comes to the Fed, there is so much conflicting information … It’s quite hard to tell fact from fiction.

After combing through tons of data, talking to dozens of people (including a former Fed employee), and spending hours of my free time trying to get to the bottom of it all …

Well, I don’t feel I’m any more educated on the subject today than I was when I began this journey.

So, what does one do?

One crowdsources, that’s what one does.

Translation: I need your help.

I’ve boiled the issue down to several key questions I believe will help get to the heart of the matter.

I may ask more questions in a follow up post. Either way, at the end of this process I’ll take what is learned and turn it into a short factual primer on the subject (with primary source backing up each point).

First, here are some facts that I do believe are verifiable …

(My apologies for not sourcing these points, I’ll include that in the final follow up along with all important facts discovered and/or debunked … if you can dispute any of the following, please do so.)

1. The Fed is not a department of the U.S. government in the way that, say, the Department of Defense is. It has “public and private aspects.” It is a system comprised of 12 privately owned “reserve banks.” Congress does appoint the members of the governing Federal Reserve Board, and it does control how much each of the board members earn as salary. It also grants the Fed its statutory authority. However, unlike the Department of Defense, the Fed acts completely independent of any branch of the U.S. government. None of the 3 branches of government have the authority to overturn or dictate any of the Fed’s decisions or actions, but congress can change the statutory authority of the Fed. (The Federal Reserve Act has been amended 200 times since it was passed in 1913.)

2. When the U.S. needs money, the Fed creates money out of thin air in the form of electronic deposits, interest on which the Treasury pays to the Fed. (gross simplification here – but the general idea is correct)

3. A portion of those interest earnings are refunded to the Treasury.

If anyone can dispute or source the above facts, please do so in the comments below.

Now, here are the questions …

Note that some of these questions are a re-verification of the points above. Others are completely separate.

1. Who are the owners (shareholders) of the 12 Reserve Banks?

2. Besides appointing the members of the Federal Reserve Board, does the U.S. government have any other oversight over the decisions made by the Fed? That is, can any of the 3 branches of Federal Government overturn any decisions made by the Fed?

Put another way: if the people are not happy with any of the actions taken by the Fed is our only recourse to change the statutory authority of the Fed after the fact?

3. What is the net profit the Fed earns on its loans to U.S. government per annum?

4. What percentage of the Fed’s interest-earnings are returned to the Treasury and what percentage are kept?

5. It states on the Fed website that the 12 Reserve Banks are not for-profit institutions. However, it is hypothesized by some that not all of the interest-earnings the Fed collects are returned to the Treasury. If the 12 Reserve Banks are not for-profit, where then does this profit go?

6. Or am I mistaken, and is it that all of the interest-earnings are in fact returned to the Treasury? It indeed says on the Fed website that “all” of the earnings after “expenses” are returned to the Treasury. Do we then have a full line-by-line accounting of all of these expenses?

7. Does the Fed earn additional interest on its other holdings? If so, where does this interest go?

8. The Fed stopped producing an M3 report in 2006. Why, and will it generate this report again in the future?

9. When Bloomberg asked the Fed to disclose the recipients of $2 trillion dollars in “emergency loans” made using taxpayer dollars, they refused. Where did that money go?

10.
It’s stated on the Fed website that the reason for its independence is to “keep politics out monetary policy.” By that same logic, shouldn’t the Department of Defense be independent so we can “keep politics out of military policy?” And so on … What makes monetary policy so special that it is exempt from the usual oversight and control?

Before answering, here are some guidelines:

– Include primary source in your response when possible.

– Pass this post on to anyone you know who you feel can contribute meaningfully.

Thanks in advance for your support.

As you can see the issue is not as simple as presented in many of the conspiracy sites, books, and films that are popular today. For example, many of these rather hysterical conspiracy screeds talk about fiat currencies, electronic deposits, interest made on those deposits, etc – but fail to disclose that (at least) some of it is returned to the Treasury. (Indeed, according to the Fed website, “all” of it is.)

What’s really irksome is the manner in which many of these conspiracy theorists operate. They present their theories as verifiable fact and then respond angrily when pressed for primary source. All the while they do their best to whip people up into a frenzy. An effort that is usually followed up with a pitch to order a video.

Now, conspiracies do exist, of course. Any time people collude in private that is technically a “conspiracy.” Such intrigues have occurred throughout history, no one could dispute.

And some of the people who write on these subjects do so quite rationally and thoughtfully. Certainly such thoughtful and rational voices exist among those who write about the Fed. I’d like to find them … and the truth.

P.S. Thank you to Gene Simmons, Director of the National Debt Awareness Center for spreading the word about this project. The NDAC site is full of extremely useful information.

There is a lot of work left to be done and we need your support. Please spread the word to other scholars who can support this effort.

By Mark Joyner

BACK to margotbworldnews.com

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