Hang Onto Your Wallets: Negative Interest, the War on Cash, and the $10 Trillion Bail-in

In uncertain times, “cash is king,” but central bankers are systematically moving to eliminate that option. Is it really about stimulating the economy? Or is there some deeper, darker threat afoot?

Remember those old ads showing a senior couple lounging on a warm beach, captioned “Let your money work for you”? Or the scene in Mary Poppins where young Michael is being advised to put his tuppence in the bank, so that it can compound into “all manner of private enterprise,” including “bonds, chattels, dividends, shares, shipyards, amalgamations . . . .”?

That may still work if you’re a Wall Street banker, but if you’re an ordinary saver with your money in the bank, you may soon be paying the bank to hold your funds rather than the reverse. Continue reading

Power Point: Can the Federal Debt Be Repaid?

Here is a power point I gave last night at an American Freedom Alliance event in Los Angeles on  whether the federal debt can be repaid (yes), how it can be repaid (by simply issuing the money), and why that would stimulate the economy without leading to hyperinflation.  Ellen

Can the Debt Be Paid 11-17-15

“Can the Debt Be Paid?” — Bill Still and Ellen Brown in Los Angeles Nov 17; Bill Still, Margaret Flowers, and Thomas Marois on “It’s Our Money.”

On November 11th on “It’s Our Money,” Ellen spoke with Bill Still on how to pay off the national debt; and Walt spoke with Dr. Margaret Flowers on ominous developments involving the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Listen to the archive here.

The Still interview was prelude to an American Freedom Alliance event on November 17th at 7:30 pm at the Luxe Sunset Blvd Hotel in Los Angeles, at which Ellen and Bill will be addressing the topical question —

“Can the National Debt Be Paid Down and If So, Who Will Pay It?”

Public invited. Details here.

Also now in the PRN archives is the enlightening October 28th interview of UK Prof. Thomas Marois on public banking developments around the world. Listen here.

How Obama Could Beat the Debt Ceiling and Go Out a Hero

Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of Parliament and of democracy is idle and futile.

                  — Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, 1935

On November 3rd, the US government will again run out of money due to a debt ceiling artificially imposed by Congress. This is the third time in four years that a radical faction has taken the country to the brink of default to extort concessions that are at best only marginally related to the budget.

The debt ceiling is an unconstitutional gimmick that violates the 14th amendment, which says the validity of the government’s debt shall not be questioned. The debt was incurred by Congress when it passed the budget, and the money has been borrowed and spent. Congress cannot now refuse to pay.

One good gimmick deserves another. The debt ceiling could be eliminated for good, by restoring to the government its constitutional authority to create money. Article 1, Section 8, provides: “The Congress shall have the power to coin money [and] regulate the value thereof . . . .” The president could pay the government’s bills by issuing some large denomination coins by executive order. Continue reading

Killing Off Community Banks — Intended Consequence of Dodd-Frank?

The Dodd-Frank regulations are so lethal to community banks that some say the intent was to force them to sell out to the megabanks. Community banks are rapidly disappearing — except in North Dakota, where they are thriving. 

At over 2,300 pages, the Dodd Frank Act is the longest and most complicated bill ever passed by the US legislature. It was supposed to end “too big to fail” and “bailouts,” and to “promote financial stability.” But Dodd-Frank’s “orderly liquidation authority” has replaced bailouts with bail-ins, meaning that in the event of insolvency, big banks are to recapitalize themselves with the savings of their creditors and depositors. The banks deemed too big are more than 30% bigger than before the Act was passed in 2010, and 80% bigger than before the banking crisis of 2008. The six largest US financial institutions now have assets of some $10 trillion, amounting to almost 60% of GDP; and they control nearly 50% of all bank deposits.

Meanwhile, their smaller competitors are struggling to survive. Community banks and credit unions are disappearing at the rate of one a day. Access to local banking services is disappearing along with them. Small and medium-size businesses – the ones that hire two-thirds of new employees – are having trouble getting loans; students are struggling with sky-high interest rates; homeowners have been replaced by hedge funds acting as absentee landlords; and bank fees are up, increasing the rolls of the unbanked and underbanked, and driving them into the predatory arms of payday lenders. Continue reading

Jamie Brown on “It’s Our Money”

Jamie 2010
Nature limits all systems — nothing grows forever. Economic systems built around growth, like ours, are no different. Ellen revisits that topic with biomimicry expert Jamie Brown-Hansen about what nature teaches regarding sustainable economic systems that last for eras rather than just decades. The theme is picked up by Bernie Sanders as he reflects on the precarious nature of our national economy, while Matt Stannard considers what’s not being addressed on the topic by the presidential candidates. And co-host Walt McRee talks with New Hampshire State Representative Valerie Fraser about the movement underway there to create a public State bank.

Listen to the archive here.

Mary Mellor on “It’s Our Money”

The debt-money regime seems to have run its course. Happily, alternatives are being explored in the form of outright free public issue of money directly to the people — “QE for the People.” On “It’s Our Money,” we look at several dimensions of these ideas. Ellen speaks with noted UK professor and author Mary Mellor about the democratization of money and financial systems. Co-host Walt McRee discusses the current Bretton Woods IV Convocation which is focusing on the vital need for reclaiming public control of money, and on the Public Banking Report Matt Stannard takes a look at the morality of money.

Archived here.

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Mary at a Sept 2015 workshop in Berlin with event hosts Michel Bauwens and David Bollier. The event was sponsored by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and was called “Deep Dive: Capital for the Commons.”

Conferences: Two Upcoming and a Video

I’ll be attending four conferences before I get home October 8, two down (Berlin and Basel) and two to go. The two upcoming are in Columbus OH and Bretton Woods NH and are open to the public. I’ll be speaking on Oct 3 and 6, respectively. It would be great to see you there! The first one is also livestreamed. Details below:


Inaugural Conference
October 2-3, 2015
Denison University, Granville, Ohio


Sustainable Full Employment and Transformational Technologies”




Toward the Redemption of Our Financial System & Restitution of Our Common Wealth

Sept 29- October 6, Mt. Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, NH


Videos have also now been posted of the Economics of Happiness Conference in Portland OR on Feb 27, 2015. My power point presentation is below.

Cheers, Ellen

Time for the Nuclear Option: Raining Money on Main Street

Predictions are that we will soon be seeing the “nuclear option” — central bank-created money injected directly into the real economy. All other options having failed, governments will be reduced to issuing money outright to cover budget deficits. So warns a September 18 article on ZeroHedge titled “It Begins: Australia’s Largest Investment Bank Just Said ‘Helicopter Money’ Is 12-18 Months Away.”

Money reformers will say it’s about time. Virtually all money today is created as bank debt, but people can no longer take on more debt. The money supply has shrunk along with people’s ability to borrow new money into existence. Quantitative easing (QE) attempts to re-inflate the money supply by giving money to banks to create more debt, but that policy has failed. It’s time to try dropping some debt-free money on Main Street. Continue reading

“It’s Nature’s Way of Telling You” — Dr. Lynne Walker & Jamie Brown on “It’s Our Money”

The evolution of financial systems is seldom matched with the evolution of biological systems, just as Western medicine has too long ignored nature’s own abilities to heal and sustain personal health. In both cases imposition of monetary control over these systems ignores signposts and laws that can lead to doom. Ellen speaks with co-author, physician and pharmacist Dr. Lynne Walker about the institutional hypocrisy that drives profits over people’s health, while co-host Walt McRee reviews Jamie Brown’s groundbreaking work on the wisdom of mimicking nature when designing new sustainable economic systems.

Archived here.

Dr. Richard Wolff on “It’s Our Money”

Capitalism is often touted as the most dynamic marketplace performer capable of lifting more boats faster than any other — but why then do we see its colossal failures as a stable and equitable driver of well-being for the vast majority of its practitioners? Ellen speaks with one of the most knowledgeable experts on economic systems, Dr. Richard Wolff, about how capitalism fails in part because of its anti-democratic underpinnings that rock many of those boats and swamp others while letting the captains of capital cruise on. We also talk about the emerging popularity of Quantitative Easing for the People and the importance of values-driven common cause for change.

Listen to the archive here.

Quantitative Easing for People: The UK Labour Frontrunner’s Controversial Proposal

British MP Jeremy Corbyn has proposed a “People’s QE” that has critics crying hyperinflation and supporters saying it’s about time.

Dark horse candidate Jeremy Corbyn, who is currently leading in the polls for UK Labour Party leadership, has included in his platform “quantitative easing for people.” He said in a July 22nd presentation:

The ‘rebalancing’ I have talked about here today means rebalancing away from finance towards the high-growth, sustainable sectors of the future. How do we do this? One option would be for the Bank of England to be given a new mandate to upgrade our economy to invest in new large scale housing, energy, transport and digital projects: Quantitative easing for people instead of banks.

Continue reading

Dr. Tim Canova on “It’s Our Money”

tim canova“No flow, no go.” That may be the simplest way to describe the critical role of central banks to the flow of credit and money into any monetary system. It was the lack of access to cash and bank liquidity that humbled Greece, Detroit and others. Ellen speaks with Dr. Timothy Canova, one of the foremost experts on our central bank, the Federal Reserve, about why their operation of our cash spigot determines who wins and who loses.

Read more and listen here.

Trumping the Federal Debt Without Playing the Default Card

“The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default.”

— Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan on Meet the Press, August 2011

In a post on “Sovereign Man” dated August 14th, Simon Black argued that Donald Trump may be the right man for the presidency:

[T]here’s one thing that really sets him apart, that, in my opinion, makes him the most qualified person for the job:

Donald Trump is an expert at declaring bankruptcy.

When the going gets tough, Trump stiffs his creditors. He’s done it four times!

Candidly, this is precisely what the Land of the Free needs right now: someone who can stop beating around the bush and just get on with it already.

Continue reading

Michael Hudson on It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown

Michael Hudson

Is the financial deprivation of entire nations engendering a new level of frustration and political unrest? Are the unlikely top-ranked US presidential candidates a sign that the Europeans aren’t the only ones who want to “throw the bums out?”  These emerging political themes are the subject of It’s Our Money, as Ellen engages renowned author, advisor and economics professor Michael Hudson, just back from his consultations with Greece’s Syriza party. Archived here.

John Cobb, Mark Anielski and Ellen Brown at Herman Daly Plenary, Pando Populus Conference, Claremont

Mark Anielski and I spoke on a panel following Herman Daly’s plenary address on “Ecological Economics for an Ecological Civilization,” at an international conference called SEIZING AN ALTERNATIVE: Toward an Ecological Civilization, held on the campus of Pomona College, Claremont, CA June 4-7, 2015. John B. Cobb, Jr. also joined Daly’s plenary discussion. Mark is at 1:02:25 and I’m at 1:10:36 on the ticker.

The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion

“My father made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Luca Brasi held a gun to his head and my father assured him that either his brains, or his signature, would be on the contract.”                                                                                                                                                 — The Godfather (1972)

In the modern global banking system, all banks need a credit line with the central bank in order to be part of the payments system. Choking off that credit line was a form of blackmail the Greek government couldn’t refuse. 

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is now being charged with treason for exploring the possibility of an alternative payment system in the event of a Greek exit from the euro. Continue reading

“We’re All Greeks Now” — Stephen Lendman on “It’s Our Money”

It isn’t just the Greeks, or the Cypriots, or the Irish, or the Icelanders suffering the price of financial terrorism – the extractive demands of global central banks on display in Greece are actively draining the marrow of impoverished communities the world over. Ellen speaks with author and expert Stephen Lendman about the financial powers forcibly overruling Greek democracy, and their intentions to do so everywhere.  Co-host Walt McRee speaks with an official of one California county government pushing back against convicted bank felons, and later discusses new human evolutionary awareness about our relationship with money with philosopher Robert Bows.  And Matt Stannard discusses our myths about “the Great American Entrepreneur” on the Public Banking Report.

Listen here.

Grexit or Jubilee? How Greek Debt Can Be Annulled

The crushing Greek debt could be canceled the way it was made – by sleight of hand. But saving the Greek people and their economy is evidently not in the game plan of the Eurocrats.

Greece’s creditors have finally brought the country to its knees, forcing President Alexis Tsipras to agree to austerity and privatization measures more severe than those overwhelmingly rejected by popular vote a week earlier. No write-down of Greece’s debt was included in the deal, although the IMF has warned that the current debt is unsustainable.

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis calls the deal “a new Versailles Treaty” and “the politics of humiliation.” Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos calls it a “coup d’état” done by “blackmailing the Greek prime minister with collapse of the banks and a complete haircut on deposits.” Continue reading

Paul Craig Roberts on “It’s Our Money” — “Greece-y Mess”

There are many reasons to keep our focus on Greece — self-interest being one.  Dr. Paul Craig Roberts returns to disclose the backstory of the political-bankster collaboration that has brought Greece to its knees and threatens economies the world over, including ours. Ellen suggests a solution for how the Greeks can proceed from here. Matt Stannard takes a historical look at German/Greek finances and we discuss the important leadership of Pope Francis’ review of what’s really important in any economy. Hint: it’s not about your wallet.  

Listen here.


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