Fast-track Hands the Money Monopoly to Private Banks — Permanently

It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.                                                                                                                                                                        — Attributed to Henry Ford

In March 2014, the Bank of England let the cat out of the bag: money is just an IOU, and the banks are rolling in it. So wrote David Graeber in The Guardian the same month, referring to a BOE paper called “Money Creation in the Modern Economy.” The paper stated outright that most common assumptions of how banking works are simply wrong. The result, said Graeber, was to throw the entire theoretical basis for austerity out of the window.

The revelation may have done more than that. The entire basis for maintaining our private extractive banking monopoly may have been thrown out the window. And that could help explain the desperate rush to “fast track” not only the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). TiSA would nip attempts to implement public banking and other monetary reforms in the bud.

The Banking Game Exposed

The BOE report confirmed what money reformers have been saying for decades: that banks do not act simply as intermediaries, taking in the deposits of “savers” and lending them to borrowers, keeping the spread in interest rates. Rather, banks actually create deposits when they make loans. The BOE report said that private banks now create 97 percent of the British money supply. The US money supply is created in the same way.

Graeber underscored the dramatic implications:

. . . [M]oney is really just an IOU. The role of the central bank is to preside over a legal order that effectively grants banks the exclusive right to create IOUs of a certain kind, ones that the government will recognise as legal tender by its willingness to accept them in payment of taxes. There’s really no limit on how much banks could create, provided they can find someone willing to borrow it.

Politically, said Graeber, revealing these facts is taking an enormous risk:

Just consider what might happen if mortgage holders realised the money the bank lent them is not, really, the life savings of some thrifty pensioner, but something the bank just whisked into existence through its possession of a magic wand which we, the public, handed over to it.

If money is just an IOU, why are we delivering the exclusive power to create it to an unelected, unaccountable, non-transparent private banking monopoly? Why are we buying into the notion that the government is broke – that it must sell off public assets and slash public services in order to pay off its debts? The government could pay its debts in the same way private banks pay them, simply with accounting entries on its books. What will happen when a critical mass of the populace realizes that we’ve been vassals of a parasitic banking system based on a fraud – that we the people could be creating money as credit ourselves, through publicly-owned banks that returned the profits to the people?

Henry Ford predicted that a monetary revolution would follow. There might even be a move to nationalize the whole banking system and turn it into a public utility.

It is not hard to predict that the international bankers and related big-money interests, anticipating this move, would counter with legislation that locked the current system in place, so that there was no way to return money and banking to the service of the people – even if the current private model ended in disaster, as many pundits also predict.

And that is precisely the effect of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which was slipped into the “fast track” legislation now before Congress. It is also the effect of the bail-in policies currently being railroaded into law in the Eurozone, and of the suspicious “war on cash” seen globally; but those developments will be the subject of another article.

TiSA Exposed

On June 3, 2015, WikiLeaks released 17 key documents related to TiSA, which is considered perhaps the most important of the three deals being negotiated for “fast track” trade authority. The documents were supposed to remain classified for five years after being signed, displaying a level of secrecy that outstrips even the TPP’s four-year classification.

TiSA involves 51 countries, including every advanced economy except the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). The deal would liberalize global trade in services covering close to 80% of the US economy, including financial services, healthcare, education, engineering, telecommunications, and many more. It would restrict how governments can manage their public laws, and it could dismantle and privatize state-owned enterprises, turning those services over to the private sector.

Recall the secret plan devised by Wall Street and U.S. Treasury officials in the 1990s to open banking to the lucrative derivatives business. To pull this off required the relaxation of banking regulations not just in the US but globally, so that money would not flee to nations with safer banking laws.  The vehicle used was the Financial Services Agreement concluded under the auspices of the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The plan worked, and most countries were roped into this “liberalization” of their banking rules. The upshot was that the 2008 credit crisis took down not just the US economy but economies globally.

TiSA picks up where the Financial Services Agreement left off, opening yet more doors for private banks and other commercial service industries, and slamming doors on governments that might consider opening their private banking sectors to public ownership.

Blocking the Trend Toward “Remunicipalization”

In a report from Public Services International called “TISA versus Public Services: The Trade in Services Agreement and the Corporate Agenda,” Scott Sinclair and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood note that the already formidable challenges to safeguarding public services under GATS will be greatly exasperated by TiSA, which blocks the emerging trend to return privatized services to the public sector. Communities worldwide are reevaluating the privatization approach and “re-municipalizing” these services, following negative experiences with profit-driven models. These reversals typically occur at the municipal level, but they can also occur at the national level.

One cited example is water remunicipalization in Argentina, Canada, France, Tanzania and Malaysia, where an increasing frustration with broken promises, service cutoffs to the poor, and a lack of integrated planning by private water companies led to a public takeover of the service.

Another example is the remunicipalization of electrical services in Germany. Hundreds of German municipalities have remunicipalized private electricity providers or have created new public energy utilities, following dissatisfaction with private providers’ inflated prices and poor record in shifting to renewable energy. Remunicipalization has brought electricity prices down. Other sectors involved in remunicipalization projects include public transit, waste management, and housing.

Sinclair and Mertins-Kirkwood observe:

The TISA would limit and may even prohibit remunicipalization because it would prevent governments from creating or reestablishing public monopolies or similarly “uncompetitive” forms of service delivery. . . .

Like GATS Article XVI, the TISA would prohibit public monopolies and exclusive service suppliers in fully committed sectors, even on a regional or local level. Of particular concern for remunicipalization projects are the proposed “standstill” and “ratchet” provisions in TISA. The standstill clause would lock in current levels of services liberalization in each country, effectively banning any moves from a market-based to a state-based provision of public services. This clause . . . would prohibit the creation of public monopolies in sectors that are currently open to private sector competition.

Similarly, the ratchet clause would automatically lock in any future actions taken to liberalize services in a given country. . . . [I]f a government did decide to privatize a public service, that government would be unable to return to a public model at a later date.

That means we can forget about turning banking and credit services into public utilities. TiSA is a one-way street. Industries once privatized remain privatized.

The disturbing revelations concerning TiSA are yet another reason to try to block these secretive trade agreements. For more information and to get involved, visit:

Flush the TPP

The Citizens Trade Campaign

Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch

Eyes on Trade


Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. Her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her 300+ blog articles are at

59 Responses

  1. A link for this just sent to my US Representative, Earl Blumenauer, so he may not claim ignorance.

  2. Reblogged this on Pongbourne.

  3. Why are the (BRICS) not participating? Plans to quit using the Petro Dollar?

  4. […] Ellen Brown Writer, Dandelion Salad The Web of Debt Blog June 12, […]

  5. This is absolutely terrifying. Thank you so much for breaking it down for us.

  6. Reblogged this on Joseph Davis and commented:
    “If money is just an IOU, why are we delivering the exclusive power to create it to an unelected, unaccountable, non-transparent private banking monopoly? Why are we buying into the notion that the government is broke – that it must sell off public assets and slash public services in order to pay off its debts? The government could pay its debts in the same way private banks pay them, simply with accounting entries on its books. What will happen when a critical mass of the populace realizes that we’ve been vassals of a parasitic banking system based on a fraud – that we the people could be creating money as credit ourselves, through publicly-owned banks that returned the profits to the people?”

    More monetary solutions at Please read Ellen Brown’s full post below…

  7. […] monetary solutions at Please read Ellen Brown’s full post […]

  8. your buddy Ellen Brown is really insightful. she is definitely banging on the right drum. Date: Fri, 12 Jun 2015 03:39:34 +0000 To:

  9. […] Fast-tracking TiSA: Stealth Block to Monetary Reform – Ellen Brown […]

  10. We need a sovereign fiat currency free from privatized central banking. The dollar should be issued by US Treasury as a public asset and spent – not loaned – into circulation. This will short circuit the unsustainable, debt-based monetary system.

    To further reduce the creation of money through debt, bank reserve requirements should be raised to at least 50 percent (up from the present 3-10 percent). The reserve requirement could be periodically adjusted, between 50 and 100 percent, to control inflation. This would replace the central bank practice of controlling inflation by dictating interest rates.

    A secondary means of controlling inflation would be through a consumption tax, adjusted quarterly and targeted to those sectors experiencing price spikes.

    Sovereign fiat currency implies that government can fund itself and would no longer need to raise revenue through the income tax. Thus we could reconfigure the income tax towards a new and grand purpose: to abolish elitism. My suggestion is an all-or-nothing income tax with the cap set at $500k per year. Zero tax below that amount and 100 percent tax above it.

    This all-or-nothing income tax would be in conjunction with personal reserve accounts – allowing individuals to shelter up to $10 million in income and/or inheritances. Those reserve assets would not count toward the $500k income cap until the year of withdrawal. This means the income cap only kicks in when someone’s reserve account is full. Very few people will ever owe a nickel in income tax. And since inheritances will be effectively capped at $10 million (the reserve account limit), the dynasties of the mega-rich elite will be gone in one generation.

    The above is a comprehensive reform that rectifies free market capitalism, by curtailing debt-based economics and the pernicious concentration of wealth and power among elites. I call on all reform-minded people to come together behind this agenda!

  11. “exacerbated”, not “exasperated”, but exasperation is more than appropriate

  12. TPP, TTIP, TiSA: “Jekyll Island II: The Sequel”


  14. Reblogged this on BDBinc.

  15. The banksters’s CIA funded Wikileaks is using “the boiling frog” method of releasing (unverified) bits of TPP information to the public/congress trying to eliminate/bypass the right of disclosure inherent in any agreement/treaty/contract.
    NON disclosure legally voids the TPP.
    Yes I know we are dealing with criminals( bankster cabal) and congress don’t seem concerned do they.

  16. […] By Ellen Brown and cross-posted from The Web of Debt blog  […]

  17. Dear Ellen,
    Thank you so much.
    I entered the information into my current manuscript.
    You be well our dear friend!
    Keep up you good work. It is most appreciated!

    See Excerpt:

    Sectors of western, international plutocracy, the private banking monopolies, and the owners of transnational corporations, are determined to expropriate all government pubic services. For example, 51 countries would be dominated by the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which is pending American congressional approval. TiSA would privatize all government services, and would prevent the remunicipalization of public services once privatized.* Transnational corporate despotism is among the objectives of the prevailing economic system.

    *Ellen Brown, June 11, 2015, Fast-track Hands the Money Monopoly to Private Banks — Permanently,

  18. […] By Ellen Brown, […]

  19. T

  20. Ms Ellen Brown:
    You have never failed to bring light into the murky world of finance on a local, national and world scene. Thank you for your valiant effort to help us understand the precarious and menacing nature of the existing set up that we, ordinary mortals, cannot fathom.

  21. […]     Fast-track Hands the Money Monopoly to Private Banks – Permanently   New Currency Laws Now in Effect – Could Be Devastating for Anyone Holding U.S. Dollars […]

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