About

I set this blog up originally to present updates on what is going on in the economy, but wound up posting my own articles on it.  Since then, I’ve gotten so much interesting feedback that I decided to take a stab at establishing a “virtual community” of armchair money reformers and their thoughts on fixing the system.   Join in the debate!  Your feedback, comments, views, and ideas are welcome.  Please also visit: http://www.webofdebt.com and http://publicbanksolution.com.

61 Responses

  1. CONGRATULATIONS, Ellen,

    the title and the cover are SUPERB!!!

    Well done!!!

    Enjoy what hopefully will become a raving success!!!

    Sabine, http://www.3dmetrics.co.uk

  2. Thanks Sabine!

  3. Good stuff Ellen.

    Based on the information presented, is it safe to assume you support Ron Paul’s run for the Republican nomination?

    Thanks,

    Patrick

  4. Thanks Patrick, I think Ron Paul is great; but he would return to the gold standard, and I don’t think that will work. We need to enlighten him! The currency does need to be pegged to something with a stable value, but the price of gold isn’t stable and it’s easily manipulated. (I know as I watch it like a hawk, being heavily invested in such things.) I think the basket of commodities option is best for pegging currencies and thwarting speculative manipulation in international trade. Better yet would be to peg currencies to a revised consumer price index that actually reflects consumer prices (not the “core rate” it’s manipulated into to keep the market happy). I have a chapter on that, and several on the gold standard. Sincerely, Ellen

  5. Got here from your latest article on Gold-Eagle. Would you have a chapter on usury or Sharia Law?

    If Aristotle and Aquinas were right, then money lending at ANY interest is a Ponzi scheme; the shortest version being a 3 dollar economy where one dollar is lent at even a modest 5% interest but the economic activity generated does not increase the overall quantity of goods and services and yet the “usurer” demands his 5% — resulting most commonly in the money supply being inflated to meet the interest payment.

    I confess to being a Ron Paul fan:
    http://www.jbs.org/node/4764

  6. Hi Jim, I do have whole chapters on the usury issue and sections on Islamic banking. The one way that charging interest can be done WITHOUT it being a Ponzi scheme is for the government itself to do it, as noted by Benjamin Franklin, describing the clever system in his home province of Pennsylvania. The provincial government created a land bank, which lent newly-created paper currency at 5% interest. Then to get the extra 5% into the economy, the government printed and SPENT that sum into the economy on things the people needed — roads, etc. So you would start with 105; lend 100 and spend 5; get 105 back; lend 100 and spend 5; get 105 back; etc. You never need more than your initial outlay. There’s not much chance of getting rid of private banking and private lending at interest today (what would retired people live on without their bonds?), but you could get the same effect if the government undertook to spend enough new money into the economy to cover all the interest charged. I’ve got that all carefully calculated, and by my calculations it is doable. Cheers, Ellen

  7. In “Behind the drums of war with Iran”, you say “The central bank would still create the national money supply, but it would lend the money to the government, leaving the government with a massive debt on which it owed interest.” In Canada we had accumulated between 1867 (the date of Canadian federation) and 1974 a federal public debt of “only” $18-billion, kept at this low figure by careful use of our central bank, the Bank of Canada. The Bank was nationalized in 1938 which meant that all the interest paid into the Bank ended up in the Canadian treasury as dividend minus a small amount for administartion. Therefore when the government borrowed from the Bank it had no interest costs because all the interest it paid to the Bank was returned to it as dividend. From 1939 to 1974 the Bank carried up to about 21% of the government’s debt (except at the beginning of WWII when it was higher), and that coupled with its ability to keep interest rates reasonably low resulted in a relatively low federal debt. In 1974 things changed. The government reduced its use of the Bank to carry public debt, preferring to use the private sector almost entirely. When interest rates skyrocketed in ’79-’81 and ’89-’91 so did Canadian public debt to $588-billion by 1997, an increase of over 3000% in just 23 years.

    The point of this little bit of history is that if a government owns its central bank, as is the case in Canada, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it would amass a huge debt by borrowing from it. In Canada we have a huge debt because our government rejected the use of its own bank, not because it used it.

  8. Thanks Richard, you’re right, and I’ll clarify that point in the article when I get a chance. I was thinking of the U.S. central bank, which is NOT owned by the government and IS responsible for a huge interest burden to private lenders. People get confused because they think the debt is owed to kindly grandmothers in the form of Liberty Bonds (I remember that image from my youth), but the bonds are “monetized” in the first instance by private banks, which then resell them. Our central bank actually does rebate most of the interest it gets back to the government, but we still owe about a third of a trillion dollars in interest on the federal debt, and it’s mostly to financial institutions; and we wouldn’t have owed a debt at all if we had followed the plan of the early American colonists and let the government simply issue the money it needed through its Treasury, whose functions were taken over by our private central bank. In China, the publicly-owned central bank used to simply issue the money the government needed for its developmental projects. But when it had to conform to WTO rules, those issues of money got recharacterized as “non-performing loans;” and the government, which had not previously had a federal debt, suddenly found itself saddled with one.

  9. Your book is the best to date on the genre of the Fed and funny money. I would like to donate to your efforts if you are in need of that? Have you read Stephen Zarlengas book about the history of money?

    Jon Davis

  10. Thanks Jon. We should talk! I have read Zarlenga’s book; it’s excellent. He has a money reform conference in Chicago every fall that’s also excellent.

  11. I have found this blog after reading your excellent ‘Credit Default Swaps: Evolving Financial Meltdown and Derivative Disaster Du Jour’ article at GlobalResearch.ca. I truly enjoy your astute analysis of the corrupted and broken financial system. Like Mike Whitney and Rudo de Ruijter, you have a gift to clearly state the less obvious. It is about time for people to wake up and see the massive scam that has been played on them for so many years.

  12. Thanks Sigward! As I read about Mike Whitney, I’m not really an economist. I’m just a writer. Or as I read somewhere, I’m not a leftist or a rightist, just a typist. Sometimes outsiders can see the picture better than people steeped in it, because we see it fresh and have to pick the pieces apart ourselves to understand it.

  13. So, is a 401k only for self esteem? Do I really need to throw my money away at money managers and losing portfolios?

  14. A very good question. My current plan is a lobby or coalition of some sort for legal redress against the banks, not only on behalf of debtors (subprime and credit card) but on behalf of investors. We’ve all been had, and we have some good legal defenses. If we could get together, we might have some clout.

  15. ellen, so nice to see you writing for us “commoners”. If the american consumer could just be educated and come together against this faulty and circumspect government, and help to fully expose this mortgage fraud for what it is, then congress would HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION. I say we involve and expose the politicians first. Once they have been outed, maybe then we would get some “representation”. It can’t happen soon enough! Let me know who I can contact to effect the most immediate result.

  16. Thanks Steve. The mills of the mortals grind even slower than the gods, but I’m thinking along the lines of a coalition/lobby. I’ll prepare a booklet of sample legal defenses to foreclosure and suggestions for class actions, which will be given to members for a modest membership fee. If we get enough members, we petition or lobby Congress. Still working on it . . .

  17. Hello Ms. Brown,

    I recently picked up your book and was unable to sit it down until I read it cover to cover. I too am an attorney, having practiced in Chicago for the last twenty years, first at the mega firms and now as a solo practitioner.

    To cut to the chase, I want to hear your comments on the following scenario presented to me by a client recently. A gentleman in his 60 was facing foreclosure of the family home. The reasons are common: he refinance multiple time to cover unexpected health care expenses and ultimately found that his retirement and SSI were not enough to carry on with the mortgage. He held great resentment toward his bank, Chase, because he had been a lifelong customer and was given no consideration. With the last refinance, Chase had conveniently rolled its own credit card debt into the now secured loan. In any event, he was determined to do something. Just prior to foreclosure he obtained a list from the American Legion of his fellow WWII veterans in Illinois. He prepared a list of each persons name and address. He prepared a quit claim deed transferring his interest in the home to all veterans named joint tenants. He told me that his rationale was that if the bank was going to take his home then at least the bank would have to name and serve each person on the dead with the foreclosure and they would know what this bank had done to him. He asked me what would happen. I told him I had no idea. After thinking about it, I realized that in order for the bank to foreclose its lien it would have to name all the record owners and serve them with the foreclosure….that would number several thousand people to serve and the costs to serve each one, not to mention the fact that some people might actually assert an interest in the property. Could his actions actually stave off foreclosure. To date, 18 months after defaulting, Chase has yet to initiate a foreclosure! Any thoughts?

    Thanks. And, I will be telling all my friends and anyone I can get to hear me out to pick up your book.

  18. Hi Rusty, that was very clever of your client! The courts are heavily backlogged and not eager to take these cases. I clerked for several judges in my youth. The clerk who trained me said our first job was to find some procedural defect on which to throw the case out so the judge wouldn’t have to read it and hear it. That’s another creative defense to add to the list.

  19. Chris Hoyer and I started the above site and are best known for produce the note posts. I recently wrote an article on misleading Government stats. I thought you may be interested in the story. http://www.consumerwarningnetwork.com/2008/08/18/why-you-can%e2%80%99t-believe-government-statistics-part-1-the-real-unemployment-rate/

    We at CWN love your site.

    John Newcomer

  20. Thanks John — and I love yours!

  21. What a wonderful find, can’t wait to digest all that is here. Looking forward to some exciting conference calls with politicians at all levels to the WMC world of creative possibilities and solutions of bringing the information age, conceptual age, integral age and magical age into full bloom of the utopian age. Thanks, loving your creativity….

  22. I filed the produce the note, sent it to the bank and their attorney. They forclosed on me last week, Neither one addressed the produce the note request.
    I spoke to Hillsborough Court Judge Honeywell’s clerk she said a copy or the note is in the file I and come to the court and request a copy.

    How’s that?

  23. Hi, I’d suggest getting a copy of the note and making sure it names both you and the plaintiff and is something you signed or is an assignment of something you signed. If not, raise the note as a defense in your answer if it’s a judicial foreclosure. If it’s a non-judicial foreclosure, see my article re same.

  24. I have a copy of the original note. My husband did not initial all the copies at the closing.

    Two day later he was contacted to come in and initial the missed ones. The note on file at the court did not have all the copies initial by by husband.

    Can I still fight this even though I was foreclosed on last Tuesday, is there a redemption period her in Fl.

    How do I know if it was a judicial foreclosure or not?

  25. Hi, if your husband saw the note and it’s something he signed, the defense is not available to you I’m afraid.

  26. To what extent was David X Li culpable in developing a mechanism which allowed the derivatives markets to price themselves and become liquid?

    To what extent were people like (Sir) Peter Burt culpable in using this mechanism to destroy the worlds’ economies?

  27. I have enjoyed reading your articles at Global Research, and just finished your latest article (http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10589). Very interesting.

    I also just found this blog, and linked it in my sidebar.

    Your efforts are appreciated.

  28. Great site, i’ll add some links to http://www.foryourhealth.eu to spread the word. I’m still seeking for editors/contributers for my site.

  29. I am suscribed in Elliot Wave, where the things that are happening now were announced few years ago. I recommend you to check the site of Elliot Waves.
    Plus, we like it or not; we have to start living without credit. In my house before it was kind of vicious circle, last month we cut spending by our 11 credit cards ; what means that you are gonna buy only the necessary stuff. It is not easy at all at the beginning, because you feel kind of limited . But this month I was surprised that you do not have to pay so many expensive bills. We are using this strategy and debts are not pressing us as before. Drinking alcohol at home, saving gas, eating at home – no more junk food on the street, taking advantage of your home office, spending only your cash is really working on long term. The unnecessary expences can be cut, but you do not have be scared at all of what happens next . it is important to maintain a positive attitude and not to block your energy. This crisis is a mecanism as well that can help us to take care more of our resources, ecology and to be conscious what we are really doing.

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