Public Banking TV: Want your trillions back? Better learn the basics

The 2013 Public Banking Conference has over 20 videos on YouTube with various experts explaining how at-cost public credit and monetary reform ends current economic emergencies:

The American public doesn’t have to know the details of banking anymore than they need to know the details of a sewer system. That said, Americans must know at least enough to demand public sanitation and public credit, or the consequences will be toxicity to all economic and social activity.

Do you know enough about public banking and monetary reform to demand it? If you want to call yourself a responsible citizen deserving to live in a free society, this is one of the very few trillion-dollar issues you must factually command in its basics.

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  • gozounlimited

    Sign me up!!!!!!!

  • Tonto

    Oh, Herman! You are going to end poverty? You and Ellen are going to re-shuffle the banking deck chairs to end poverty. Well there…

    Hell. I must be a fool to oppose Ellen Brown’s public banking then. She’s obviously the genius we need to straighten out the whole mess! Ending poverty means none of us will have to work, ever again, don’t it? Sure it does. Because a lot of people are poor because they neither know how to work, nor do they want to know how to work. They get a welfare check, food stamps, section 8 housing vouchers, an ObamaPhone, free dope from the government and they’re in heaven, their heaven… Not mine.

    I don’t mind working. Of course, I wouldn’t work for the “Examiner”. They don’t pay anything at all. And writing for a living is tough enough, without working for some online outfit that pays absolutely nothing.

    Ending poverty though… I’m embarrassed to say, it sounds too good to be true. Well, hell then Herman, why not just print up enough money so everyone can be as rich a Bill Gates? Now, that would be ending poverty in a way, I think everyone could endorse. Why, I bet it would be pretty cool to be as rich as Bill Gates, -without having to work for it.

    Sure. Everyone wants to be a bank president, or a movie star. My wife has a humorous anecdote, about her dream job being working for the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes Prize Patrol, and getting to hand out all those giant checks. (I think she’s a closet public banking expert like Ellen, who seems to have ideas along the same line, handing out giant checks…)

    Herman, in your new public banking utopia, where there is no poverty, even for all of us who easily could get along with that no poverty business without ever working again, who the hell is going to flip the burgers and wash the floors, if we end poverty?

    And won’t ending poverty cause an even greater problem with the commute? Imagine if everyone had all the money they wanted, enough to go shop at the mall anytime they want, and enough to eat out anytime they want, and enough to buy a new car anytime they want. We could all ride in fifty-foot-long limousines! But, wouldn’t that increase the traffic load and clog all the main arteries?

    Oh, I know, we’ll just give the road commissioner the authority to print more money and widen the roads to thirty lanes North, South, East and West. Then we can relieve the traffic congestion, right?

    We can have drive-thru banking right at McDonald’s. That would help. We won’t have to get out of our limousines to bank, -or- to order a Big Mac and fries.

    You know what the audience would be calling for if this was the Gong Show, don’t you, Herman?

    • gozounlimited

      Tonto…..the values by which you perceive your world …. taints the lens that allows sight of the self realization necessary to posses the depth of ordinary human manifestation. Drink up…and go back to sleep.

    • Carl_Herman

      Yes, tonto, you are a fool. But not for opposing any person; you are a fool for finding virtue in a self-expression that “attacks” strawmen without offering any better solution.

      We all notice.

      • Tonto

        I are a fool am I?


        Yes, to waste time trying to shake you from your delusions of grandeur about a revolution installing Ellen Brown as Emperor. You can fawn at her feet all you want. Ellen Brown is a political ideologue of her own one-off variety. She is not an economist.

        So, your notion of Ellen Brown’s presence in any community of potential leadership is what is foolish. All her ideas are archaic and arise from a simpleton’s, a fake’s or a social-climber’s disenchantment. Ellen’s solutions are pitifully shallow and ridiculous.

        Populist economic theories went out with Karl Marx, Herman.

        The reality of what passes for leadership in this world is nothing what either you or Ellen have ever had the chance at being capable of fathoming.

        Reality is infinitely complex, Herman. That’s the most important of all human knowables.

        And neither you nor Ellen have never even considered what the thought means to the economic madness that is the reality of our situation. It means, the problems are incomprehensible, and that any understandings of these problems are only proximate to a mindset. There is very little economic relationship to reality going on, even at the level of the FED. It means, that such reckless changes as are advocated by your squirrelly band of public banking numskulls will never even be considered by any more than a few bozos who read the blogs for entertainment.

        Your droning message reaches no one. Get realistic. You take yourself way too seriously. You estimate yourself way too highly.

        If you had any experience in running a real business, you would know that media advertising is incredibly inefficient. At the rate you are going with these articles of yours, were there 10,000 Carl Herman’s running this one-donkey sideshow, each typing madly at their keyboards, it still would not be enough to convince anyone of anything. Most people are too stupid to comprehend what you are advocating. Even more could care less.

        The remainder you actually do have the chance to attract the attention of are dreamers like yourself. And their opinions, having read all or part of what you have written, will differ so wildly from your own words and thoughts, there is absolutely no chance at a cohesive movement arising.

        And if a revolution did arise, you and Ellen Brown would be swept aside by the strong arm of someone with more charisma and more daring. Things would get worse, and the revolution would fail. The blame would be on public banking charlatans.

        Reality is infinitely complex, Carl Herman. Anyone who does not know they cannot entirely comprehend the infinite of the infinitely complex of our reality is the fool.

        And we all fall into that category at certain times in our lives. Only a few grow out of it.

        • Carl_Herman

          So again, you have a lot to say without offering anything better.

          Care to offer a better solution, or are you saying it’s all too complex to even try, and mean what you write: “people are too stupid” and “could care less”?

          If you mean that, what is the purpose of your comments? Why waste, what, 20 minutes or more with elaborate commentary when you have no better solution and insult the public?

          • Tonto

            The pretense of all of all the ubiquitous genius has simply grown far to onerous to make it worth supporting “change”, Herman. The world will be better off dealing with the mess it has, as it is, weeding out the weak, and culling the fat. The world will be better off than if another hyping “change” artist is given free rein to modify and add more mistakes to all the mistakes of the past. All that complexity simply creates more opportunity for corruption and graft. You know this and I know this.

            This is why no one should support public banking. It adds all that much more opportunity to skim, game and cheat the system. It adds a myriad of new bureaucracies, where corruption will invariably fester further dragging down the real economy. Graft and corruption is extant in great excess due to the banking systems we already have. Those banking excesses should be culled, not expanded. Easy money, no matter its source encourages, laziness and criminal behavior -not productivity.

            If you really want to offer a solution, Herman, then advocate the abolition of the mistakes of the past. Do not compound them by advocating piling more mistakes on top of what already exists. Ellen Brown’s ideas are all about adding more complexity. Her’s is a hackneyed approach, obviously. It’s pragmatism. Pragmatism is categorically immoral , Herman. Pragmatism makes humanity the mortar into which the pestal of the trial and error of the scientific approach plies all its many mistakes.

            Pragmatists typically and ridiculously gravitate toward -large- changes. It’s part of the immoral delusion of pragmatically derived progress. But there is no success to be found in endlessly reinventing the wheel as a locomotive is barreling down the tracks. You and your public banking nitwit friends are simply advocating disaster in advocating the biggest change you can imagine. And you and your nitwit friends are typically unqualified to advocate any change.

            You are in that class of pragmatic cranks that are so common in this dissatisfied world. You don;t know know diddly-squat about economics, or farming, or public sewers, but just like everyone else you have your opinion about everything, opinions out of which the excrement of your self-professed genius ridiculously plops stinking, brown public banking turds every time you write one of your free articles.

            Encouraging American states to print money to solve fiscal problems would facilitate nothing less than a new den of thieving scoundrels stealing from the economy. And your one example of the only state that has a budget surplus is bogus, and you know it. North Dakota is a small-population state (2/3’s of a million people) with a huge energy production ramp-up going on.

            The only solution there is, “small population”. The miracle behind what you see as the solution, isn’t state run banking and the printing press. It’s energy production. North Dakota is raping its environment, Herman. They’re raping their environment because there’s big money in energy production.


            If you do not think there is a massive amount of corruption in North Dakota surrounding this money printing that is going on, you’d better have another think coming. Human nature is immutable, Herman.

            You are a perfect example of that.

          • Carl_Herman

            Thanks for your expression of hopelessness, tonto. If we’re all nitwits, why do you bother commenting?

          • Tonto

            I continue to comment because you continue to assert that you have answers.

            You don’t have any answers, Herman. You are just beating your own drum.

            You asked for an alternative approach. That’s your straw man. You say, the other guy has no solutions. Herman, you have no solutions. You have a desire to execute a revolution whereby nitwits are put into power to create a public banking system.

            Ellen Brown will be given a tiara. And you will fawn at her feet in a puddle of devotion.

            That’s no solution. It’s wonton and reckless. It’s silly.

            I know what the solution is here, Herman. The solution is to stop letting political hucksters like yourself go on and on unchallenged, about their self-supposed genius and the self-supposed genius of their friends. You demonstrate no genius, Herman.

            That much is clear.

            And Ellen Brown has laughable intellect.

          • Nadine847

            So, myself as someone without any firm answers and lots of questions – besides belittling Carl (as your referenced solution), what else would you propose as a solution yourself? How are we do learn from each other without debate and not abuse. This is a genuine question, Tonto.

          • Tonto

            Nadine, you might go back and read the whole thread before posing such a mundane question. (You and I are not going to solve all the problems of the world. If you think you are, then you are like Carl who claims he and Ellen are going to end poverty by printing more money. God bless them.)

            Within this long thread and previous threads you will find my solution is to undo all the stupid things previous pretenders offered as solutions, while standing in the way of all the current pretenders who want to continue the pragmatic tinkering in the hope of becoming rich and famous, but with the far greater likelihood of merely increasing the misery, of which there is certainly enough to go around due to all the ignorance of all these loopy pragmatic pretenders.

            And I need to point out, you are mistaken. No one can belittle Carl Herman, Nadine. Just ask him. He and his Josephine want to be emperor, if they can, and if they together don’t already believe they are emperor. Narcissism is not a strong enough word for this socialist dog and pony show.

            Nadine, if you really want to understand something, then understand this. All bureaucracies are categorically immoral. Bureaucracies are categorically immoral because human nature will invariably corrupt them from within.

            We all can begin right there, fixing what ails the world. No more bureaucracies are needed. We need far fewer bureaucracies, if any at all.

          • Bev


            A public/government Debt-Free, Interest-Free money spent into the economy on jobs for needed infrastructure. We as a nation have done this six times in the past with the help of brave politicians like Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy. This is tried and true. We need to support and protect our brave politicians who do this for the common good for our people, businesses, nation and world.


            and accessible speaker at this year’s American Monetary Institute Annual Conference
            Joe Bongiovanni at

          • Bev

            Thanks for adding the above picture of Joe Bongiovanni even though you have to click twice on the picture to bring up the youtube video of his talk. The pointer/arrow is a plus sign that then when double clicked becomes the video. The same holds true of the picture provided in comments above about Joe and the American Monetary Institute.

            I need to learn how to do these computer things better.

      • wunsacon

        Carl, does GW have a policy for banning trolls? IMHO, Tonto’s posts are a waste of time.

  • Charlie Primero

    Greenbackers are so clueless.

    • Carl_Herman

      You either have no interest in addressing the topic, or hope to distract the public.

      We all notice.

      Better choose your future carefully, pal; you’ll have what you work for.

      • Bev

        I love that you quote Dennis Kucinich to show proof that money becomes debt-free. But, Dennis Kucinich does not advocate state banks. He along with The American Monetary Institute advocates a true Debt-Free money provided by the following means:

        Historical experience has taught us what we need to do:

        1. Put the Federal Reserve System into the U.S. Treasury.

        2. Stop the banking system creating any part of the money supply.

        3. Create new money as needed by spending it on public infrastructure, including human infrastructure, e.g. education and health care.

        These 3 elements must all be done together, and are all in draft legislative form as the proposed American Monetary Act

        The correct action is for Congress to fulfil its constitutional responsibilities to furnish the nation with its money by making the American Monetary Act law.

        The correct action for the States is to insist on this Federal action! Genuine monetary reform is the solution to the nation’s fiscal problems, and that can only be achieved at the national level.

        above and the following from:

        Why Promoting States to do Banking is a Distraction and Diversion


        Review of Ellen Brown’s “The Web of Debt”
        by AMI


        Brown’s shifting definitions of the problem – fractional reserves – and then a retreat away from a solution

        The title of the book correctly suggests debt is a trap. Brown provides an
        adequate explanation of how the debt trap is set in this passage
        highlighting the essentially fraudulent nature of present banking

        “When you lend someone your own money, your assets go down by the amount that
        the borrower’s assets go up. But when a bank lends you money, its
        assets go up. Its liabilities also go up, since its deposits are counted
        as liabilities; but the money isn’t really there. It is simply a
        liability – something that is owed back to the depositor. The bank turns
        your promise to pay into an asset and a liability at the same time,
        balancing its books without actually transferring any pre-existing money
        to you.

        The spiraling debt trap that has subjected financially-strapped people to
        usurious interest charges for the use of something the lenders never had
        to lend is a fraud on the borrowers.” [p. 284*]

        Brown is clearly saying here it is banks lending “the use of something the
        lenders never had to lend” which “is a fraud” because people are made to
        think they’re borrowing money that’s there to be lent.

        Surprisingly then, Brown ends up wanting to enshrine this “fraud” by inserting it
        into the U.S. Constitution. Furthermore, Brown would enthrone the
        biggest Wall Street banks inside the U.S. Government to continue
        perpetrating it on the people.

        Let’s track how Brown reaches her ‘conclusion’ proposing to protect the
        system that contains what she calls a “fraud” – the debt-based money
        system (also called a ‘debt-money’ or ‘credit-money’ system).

        Earlier on, Brown admits the debt-based money system is unsustainable and can’t go on:

        “We have reached the end of the line on the debt-money train and will have
        to consider some sort of paradigm shift if the economy is to
        survive.” [p. 199]

        Readers might expect from this statement that Brown would conclude by proposing
        something to get us out of this dead-end system and into one that’s
        more just and sustainable. Instead Brown proposes to keep the same
        system in place and entrench it, rather than reform it. This is the
        opposite of a solution.

        And this is despite Brown showing us she knows roughly what’s needed to get
        us out with this passage questioning the unjustifiable money-creating
        privilege presently usurped by the banking system:

        “Wouldn’t it be cheaper and safer to give the power to create dollars to Congress
        itself, with full accountability and full disclosure to the public?
        … It could just create the money in full view in an accountable
        way. The power to create money is given to Congress in the
        Constitution. … the cheapest and most honest way to do it is by
        creating the money directly and then spending it on projects that
        ‘promote the general welfare.’” [p. 388/9]

        These suggestions are close to what all serious monetary reformers advocate.
        But instead of pursuing them any further, Brown almost immediately
        begins to retreat from this real reform.

        Brown’s incredible U-turn

        Finally, after hundreds of pages telling us how bad the debt-money system is,
        Brown turns around and starts ‘justifying’ the present unsustainable
        (and unjust) debt-based money system, telling us fractional reserve

        “… would be sorely missed if banks could no longer engage in it.” [p. 403]

        Brown completes her remarkable U-turn by rejecting what she’d just said is
        “the cheapest and most honest way” to create money in favor of keeping
        the system she earlier said had “reached the end of the line” and jumps
        to the ‘conclusion’ that we could somehow fix the problem by
        ‘nationalizing’ the banking business:

        “What is wrong with the current system is not that money is advanced as
        credit against the borrower’s promise to repay but that the interest
        on this advance accrues to private banks that gave up nothing of
        their own to earn it. This problem could be rectified by turning the
        extension of credit over to a system of truly national banks …
        authorized both to deal with deposits and to create credit-money with
        accounting entries, … as an agent of Congress.” [p. 404]

        Notice Brown has shifted her definition of the problem from the “fraud” itself
        to the interest on the “fraud”. She then asserts that taking interest
        on ‘loans’ of “nothing” would be okay if only “national” banks took it.
        In one paragraph, Brown redefines the problem and turns the “fraud” into
        her ‘solution’.

        But her flawed argument misses the point entirely: it turns our government
        into a banker, the ‘owner’ of our indebtedness, but does nothing to
        change the ill effects caused by a debt-based money system.

        Brown ends up keeping the problem in place

        Here’s what Brown suggests as the first priority of a proposed political manifesto:

        “The platform of a revamped Populist/Greenback/American Nationalist/Whig Party might include:

        1. A bill to update the Constitutional provision that ‘Congress shall have
        the power to coin money’ so that it reads, ‘Congress shall have the
        power to create the national currency in all its forms, including
        not only coins and paper dollars but the nation’s credit issued as
        commercial loans.’” [p. 459]

        But this is absolutely unnecessary; Congress already has the constitutional
        power to create (“coin”) and issue money in any form (as all sovereign
        national legislatures do). Brown makes numerous references to this fact
        throughout the book, so why propose this absolutely unnecessary
        Constitutional amendment?

        Notice Brown’s “update” seeks to insert the fraudulent practice of ‘lending’
        what the lender doesn’t have to lend into the U.S. Constitution. This
        would bestow the ultimate endorsement upon the ultimate “fraud”.

        And who would actually make these “commercial loans”? Brown suggests
        incorporating some of the biggest Wall Street banks like J.P. Morgan
        Chase (‘JPM’) and Citibank into the U.S. Government:

        “JPM and Citibank have many branches and an extensive credit card system. …
        If just these two banks were acquired by the government in
        receivership, they might be sufficient to service the depository,
        check clearing, and credit card needs of the citizenry.” [p. 422]

        Throughout most of the book Brown rails against these big Wall Street banks, but
        then she wants to put them officially inside our nation’s government.
        Who would gain from this?

        Brown’s plan to takeover (rescue?) the big banks to continue a “fraud” within
        the safety of government is totally wrong. Placing the “fraud” in
        government doesn’t make it right, but might make it harder to stop. Does
        Brown realize that her statements and conclusions are inconsistent, and
        that what she proposes leads to exactly the same things that she’s
        claiming to be opposed to?

        Experience shows that if the issue of money is unduly affected by commercial
        incentives, then, over time, “commercial loans” (i.e., debt) will
        dominate over more direct methods of issue. So we’d be kept in exactly
        the same position we’re in now: within a totally unnecessary,
        ever-growing and impossible-to-pay debt trap.

        Obviously the sensible action to take is to remove the “fraud” and debt and
        retain a healthy and competitive banking sector. This is easily done
        with a law based on the existing provisions in the U.S. Constitution.

        But Brown avoids this obvious solution and instead advocates that our government gets into banking.

        It seems incredible that Brown is now advocating what she’s described
        throughout most of the book as fraud, counterfeiting and Ponzi, pyramid
        or ‘smoke-and-mirrors’ schemes. Why? Perhaps the answer lies in Brown’s
        apparent confusion and/or fundamental misunderstandings about the nature
        of money and the role of government in society, and about monetary
        history and monetary reform.

        Brown’s confusion about the nature of money

        Brown’s sweeping coverage of monetary history is inadequate. For example, the
        various experiences of classical Greece and Rome are not covered in her
        broad brush strokes of monetary history, except for a brief extract from
        Aristotle’s profound understanding that money is essentially an
        abstract social and legal matter:

        “Money exists not by nature but by law. [It acts] as a measure [that] makes
        goods commensurate and equates them … There must then be a unit, and
        that fixed by agreement.” [p. 60]

        Unfortunately, in the very next paragraph, Brown corrupts this proper concept of money
        by confusing it with distinctly different and contradictory ideas:

        “[Money] is simply a ‘tally’, something representing units of value that can be
        traded in the market, a receipt for goods or services that can
        legally be tendered for other goods or services.” [p. 61]

        And later, at the incredible ‘turning-point’ in the book (the U-turn we noted in the section above):

        “[Money] is simply ‘credit’ – an advance against the borrower’s promise to
        repay. Credit originates with that promise, not with someone else’s
        deposit of something valuable in the bank.” [p. 403/4]

        By corrupting Aristotle’s definition of money in her conflicting
        descriptions of money, Brown has erased the concept of money from her
        book. Combining contradictory concepts of commodities, receipts and
        credits in the place of money is totally unacceptable in any book
        purporting to educate readers about money, because they’re the very same
        conceptual errors that allowed some businesses to become fraudulent

        Unfortunately (and perhaps surprisingly, given the title of the book), Brown settles
        on mis-defining money as (bank) ‘credit’: a promise to pay (money) in
        the future; a debt. By holding this view, Brown ironically attaches
        herself to an inescapable ‘web of debt’, because any money used to pay
        old debt incurs new debt.

        Brown’s fantasy view of a ‘promise-to-pay-money’ type of money is taken to
        absurd lengths when she suggests that a national monetary system would
        be able to operate on the basis of:

        “each person determining for himself how much ‘money’ he wanted to create …” [p. 412]

        While today we mainly use bank ‘credit’ for money, this is only because the
        law makes it acceptable for paying debts and taxes, and makes bank
        ‘loans’ legally enforceable. This goes to show that what constitutes
        money is determined by law, so it is entirely within our democratic
        power to make money be what we want it to be.

        Brown’s confusion about the role of government

        Of equal concern is Brown’s disregard for the proper function of
        government. Brown correctly states that providing the nation with its
        money supply is a sovereign duty which, under the U.S. Constitution, is
        vested with Congress. But she goes on to argue this means the U.S.
        Government has to run the banking business. This erroneous assertion is
        repeated and ‘supported’ with numerous misinterpretations of historical
        events. For example, Brown quotes the famous “Cross of Gold” speech by
        William Jennings Bryan:

        “…that the issue of money is a function of the government and that banks
        should go out of the governing business … [W]hen we have restored
        the money of the Constitution, all other necessary reforms will be
        possible … until that is done there is no reform that can be
        accomplished.” [p. 393]

        But then she misrepresents this quote, twisting it around in a way that suits her ‘conclusion’:

        Bryan said, banking is the government’s business, by Constitutional
        mandate. At least, that part of banking is the government’s business
        that involves creating new money.” [p. 394]

        did not say banking is the government’s business, he said issuing money
        is a function of government. There is no “Constitutional mandate”
        regarding banking, the Constitution doesn’t even mention banking.

        Brown makes the assumption that money-creation and banking
        automatically go together. But they don’t have to. The continuous
        failure of banking to produce good results clearly shows it’s a terrible
        way to provide the economy with money. We have to change this before
        things can get better.

        Brown’s plan to get the government to run a giant banking monopoly goes in exactly the opposite direction.

        Brown ignores the lessons of history

        The book ends by calling for a ‘Populist’ revival. Let’s look at what
        happened to the ‘Populist’ movements (and to William Jennings Bryan) in
        the mid-1890s.

        The populists’ calls for more government-issued debt-free money
        (‘Greenbacks’) had public support, but a new call to re-monetize silver
        (it was demonetized by law in 1873/74) split populists over which
        direction to take. Widely-circulated publications on the silver issue
        drew attention away from Greenbacks. The call for re-monetizing silver
        acted as a diversion. William Jennings Bryan was distracted from the
        Greenback issue by being obliged to pay attention to the silver
        diversion during his 1896 Presidential campaign (he lost).

        It’s important to note that the silver diversion didn’t seek actually to
        change the existing monetary system, which was in fact a debt-based
        money system, using the ‘gold-standard’ ruse as a ‘reserve base’.
        Whereas more debt-free ‘Greenbacks’ put into circulation would have
        alleviated the harsh conditions suffered by the people during the
        ‘debate’, as a severe long-run debt-deflation was financially ruining
        farms and businesses.

        One lesson that can be learned from this history: avoid diversions.

        Brown’s disappointing methodology

        While Brown makes some good points very well, these are blighted with a
        variety of sensational claims and the usual ‘conspiracy theories’ and
        ‘urban myths’ (which Brown often sourced from websites trying to scare
        people into buying gold). As well as the repeated confusion and blending
        of different ideas (as discussed above), another annoying pattern is
        the putting together of historical and contemporary figures and other
        authors with differing views (even in the same sentence) as if they’re
        ‘on the same page’, when they’re not. This may give a very misleading
        impression to readers who are unaware of these factors.

        Brown acknowledges she had a lot of help with this book, so maybe the
        unfortunate mistakes in this book are a case of her trying to please
        everyone, by attempting to show a ‘balance’ between their differing
        views. Also, judging from many of the sources used, it may be that some
        questionable or very “controversial” influences ‘rubbed-off’ during her
        research, and so became ‘infused’ into the narrative. One example –
        there are over 50 citations of sources associated with the Lyndon
        LaRouche ‘network’ infused throughout the book (see the list below**).
        Brown writes: “Lyndon LaRouche, a controversial political figure who has
        inspired a devoted following and a large body of research.” [p. 193]

        No matter what the reason (nobody’s a mind-reader), the result is the book
        reads much like an exercise in ‘arguing in the alternative’: arguing
        all sides of a question and allowing all but one to be conceded (a
        tactic lawyers use to get juries to arrive at the verdict prescribed, by
        heading-off alternative avenues of thought and so, alternative

        It would be neglectful not also to mention some general points about the
        style of writing in this book. On first reading, the initial impression
        of the book is good. It’s only when it is carefully re-read, and sources
        and facts are checked, that inconsistencies are detected and serious
        questions arise. But not many people would do this background work or be
        aware of the actual monetary facts.

        Brown’s disappointing conclusion

        In summary, the book is very disappointing (from a monetary reform
        perspective) because Brown’s conclusion proposes a non-solution: to keep
        the unsupportable debt-based fractional reserve system in place and
        consolidate it by embedding the fraudulent ‘debt-money’ accounting
        mechanism within the apparatus of government.

        That’s not effective reform and certainly not a “paradigm shift”. Instead,
        Brown proposes to entrench the very same system she’s been “shocking” us
        with. This is not “how we can break free” – it’s the same trap.

        This is the same pattern that we observe so many times in numerous
        publications on monetary matters: identifying the problems (effects)
        reasonably accurately, but not identifying the cause accurately, and so
        not offering a permanent solution that prevents the problems from
        continuing or recurring.

        Brown fails to recognize it makes absolutely no difference who runs a faulty
        system: if the system is faulty, then the same undesirable results will
        keep on happening. All serious monetary reformers should know this.

        In addition, her calls for unnecessary Constitutional changes and
        Government takeovers of banks could act as ‘poison pills’ to any reform.
        This raises questions about the validity of her proposals.

        Our historic opportunity

        We now have an historic opportunity for real reform in this latest
        ‘recession’ because the deficiencies in the debt-money system are
        painfully obvious to millions. We know how similar opportunities were
        missed by previous generations. Now we have the benefit of hindsight we
        can avoid making the same mistakes again.

        Brown is undoubtedly a very skilled professional writer (having written a
        number of books on alternative health remedies and diets), and she’s
        done a very useful job raising awareness about the way the banking
        system presently controls our money supply, but while this is an
        important first step, there’s little point taking it without having a
        solution that fundamentally addresses the systemic problems.
        Unfortunately, this book doesn’t live up to its promises because it’s
        conclusion still leaves us all stuck in a web of debt. Breaking free
        from that web requires more than merely changing spiders – we have to
        break the web.

        It’s sincerely hoped that Brown will realize it’s impossible to solve a
        problem by doing things the same way, and that she wouldn’t want to see a
        repeat of the ‘silver diversion’ of the 1890s. Hopefully she will put
        her skills to good use and make helpful contributions towards real
        monetary reform for all of our futures.

        Just imagine the world we would have today if America had freed herself from
        a debt-based money system in the 1890s. There’s no (good) reason why we
        should deny that world to future generations.

        Human progress is poised at a crossroads right now. We really can’t afford to go the wrong way again.

        For disclosure purposes, I have met Ellen Hodgson Brown on several
        occasions, and I like to think she has good intentions. However, I
        strongly disagree with the approach taken and the conclusions drawn in
        this book, and articles arising from it, because they do not change the
        system that has wreaked so much havoc. I have tried on several occasions
        to convey to the author that doing things the same way won’t change
        anything, but I have had no satisfactory response. Hence I felt
        duty-bound to do this review to raise these concerns for anyone to read.

        * All page references [in square brackets] relate to the Second edition
        (revised and updated February 2008); all quoted text in italics is the
        author’s emphasis. These are accurately quoted but may have been changed
        in later editions.

        The Lyndon LaRouche Influence on Brown

        The citations from the following writers in outlets (in order of first
        appearance in the book) known to be associated with the Lyndon LaRouche
        ‘network’ appear on the following pages:

        Anton Chaitkin; American Almanac (1977, 1997); pp. 8, 87, 224-25.

        John Ascher; Schiller Institute (website) (2001); pp. 19, 112.

        Marcia Merry-Baker, et al. (et al. uncredited); American Almanac (1995); pp. 19, 112.

        Lyndon LaRouche; Economics: The End of a Delusion (2002); pp. 50 (x2), 151, 415.

        Anton Chaitkin; Fidelio Magazine (spring 1998); p. 54.

        Anton Chaitkin; Executive Intelligence Review (1986); p. 84.

        Marcia Baker; Executive Intelligence Review (2007); p. 152.

        Christine Craig; Executive Intelligence Review (2007); p. 152.

        Lonnie Wolfe; American Almanac (1999); p. 160.

        Richard Freeman; Executive Intelligence Review (2007, 2002); pp. 192, 290-91, 295-98, 322-23.

        Christopher White; American Almanac (1993); pp. 192 (x2), 301.

        John Hoefle; EIR Talks (1998); pp. 193, 302.

        Christopher White; The New Federalist (1994); pp. 195, 196.

        John Hoefle; Executive Intelligence Review (2005, 2002); pp. 197, 325-26, 422-23.

        William Engdahl; Current Concerns (2003); p. 206. †

        William Engdahl; A Century of War (1993); pp. 207-08, 209-10, 215-16, 217, 240, 241, 242, 251, 252, 266, 414. ‡

        William Engdahl; Energy Bulletin (2006); p. 213. †

        Rachel Douglas, et al. (et al. uncredited); Executive Intelligence Review (1992); pp. 224, 225-26.

        Dennis Small; Executive Intelligence Review (2002, 2003); pp. 244, 246.

        Cynthia Rush; Executive Intelligence Review (2005); p. 246.

        Kathy Wolfe; Executive Intelligence Review (1992); pp. 249, 250.

        Michael Billington; Executive Intelligence Review (1992); pp. 257-58.

        Jeffrey Steinberg; EIR White Paper (Seminar in Berlin) (2006); p. 281.

        Lothar Komp; Executive Intelligence Review (2005); pp. 304-05, 305, 371-72.

        uncredited; Executive Intelligence Review (2004); p. 325.

        Lyndon LaRouche; Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee (website) (2005); p. 446.

        Lyndon LaRouche; Schiller Institute (website) (2000); p. 446 (x2).

        There may be more citations from other writers/outlets not identified as associated with this network.

        † Engdahl wrote these articles some years after withdrawing from the LaRouche network.

        ‡ Engdahl was a leading figure in the LaRouche network for many years and
        this book was first published within 12 months of his withdrawal from
        the network.

        This review was edited-down from an analysis three times this size, which
        will eventually be made available to serious researchers. Many thanks to
        Tadit Anderson and Thomas Gregory for their help with this process.

        • Carl_Herman

          Bev: as I’ve argued with AMI founder Stephen Zarlenga for years, why not turn citizens and the literal thousands of state legislators loose with the existing power of at-cost credit? And tens of thousands at county and city levels?

          For example, if Californians knew the Bay Bridge project costs $7 billion and an additional $7 billion in interest, would they take the perhaps easier first step to demand no interest cost through a state bank?

          Do you think that the public is too stupid to help themselves to debt-free money once they take the step available at a local level???

          And really, are you soooo confident that both tools won’t be helpful: having debt-free money and the capacity to withdraw money at a later date by creating it as credit?

          I say educate the public with what we have, and use it while we also add the tool of debt-free money.

          Do what you see as best: I trust the public to act when they are informed.

          • Bev

            Your at-cost credit is DEBT which has to be paid back. A public/government debt-free, interest-free money does not have to be paid back to create that same Bay Bridge…the bridge itself is the paid in full infrastructure that balances the accounting book entry of money that is not debt.

            However, as to your other point, both at the same time, or one that then is followed/incorporated by the other:


            “When its complete, even the state banks will have to switch over to a full-reserve based lending system. But no problem there.”



            joebhed from



            January 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm


            Great that you’re talking about monetary alternatives – something outside the normal financialist’s scope of discussion.

            The best thing that can come of a well-thought out state banking
            proposal is the education of the state populous regarding things
            monetary and how the monetary powers are set up, and the potential for
            state benefits.

            The worst thing about any move to direct state banking is IF it
            removes from the same state population the proper understanding of the
            need for and potential for federal banking and monetary reform.

            Dennis Kucinich’s Bill, H.R. 6550, the National Emergency Employment
            Defense (NEED) Act of 2010, provides the superior fix to that almost
            un-fixable of our national financial systems, the private, debt-based
            money system of money creation using bank-credits and consumer-debts,
            known as fractional reserve banking.

            The Kucinich Bill – available here –


            puts an end to the entire private fractional reserve 
banking system,
            replacing it with one of government-issue of the nation’s circulating
            media, without issuing any debt.

            When its complete, even the state banks will have to switch over to a full-reserve based lending system. But no problem there.

            more from The American Monetary Institute advocate Joe Bongiovanni and his Economic Stability:



            who also advocates further reading of Nobel Frederick Soddy:


          • Bev

            Needed to add more information:


            The American Monetary Institute is pleased to announce its
            9th Annual AMI Monetary Reform Conference
            September 19-22, 2013, at University Center, Chicago
            Register by phone at (224) 805-2200

            The American Monetary Institute proudly announces its 9th annual Monetary Reform Conference in Chicago. Our conferences launched the modern grass roots movement for U.S. monetary reform and thereby World reform. You are invited to attend this important meeting in beautiful downtown Chicago. Our money system clearly needs a serious overhaul to secure economic justice, peace and prosperity as we enter the third millennium. True reform, not mere regulation, is necessary to move humanity away from a World dominated by fraud, warfare and ugliness and toward a world of justice and beauty. You can avoid discouragement and join with us in this adventure to achieve positive money results for America and the world.

            Don’t be discouraged because the villians who created the present crisis, have manipulated governments to bail them out. The media, which has made such “errors” possible, and the economic theories behind banker activities already stand accused in the public mind.

            Main Themes of the Conference: Implementing Monetary Reform now!

            The Monetary Reforms

            The main focus of the conference will be for researchers to describe and make the case for the kind of monetary reforms advocated, presenting both the logical and historical basis for them, and the mechanics of implementing them. Extensive question and answer periods and panel discussions can air doubts or concerns regarding the desirability of the reforms and suggest refinements. Included will be discussions of research and thinking methodology.

            Achieving the Reforms – What we can do now

            Selected political, social and monetary activists will give the benefit of their experience in educating, raising public awareness, organizing and motivating people and governmental bodies to influence public policy decisions.

            Using the Reforms

            Presentations on how a properly reconstituted money power within government will be effectively used to “promote the general welfare”. These will focus on Infrastructure Programs particularly how to pay for the $2.2 trillion the American Society of Civil Engineers tells us is needed to maintain our infrastructure over the next 5 years, through monetary reform. Understand that we include the “human infrastructure” of Health Care and Education within infrastructure! With proper monetary reform all these things become possible, including education and health, upgrading America’s crumbling infrastructure, towards futuristic energy efficient, eco-friendly designs well within the reach of today’s technology and economy. We can create hospitable, clean, cities of the future using 21st century solutions.


            Schedule and Speakers


            Dear Friends of the American Monetary Institute,

            The 9th Annual AMI Monetary Reform Conference (Sept. 19-22, 2013) is taking shape as our most important and grandest conference ever. A constellation of monetary reform superstars who are presently involved in guiding monetary reform around the world, have already agreed to participate (listed below). These people are committed and presently on the front lines to achieve real monetary reform. They will also participate in several panels.

            Just a few additional speakers will be listed as they confirm. Speakers will have as much time as they want for presentations and question periods.

            The banking disaster, created and perpetuated by false people and false economic and monetary ideas, now pose a clear and present danger to the survival of the species. History demonstrates they don’t learn from their mistakes. Therefore, we must transform the disaster they created into an opportunity to achieve real and lasting reforms for humanity.

            Regular working people understand that only a moral approach can lead to a future worthy of humanity. They are way ahead of our leadership – at all levels – which ignores such moral considerations, and relies on media dominance to literally get away with murder. In order for the financial crisis to have occurred, thousands of financiers had to break our nation’s serious laws. Yet not one of them has been charged for their crimes.

            To those who consider themselves reformers, yet still support the falsehood of using debt in place of money, whether issued by private banks or by state owned banks doing the same thing, and dumping more debt onto our economy, we say “Stop doing destructive nonsense – Learn to do good!”

            There is no excuse to miss this opportunity to reform an obviously flawed monetary system, that is causing immense misery among a growing section of our people.

            Warm regards,
            Stephen Zarlenga
            Director, AMI

            We proudly announce our confirmed speakers:

            Prof. Joseph Huber addresses
            Modern Money – Interest-bearing Credit or Debt-free Currency?
            Prof. Joseph Huber of Martin-Luther University of Hall-Wittenberg, Germany’s most important monetary reformer. Founder of, Berlin, a monetary reform initiative. In the ’90s he developed a new currency-school approach to overcome fractional reserve banking. Prof. Huber has been working with James Robertson on UK and European monetary reform since 1999, on behalf of the New Economics Foundation, London (report Creating New Money).
            His talk, Modern Money – Interest-bearing Credit or Debt-free Currency?, starts from certain assumptions of Modern Money Theory, and the views on money, credit, and debt and MMT’s belittlement of the dysfunctions of the present mixed-money system on a basis of fractional reserve. He compares this against the analyses given by contemporary monetary reformers who actually stand for a transition from banks’ credit-created money to debt-free sovereign money.

            Dr. Michael Kumhof speaks on
            A Modern Evaluation of the “Chicago Plan”
            Dr. Michael Kumhof is the Deputy Division Chief , of the modeling Division, of the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund.
            He will again present the important results of his “modelling” of the Chicago Plan proposal of the 1930s, when applied to the modern U.S. financial system (data through 2006).
            Dr. Kumhof’s IMF Working Paper “The Chicago Plan Revisited” has swept through the World’s economic community, including at two presentations at the Bank of England, and numerous conferences in America and Europe.
            The Chicago Plan was designed and promoted by our best economists in the 1930s (Henry Simons, Irving Fisher, Douglas, et al), to get our nation out of the Great Depression. The Chicago Plan is the precursor and model of both the American Monetary Act, and Congressman Kucinich’s “NEED Act” (National Emergency Employment Defense Act), from the 112th Congress, “HR 2990.”

            Prof. Kaoru Yamaguchi will travel from Japan to present his continuing
            Economic Modelling of the American Monetary Act
            Professor Kaoru Yamaguchi has continued to refine his highly advanced modelling system to project how HR 2990 will achieve monetary reform. He concluded it will: pay off the US national debt as it comes due; provide the funding for infrastructure, which solves the unemployment problem; and does these things without inflation!
            Professor Yamaguchi has headed the System Dynamics Group of the Doshisha Business School at Doshisha University in Kyoto Japan. He presented his macroeconomic model on the to a plenary session of the System Dynamics International Conference in Seoul (2010), being attended by more than 300 researchers. It was so well received that on July 26th, the same International Conference asked him to speak on this matter again, at their meeting in Washington, DC.
            Prof. Yamaguchi made a well received briefing to a packed room at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington DC, to congressional aides. This year he presents his updated study of the American Monetary Act, which also revisits the 1930s Chicago Plan.

            Dr. Steve Keen is coming from Australia to discuss
            How Central Banks and Banking Systems Really Work
            Top Australian monetary economist Steve Keen who won the inaugural (Paul) Revere Award for giving an early warning (2005) of the debt-deflation collapse. He has built a growing reputation as a rare deep thinker on how monetary systems really work, not just how the central banks have said they work. Thus his blog has over 50,000 followers. Keen is a must-see analyst for theorists and investors involved in markets of all types, including the bond markets.
            Keen has served as Associate Professor, School of Economics & Finance, University of Western Sydney, Australia. In December 2005, drawing on his 1995 theoretical paper, and convinced that a financial crisis was fast approaching, Keen went high-profile public with his analysis and predictions. He registered the webpage dedicated to analyzing the “global debt bubble”, which soon attracted a large international audience.
            In December 2012, Dr. Keen delivered a Congressional Briefing to
            Congressmen and aides in Washington DC, sponsored by Congressman
            Dennis Kucinich; which warned of the dangers of a “sequestration.”

            Prof. Richard Werner will discuss
            Challenges involved in getting European monetary authorities to forget Austerity.
            Professor Richard Werner has emerged as the central figure advising monetary authorities of the European money system to cease their destructive austerity programs.
            He is Chair of International Banking and founding Director of the Centre for Banking, Finance, and Sustainable Development at the University of Southampton. His book Princes of the Yen became a no. 1 bestseller in Japan. His 2005 book New Paradigm in Macroeconomics (Palgrave Macmillan) correctly predicted the collapse of the UK banking system and property market and suggested workable solutions. Areas of research include banking, monetary economics, the global financial crisis: causes, consequences and solutions; determinants of real estate prices in the UK and Japan; and monetary policy implementation in China. This talk presents a rare opportunity to understand the decision making process in the European Monetary Union.

            Prof. Nicolaus Tideman will speak on

            Forms of Monetary Reform
            Professor Tideman received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where he studied under Milton Friedman and others. He taught at Harvard and served as Staff Economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisors at the White House, before moving to Virginia Tech in 1973, where he has been Professor of Economics since 1985. While his research has focused primarily on urban economics, public finance, voting rules and social justice, in 1975 he collaborated with Nobel Laureate James Buchanan in
            writing on “Gold, Money and the Law.”
            Nic is a senior advisor to the American Monetary Institute. His recent work, which became apparent at the AMI Cooper Union Monetary Reform Event, in May, is establishing Nic as among the foremost professors of Economics discussing monetary reform. This talk will show why.

            Stephen Zarlenga presents
            AMI’s Purpose, Objectives and Methodology
            Director and co-founder of the American Monetary Institute in 1996; author of The Lost Science of Money book; and the Refutation of Menger’s Theory of the Origin of Money; a Critique of A. M. Innes substituting debt in place of money, and Greening the Dollar, plus various articles and speeches; presents the background; objectives; methodology of the AMI and the Conference agenda and goals. His introduction will include an overview of what the AMI has accomplished since its founding in 1996, how we worked with Congressman Dennis Kucinich to get HR 2990 introduced, and our challenges and plans for the future.
            Later in the program he will present a discussion of the minimal
            elements necessary to achieve lasting monetary reform.

            Jamie Walton speaks on
            The Requirements for Monetary Reform – Which elements are necessary, and why
            Jamie Walton, worked the last two years in Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s office, helping put the HR 2990 bill together, will describe how its various elements would work. The three elements of this single reform are:

            * Incorporation of the Federal Reserve into the U.S. Treasury;

            * Changes in lending accounting rules so that banks no longer create any part of the money supply;

            * New money needed in a developing society is introduced by government spending money into circulation on things like infrastructure, starting with the $3.6 trillion our engineers (ASCE) tell us is needed by 2020. Also included will be the “human infrastructure” of education and health care.

            Jamie’s presentation includes the accounting changes to be placed on
            bank accounting methodology, and shows how all of them are already a
            part of our legal system and framework.
            Jamie is an experienced civil engineer, and a senior AMI Researcher.

            Robert Poteat speaks on
            How A Debt Based Money System Drives Warfare, and then Warfare Drives Debt
            Robert Poteat is one of America’s most knowledgeable, reality based experts on our money system. A long term and meticulous monetary researcher, certainly among the top half dozen in America in awareness of monetary systems, and the leader of AMI’s Northwest Chapters. Money has ceased to be a just means of exchange, if it ever was, and has become, or still is, a means of power and control.
            Three hundred eighteen years (Bank of England, 1694) of private monetization of government debt as a monetary base has brought the world to an unsustainable level of intellectual corruption, inequity, injustice, plunder, violence, pollution, and warfare. It is long past time to reform it Bob discusses why the American Monetary Act is needed in order to help resolve the greatest crises we now face.
            Bob is a senior advisor to the American Montary Institute, and a recipient of the AMI Lifetime Achievement Award.

            Greg Coleridge speaks on a theme to be announced
            Greg is Director of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee (Quakers). He is on the National Steering Committee of the Move to Amend / Campaign to Legalize Democracy Program on Corporations, Law
            & Democracy (POCLAD) national collective.

            Mark Pash speaks on a theme to be announced
            Mark Pash is a Certified Financial Planner; Bachelors and Masters in Business Administration, from UCLA and USC respectively; served as an officer in the US Army Quartermaster Corp. For 40 years he has helped clients in all areas of financial planning, founding several financial organizations. Managing Director of NPB Financial Group LLC; served as an officer of various industry associations. His unique background brings together the practical and theoretical. Mark has been active in politics and was once a Congressional candidate. He has politically advocated monetary reform for almost twenty years.

            Steven Walsh, AMI researcher, will speak on a theme to be announced
            Last year, Steven Walsh, Long time Chicago educator discussed in detail how the Chicago Teachers Union, one of the most powerful in the City (20,000 strong), learned of and then came to support Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s HR 2990, focusing on the detailed steps he took to help this come about.

            Joe Bongiovanni will speak on a theme to be announced
            Joe Bongiovanni is one of the most prolific and accurate Internet bloggers on monetary themes and monetary reform.

        • 2cents