Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ellen Brown Calls for National Debt Cancellation

Excellent article published yesterday by Ellen Brown, detailing the positive side of national debt cancellation. The banking class everywhere at all times attempts to load the commoners with heavy debt burdens. The commoners are starting to wake up.

Jubilee means freedom from exploitation!

Europe's small, debt-strapped countries could follow the lead of Argentina and simply walk away from their debts. That would shift the burden to the creditor countries, which could solve the problem merely by a change in accounting rules.

Local Currency for Local Development

Issuing and lending currency is the sovereign right of governments, and it is a right that Iceland and Latvia will lose if they join the EU, which forbids member nations to borrow from their own central banks. Latvia and Iceland both have natural resources that could be developed if they had the credit to do it; and with sovereign control over their local currencies, they could get that credit simply by creating it on the books of their own publicly-owned banks.

In fact, there is nothing extraordinary in that proposal. All private banks get the credit they lend simply by creating it on their books. Contrary to popular belief, banks do not lend their own money or their depositors' money. As the US Federal Reserve attests, banks lend new money, created by double-entry bookkeeping as a deposit of the borrower on one side of the bank's books and as an asset of the bank on the other.

Besides thawing frozen credit pipes, credit created by governments has the advantage that it can be issued interest-free. Eliminating the cost of interest can cut production costs dramatically.

According to a German study, interest composes 30 percent to 50 percent of everything we buy. Slashing interest costs can make projects such as low-cost housing, alternative energy development, and infrastructure construction not only sustainable but profitable for the government, while at the same time creating much-needed jobs.

Government-issued money to fund public projects has a long and successful history, going back at least to the early 18th century, when the American colony of Pennsylvania issued money that was both lent and spent by the local government into the economy. The result was an unprecedented period of prosperity, achieved without producing price inflation and without taxing the people.

The key is to use the newly-created money or credit for productive projects that increase goods and services, rather than for speculation or to pay off national debt in foreign currencies (the trap that Zimbabwe fell into). The national currency can be protected from speculators by imposing exchange controls, as Malaysia did in 1998; imposing capital controls, as Brazil and Taiwan are doing now; banning derivatives; and imposing a "Tobin tax," a small tax on trade in financial products.

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