Last night I watched Bill Still's newest film "Jekyll Island." For those who've seen "The Money Masters," and especially the more recent "The Secret of OZ" (2009), they won't find too much new here, although a lot has happened in the last 4 years, and Still takes us all the way into early 2013. The overall point though is that the Money Masters have been controlling the money supply, creating booms and busts deliberately, for hundreds of years. This goes beyond Georgist theory which says the Land Cycle is ultimately the cause of booms and busts - unfortunately I've been unable to persuade Still in my few discussions with him that there is a Land Cycle underlying the "Business Cycle" though both of us recognize the latter is a false explanation. But in this movie, Still has presented good evidence that at least some busts like the 1871 and 1891 depressions, were deliberately induced as a way for the banking elites to gain both control of the money supply, and to possess hard assets like housing, and that this kind of action goes back to the Rothschilds, who bet correctly against France during the Napoleonic wars (also successfully countering Napoleon's attempt to essentially create a Public Central Bank, independent of the Rothschilds). This changes the conclusion from the inevitable Land Cycle (Henry George, Mason Gaffney, Homer Hoyt, etc.), to the inevitable Conspiracy Cycle of the banking elites, but I am still unconvinced at least some, or even most, of the booms and busts were not caused by money power ignorance of the Land Cycle and greed over-riding common sense. As many of the experts in the movie attest, the average economist, with his obfuscating charts and theories, often knows less about what actually goes on than the man on the street. Furthermore, why push your firm to the edge of bankruptcy, and sometimes over it (Lehman Brothers, AIG, Countrywide Financial), when you are so smart you can avoid it? So then, who are the experts who saw it coming, again and again? The Rothschilds and Rockefellers, perhaps, but this narrow band of profiteering rascals is not quite enough evidence to construct a theory of a continuous worldwide historical conspiracy.
Still shows that dreams of international monetary systems, including the failing Euro - which Monetary Reformer Stephen Zarlenga backed and which he has yet to apologize for, or explain the current failure of - would lead to further nightmares, making it even harder to achieve monetary sovereignty and escape the clutches of the trans-national banking elites. This is the clear lesson from the Euro experiment, now unraveling.
I do wish Still had delved into Lincoln's assassination more, finding the connection to bankers backing John Wilkes Booth and his dozen or so co-conspirators, documented in Gerry McGeer's book, " The Conquest of Poverty " but he DID tie the attempt on president Andrew Jackson's life, after he closed the Second National Bank of the U.S., to the banking elites. Still also documents their support of bank-friendly William McKinley against populist William Jennings Bryan who wanted to end the dearth of money by bringing back the bank-squashed silver certificate (Kennedy would fare even worse in the effort to re-institute Silver Certificates , with many people believing this effort was behind his assassination in 1963, possibly including his then-hysterical V.P. Lyndon Johnson).
I do take issue with Still's poorly defined explanation of fractional reserve banking. Although he traces the history of it well - beginning from the goldsmith's issuance of 10X the value of their gold holdings because they realized that only 1/10th of the people holding gold in their vaults ever came to collect their gold at any one time (this led to the more modern 10% fractional reserve requirement, nevertheless now obsolete) and ending with the 2008 crisis where leverage of 50X or even 300X occurred - he fails to deal with the large number of banks, including the State Bank of North Dakota (BND), who never loan out even as much as they have on deposit (though the actual funds are not from the same source here either). If all banks loaned just the same amount they had on deposit, or actually less in the case of regular banks like the BND and its partner small banks, which typically have loan to asset ratios of 75%, or less, we would have had a manageable crisis. It was the massive leveragers like Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers (40:1) and AIG (with counterparty Goldman betting at up to 300:1 leverage), which caused the panic and near collapse. Still could have made this important distinction, but didn't, thereby letting all banks be tarred with the same brush and losing an opportunity to link forces with the growing public banking movement (in the 2012 election, Bill Still ran for president on the Libertarian ticket and asked Public Banking Institute founder Ellen Brown to be his V.P. running mate).
However, as Still's experts point out, it is to the elites' advantage to make us think the system is so horrendously complex that mere mortals cannot hope to understand it, and must, therefore, trust the experts. More modern layers like Put Options and other forms of morally hazardous insurance may indeed be too complicated to understand, by anyone, but the concept of charging unsustainable interest on money issued by wealthy monopoly elites is not. Government borrowing, as Still shows, is both unnecessary and injurious to the Republic. Government is not over-printing money, it is over-borrowing it. This is the first time, I believe, that Still has identified in his movies that taxes are unnecessary, as Greenbacking - the act of government producing debt-free money - could simply fund all its needs, with inflationary over-production being handled by taxes - the Modern Monetary Theory position as well as Positive Money's.
So, what both videos show is that the banking elites at the FRB are getting desperate, relying more and more on obscure leveraging tools to hide the fact that there is little backing the full faith and credit of the U.S. now that our productive capacity has been off-shored, or at least become far to little to support the inflated financial edifice of the derivatives mother-of-all-bubbles. Solution: more derivatives! This madness can only end one of two ways - either with a spectacular crash unlike anything the world has ever seen, where virtually the entire banking establishment collapses and money disappears (this nearly happened in Jackson's time as well as during the Greenback reduction era, post Lincoln), OR with the creation of alternative money systems, most especially sovereign money produced by government.
Unlike in the past, the traditional approach to simply invading other lands and stealing their resources - and having the loser's debts absorbed, often along with the country, into the victor's country - won't work much longer. Now, everyone is in debt, unless they have a public central bank like China or India etc., and America is the leading debtor nation. No amount of invasion of Libya/Iraq/Afghanistan and possibly upcoming Syria and Iran, etc. will change that, because they are not the source of the problem, though bankers DO love such militarism, going back to the Rothschilds.
Since government is institutionally captive to the banking elites, only a popular revolt against this system will bring about the needed change - IF people are not so disenfranchised and marginalized by the non-choices offered up by the elites that they cannot effectively demand change. That is certainly the case today, but there are cracks, as these recent movies and videos show. Are they enough? I don't know. Stay tuned.