Home: Money, Banking and The Federal Reserve Pt 7

banking expert witnessAfter the Mexican government inflated and devalued the peso in 1995, the Mexican economy went into a tale’s debt.  Alan Greenspan lobbied Congress and the Clinton administration for a 52-billion dollar bailout  but it turned out the Fed’s member banks held as much as 26 billion dollars in Mexican debt.  With no choice in the matter, American taxpayers and savers paid the bill.  “Congressman Gonzales, from my experience is pretty naïve and they don’t understand that if you don’t have to like the Chairman of the Banking Committee is aware of this and goes along with it and they continue to perpetuate this myth that the federal reserves brings about stability and they can do good things for the  economic growth even though they are the culprits.  They are the ones who caused all the problems.  They are the ones who caused the recession, the unemployment and the downsizing of all these business and all of that other facts that we have to witness but their PR jobs are excellent because they have convinced most congressmen that they are very necessary to maintain stability of economic growth and all these wonderful things that they claim credit for.”

It is clear that the United States cannot rely on Alan Greenspan or any other Fed chairman to fight the chronic inflation that has wrecked our savings, distorted our economy, redistributed income and wealth and brought us to devastating booms and busts.  Despite the established view, Greenspan, the Fed  and big commercial bankers are not the inflation fighters they pretend to be.  The Fed and its allied banks  are not part of the solution to inflation in the business cycle but they are the problem itself.

To limit chronic inflation and booms busts the business cycles,   the currency must be backed 100% by gold.  That would remove the Fed’s ability to print money which amounts to no more than legalizing counterfeiting.  Instead, there would be a monetary system where gold serves to anchor the dollar rather than the fiat reserves created by the Fed.  “If were to establish a real gold standard, the average American family would benefit tremendously.  First of all there will be more jobs, better jobs, more secured jobs, more business opportunities, no more business cycles, no more recession and depressions, people’s savings will be secured, you wouldn’t have to worry if you put a money for your old age because its value would be stolen by the Central Bank and by the central government as they are today.”

Under a 100% gold standard, there will be no place for fractional reserve banking.  For checking accounts and other demand deposits, the banks would keep reserves on hand to meet depositor’s claims.  Banks would receive a fee from their customers for keeping their gold.  In loan banking, investors would hand over their money for a fixed period of time to urn interests.  Once the gold standard is in place, individual bank depositors would always have access to their money and investors would be kept informed of their balance sheet.  And at a national level, a tight rein would be kept on government spending.  “You’ll have relatively twice stability , you have a stable purchasing power for the money, you eliminate the business cycle, you have the reasonable interest rates rather than gigantic interest rate and the political manipulation of the interest rates, and the political manipulation of the money supply and this then preserves wealth and builds wealth and allows for economic growth.”

It’s as simple as this, sound money means economic prosperity and limited government.  Unsound money means inflation, recessions, depressions and vague government.  What sort of system do we want for our families?  Don’t we want prosperity and security that we can hand on to future generations?  Transition to a gold standard will not be easy but as Murray Rothbard put it the alternative is much worse.

Since 1980, the Fed has enjoyed the absolute power to do literally anything it wants.  To Buy not only US government securities but any asset whatever. To buy as many assets and to inflate  as much as it pleases, there are no restraints on the Federal Reserve. The Fed is master of all it controls.

For more information on the Federal Reserve, write the Ludwig von Mises Institute , Auburn, Alabama 36849-5301 or call area code (334) 844-2500.   Also available from the Mises Institute is the Case Against the Fed, an insightful examination of the Federal Reserve operations by Murry Rothbard.

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Home: Money, Banking and The Federal Reserve Pt 6

banking expert witnessThe New York Times editorialist, Henry Hazlitt, was of the first to realize that this semi- gold standard would not succeed.  “Even from the very beginning, it was doomed to failure and his very outstanding journalist at that time, Henry Hazlitt,  predicted it wouldn’t work. Because he says the temptation will always be there, the government will print more money because they would accept these dollars and they won’t demand the gold and won’t  hold the government in checks and he was absolutely right.”

During the 1960’s, the US government was trying to meet the costs of massive social welfare programs at home and the Vietnam War abroad.  But printing more money, President Lindon Johnson believe,  the US government can accomplish its goals without raising taxes which may have cause the taxpayers’ revolt.  In other words, it could have both guns and butter.  “We will make sure that every dollar is spent with a thrift under the  common sense which recognizes how hard the taxpayer work in order to earn.”  But the more money the US printed, the more it eroded the value of a dollar.  Nervous foreigners begin redeeming their dollars and gold as they were entitled to do under the Bretton Woods Agreement.  After paying out billions in gold, the US was left with 36 billion dollars worth of outstanding debt to foreign creditors and gold reserves worth just 18 billion dollars.  Rather than stop the inflation,  in 1971 President Richard Nixon refused to redeem any more dollars.  “I direct the Secretary John Connally to suspend temporarily the convertability of the dollar in the gold or other reserve assets except in amounts and conditions determined to be in the interest of monetary stability and in the best interest of the United States.

It was the debt now for the Bretton Woods semi-gold standard and the triumph for the federal reserve.  The dollar would no longer have even the illusion of a fixed value against the other currencies it would float against them causing even more dislocation in foreign trade and massive uncertainties for businessmen.  Worst, the final check on dollar creation disappeared creating endless possibilities for inflation.  It’s running at more than 300% since 1971, thanks to the Fed’s power to create money out of thin air.  And to ensure deposits, no US federal budget has been balanced since it abandoned the gold standard’  “I don’t think that that’s something that enhances the efficiency of our economy. I believe that the best money is a market-determined money such as the gold, such as what we have under the gold standard.  In order to get back for more to determine money, the Fed has to be abolished.”

There is not now nor has it ever been any direct control over the Fed by the President or Congress.  The meetings of the Federal Reserve Board are held in secret and nobody knows exactly what goes on.  If you watch the Business Report every night, commentators are constantly speculating about what the Fed might do.  “All eyes who are in Washington today asked  Federal Reserve not to decide the future direction of interest rates.”  “Most economists expect the Federal leave the monetary policy unchanged.”

It is for the whole industry of Fed watchers who tried to second guess the third.  “Federal Reserve has been surrounded by secrecy eversince its planning, its installation and its operation with the President.  And the reason is because they cannot tell the truth, if they tell the truth there’ll be a revolution,  there’ll be a bunch of Americans who might pass over the building.”

A recent attempt to open the Fed to public scrutiny came in 1993, the head of the House Banking Committee represented by Henry Gonzalez of Texas called for an independent audit of the Fed’s operations.  He wanted the proceedings of the Open Market Committee videotaped, with detailed minutes released within a week instead of vague summaries issued several weeks later.  Gonzalez also proposed that the President choose the twelve heads of Fed’s regional banks instead of powerful bankers.  Predictably, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan resisted the changes.  What was surprising was that President Bill Clinton’s position.  He declared the reforms would “run the risk of undermining market confidence in the Fed.”

Home: Money, Banking and The Federal Reserve Pt 5

banking expert witnessBy making enormous amounts of credit easily available, the Fed could also drive down interest rates sending out the wrong signal to investors. It sets in motion an unsustainable investment bone that carries with it the seeds of its own destruction.  It’s this business cycle that is ultimately responsible for economic disasters such as the great depression.

Soon after the Federal Reserve was established, the US under World War I once again the government temporarily have abandoned the gold standard to print more money to finance war.  The US government borrowed heavily and the national debt ballooned from 1 billion to 27 billion dollars.  A sharp spike of inflation follows, this set off a rapid expansion and contraction in the economy.  To dampen the overheated economy, the Fed halted its inflation causing the interest rate to nearly double over the next 18 months.

By 1921, the market began to recover new technology helped to increase productivity, markets developed for new cars and appliances.  The 1920’s were period of extraordinary growth but behind the scenes, much of this world was distorted by a Fed generated inflationary  credit expansion.  “This is worry theory.  This is the period of increasing affluence.  That hid the inflation from the American economists.”

The Fed generated the bubble burst in the Wall Street crashed of October 1929.  Speculators who would borrow money to buy shares when bank credit was readily available.  So all the stock market lose 1/3 of its value , bank loans totalling 7 billion dollars were outstanding as the speculators defaulted on their loans bank failures spiralled and the great depression set in.  “Depositors loss their bank accounts, all the savings deposits and checking deposits, these all disappeared into thin air.”

In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President and quickly implemented a new deal policy of spending as to prosperity.  Even though we needed lower taxes and lower spending his administration would seek unprecedented amounts of money to finance it’s big government   programs.  In his inaugural speech on March 4 , 1933 Roosevelt vowed to put an end to property and the unemployment lines and get people back to  work, it didn’t work. The depression got worse, thanks to increased central planning FDR only succeeded in making the monetary system even less sound.  Just after taking office, the President declared a 4-day nationwide bank holiday absolving the bankrupt fractional reserve banks for there’s a need to rapay their depositors.  But before the banks reopened, the Roosevelt administration had to come up with a scheme that would lead people to believe that new deposits would be safe.  It created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to allow the public into a sense of security.  In reality, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation hold just half of 1% of all the deposits and insurance but what people are counting on is that the Fed as the lender of last resort would step in and print whatever money would be necessary to prevent a massive  bank run.

By the mid 1930’s, control of the Fed by the New York bankers has grown into a close, the Morgan era ended with President Roosevelt who was no friend of the Morgan’s appointed Eckels as governor.  Eckels, a Republican from Utah, moved the activities of the Open Market Committee to Washington.  President Roosevelt was on hand for a dedication of a 3 and ½ million building to house the Fed.  “I dedicate this building today to progress, to progress toward the ideal of the American in which every worker will be able to provide his family at all times with an ever rising standard of American government.”

1933 also marked the beginning of the end for the gold standard.  There was not end to Roosevelt’s appetite for spending on such new deal programs such as the gigantic 13-billion dollar Tennessee Valley Authority which flooded vast areas of productive farmland to provide government-subsidized electricity.  The works progressed administration which spend 11 billion dollars on make-work jobs and pork barrel public works.  But the US currency was tied to gold which limited the amount of money that Fed could print to pay for these costly projects.  So the government scrapped the gold standard for American citizens in 1933 and then Roosevelt confiscated the people’s gold.

After World War I, the warring parties in the second World War abandoned the gold standard to finance the war with Central Bank generated inflation.  After the war, there was an attempt to use the prestige of a gold standard to establish a global  inflationary system.  The world’s financial leaders met at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire   under the direction of the famous economist, John Maynard Keynes.  Their idea was to set up a new international monetary system that would have both gold and inflation.  “Under this  system, the US dollar would be redeemable in gold but only for foreign official institutions,  central banks and foreign governments at the rate of 35 dollars per ounce.  All other currencies would have fixed exchange rate with the US dollars and they will be redeemable in US dollars.”

Home: Money, Banking and The Federal Reserve Pt 4

banking expert witnessThey spent a week at the luxurious club as Morgan’s guests crafting the proposals that would form the bases of the Federal Reserve System.  It would be three years before their vision was realized.  Just before Christmas, 1913, the Federal Reserve Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Wilson.  It established a Federal Reserve System to oversee monetary policy and regulate the commercial banks.  “It’s no coincidence that the Federal Reserve System was established by the Wilson administration, this was the height of the progressive year a time of tremendous government expansion of special interest deals in Washington.”

There were twelve regional reserve banks concentrated in the East and the Midwest.  The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve controls and coordinates their activities .  The Board is made up of seven members appointed by the President.  Even though there were twelve regional banks, Wall Street soon run the show.  As President of the New York Fed, Morgan protégé Benjamin Strong sees control of the boards’ Open Market  Market Committee operations, Strong remained the dominant force  of the Fed until his death in 1928.  The Federal Open Market Committee now based in Washinton directs the Fed’s most important instrument of monetary policy—the purchase and sale of government securities on the open market to increase the supply of money and credit, that is to inflate the Fed buy government securities from a few hand-picked firms with newly created money. To tighten money and credit, the Fed sells securities  in this it can act its own discretion.  “Every government  wants the ability to create new money.  It’s an alternative to raising taxes, taxes we said when they raise it tend to invoke a lot of resistance among the public.  It’s much less painless to increase the money supply, the effects, the negative effects don’t occur until six  months or two years  later in which time the increase in prices can be blamed on other factors –the weather, speculators and so on.”

Another device that Fed uses to control the amount of money in circulation is setting the discount rate.  This is the interest rate charge to member banks when they borrowed short-term from the so called discount window.  If the Fed lowers the discount  rate for its loans, commercial banks will likely borrow more from the Fed.  This increases the amount of funds bank has to lend, bank credit thus becomes cheaper as reflected in lower interest in bank loans and credit cards.  The increase in funds available for banks to lend also increases the amount of money in the economy.  The Fed can also manipulate the nation’s money supply by raising or lowering the reserve requirement.  Banks are required to set aside a percentage of their deposits as reserves to meet depositors demand.  When the Fed was established in 1913, it cut reserves requirements in half over the next four years doubling the money supply by the end of world war I.  But the Fed’s real power lies in its monopoly to create money  although the US was still on the gold standard in 1913 it was quickly eroded  but the Fed continue to expand the money supply.  The first step was backing the federal reserve notes by only 40% in gold allowing the money supply to be increased 2 and ½ times.  The inflationary effect of fractional reserve banking was also heightened by the Central Bank.  “The commercial banks are permitted to create checkbook money on top of federal reserve notes that is to say the commercial banks are only obliged by law to  hold reserves in the form of federal reserve notes of 10% to backup all demand deposits they have.  90% of their deposits are backed by nothing.

The Federal Reserve System adds another inflationary layer to an already unstable banking system.  For example, if the Central Bank has 100-dollar worth of gold reserves in its vault, and a 10% require, it can print out 1000 dollars of new notes in deposits which become the reserves of the commercial banks.  The commercial banks take this 1000 dollars, and if they’re required to hold 10% again in reserve they can multiply 1000 dollars into 10000 dollars through fractional reserve loans so an inverted pyramid is created 100-dollar worth of gold or real money at the bottom and 10 thousand dollars of  inflated money at the top.  As this 10 thousand dollars in paper money circulates in the economy, it drives prices up thereby reducing the buying power of ordinary citizens.  “When they spend that  money, people will get the new money first and are able to buy products with it, benefit and the people who get it at the end lose because when they go to spend it prices have already gone up so they’ll be able to buy less.  And so the transfer of wealth and power from some segments of the economy to others because of the action of the Central Bank and basically those who benefit are the government itself, big banks and government contractors and everybody who is closely associated with federal government.”

Home: Money, Banking and The Federal Reserve Pt 3

banking expert witnessBut by 1862, Abraham Lincoln needed to fund his invasion of the south so once again the government began to print up paper money.  “Basically, the United States went of the gold standards in order to finance the civil war.  And you will find in  history  that almost every large war, every major war has involved a deflation of a gold standard because gold standards have a strict limit on government financing.”  Lincoln notes became known as greenbacks because they were printed in green ink rather than the usual black ink on the reverse side.  The so-called fiat notes were named legal tender by the government but they were not redeemable in gold.  “Right after the war, the government issued a tremendous number of greenbacks but gold was still circulating but people were forced to accept these greenbacks as if they were form of gold.” The government’s power to print on back paper notes would later become the pillars of the federal reserve system.

After the civil war, the nation’s monetary system became sounder when the US adopted the gold standard.  “We were back on the gold standard in 1879 and have the greatest period of growth and prosperity , everyone in the country is history.”  For nearly twenty years, the total output of goods and services  grew at an unprecedented rate of 4% per year.  “For reason being that with the sound money and without the ability to manipulate the interest rate, we have a lot of genuine savings and investment which then led to more capital goods and higher labor opportunity  for the United States.

In the midst of this prosperity, the big industrialists and financiers were prodded to expand their empires with the help of government.  With the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, the large railroads succeeded in blocking their smaller competitors through regulation.  “The ICC was put in place in order to protect the railroad owners from competition.  Okay, it was not the case that it was going to protect consumers or shippers.  In fact, consumers were hurt because ultimately with high railroad rates they were forced to pay higher prices for the goods and services that were shipped across the country.”

By 1896, they were forced to do the same thing with the banks.  Two camps emerged as leaders in this  economic war.  They were led by JP Morgan, the World’s most powerful private banker, and John D. Rockefeller, the oil tycoon.  Morgan and Rockefeller were great adversaries but despite their business differences, they both favoured a central bank, they wanted cheap credit and an inflated money supply to finance the expansion of their empires.  Together, they led the campaign to sell the idea to the American public which later led to the founding of the federal reserve. “If the American people got wind of the fact that this bank was not in their interests, if in fact they understood that it was in the interest of financial elites who would use it to inflate the money supply and in doing so increase their own revenues, they’ve been helped to pay legislation would never passed under those conditions so it had to be sold to the American people as a way of making their currency more elastic.”

The bank reform campaign received a boost in 1907 when there was a run on some of New York’s biggest banks, thanks to their fractional reserves.  Panic spreads  among depositors who got wind of the bank’s insolvency and tried to withdraw their money.   The knickerbocker trust fail and two other institutions went to the brink of bankruptcy  despite a 35-million dollar bailout from JP Morgan.  Wall Street swiftly adopted the fear of bank failures to sell the idea of a central bank or lender of last resort to the American public.  “So federal reserve has been a lender of last resort in case any bank are in trouble they would not have to worry, they put a cash from Washington D.C.”  “The question,  however , is whether it is really desirable to have such a scene as lender of last resort.  The correct position appears to me that every single bank should be responsible for its own debts and contractual obligations  and if banks who inputted policy then go bankrupt that should not be considered a bad thing but in fact considered to be a magnificent thing because bankruptcies, the danger of bankruptcies is precisely what makes banks adhere to sound policies.”

Bank runs and failures continues at an alarming rate.  In 1908, the National Monetary Commission headed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’ father-in-law, Senator Nelson Aldridge set up to push for a central bank.

In November of 1910, under the guise of a duck humming trip, six men took a secret train ride to an exclusive  private club on Jekyll  Island, Georgia to write a Central Banking Act.  The classified gathering read like a who’s who of American banking.  There were two Rockefeller man, Aldrich and Frank Vanderlip of the National City Bank of New York; two Morgan man, Henry P. Davidson from Morgan Bank and Charles D. Norton, President of Morgan’s First National Bank in New York.  Paul Warburg, Kuhn, Loeb partner and the Assistant Treasury Secretary, A.P. Andrew who was friendly to both camps.

Home: Money, Banking and The Federal Reserve Pt 2

banking expert witnessIn 1792, Thomas Jefferson adopted the dollar as this country’s official monetary unit. “He looked around and investigated what where the American people uses and that was the dollar.  That’s why the dollar became the standard of the United States, then we went on to a gold an d silver standards and started  making  gold coin for the Americans and it’s called —gold coin.

Jefferson in particular spoke eloquently of  the dangers of paper money. During the war for independence, the Continental Congress printed vast  sums of paper money out of tin air to finance the  army.  The deluded money supply naturally depreciated to almost nothing leading to the phrase, “not worth a continental.” “The people held on to these notes , intended d to give pictures of the Americans concern about the want  of America to be free of the British control lost everything whereas the tourists who have nothing to do with this American government money immediately get rid of it   were benefited and Palestine Webster, first American economist and others who look to this,  all of this paper money embarked by gold was extremely dangerous.”  As early as the 16th century in Europe, goldsmiths  stored gold coins for their customers for a fee and issued receipts for the gold to the depositor.  Thus began the use of paper as money. “In other words,  if you came in and deposited 10 ounces of gold for safekeeping, then you got back a receipt in the amount of 10 gold ounces. And those receipts entitles you to instantaneously redeem that gold.”

These receipts soon became widely accepted as a means of exchange since it was easier and safer to use a receipt for significant transactions. This was the origin of bank notes as money substitutes.  These first  bankers then took this process one step further.  “In effect, if the goldsmith  had one thousand ounces of gold, and one thousand ounces of legitimate receipts being held by the depositor of that gold he could increase his profits by merely printing of  another  thousand ounces worth of receipts and lending them out.  In which case, you would effectively get 50% reserved banking or franctional reserve banking only a fraction of 50% of the receipts were now backed by gold.”

There was no longer a one to one ratio of paper to gold.  Now there could be three or four pieces of paper in circulation for every unit of gold in the vault.  These bankers were no longer simply storing or warehousing gold for a fee.  They were artificially inflating the money supply and loaning out these phony receipts at interests.  This system became known as fractional reserve banking and was later transported to the early American colonies.  It form the root of American commercial banking and ultimately the federal reserve system.  “This is a fraudulent system is not allowed in any other business , uh…if you have a grain warehouse that had loaned out the grain it was supposed to have a storage that’s considered criminal and you can be in jail, while the bank is the one agency that is allowed to get away with this and get a profit from it.

Alexander Hamilton became the first Treasury Secretary and in 1791, he set up the first bank of the United States as America’s central bank to expand the supplier of paper money for the benefit of the government and the commercial banks.  “Alexander Hamilton believed in a strong central government and he saw the central bank as one of the means that the government can be centralized and by which its power could be expressed.”  Thomas Jefferson opposed this view he saw the central bank as the undemocratic tool of the northeastern banking establishment, it was dismantled after 20 years. “Jefferson was an opponent of strong central government and at all cost wanted to move the central bank.”

In 1816, the Federal government made another attempt to set up an inflationary central bank  but the   second bank of the United States was denounced by President Andrew Jackson as a monster bank for benefiting a few at the expense of many. “They inflate the money supply which brought about a boom initially that brings prosper to the country followed by a bust when they stopoed inflating the money supply many businesses that had depended  on the low  interest rates, who were introduced and induced by  the initial inflation went out of business.”

Jackson succeeded in abolishing the second central bank in 1836 but by then speculators have set up hundreds of new private banks with little  or  no gold to  back the notes they issued.  The nation’s monetary system became more stable when the United States introduced the gold standards in 1834.  The dollar was worth approximately 1/20th of an ounce of gold.  “The gold standard was understood by the founding fathers, by Andrew Jackson and by others as being money of the people, that it was a hard money, a money that could not be tampered with, they could not be inflated to permit government expenditures… skyrocketing. “

Home: Money, Banking and The Federal Reserve Pt 1

banking expert witness“the federal reserve system virtually controls the nation’s monetary system yet it is accountable to no one. It has no budget, it is subject to no audit, and no congressional committee knows of, or can truly supervise its operations.”

These are the words of the late professor Murray N. Rothbard, economist and academician of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute. The institute is dedicated to the ideals of a free market and sound mind. Thi program is dedicated to the memory of murray n. rothbard and his prolific work on money and banking.

For more than 20 years, the living standards of middle-class americans have steadily declined. Incomes have remained flat or falling and the opportunities and securities we once took for granted have begun to fade. For most families, one income no longer pay the bills, It requires two or more income to afford a home, pay medical and child care expenses and put children through school. unless present work change, young workers are unlikely to ever live as well as their parents. Good jobs with a future are harder to come by, education doesn’t count for once it what did, taxes continue to rise while social security is going bankrupt, private pensions are no longer  reliable, economic volatility certainly is on the rise, politicians spell numerous theories about thic country’s economic woes.

Seldom however, does this politician look below the surface. The roots of our economic woes can be traced to central banking and federal system.  The Federal Reserve claims to manage our money, instead, it makes our money worth less and less every day. It is generated continuous and worsening business cycles and lowered our living standards.” It’s really no different from a burglar in  your house and going to steal your money. That’s what the federal reserve does. It depreciates your savings,  it takes away your economic security and should be treated as an institution that does that rather than something of alleged benefit…”

Money is suppose to serve as a reliable standard of economic value, not a source of instability. Until we restore  sound money and take away  the government’s ability to debase it, we have little hope of restoring the freedom and prosperity that made America great “…and we really have a choice of what we want in money, do we want money that’s going to be losing value every year or money that’s gonna be gaining  value. If you are happy with your money losing value, then you want the present system, if you want a money that’s going to increase its value then you want a golden standard. “ what is money? As the good that makes exchange possible, it’s the foundation of every economic activity. In the earliest times, people traded goods and services directly.

This form of exchange is known as barter. “ if a fishing tribe desired to have maybe, wheat, which themselves they do not produce, they seek out other individuals that produce wheat. And then they would exchange their fish…” but barter had limitations in the marketplace. “…but actually people immediately perceived problems with that direct exchange. If you wanted, for example, fish and you had wheat, but the people who had fish didn’t desire the wheat, you are stuck. Unless you went out and found some other good, possibly berries, that everyone in that society consumes. Then you would trade your wheat for the berries, in full confidence that you can turn around, trade the berries for the fish or anything else that you desired. “ eventually, the most widely accepted goods in the society become valued for their use in indirect exchange. Money is simply another name for the most generally accepted medium of exchange.

Throughout history, many goods have served as money. Feathers from the ketso bird were used for exchange by the mayan Indians up to the 15th century in central America. Tea leaves compressed into bricks were traded in east asia through the 1800s. wormpom shells were money to north American Indians while early American populace, trade beaver skin which has a high value both local and abroad. Metal coins first emerged in Greece and Asia minor during the 7th century B.C. gold and silver were valued for their use and beauty in jewelry and decorative arts. They were durable, easily divisible and limited in supply. These precious metals also had a high value to the weight ratio, making them easily transportable. “..when we could think back to the time, when iron was used for money, for example, in Africa, but imagine going into sears robuck and try to purchase a lawn mower for 350 dollars, that would take a ton of iron whereas it would only take an ounce of gold. “

In 1536, less than 50 years after Christopher Colombus set foot on American soil, a Spanish man in Mexico City struck the first coin made in the new world.  This silver coins eventually found their way into the British colonies.  Great Britain’s mercantiles’ policies deliberately tries to keep precious metal out of America so the Spanish mill dollar became the unofficial currency,  it was often divided into eight pieces for smaller transactions, hence the term” pieces of eight” with one quarter of the coin being “two   bits”.

Home: Money, Banking and The Federal Reserve