Tag Archives: interest rates

It’s The Usury, Stupid

25 Sep

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From AAP, via nine.msn.com.au:

Debt costs outweigh WA future fund returns

A future fund designed to quarantine some of Western Australia’s mining royalties for future generations isn’t making enough cash to offset the state’s increased cost of borrowing, the premier says.

The fund was the centrepiece of the 2012/13 budget and is being established with more than $1 billion in seed capital over four years, mainly using money from the Royalties for Regions fund.

While it’s forecast to grow to $4.7 billion within 20 years, opposition treasury spokesman Ben Wyatt has cast doubt on whether it will even make a return.

Mr Wyatt says it is actually being funded by borrowings, which are used for investments, and then placed in a marginally interest-bearing account.

But the cost of debt had gone up with the state losing its AAA credit rating, so the fund was losing money, he said.

Liberal leader Colin Barnett conceded the fund wasn’t making enough to counter higher borrowing costs, but said the loans were for capital works projects.

We pay a little bit more on what we borrow compared to what we receive from the future fund,” Mr Barnett told Fairfax radio.

The problem is not debt.

The Problem is Usury.

Humanity will never escape ongoing financial crises, or the din of “debate” about money and debt, until we turn the clock back 500 years, and ban usury in all forms once again.

Shameless, Disgraceful, Bombastic Liar

6 Aug

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This is what Australian politics has been reduced to.

Shameless, disgraceful, bombastic lies.

From shameless, disgraceful, bombastic liars.

Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury was interviewed on DMG Radio today, by journalist Glenn Daniel.

Daniel challenged Bradbury on his shameless, disgraceful, bombastic lies regarding Joe Hockey’s observation on what lowering of interest rates really means for the current state of the economy.

An observation that even Fairfax newspapers’ “PolitiFact” FactChecker says is correct:

Mr Hockey is right. The Reserve Bank is cutting rates “not because the economy is doing well, it’s because the economy is deteriorating”. That’s always why it cuts rates.

Listen to the interview here — and try to keep all hurlable objects out of arms’ reach as you do so.

This is the ASSISTANT TREASURER of the nation you are listening to.

Usury And The Irrelevant Complicit Church

4 Jul

With thanks and h/t to reader Phil, the following article dated May 2010 is cross-posted from the Economic Edge:

Damon thinks this is one of the most important articles he’s written. I think it’s powerful and should get you thinking regardless of your personal views. I also think it’s important to note that he is addressing religion from this perspective, “We need to avoid dialectical conflict… left vs. right, religion vs. non-religion, black vs. white, immigrant vs. citizen, etc. We need to come together to fight the monetary powers that are bringing us all down together.”

Amen to that.

The Coming Crash: Usury and the Irrelevant Church

By Damon Vrabel

Please, let us stop this usury! – Nehemiah 5:10

It’s been a wild couple of weeks—increasing unemployment, Greek debt crisis, yet another ridiculous bailout, pressure on Goldman Sachs, accusations of commodities manipulation by JP Morgan Chase, and new freakish levels of market volatility that might be signaling the next phase of market collapse. The many day-to-day issues can leave us dazed and confused, so most people ignore them. Huge mistake.They are all related to the most powerful force on earth that controls our lives because it is the very foundation of our society—usury. We are ruled not by governments anymore but by financial powers that use interest-bearing debt to exert control over governments, corporations, and people. Almost all other political issues with which we concern ourselves are secondary symptoms of or purposeful distractions from this larger narrative that is never reported by the Wall-Street-funded media. Sadly the church has remained silent as well.Explaining the details can be extremely complicated, but the basic core to understand is that the US government issues no money. Instead all money comes from private banking institutions with interest attached. At times in the past the US government issued real money for people to use—US notes and coins. But today all money comes from the Federal Reserve’s private banking system by putting the US government, i.e. 308,000,000 Americans, in debt. If the US government were not in debt to the banking system, the American people would have no money.More technically, the Fed and its Wall Street cartel banks like JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs make billions by doing nothing but controlling our money. They have the monopoly license to create the core money in our system from holding US Treasury bonds on their balance sheets. These bonds represent the debt of the United States. Thanks to interest, the bonds pull a large portion of our wages to the banks. The primary purpose of the IRS is to take your wages to pay the interest back to the banks. In effect, Wall Street owns a good bit of your labor. And the more bonds they hold, i.e. the more debt the population is in, the more money they make thanks to the interest flows and the profits from gambling on your debt. The system is very much one of “us vs. them.” Such is the nature of monopoly power and usury.

Economics and Morality

Controlling others and living off their backs by forcing them to borrow with interest in order to have any money is called usury (this does not include standard, self-liquidating bank loans to businesses to fund production). It is a system that ensures everything we do, whether in the public or private sector, feeds Wall Street and the controllers above it. It creates a two-tiered societal pyramid of money pushers on top vs. money users on bottom. The power differential is huge. Everyone is hostage. In doing something as simple as buying food to survive, we contribute to usury because we only have usury-based money, not real money. Like the slaves who built the Egyptian pyramids, today we are stuck building an invisible pyramid of monetary power.In such a system there is never enough money to pay back all the interest to the money pushers. The only solution is for the money users—government, corporations, individuals—to borrow more. This is the reason our debt continues skyrocketing to increasingly insane levels. It isn’t about politics, but the fundamental exponential math underlying the system—the users must borrow more and more to pay back interest and keep the system afloat. Such math is guaranteed to fail. Iceland and Greece have reached the point of failure. The rest of the Europe and the US will experience failure as well. Then we will see money and assets vacuumed up the pyramid by the money pushers—the banking establishment that owns the collateral and can take your property.The exponential math not only creates exponential debt growth, but also exponentially increasing:

  • Scale – government and businesses keep getting bigger; we get smaller and local communities lose their meaning
  • Velocity – the hamster wheel keeps spinning faster; human life suffers
  • Consumption – we buy more and more things that break more quickly
  • Production – we make more and more things that break more quickly
  • Inflation – the dollar buys less and less; we can’t seem to make progress

None of these things have to happen in an economic system. They only happen in ours because of debt-based money, usury, that greatly benefits the top of the pyramid while everyone else suffers to a certain degree depending on their level in the pyramid.

So this system is guaranteed to fail due to not only the impossible math, but also the fundamental immorality. Taken together those five issues paint a horrible picture. Republicans blame Democrats and vice-versa. Nope. It’s all a very simple result of a system based on usury, which used to be considered profoundly immoral. It was a fundamental violation of every major religion. It still is for Islam, but Christianity succumbed long ago. They thought a free market economic system would be beneficial, but got snookered into thinking that usury had to be part of that system. On the contrary, monolithic usury kills the free market.

Our monetary system is a top-down controlling machine, not a free market. It is run not by government, but by the most powerful financial interests in the world. Some people feel in their guts that someone must be stealing from them because they just can’t get ahead no matter how hard they work. Well that’s because it’s true—someone is legally stealing from them. The simple math of usury pulls money from people on the bottom of the pyramid who create real value toward those at the top who create no value. MBAs and others serving the system must reckon with this truth rather than remaining blind. Farmers understand it well, having lost their property over the years to the bankers. Families feel it in the fact that it’s difficult to get enough money to feed the kids compared to 50 years ago when one parent could work a standard week and feed a family of five. Everyone in the system will feel it once the debt system collapses as it is doing in Greece.

Living off the backs of others was called feudalism 300 years ago. It was slavery 100 years ago. Today it’s called the “free market” thanks to the propaganda and fraud of neoclassical economics. It completely ignores the truth of our monetary system, the math behind it, and the eventual collapse that will result from it. Greece is giving us a glimpse, but it is only a mild pre-game warmup compared to what’s coming. The world will rue the day it was ever seduced into accepting usury and the illusion of prosperity driven by nothing but debt.

The Irrelevant Church

On this issue of monolithic usury, the issue from which many of our other problems spawn, the church seems to have no voice. Recently, an older church leader told me, “Keep it up, this needs to be addressed, but you have more guts than me, I don’t want to be killed.” Sobering comment, to be sure, but in the shadow of Gandhi, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Oscar Romero, and Martin Luther King, is the church now impotent? Are its leaders now too afraid to speak truth to power, to stand against darkness? Or is the problem that the church is, like most of us, fooled by the myth that we live in a free market so we don’t realize we are immersed in an immoral system of controlling usury?

Lower class Greek citizens are now learning the painful truth about the mythical free market. A few of them have died as the police brutally repress them to enforce the usury system for the rich bankers like Goldman Sachs. Where is the voice of Bishop Romero? “I order you, stop the repression!” Iceland learned the lesson a few months ago. Several other populations have learned the lesson in the past as the controlling debt peddlers punished, conquered, and restructured their countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, England, etc.). The same lesson is coming to the rest of Europe and the United States. But again, the church seems to be oblivious. It failed to heed Martin Luther King’s warning, “One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake…today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake.” The church has fallen asleep.

The Dialectic of Left vs. Right

A possible reason is that the church has been co-opted by the manipulative left vs. right civil war created by the corporate media. In fact, Protestant denominations have split into conservative vs. liberal camps so they war against each other—Wall Street is brilliant at divide and conquer. Some sermons in conservative denominations sound like speeches from conservative politicians. Liberal Christian magazines sometimes seem to be just liberal political magazines with an added dash of Jesus.

Postmodernism should inform us that the left vs. right narrative is contrived to keep people from noticing the real power structure behind Wall Street that controls our lives. As long as the church submits to the false framework, church leaders will be “safe.” But that means they will also be irrelevant because they are not speaking to the primary narrative in our world that has always caused problems and is getting ready to unleash far more pain and poverty in the near future—the issue of monolithic usury and debt servitude. By not speaking against usury, the church has become a pawn of it. So the church has largely been conquered by the same concocted civil war that has divided society.

Dollar Tyranny

Another reason the church may be silent is the simple fact that it depends on money just like everything else does. Since all money in our system comes from usury, it is difficult to even notice it. And what authority would the church have to speak against it since it is itself complicit in it? Anybody or any organization that uses a Federal Reserve Note or a credit/debit card, which everyone must do, is unknowingly participating in usury because, again, all of that money comes from the bonds held by Wall Street. But knowingly or not, how could the church or any organization speak against the very thing that fuels its own existence?

The church’s tax-exempt status may be another reason for the silence. Tax exemption is one of the powerful ways the financial empire system influences and controls other entities. If the wrong person says the wrong thing, the IRS has the ability to suddenly remove the exemption, which doubles the cost of running that organization. The church never should have submitted to such tyranny over what may or may not be said.

Comfort of the Middle Class Bubble

Finally, it seems the comfort provided by the monetary system for the great mass in the middle, which is a key part of the church, keeps us from wanting to really think about it. The illusion of peace and prosperity that has lasted for so long has been nice. Some of us even thought we had that comfort because we were better people, so God blessed us. Reckoning with the truth will be painful for those who believe this. The fact is that our perceived comfort today is a result of the darkness of usury. The middle can only exist because there is a bottom that keeps our system afloat. They are the only reason the middle class exists. Moreover, the comfort is currently an illusion because most in the middle class don’t realize how indebted they are. Total unfunded liabilities currently hidden on the government’s financials put each American in an extra $300,000+ in debt that they currently aren’t aware of. That debt comes from the fact that, again, our money comes from usury.

Since the bubble was built on usury, its very existence is immoral, and everyone who participates in it becomes infected. It is also flimsy because usury means the bubble is sustained by debt. Many are already aware of the hollowness of the bubble since it has destroyed the fabric of our communities and a sense of deeper meaning in life. But others are able to ignore that and focus on the material comfort. What will happen to them once the material comfort itself crashes? It will soon. Some market forecasters predict the final collapse of our debt system will be worse than the Great Depression. The math is clear—it will be worse. Just like Greece, we will then see Wall Street paying the government to crackdown on the people, cancel social programs, and take their assets from them to hand them over to the upper class behind the banks. That is the end result of usury—using debt to control others and take their assets so they have no equity. At that point it will be too late for the church to save the lower and middle classes from violent repression and the upper class from their narcissistic detachment from the horror.

“Silence is Betrayal”

So is there a wing of the church that has not yet sold its soul? Is there a remaining Christian voice against usury, or are Muslims the only people in the world who stand against it? The church must wake up to the truth of our system and become relevant again. This is the civil rights issue of the 21st century, only this time it is not black vs. white but a few money pushers vs. the great mass of users. The power of the bond market is getting ready to wreak havoc. We’re all in it together this time. As Martin Luther King said, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal….That time has come for us today.” Will the real church please speak up?

Damon added the following commentary, “We are heading toward a very dark future, unless we fix it, because our system is built on a fundamental evil–usury. This force has taken over not just our economic system, but our governments, our lives, and everything else from schools, to nonprofits, to families, and even the church. I hope the word gets out on this one. And if you attend a church, regardless of religion or denomination, I think the leadership needs to be informed about this.”

***************

For readers interested in further research on this topic area, your humble  blogger recommends Michael Hoffman’s excellent book, Usury In Christendom: The Mortal Sin that Was, and Now Is Not.

See also:

Usury Centralises Wealth

21 Jun

Cross-posted from Applied Philosophy, by author Anonemiss (my bold emphasis added):

I discovered on the exceedingly excellent website of Project Gutenberg a book, that although written 110 years ago, speaks to the heart of our modern economy problems. The book is called Usury: A Scriptural, Ethical and Economic View by Calvin Elliott. I was surprised by how much my own writings about usury follows his arguments. Of course no book about usury could bypass Francis Bacon’s attempt at legitimizing it:

The dictum of Bacon that “Usury gathers the wealth of the realm into few hands” is readily proven and fully verified in the experience of these times. The tendency to centralization under a system of usury or interest-taking is so strong, and the modern result so apparent that the statement only is necessary.

Usury not only enslaves the borrower and oppresses the poor who are innocent of all debt, but it also affects the rich by gathering the wealth of the wealthy into fewer and fewer hands. There is a centralizing draft that threatens and then finally absorbs the smaller fortunes into one colossal financial power. It is as futile to resist this as to resist fate. Wealth cannot be so fortified and guarded as to successfully resist the attack of superior wealth when the practice of usury is permitted. The smaller and weaker fortune, using the same weapon as the larger and stronger, must inevitably be defeated and overcome, and ultimately absorbed.

Rates of interest do not affect the ultimate result. Under a high rate the gathering is rapid, under a low rate the accretions are slower, but the gathering into few hands is none the less sure. Rates of interest only place the convergent center at a nearer or more remote period.

CHAPTER XXIX – USURY CENTRALIZES WEALTH

I advise all readers to study this book (do not be put off by the religious chapters at the start and continue to the purely economic arguments in the later chapter).

See Also:

Ship Of State Wrecked On The Rocks Of Usury

19 May

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The waters were always crystal clear. The rocks below, easy to discern. We even had a map to guide us.

We simply failed to keep watch.

And allowed treasure-hunters to reinterpret our map.

Roger Fenton (1565-1615) was a Fellow of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge University, rector of St Stephen’s in London, and one of the translators of the 1611 King James Bible. He declared that “Not until sixteen hundred years after Christ did interest find any defenders.” The following excerpt* is from his “Treatise On Usury” (London, 1612, pp. 2-3; 48-49); my bold emphasis added:

“…many Christians of reformed Churches being urged to flee persecution, and to convert their goods into money, yet lacking skill to employ the same in a strange country; tender hearts thought it a pity that usury in such a case were not lawful; and nimble wits began to search, if the matter might not be so handled, and qualified by cautions and limitations, that some such thing as we call usury might be practiced. For such is the subtlety of Satan, that if he cannot hinder the growth of good corn, yet tares shall grow up with it. He thought that when men were so busied about the reforming of those gross abuses of superstition; that then was the only time to begin a new seed-plot of usury, of sacrilege, of liberty and profaneness in the other extreme. Which vices, howsoever they were little feared or thought upon in those days; yet by our time we may easily perceive to what ripeness they have grown, which then were but as seeds under the ground…

“He that turns himself into an angel of light can set so fair a gloss upon a work of darkness, that the iniquity of it will hardly be discerned. He can so cunningly twist good and evil together, that the appearance of usury shall be presented without a show of injustice.

“…the gain of usury is a sweet gain, without labor, without cost, without peril… it is so pleasant and profitable a sin. This advantage then has the devil gotten against us in the practice of this sin; that usury being a trade so gainful in respect to others; so easy, so cheap, so secure without all labor… being also so common… it has bewitched even the consciences of those who are most tender in other matters…

“As usury is a sin in itself… so it is branded by the Holy Ghost for a sin of that nature and degree which does make shipwreck of conscience: the continuation of which sin cannot stand with the grace and favor of God.

“…Let some of those tender consciences who are so urgent to call for warrant out of the book of God for every ceremony and form in the Church, seek a warrant for this their practice (of usury), which so nearly concerns them, and let them seek it at the oracle of God, who has not left it, as he has many other things, to the discretion of the Church, or wisdom of the Commonwealths; but has vouchsafed to determine it in his own book to our hands: to set down an express law against it in Exodus; to renew that law again and again in Leviticus and Deuteronomy; to ratify and confirm it with no other words than he himself used at the publishing of the whole moral law…

“Since it has pleased Almighty God thus fully and exactly to express his will for our resolution in this point; let us not be ready to flee from his express word to human interventions — I mean those devised distinctions which favor the service of Mammon more than the service of God; which favor the things that be of men, to wit, the profit, the ease, the security, the sweet gain of interest; a trade which flesh and blood must needs affect and be greatly inclined unto.”

See also “Money Has To Serve, Not Rule!” – Pope Francis Is Right

* Source: Usury In Christendom: The Mortal Sin That Was, and Now Is Not, Michael Hoffman (2013)

Abuses Stript And Whipt

3 May

“And yet in these days, if that men have riches,
Though they be hangmen, usurers or witches,
Devils-incarnate, such as have no shame
To act the thing that I shall blush to name,
Does that disgrace them one whit? Fie, no.
…There is no shame for rich men in these times,
For wealth will serve to cover many crimes.”

– George Wither, Abuses Stript and Whipt (1613)

Wither’s writing “gave such offense that he was committed to the Marshalsea prison for several months.” British Bibliographer 1 (1810), pp 4-5.

From Michael Hoffman, Usury In Christendom: The Mortal Sin that Was and Now is Not (2013).

A May Day Economic Jeremiad For All Ages

1 May

jeremiad

An Act Against Usury

Edward VI, King of England and Ireland

“…For as much as usury is by the word of God utterly prohibited as a vice most odious and detestable as in divers places in Holy Scriptures it is evident to be seen which thing is by no godly teaching, and persuasions can sink into the hearts of divers greedy, uncharitable and covetous persons of this realm, nor yet by any terrible threatenings of God’s wrath and vengeance that justly hang over this realm for the great and open usury therein daily used and practiced, they will forsake such filthy gain and lucre, unless some temporary punishment be provided and ordained in that behalf. For reformation whereof be it enacted by the authority of this present parliament, that from the first day of May, which shall be in the year of our Lord 1552, the said act and statute concerning only usury, lucre, or gain of or for the loan, forbearing, or giving days of any sum or sums of money, be utterly abrogated, void and repealed. And furthermore be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that from and after the first day of May next coming, no person or persons of what estate, degree, quality or condition, soever he or they be by any corrupt, colorable or deceitful conveyance, slight, or engine, or by any way or mean shall lend, give, set out, deliver, or forbear any sum or sums of money to any person or persons, or to any corporation or body politic to or for any manner of usury increase, lucre gain, or interest to be had or hoped for over and above the sums so lent, given, set out, delivered or forborne, upon pain of forfeiture of the value, and well of the sum or sums so lent, given, set out, delivered or forborne, as also of the usury, increase, lucre, gain or interest thereof. And also upon pain of imprisonment of the body or bodies of every such offender or offenders, and also to make fine or ransom at the King’s will and pleasure.”

By this proclamation, the boy-king Edward VI restored the longstanding English legal prohibition against all forms of usury; a prohibition revoked by his father, Henry VIII.

It is well to consider thoughtfully the state of the English economy, and especially its social conditions, during the period where usury was outlawed:

What was our western world like before the debt-economy?

Thorold Rogers, Professor of Political Economy at Oxford University in the middle of the 19th century wrote: “At that time (i.e., the Middle Ages) a laborer could provide all the necessities for his family for a year by working fourteen weeks.”

…the fiery 19th century historian William Cobbett, after visiting Winchester Cathedral and marveling at its beauty, told his son: “That building was made when there were no poor wretches in England called paupers… when every laboring man was clothed in woolen cloth and when all had plenty of meat and bread …”

Thus we have a picture of a well-fed, prosperous community, working commercially, or for gain, about one third of the year and with dozens of holidays a year… It was a time when Englishmen called their land “Merry England,” when they owned their property with allodial title (irrevocably free and clear), instead of paying “rent” (as property owners do now… in the form of property taxes to the government).

It was in the Middle Ages of Europe when the magnificent Gothic cathedrals were constructed with voluntary subscription and labor, edifices of such beauty and power as to amaze the modern onlooker. Dozens were constructed, all without mortgages or debt of any kind; without usury. A society without usury is nowadays derided as inevitably backward, if not impossible. Those who visit the medieval Gothic cathedrals of Britain and Europe gaze upon massive edifices of splendor and proportion which we, with our usury and technology, have yet to equal.

Source: Michael Hoffman, Usury In Christendom (2013)

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