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LEGAL MALFEASANCE: Commercial Banks Create Money out of Thin Air with Every Loan

From: Debbie Hillman
Subject: MOTHER JONES article — Trump $50 million loan: Case study for banks creating new money ??
Date: September 7, 2019

Russ Choma, reporter – Mother Jones
Scoop@Mother Jones

Lucille Eckrich, President – Alliance for Just Money (professor based in Bloomington-Normal, IL)
Steven Walsh – Board member, Alliance for Just Money (retired Chicago public school teacher)
Ellen Brown – founder, Public Banking Institute (based in California)
Jamie Walton – director, American Monetary Institute

Re: New article on Trump’s mysterious $50 million loan re Trump Tower in Chicago
by Russ Choma
Sept. 5, 2019
Donald Trump has never Explained a Mysterious $50 million loan. Is it evidence of Tax fraud?

Mr. Choma:

This is a follow-up to my short Twitter thread, in which I took an educated guess that the “mystery” of Trump’s loan might have to do with a “secret” that commercial banks and rich people don’t want the public to know: That commercial banks CREATE NEW MONEY every time they make a new loan. This has been legal at least since the Fed was created in 1913.

Twitter thread (3 Tweets): 

As you can see, I am copying 4 people who have been working on this secret for many years by studying “the science of money” and banking. They have been in the forefront of the movement that is sometimes known as “democratization of money”. They represent groups attacking monetary & banking policy from the perspectives of debt, inequality, corruption, democracy, infrastructure, Green New Deal, etc.

As my Twitter thread states, a possible key to Trump’s mysterious loan is the fact that, because of banks’ legal ability to create new money with every loan, technically they don’t need to be concerned about the repayment of every loan in order to remain viable or profitable. This doesn’t explain all the missing information in the story, but it might lead you to another path of investigation.

The organizations that are doing the most interesting and rigorous work, both in the U.S. and internationally, are listed at the bottom of this email. You might want to talk to some of these groups and individuals to get additional information about how the “secret” works and why you ended up at the dead-end you describe in your article:

Jason Greenblatt, who was then the Trump Organization’s top lawyer, declined to explain to the Times the reason for the Chicago Unit Acquisition deal. “It’s really personal corporate trade secrets, if you will,” he said. “Neither newsworthy or frankly anybody’s business.”

If my guess is correct, this might not be a “personal corporate trade” secret at all, but a very public secret.

A very good tool for understanding the obscure workings of our operating system is a bill introduced in Congress by Dennis Kucinich in 2011, the NEED Act. Just reading the short summary is instructive.

THE NEED ACT: The money power in the U.S. government  (Dennis Kucinich, 2011)
After working through many variations with the American Monetary Institute, Dennis Kucinich introduced the NEED Act to create and define what the Constitution did not define well: U.S. Money. The act would prevent the banks from being able to create money.

Here’s the Congressional bill page (summary):
HR2990 National Emergency Employment Defense Act of 2011

Among other things the NEED Act:
—nationalizes the Federal Reserve
—replaces Federal Reserve notes with U.S. Money
—Subjects to criminal and civil penalties any person who creates or originates United States Money by lending against deposits through “fractional reserve banking.”

AMI and other U.S. groups are still working on different versions of the NEED Act.  It looks like the Green New Deal might be a good vehicle for aligning our money & banking system with real democracy, through a similar bill.

It is particularly interesting to note that in the first 100 years or so of the United States, “the money question” was a common topic of civic discourse. Money (and banking) was not as reified in early America as it became after World War II. My version of the money question is:

— What is money — gold, social contract, something else?
— Who creates it — commercial banks, U.S. Congress, someone else?
— How does it enter the economy — through commercial lending, U.S. Treasury, some other way?

Another Chicagoan, historian Jeffrey Sklansky, is the author of a 2017 book about the money question:
Sovereign of the Market: The Money Question in Early America.  Prof. Sklansky teaches at University of Illinois-Chicago.

As I said, this is just an educated guess on my part, that Trump’s mysterious loan is mysterious because
— it doesn’t follow the assumptions that most of us have about money and banking
— Trump ignores all the protocols that bankers, rich people, and corrupt politicians have developed to (a) keep this secret a secret, and (b) cover their asses

I suspect that students of monetary policy have been looking for a case study that would highlight the layers of corruption (both legal and illegal) made possible by our current operating system. Maybe you’ve found it.

To Lucille, Ellen, Steven, Jamie:
–Do you think that my hypothesis is valid?
–Are there other aspects of our legal but unethical money & banking system that might address the mystery of Trump’s $50 million debt?
–Are there other case studies not involving Trump (who we know is corrupt) that might interest Mr. Choma and Mother Jones in unpacking this major flaw in our public operating systems (and that has enabled people like Trump, Jeffrey Epstein, etc., etc. to become way too rich)?



American Monetary Institute (AMI)
Oct. 3-6, 2019 – 15th annual conference
Downtown Chicago

Alliance for Just Money
New U.S. action group — a spinoff of AMI

Monetary History Calendar
A weekly compendium of quotes, events, and other milestones.
In any given week, you are likely to find some quote by some famous person (Congressman, historian, etc.) about the wrong-headedness of private banks having the legal ability to create public money.

MMT — Modern Monetary Theory has dominated the mainstream media conversation about “the money question”, but MMT has not proposed any legislation (so far as I know) and their formulation is not very accessible to everyone.

Notable MMT proponents:
—Stephanie Kelton, Stony Brook University
—Michael Hudson, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Public banking is the other area of money & banking policy that has caught people’s attention (and rightly so, in my opinion). Ellen Brown, the founder of the Public Banking Institute, understands very well the issues of public sovereign money, but she is working on more local solutions (state, county, municipal, postal banks).


International Movement for Monetary Reform

Positive Money
The UK’s main group.  Very good messaging.