Here is an interview (already a year old) of an extraordinarily eloquent and smart lady who talks about the money flow in the American economy, and the deliberate financial exploitation of the American (really, global) population. This lady is Catherine Austin Fitts, the Former Assistant Secretary of Housing under George H.W. Bush.
I have to admit that until recently, I had zero interest in learning about how money works. For some odd reason, I didn’t think that it had anything to do with me. I remember having an absolutely miserable time in the introductory economics class I took in college, simply due to the sheer lack of interest. Consequently, I’m just now beginning to learn about the basics of money flow, which has suddenly become interesting to me in light of the big picture of what’s going on on Wall Street and with the Occupy Movement.
So, as little as I know about finances, the anecdote that Ms. Fitts told near the beginning of the interview (3:26 min) about three women and their money jumped out at me. And a light bulb went on in my head. Ms. Fitts recounts her conversation with three women who are friends, who live in Tennessee where she lives. One of the women had her retirement savings in a local bank, whose correspondent bank was a large bank in New York, and was getting back 3% in interest. The second woman had her IRA stocks in the same New York bank, and was getting back about 5% (before 2008). The third woman had started a business with a credit card from that same New York bank, and was paying an interest of 23%. As Ms. Fitts points out, “two women are sending their capital and getting about 4%, and one of their best friends is borrowing it back at 23%.” That is an insane spread! Ms. Fitts says, “When you look at the cash flows, there’s no reason why those women […] can’t circulate that money in a way that’s going to make them all much more money”—essentially by lending to and investing in each other. “No one needs a bank over a 1000 miles away in-between three friends with those cash flows. But that’s what’s happening, and it’s happening all across the economy.” She then suggests some ways that the three women could set up the loan arrangement, either by themselves or through a servicing company whose purpose is to service the loan and write up the documents, or through a local community bank as the intermediary.
From there on, using one story, anecdote, example, analogy after another, Ms. Fitts explains and lays out the big picture on the money flow and how it has been working in America (and globally). Because of the way she tells it, through anecdotes and examples, it is not at all difficult to understand the big picture of our current financial system, even for a neophyte like me. If you choose to spend one hour to educate yourself about our financial system, I highly recommend watching this video interview.
Ms. Fitts continues on to talk about “re-engineering the flow of money within the communities to rebuild the American economy,” through allocating money into, and circulating it within, communities; using technology and the internet; exercising transparency; and supporting local small businesses. She offers great insight to achieving this goal.
And here we come to another reason why the video made such a big impact on me. Even after finally understanding what’s going on, it seemed to me an almost impossible task to overturn this huge financial machinery that has been in place for decades. It was hard for me to imagine how we could even begin to make the tremendous and complicated change in real life, or what it would look like on a practical level.
After her stint as the Assistant Secretary of Housing, Ms. Fitts founded the Hamilton Securities Group, and developed a software called Community Wizard that would let people see where all the government money was in within their county or their community (Her company was subsequently the target of a harrowing government litigation). And Ms. Fitts tells the story of how she hired this “really brilliant Ph.D. guy from MIT” to help her answer the following hypothetical question: If all the government money could be allocated completely according to what would create the most economic health and most jobs—i.e., routed into communities, NOT according to political, large corporate, and bank interests— how much equity could actually be created? She said that according to the calculations, the amount of money that could be created by following this route was so unbelievably, phenomenally large that she told the guy to go back and re-do the calculations, thinking there was an error. As it turned out, the numbers held up.
Her very act of developing this software and looking for the numbers— because she was so convinced in her vision of a new possibility— opened up my own mind to this possibility. It helped me imagine what this shift into a new system of wealth might look like. Remember that if we cannot first imagine something, it cannot come about in our reality. Here was someone who’s very knowledgeable and experienced with financial workings, who is saying, “It can be practically done. We can shift the flow of money. There is a way out. This is what it can look like.” After I watched the video, I began to say, “Yes, why not?”
I saw an internet photo of a placard being held up at an Occupy demonstration, saying, “Dear 1%, We Fell Asleep for a While. Just Woke Up. Sincerely, the 99%.” But without knowledge, we’re still sleeping. Without knowledge, we are still like innocent babes, having our valuables (wealth, rights, freedom) taken from right under our noses. Without knowledge, we cannot create a new future. The very basics are not hard to understand.
Besides this video interview of Catherine Austin Fitts, you may also find useful:
- Sections of the documentary movie Thrive: What on Earth Will It Take? and the accompanying website, especially its section on economics
- Dylan Ratigan’s “Jobs Wanted” video series, which is in three parts corresponding to the three main components that the government controls that determine the flow of money: Trade, Taxes, and Banking; and his “Epic Rant,” which made quite an impression on me
I’m sure there are many other resources I don’t know about that could concisely explain or give a feel for the big picture of the current financial system and its workings; please feel free to recommend in the comments section.
Catherine Austin Fitts: The Looting of America (interviewed by Alex Jones)
Original site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9dGHuRExiM