I’m a fan of the Spanish series Money Heist on Netflix.
It’s about a group of people who, after extensive planning, occupy the Royal Mint of Spain and start printing their own money.
You’d think that illegally printing your own legal tender (and keeping people hostage) would be hard to justify…
The mastermind behind this heist nonetheless gives an interesting explanation for his actions: the European Central Bank is doing it, so why can’t we?
Only the ECB is calling it “liquidity injections” and all that extra money they create out of nowhere goes straight to the pockets of the rich.
At least our money will end up in the real economy, the robber speaks in his defence. He’s not far off the mark.
Reading Nomi Prins’s book Collusion: How central bankers rigged the world made me painfully aware that we’re witnessing the biggest money heist in history.
In broad daylight. Right under our noses.
Let’s take a look at the robbers. The unelected bureaucrats who have facilitated a money grab like no other.
Central banks are experts at coming up with long words and difficult terms that sound complicated and explain little.
It’s a form of security through obscurity: as long as nobody from the outside knows how the system works, they can keep doing whatever they want.
There’s pretence of transparency when in reality you need a PhD in economics to understand a word they say.
Yes, we’re all told “QE” is basically a form of money printing, but how do these policies affect us, really?
To understand what’s happened, we only need to watch Money Heist. In essence, central bankers have been printing money like maniacs. The only difference is that they’re not wearing masks like the robbers on TV.
Political commentator Álvaro Vargas Llosa has watched the show as well and sums up its underlying message:
“Governments have indirectly been robbing people for years by creating money artificially under the cover of political sophisms that make it hard for folks to understand that they are the victims.”
Central banks, most notably the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of England, and Bank of Japan, have hocus-pocused trillions of money out of thin air since the crisis.
How much of that money went into the real economy? Not a lot.
People’s wages stagnated. Just about the only people who saw their wages grow belonged to the top 10% of the population.
Where did all that extra money go?
Well, private banks have used some of this money to speculate in the stock markets, creating a new asset bubble. That’s why despite economic growth lagging in the past decade the main US indexes have more than tripled in value since 2009.
Another part of that money private banks just parked with central banks to earn interest from.
That’s right! The money central banks sent to private banks to inject in the economy got sent straight back to the central banks to do nothing except make the banks more money.
The robber in Money Heist wasn’t far off when he said the money central banks created out of nowhere went from the factory straight to the pockets of the rich.
The world’s most powerful central bankers may not have needed automatic weapons to pull off their heist…
And you won’t see any wanted posters with the faces of Ben Bernanke, Janet Yellen, Mario Draghi or Mark Carney on them. Hell, governments still look at them for “help”!
But the callous attitude displayed by these bankers when it comes to other people’s lives isn’t that different from how an ordinary bank robber might think.
Thanks to the central banks, global citizens have become “collateral damage” and “hostages” to the banking system, Nomi Prins says in her book Collusion.
Alright, so now we know we’ve been robbed, cue the flashback that tells us how they did it.
First, central banks allowed private banks to become “too big to fail”. In the US, the Fed is responsible for overseeing bank mergers and they’ve never said no to one.
Some arbiter! As a result, banks became bigger and bigger.
Then came the next mistake. The Fed failed to monitor the activities of these superbanks.
Banks could sell complex and risky financial products or lend huge sums of money to investment banks and hedge funds to speculate – undisturbed.
When the global financial system imploded central bankers found it necessary to create an incredible amount of money out of nowhere. After all, the economy needed to be saved!
But then they screwed up again.
“[The] largest private banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC, that inhaled this cheap money were not required to increase their lending to the Main Street economy as a condition of the availability of that money,” writes Prins.
I think you can guess what happened next.
Eight years after the start of the crisis, the “Big Six” US banks held 43% more deposits, 84% more assets, and three times the amount of cash…
Despite all the bluster that the global financial system is now “robust” and former Fed chair Yellen’s prediction that the next crisis won’t happen “in our lifetimes”, central banks have done the opposite of cleaning up their mess.
“The Fed has allowed the biggest banks on Wall Street to essentially double the risk that devastated the system in 2008.”
That doesn’t sound like the central banks are policing the system…
It sounds more like an inside job where the person that’s supposed to belong to the good guys switches off the alarm and leaves the vault open!
“Since the financial crisis, these illusionists have created money, altered the nature of the financial system, and orchestrated a de facto heist that enables the most powerful banks and central bankers to run the world.”
It’s just a matter of time before this system crashes again. You can probably guess who’s going to be taking off with the money and who are going to be the “hostages”.
Maybe in a few years Netflix will come out with a series about that other Money Heist.