What type of world would you like to be part of? One where 1% owns the 99%, controlled by a central authority? Or something where everyone wins, we all control our own money, finances, lives and choose to put energy where it is most needed. In the benefit of all, not just some.
CENTRALISATION IS OLD SCHOOL CONTROL
The process of centralization refers to the concentration of planning and decision-making processes inside an organization to a single leader or location.
In a centralized organization, the head office retains decision-making authority, while all subordinate offices receive orders from the main office. The head office houses the executives and specialists who make crucial decisions.
Whether we like it or not, the world is returning, yes returning, back to shared and circular economies, over-centralized points of control. From the dawn of time, it took a village to raise a child, in a modern era, it takes a community to heal the sick. When it comes to finances, we are taking back control of our money, what it represents, how we exchange it, and the social agreements we have around its relative value.
STORY: 1914 and first US dollar
Did you know that the First USD was created in 1914, post WW1?
The first U.S. dollar (USD) is one of the world's strongest currencies. It is the official currency of the United States as well as several other countries. Although it has a deep-rooted history in the United States, the dollar as we know it today was first printed in 1914. Coincidentally, after the first world war. The Allies paid the U.S. for supplies in gold during World War I, propelling the U.S. to become the largest holder of gold. Countries pegged their currencies to the dollar after the war, ending the gold standard.
Why? The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 created the Federal Reserve Bank to respond to the unreliability and instability of a currency system that was previously based on banknotes issued by individual banks. This was the same time that the U.S. economy became the world’s largest, surpassing that of the United Kingdom. World commerce still centered around the U.K., though, as the majority of transactions took place in British pounds.
Three decades later, the US dollar officially became the world’s reserve currency.
In 1971 governments begin to float their own currencies. Since then we have 2 types of currency exchange rates:
1) Floating currency (USD, Euro, Japanese Yan)
2) Fixed currency.
Today, At least 66 countries either peg their currency to the dollar or use the dollar as their legal tender.1 The dollar is so popular because it's the world's reserve currency. World leaders gave it that status at the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement.2
The runner-up is the euro. Twenty-five countries peg their currency to it. The 19 eurozone members use it as their currency.
Countries such as India, Bahamas, Bermuda, Philippines, etc are pegged with USD because the major source of income is derived from out-sourced IT services from the US, and Tourism is paid in Dollars.
Middle East countries such as Oman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE are pegged to USD because of their major importer of oil in the United States.
1. BIRTH OF CENTRALISED FINANCES
As a result of the first world war, the first USD was created and 30 years later, the USD became the reserve for the world's centralized finance economy. Meaning that the world's economy is governed by the federal reserve (private entity), which is funded by the US economy and other private investors. Simply speaking the centralized financial system runs through the USA.
If a hegemon is one nation above other nations empowered to make the rules of the game, what is an institution that is supposedly independent yet part of the United States government that does the same thing?
The answer is the Federal Reserve.
2. BIRTH OF CENTRALISED MARKETS
A centralized market is a financial market structure that consists of having all orders routed to one central exchange with no other competing market.
No competing market :) Might be a clue into how 1% of the world owns 99% of the world's money and assets. Also why any competing markets, might be squashed or attempted to. Eg. DeFi.
The quoted prices of the various securities listed on the exchange represent the only price that is available to investors seeking to buy or sell the specific asset.
After the creation of a centralized world economy, back on the world currency USD. Centralized markets were created in a similar fashion. Coincidently flowing through the central banks and thus the US economy indirectly, yet very directly.
It is probably no surprise that out of the wealthy elite, those with a net worth over 100 million and even a 1 billion+ dollars. The majority is made up of us US citizens and corporations. Almost as is the centralized banking systems are geared in their favor.
- A centralized market is a financial market structure that consists of having all orders routed to one central exchange with no other competing market.
- A centralized market functions to keep trades fair, do more business, and speed up the buying/selling process.
- Centralized markets are good for stockholders as the lack of a competing price model for an individual stock ensures that price movements become somewhat more predictable.
- Decentralized markets have become more popular since the advent of blockchain technology, but there is less regulation and no government oversight.
3. What is the federal reserve backed by? Gold?
Short answer. No, not gold anymore.
The Federal Reserve Banks are not a part of the federal government, but they exist because of an act of Congress. Their purpose is to serve the public.
So is the Fed private or public? The answer is both.
While the Board of Governors is an independent government agency, the Federal Reserve Banks are set up like private corporations. Member banks hold stock in the Federal Reserve Banks and earn dividends. Holding this stock does not carry with it the control and financial interest given to holders of common stock in for-profit organizations. The stock may not be sold or pledged as collateral for loans. Member banks also elect six of the nine members of each Bank's board of directors.
Federal Reserve notes are not redeemable in gold, silver, or any other commodity after 1971.
- Federal Reserve notes have not been redeemable in gold since 1934.
- Federal Reserve notes have not been redeemable in silver since the 1960s.
Congress amended Section 16 of the Federal Reserve Act to read:
"The said [Federal Reserve] notes shall be obligations of the United States….They shall be redeemed in lawful money on demand at the Treasury Department of the United States, in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, or at any Federal Reserve bank."
Those who advocate for gold or similar standard often use the argument that
fiat currencies aren't really "worth" anything, since there isn't anything tangible anymore that underpins their value.
When describing the value of a fiat currency, versus a gold standard.
Simply put, the value of any currency, whether a commodity or a fiat currency, is only relative to what people think it's worth. It is no longer backed by anything tangible like gold or silver.
4. Who owns the federal reserve?
The Federal Reserve is the central bank for the United States. Its decisions affect the U.S. economy and, therefore, the world.
The Federal Reserve System is not "owned" by anyone "directly'. The Federal Reserve was created in 1913 by the Federal Reserve Act to serve as the nation's central bank. The Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., is an agency of the federal government and reports to and is directly accountable to Congress.
Equally as important, the Fed does not receive its funding from Congress.
Congress has specified that Federal Reserve Banks must hold collateral equal in value to the Federal Reserve notes that the Federal Reserve Bank puts into circulation.
This collateral is chiefly held in the form of the U.S. Treasury, a federal agency, and government-sponsored enterprise securities.
To understand if this is currently true. What would happen if everyone tried to withdraw their money from the bank at the same time? Remember that 92% simply numbers on a screen. Only 8% is available in circulation and you can't exchange it for gold or silver anymore... The answer is simple, they wouldn't have it.
5. Who and what funds the federal reserve then?
- Its funds come from its investments. Who are the investors?
- The federal reserve receives interest from U.S. Treasury notes it acquired as part of open market operations.
- It receives interest on its foreign currency investments.
- Its 12 world banks receive fees for services provided to commercial banks. These include check clearing, funds transfers, and automated clearinghouse operations.
Simply speaking, the federal reserve (private, not private) is funded by private investors and derives funding from the interest it charges on multiple levels, lending and printing money that it may not actually have collateral for.
To understand who the investors might be. Follow the money below.
6. You can invest in the federal reserve too!
If you would like to Invest with the Fed: Maximizing Portfolio Performance by Following Federal Reserve Policy (a review). Then they show you how here. Yes, this is real. You can invest in the central banks to maximize your own personal profits. In any market cycle, you can win like the billionaires. Even if it comes at the expense of everyday people. Do what feels right to you, but here is how you can play like the billionaires and top 1%
"The authors provide backtested proof of success in investing in equities side by side with the Fed. Their insightful, analytical discussions will inspire readers to begin implementing the recommended strategies, which can make a huge, positive difference in portfolio performance over long periods, across economic cycles, and under a variety of monetary conditions."
7. After the 2008 GFC, many experts call for CeFi to be re-imagined
Why? In 2009 this paper was written. It mentioned that the urgency of the task arises from the experience of the Global Financial Crisis, during which central banks intervened in dramatically new ways and to a dramatically greater degree than ever before, at least in peacetime.
In 2008, Central banks invented new tools on the fly because the familiar old tools were not working. Now the crisis is overcome the important intellectual task of understanding how these new things fit within the standard pre-crisis toolkit. Just so, Borio and Disyatat (2009) distinguish between
- The old “interest rate policy” and
- The new “balance sheet policy” - like a balanced ledger ;) blockchain.
Urging us to understand the latter as, on the one hand, nothing more than an extension of traditional techniques of FX intervention to a broader asset class and, on the other hand, nothing more than the use of the central bank balance sheet to implement debt management policy that is more traditionally undertaken by the Treasury
8. In 2020, we are seeing a similar cycle
In 2020, we observed the largest one-year debt surge since World War II, with global debt rising to $226 trillion as the world was hit by a global health crisis and a deep recession. Debt was already elevated going into the crisis, but now governments must navigate a world of record-high public and private debt levels, new virus mutations, and rising inflation.
Meanwhile, while the billionaires club welcomes 665 new people. The rest of the world experiences this.....
Global debt rose by 28 percentage points to 256 percent of GDP, in 2020, according to the latest update of the IMF’s Global Debt Database.
Global public debt has surpassed 60 trillion according to the world debt clock,
Borrowing by governments accounted for slightly more than half of the increase, as the global public debt ratio jumped to a record 99 percent of GDP. Private debt from non-financial corporations and households also reached new highs.
Although the central financial system has not made the shift from interest to balanced sheets policies. It made way for blockchain and the balanced ledger for "good money. See the previous article on the history of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Coincidently, this technology and its first currency Bitcoin was given to the world anonymously in 2008. A solution to the cyclical pain of financial crises.
Simply speaking. Governments, businesses, and the general public are all in debt.
The question is to who? Who lends money with contracts and interest rates attached? Go back to the start of this section to connect the dots. Who is the world in debt to? Consider who runs and back the world's economies.
Today, the debt-to-GDP ratio declined for the first time since the start of the pandemic as economic growth rebounded, the Institute of International Finance (IIF).
Total debt levels, which include government, household, and corporate and bank debt, rose $4.8 trillion to $296 trillion at the end of June, after a slight decline in the first quarter, to stand $36 trillion above pre-pandemic levels. Why? we are borrowing money we don't have and printing new money at record levels.
"If the borrowing continues at this pace, we expect global debt to exceed $300 trillion," said Emre Tiftik, IIF's director of sustainability research.
9. WHERE WILL YOU INVEST YOUR ENERGY?
would you invest in "Black Rock'" or the "Fed"?
Personally speaking. I believe in private enterprises with the values that Black Rock investment group has surprisingly shifted to. It caught me off guard when the CEO Larry Fink shared what I'm about to share with you below. I assumed that all wealthy people only cared about the money, not the people. Even if they had beautiful vision statements and missions. The truth is that 1% own 99% of the global wealth.
BlackRock’s Message: Contribute to Society, or Risk Losing Our Support
Laurence D. Fink, founder and chief executive of the investment firm BlackRock, is going to inform business leaders that their companies need to do more than make profits — they need to contribute to society as well if they want to receive the support of BlackRock.
Mr. Fink has the clout to make this kind of demand:
His firm manages more than $6 trillion in investments through 401(k) plans, exchange-traded funds, and mutual funds, making it the largest investor in the world, and he has an outsize influence on whether directors are voted on and off boards.
“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” he wrote in a draft of the letter that was shared
“To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”
It may be a watershed moment on Wall Street, one that raises all sorts of questions about the very nature of capitalism. “It will be a lightning rod for sure for major institutions investing other people’s money,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management and an expert on corporate leadership. “It is huge for an institutional investor to take this position across its portfolio.‘‘ He said he’s seen “nothing like it.’’
Key Message: New capitalism requires a contribution to society, social impact, and empowering people. Not just financial profit margins.
This is something that I can get around. Conscious Capitalism. Elevating humanity through businesses for good and honest, transparent money.
10. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF UNTIL IT DOESN'T
Everyone’s heard the saying that history repeats itself. Sometimes it’s in the context of being told to learn from our mistakes so that history doesn’t repeat itself. Other times it’s when a current event feels eerily familiar as if you remember this happening before. Sometimes, people will question the idea that history repeats itself, but it’s hard to deny that there are many events throughout both human and natural history that feel like things that have happened before.
A number of experts said that when people try to predict the future it can be helpful to look at the past and assess today’s trends. They drew parallels from the present moment to past eras and extrapolated them based on current trends.
Many experts today have noticed that the story playing out today is quite similar to those of previous eras. They pointed out that throughout history as humans have been met with new challenges they have adapted. We can do the same.
Whether it’s major events that lasted for several years and affected the entire world, like World War II or the Great Depression, more localized events like the famous sinking of the Titanic, or even bigger events that happened on a geological scale, there are plenty of examples of history repeating itself.
Today we are seeing a pandemic similar to that of the H1N1 virus and economic cycles similar to that of 1929 and even more recently in the 2008 financial crisis. The universe has a great way of forcing us to grow and adapt. It starts with a whisper, a tap on the shoulder, and then a crisis point. We may already be on the verge of a fluffy baseball bat to the face, but we can use this period of pain as a catalyst to adapt, evolve and co-create something new. Admitting that whatever systems we have in place, are no longer serving the whole. It doesn't mean that they didn't once serve humanity. It just means that old systems, need to make way for the new. Otherwise, we will find history repeating itself over and over until we learn the lessons individually and collectively as humanity.
CALL TO ACTION
A question to yourself.... Something heart-based. What type of world would you like to be part of? One where 1% owns the 99%, controlled by a central authority? Or something where everyone wins, we all control our own money, finances, lives and choose to put energy where it is most needed. In the benefit of all, not just some.
What do you choose? Centralized or decentralized? Perhaps even a hybrid in between.
COMMENT below. Share any views, thoughts, feelings and resources.
With all our REFERENCES We have done our best to reference everyone’s expert opinions, peer-reviewed science, and original thoughts, HIGHLIGHTED IN THE TEXT. So that you can go direct to the source as you read.