Fraudulent Debt = Counterfeit Money   (February 2, 2012)

How is borrowing money based on fraudulent claims of asset value and future income any different from counterfeiting money?

Let's compare three financial criminals. The first is an old-fashioned counterfeiter who doctors up paper and runs a printing press to produce fake currency.

The second criminal borrows money based on a fraudulent asset and phantom future income. For example, the criminal might obtain a credit card based on false assets and income, or borrow money against a property that is worth far less than he claims and base his credit on an inflated fantasy income he does not actually receive.

The third criminal borrows money from the Federal Reserve at zero interest and extends a loan to a fraudulent borrower because a government agency has guaranteed the loan. Whatever income the lender receives is pure gravy, and whatever losses are incurred when the fraud is uncovered are made good by the taxpayer.

Since our banking system is based on money being borrowed into existence (i.e. fractional reserve), then how is creating money unsecured by either assets or income any different from actually counterfeiting bills? The outcome is identical: money created out of thin air.

If I fraudulently obtain credit based on bogus claims of future income, borrow a large sum and promptly squander it on consumption, then the lender has no recourse: there are no assets to grab and no income to tap. In effect, I had a good time at the expense of all holders of the currency, as my money-created-from-thin-air diluted the currency without adding any productive value.

The way the debt-counterfeit game is played in the U.S., the lender is also a financial criminal who exploits the moral hazard extended by Federal agencies. If you can't lose money on a loan, then why not give money to fraudulent borrowers? As long as they pay enough interest to cover your origination costs, then the rest is pure profit.

We might also ask: how is writing a derivative based on false claims of asset valuation any different from counterfeiting? Once again the creation of an "asset" that can be sold to unwary investors for cash that is based on fraudulent claims of valuation is the equivalent of counterfeiting currency: both add no productive goods or services to the economy and both are created out of thin air.

Since the Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air to buy assets which can be sold later to credulous investors, then how is the Federal Reserve not counterfeiting dollars? It adds no goods or services to the economy and dilutes the currency, in effect stealing value from all holders of the currency.

The U.S. financial system is one vast, interconnected web of complicity, fraud and counterfeiting.

For more on our counterfeit economy and policies, please see Our Counterfeit Economy and Counterfeit Money, Counterfeit Policy.

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