If your like me all of this financial stuff makes your head spin. Most of the posts in this forum could just as well be greek. I found this article on a site I have been looking at. It explains fiat money and the federal banking system in a way that even an old roughneck can understand it. it is a long read. The whole thing is at the link. Here are a few snippets that I found interesting. http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/ARTICLE2/doodoo.html?q=ARTICLE2/doodoo.html Our government engages in a practice politely called "deficit spending". Other terms which would aptly describe the practice include "counterfeiting" and "check kiting", but it all comes down to the same thing; spending money one does not actually have. What would be a prison offense for a normal citizen was rendered legal for the government by the Federal Reserve Act. This was not a popular piece of legislation. In fact the Democrats had campaigned in 1912 on a platform of rejection of the creation of a private bank in charge of a fiat money system. Nevertheless, on December 23, 1913, taking advantage of the absence of congressmen opposed to the creation of a fiat monetary system during the Christmas break, the Federal Reserve Act was passed. Years later, during the great depression, Congressman Louis T. McFadden (who served twelve years as Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency) asked for congressional investigations of criminal conspiracy to establish the privately owned 'Federal Reserve System'. He requested impeachment of Federal officers who had violated oaths of office both in establishing and directing the Federal Reserve -- imploring Congress to investigate an incredible scope of overt criminal acts by the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve Banks. McFadden even suggested that the Federal Reserve deliberately triggered the great stock market crash of 1929, in order to eventually force the passage of the Emergency Banking Act of March 9, 1933, which suspended the gold standard. Why all the fuss over the gold standard? Well it goes back to the original Founding Fathers and the meaning of the word "dollar". "Dollar" is actually a weight measure of silver, 371.25 grains, to be exact. Our American silver dollars are actually heavier, since other metals were added for durability. But that 371.25 grains of silver WAS the dollar, matching in weight an unbroken chain of accepted monetary units that reached back through the Spanish Milled Dollar, the Dutch Daller, back to the German Thaler; the product of a silver mine which sold its product in coins of an exact weight. The Coinage Act of 1792 defined our dollar to exactly match in weight the silver dollars in use around the world, and then defined the gold dollar to be that amount of gold which would equal the worth of silver in a silver dollar, 24.75 grains, 1/15 the weight of the silver in a silver dollar. So, what's wrong with this? Nothing really. When you, as a citizen, hold a silver dollar or a gold dollar in your hand, you hold that actual worth of metal. Nothing the government can do can change the worth of the money in your control. Of course, carrying around too much coin can be bothersome, so many nations, including our own, issued paper notes as a convenience. But that paper currency of the nation was just a convenience. The gold and silver certificates were merely "claim checks" for the equivalent weight of gold or silver held in the treasury, and which would be produced on demand when the certificate was presented. But in the end, the lawful dollar of the United States was 371.25 grains of silver, or 24.75 grains of gold. The problem with this system from the point of view of the government or the banks is that it limits the amount of money they can work with. When the bank runs out of silver or gold (or the equivalent certificates) it can no longer lend any more money with which to earn interest. When the government runs out of gold or silver (or the equivalent certificates) it can no longer spend money (just like the rest of us). The immediate effect of ending the gold standard was that with the paper dollar no longer legally dependent on 371.25 grains of silver or 24.75 grains of gold, more paper dollars (now called "Federal Reserve Notes") could be printed, their actual worth no longer under the control of the citizens but under the control of the issuing central bank, based on the total number of dollars printed (or created as credit lines) divided by the estimated worth of the nation's assets. The more dollars which are created out of thin air, the less each one is worth. The swindle of the system is simple. The Federal Reserve Bank hires the US Treasury to print up some money. The Federal Reserve only actually pays the treasury for the cost of the printing, they do NOT pay $1 for each 1$ printed. But the Federal Reserve turns around and loans out that money (or credit line) to banks at full face value, those banks which have exhausted their deposits then loan that Federal Reserve fiat money to you, and you must repay it in the full dollar value (plus interest) in work product, even though the Federal Reserve printed that money for pennies, or created it out of thin air in a computer. As the Federal Reserve overprints more money, the money supply inflates, and too much money starts chasing too few goods and services, which means prices go up. But contrary to the charade put on by the Federal Reserve, inflation doesn't just come and go due to some arcane sorcery. The Federal Reserve can halt inflation any time it wants to by simply shutting down those printing presses. It therefore follows that both inflation and recession are fully under the control of the Federal Reserve. This means the cycle of inflation and recession is an intentional one; a gigantic heartbeat that pumps paper certificates out to the working class, while pumping real wealth in to the owners of the banks. Over time, that excess of printing has destroyed the value of that dollar you think you have. If you want to know by just how much, go out and try to purchase 371.25 grains of silver right now. Usually, the deterioration is gradual. Sometimes, it has to be obvious, such as the 1985 devaluation (done to halt the trade imbalance) which triggered the Japanese real-estate grab in this country. Many politicians have attempted to reverse this process. During the term of Abraham Lincoln, the banks demanded high interest to fund the civil war, reaching as high as 24% to 36%. Lincoln, rather than sell the country into permanent debt on the interest bearing bank notes, ordered the US Treasury to issue new legal tender popularly called Greenbacks, that funded the civil war without incurring huge interest debts. The system worked so well there was popular support for continuing the system after the end of the war, but issuance of the Greenbacks was halted after Lincoln was assassinated. John F. Kennedy issued an Executive Order 11110, requiring the Treasury Department to start printing and issuing silver certificates for the silver then remaining in the US Treasury. Kennedy understood, as did Lincoln, that by returning to the constitution, which states that only Congress shall coin and regulate money, the soaring national debt could be reduced by not paying interest to the bankers of the Federal Reserve System, who print paper money then loan it to the government at interest. This was the reason he signed Executive Order 11110 which called for the issuance of $4,292,893,815 in United States Notes through the U.S. Treasury rather than the Federal Reserve System. That same day, Kennedy signed a bill changing the backing of one and two dollar bills from silver to gold, adding strength to the weakened U.S. currency. Kennedy's comptroller of the currency, James J. Saxon, had been at odds with the powerful Federal Reserve Board for some time, encouraging broader investment and lending powers for banks that were not part of the Federal Reserve system. Saxon also had decided that non-Reserve banks could underwrite state and local general obligation bonds, again weakening the dominant Federal Reserve banks". Kennedy's E.O. was never implemented following his assassination, and shortly afterwards, United States silver coins were taken out of circulation and replaced with the copper clad slugs in use today. These two events, the failure to print new silver certificates, and the substitution of worthless slugs for our silver coins, may explain why the Warren Commission included on its panel John J. McCloy, a man with no experience in crime, law enforcement, or national security, but who had been the President of the Chase Manhattan Bank. It should be noted that the banks themselves are still using the gold standard. Accounts are still settled between major national banks by the transfer of gold bullion. So here we are with a bank that legally counterfeits the money you borrow but expects a full value (plus interest) repayment. But what's good for the Federal Reserve is good for the government itself, and this is where we get back into that funny word "deficit spending". The government spends more money than it takes in. It has for many years now. The Federal Reserve, being the only lawful source of this fiat money, prints up the excess cash the government needs (or manufactures a credit line in a computer). This extra cash is treated as a loan, in order to keep the government overspending from further eroding the worth of the dollar in the world market. The government (meaning the taxpayers) is on the hook for the full face value, plus interest. But there's another problem. The government is borrowing so much money that it drives the interest rates up! You pay MORE interest on your mortgage, car loan, and credit cards, because the government cannot balance its books. That extra interest you pay is therefore another hidden tax. The government, in its "generosity", gives you a tax credit on mortgage interest that is higher because of their own borrowing!