Impoverishing billions, killing millions every year. All just business for capitalism's corporate elite.

How did the west's financial system become the greatest criminal enterprise in history?

How did the west's financial system become the greatest criminal enterprise in history?


By "lending" all of our money into existence, making it all an interest bearing debt to themselves.



We're here to promote the basic economic literacy that can end this criminal system once and for all.


  • Global poverty and displacement.

  • The economic subjugation of all people, including us in the west.

  • Routine, devastating, worldwide economic instability.

  • The gutting of public services and looting of public assets.

  • The ever increasing consolidation of global wealth.


All these and how they relate to the world's dominant economic system - capitalism - can be understood with a basic, truthful introduction to economic life.




Nothing has a greater impact on all our lives than money. And yet none of us, through our schools, colleges or universities, will have been taught the most basic facts about money. Facts like:



  • What money really is in the world today.

  • Where it really comes from - how it is created and by who.

  • How banks and debt, in truth, basically work.



That should astonish us all: We aren't being taught how the system we live in works. Our schools are failing us; they have the power to change that, so that's what we're asking.



If people can be taught the basic facts about money, the world as it is can be transformed. Poverty, rightslessness and the suffering of so many - all for the profit of so few - can be ended and incredible new human and democratic rights can become possible for all.



Let's put pressure on public, financial and educational institutions to communicate truthfully about money and the economy.



Click through the slides below for a short introduction to the subject and a look at some of what we do.













This part may be easier to read in landscape. 

What is money? And where does it come from?

What is money... and where does it come from?

To answer this, let's start by looking at what money is not.

Although people often think of money the way they think of gold or silver, it's easy to see that money is really not made from any precious materials. It's true that coins are often made to look like gold and silver, but that's really only for effect. In reality, not only is money not made of precious materials, most money isn't made of any materials whatsoever; most money doesn't exist in physical form at all.

Most money is just numbers in accounts within the banking system. They really are just numbers; there are no corresponding piles of notes or coins, or gold or silver, being kept in vaults. The numbers are all there are. The question, then, is what are those numbers - what are they measuring and where do they come from?

The numbers simply measure a legal 'title' or 'claim'. Someone who has money has a measured claim within society and society itself, or some part therein, has a corresponding debt to that person. It may be hard to grasp at first, but money measures out the two sides of a legal relationship: on one side claims, on the other side debts.

That's why we say money is debt. Like any debt, money has two sides: someone who owes and someone who is owed. Money, then, exists as a record of a debt; it comes into being when someone goes into debt and remains in existence only for as long as the debt remains outstanding.

You may know that money is 'creditary', or 'promissory' or like an IOU. These words all describe the debt-based nature of money: a legal relationship with a debt on one side and a claim on the other.

This is a reciprocal system in which money exists only to occupy the space between giving and receiving. Money comes into being when somebody (including a government) makes a 'promise to reciprocate' (takes on a debt) and will cease to exist again when the debt/money is repaid.

Economists call this 'endogenous' money or 'money creation within the private sector'. What should be noted is that banks create this money, they really are not 'lending' and we and our governments really are not 'borrowing' other people's money when we go into debt. It's reasonable to state, therefore, that these debts should be interest free.

An Example

In our world today, almost nobody could have a home if it weren't for the facility of debt, so debt is very important to us and many, many people every day use debt to buy a home; they take out a mortgage. If you were selling your house and I needed a mortgage to buy it, where would that money come from?

My bank would create that money, simply as transferrable numbers in my bank account, when I ask for it, when I sign myself into a mortgage agreement and into debt.

And when that new money is transferred to you, you will be the holder of x dollars of new claims within society. I will be the holder of the exact same amount of new debt. (But I will also now have the house.)

Those numbers (→) were created during the process and they are money. The idea that money should somehow be different to that, that someone should have to root around to find some already-existing money to 'lend' to me is, by comparison, very impractical. And it has far graver consequences too: not only would it be inconvenient and therefore expensive, it would set up the some of the most corrosive and unjust relationships that can exist within society.

There's nothing wrong with the way this system works. It's exactly as it should be. The problem is - and where everything goes wrong - is that the banks know their customers don't understand how the system works. They know they can tell them that they're "borrowing" other people's money and that they'll believe them - they'll pay interest because they believe they should.

This is true with respect to both household debt and public debts too. Governments too are "borrowing" money into existence and recording it as a debt with interest due - because the people who will pay for it, taxpayers, don't understand the system well enough to raise an alarm.

In practice, major financial operations like banking could never operate on physical notions of money and actual lending and borrowing. Money will inevitably resolve to its most efficient form, which is simply numbers - numbers which record who owes and who is owed.

For that reason, what we call 'credit' (debt) currencies are just a simple practical reality for everyday society. But, as you've seen, they are also very much more than that. It is through this type of money that we all share a common platform upon which our debts and our exchanges are facilitated, not by 'borrowing', but by simply recording numbers into and out of existence on paper or on a computer screen.

And that really does mean most of our debts should be interest free. The money we have really should support a very different type of economics and very different economic relations in the world.

Money should work much more for everyone. Money can and should be at the foundation of all people's real economic rights. Every person, as well as every government, should have a democratic relationship to money and access to money on democratic terms, free of unnecessary lender-borrower relations and free of interest. Human rights demands it.

Basic Literacy

Covered in these slides are what should constitute anyone's basic monetary literacy. You now have a better idea of what money really is in the world today, where it really comes from and how banks and debt, in truth, basically work. Everyone should have the right to understand those things. There's more to read and a pack you can download which explores this subject (and more) in a way that is perfect for new or young learners.

Support us/share

Help us promote economic literacy and human rights, even with just a share. Your support can help us reach more people, produce more educational materials and make those materials cheaply/freely available to schools. And that means they're more likely to use them. Thank you.

Download our Teaching Materials

We have more for anyone interested in economics, money, banks, household debt, national debts, taxation, privatization and overarching systems, like capitalism, in which all those things exist.



If you're a parent or a teacher, download our teaching resources for school age learners:


'Welcome to the Fascinating World of Money', Books 1-3


Coming Soon!
'Thinking About Tax; How Governments Raise Money'



If you'd like to support our effort to provide schools with reduced price or free materials, please go to our support page.





Adult readers and anyone involved in projects to help communities overcome the failures of national systems will also find value in the above resources. But the Understanding Money section contains a number of easily digested, bite-size pieces that look at different aspects of money and the economy:



From the foundational building blocks of a financial system that works for a community, including the process by which money is created - 1. How Money Really Works - through the role physical monies like banknotes and coins really play in society - 4. Physical Money - to more nuanced perspectives on economic relations - 5. Banks as Credit Agents - and a more in-depth look at how banks can account for the creation and movement of money in more complex economies - 8 & 9. Accounting for Money Creation 1 & 2. I hope you find it a helpful practical and theoretical resource.












Get Active for Economic Rights

Basic economic literacy is the foundation of a truly changed global and national economy.



It is widespread economic illiteracy that has allowed present-day economic structures to be built and imposed upon billions of people who simply do not understand what is being done to them. It is for exactly such reasons that:




We all have the right to a basic education - to be basically literate and aware - in Human Rights law.




Our present day system is, at best, a failure. Things could clearly be different. Literacy and rights can be greatly advanced. Poverty, rightslessness and today's extremes of economic injustice and inequality can almost certainly be eliminated. A more just, more humane economic world can be built and can work much more from the bottom up, from a foundation in real human and democratic rights for all, rather than imposed and cruelly dictated from centers of power down.



Consider, as examples, what informed citizens might demand of a democratic society:



  • Democratic, debt and interest free national currency base.

    Countries are currently required to 'borrow' their currencies, into existence, at interest, from private banks. Public sectors all over the world are are being crushed and looted under a regime of expensive, inauthentic, national debts.

  • Interest free access to money for all households.

    Every family on Earth could have access to money, for things as vital as a home, interest free. (Banks can charge a competitive fee, rather than interest.) Yet at 9.3% (35 year average to the crash) working families have had to pay 3 times for their homes - twice as a mere gift to the already rich. This corruption makes homeownership - or often any reasonable standard of dwelling at all - impossible for many millions of families. In the US alone, by comparison a wealthy country, some 4.5 million households will be evicted or foreclosed upon every year for failing to keep up these payments.

  • A public sector that retains the profit from public industries and by it pays for itself, reducing or eliminating taxation on working families.

    Privatizing (looting) the profits while socializing the costs of the public sector today crushes vital public services and drives up taxes on working families. Across the west, working families pay as much as 50% of their incomes in taxes to satisfy the greedy, undemocratic demands of the already super-rich.



Reforms like those would give life and opportunity back to enormous numbers of people cut off or crushed by global capitalism. We can make them happen, we can change reality for that many people, for those who will die this year needlessly from rightslessness and poverty alone. Or we can sit back and continue to allow the suffering of so many to provide the foundation of obscene profiteering for so few.



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