"The Secret Of Oz" - The Truth Behind The Modern Financial System, And The Money-Political Complex

Tyler Durden's picture

While America is entertained by a rather realistic cartoon of what happens when the Fed (semantics aside) prints money with which to buy up whatever assets it so chooses, and launders the cash for the Primary Dealers (a topic discussed ad nauseam on Zero Hedge), we present a rather more somber and serious look at the modern financial system, courtesy of Bill Still, creator of the movie: "The Secret of Oz" which explains in a far more nuanced manner the interconnectedness in the vicious square of power, politics, money creation and debt formation, and Wall Street, the Fed, and the Political forces in DC are intertwined to a degree that essentially makes the whole concept of democracy moot (a topic touched upon earlier by Bill Buckler). As Still  says: "The world economy is doomed to spiral downwards until we do 2 things:
outlaw government borrowing; 2. outlaw fractional reserve lending. Banks
should only be allowed to lend out money they actually have and nations
do not have to run up a "National Debt". Remember: It's not what backs
the money, it's who controls its quantity." As more and more Americans are finally expressing an interest in what is really happening behind the scenes, but seem to not have the patience for simple algebra, we hope the following movie answers most of the pent up questions.

Still's movie is well worth the two hours it takes to watch.

h/t Fiat Currency

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Samual Adams's picture

This is a great documentary/educational film.  Must watch for those who want to learn about the truth.   Also good for helping people wake up, to reality.

Max Hunter's picture

Absolutely... I'm starting to have little tolerance for the poison too many consider knowledge about how our economy works.. They can complicate it as much as they want with their "education" but it will always come back to the basics no matter what these educated morons invent to trick people into thinking we don't need to build things and we can just shuffle paper around and consider it wealth..

TheJudge2012's picture

I used to believe in Bill Still's "Money Masters" until I fact checked it. It got to the point where it was hard to find any quote or historical account that was accurate. Example: the words inflation and deflation, in what he says is Jefferson's quote about banks, did not even exist at that time in a monetary sense.


He draws his conclusion to stay on an unbacked fiat currency based on a ton of inaccurate history.

The best idea for sound money comes from Ron Paul, competing currencies. Let the free market decide what to use.

Ragnarok's picture

This is what I propose, which I believe is Freegold and this intertwined.


Two tier money system separated by the anticipated time of use.  Gold to store wealth and a national issued debt-free currency for near to medium term transactions.  Monetize both and allow to compete.



- Its FLOW must be guaranteed no matter the price

- No frational reserve banking

- Acts a a check against all national currencies.


Debt-Free Currency:

- Issued by the government

- No fractional reserve banking

- Acts as a check against the gold market


midtowng's picture

Why not include silver, like the Constitution said?

clymer's picture


I liked money masters, and this was informative - but he put his entire focus on debt-based money controlled by private corporate bankers following the british model - important facts - and described deflation as money supply being pulled out by those that control it.. But didn't talk about inflation much. Even if the power to print and coin money were put back under the treasury, appropriated by congress - would not the same special interests that represent the military industrial complex, insurance, pharma, etc. still be funding campaigns and getting their share? Would the supply of unbacked money still be expanding, and would this not be inflationary?

This film didn't really answer this for me - or if it did, I didn't catch it.


TheJudge2012's picture

A couple years ago I did a lot of research trying to find something accurate in Bill Still's "Money Masters." I don't have time to go back and research so I can post more Money Masters contrivances, but this research comes from a youtube poster on a Still interview with Alex Jones:

3 weeks ago

@thedantien Regarding the excerpts from The Bankers Magazine. I was able to locate a copy on the web. The volume I found was from 1891 - 1892, and I could not find one? of the excerpts he used in his film. I also found a copy from 1920 that claimed the excerpts were all false and were never published in an volume of The Bankers Magazine. I will post the links.


Urban Roman's picture

The best idea for sound money comes from Ron Paul, competing currencies. Let the free market decide what to use.

That's cool because I just wrote "$100" on the back of a cocktail napkin with a sharpie. I'm going to make more of these things and use them to pay all my bills.

AnonymousAnarchist's picture

Let me know who accepts your napkin-money so I can do business with them as well.

Chappaquiddick's picture

You clearly have a vested interest in Banking.  You are part of the problem.  At some stage if you are lucky there will a bloodless coupe and sanity will be restored to the worlds financial system.  If you're unlucky there'll be a bloody coupe and you and your repellant swarm will be excised French style off the face of the Earth.

How many Presidents in that period got capped over the control of the money system??   JFK too?  Obe-Wan might be next.

TheJudge2012's picture

You must be joking. Did you read my other post? Try emailing the commenter I cited for links. Then go thru the Money Masters like I did and try to find something accurate (it won't be easy) instead of going along with the notion that hard money is bad based on data you've never checked out for yourself.

svendthrift's picture

Oz is an outstanding documentary. Why do rich people in the media want a gold standard? Watch and learn. The US should issue and control the volume of her own currency. Banks having this function is quite simply insane.

morkov's picture

why not simply control government spending of public value??? public can vote for everything. there's Internet now. if the public is stupid than they will have to be educated. it will be the greatest advance to for society...problematic, but manageable.

morkov's picture

yes, I mean "SIMPLY"

trav7777's picture

The average member of the general public lacks the intelligence to be sufficiently educated.

I mean we even have a captcha here that I wager most posters use a calculator for and you still see people saying ridiculously stupid things rather frequently.

goldsaver's picture

Because we don't live in a democracy. We are supposed to be a Republic. We are at best a plutocracy, at worst an Idiocracy.

Shameful's picture

Yeah that system worked great in the Continental and the ancient paper currencies.  While I would prefer the press to be in Congresses hands it's not like the end result of total currency debasement would be any different.  All faith based paper currencies that can be printed to infinity are destined for the dustbin of history.

midtowng's picture

Maybe it isn't as simple as just going back to a government backed currency, but the movie captured an extremely important point that most people, even gold bugs, tend to ignore: ultimately the lion's share of the problem with our currency isn't that it isn't backed, its that it is backed by debt.

  People here talk about going back to a gold standard, which is better than what we have now. But its only a step in the right direction. To fully fix the problem we need to go back to a gold AND silver backed currency, just like the Constitution said.

VeloSpade's picture

For those who do not have time to watch it and never read the original book upon which the movie was written, here is the clincher:

Contrary to the original novel, Dorothy's shoes were not ruby slippers as depicted in the movie, but were made of silver.  Guess what the yellow brick road symbolizes?  Ok, I spoiled it enough.  Just watch it for the full story.

nuinut's picture

Currency needs no "backing". The store of value needs to be non-printable.

This movie is (well intentioned) misinformation.

A waste of two hours, IMHO.

LeBalance's picture



"As Still  says: "The world economy is doomed to spiral downwards until we do 2 things: outlaw government borrowing"

Nope: outlaw government.

~FOFOA: "Checkbook money is paper, store of value is hard assets, and the acme of hard assets has always been gold.  It is therefore money."

and Bill, there will be no stopping the downdraft for quite awhile.  Get prepared for something completely different.

nuinut's picture

Problem is, people have no imagination, it's been conditioned out of them it would seem.

Without imagination, we'd still be in caves, or worse.

Something different isn't always something worse, although it can appear that way to the less flexible.

LowProfile's picture

Invention comes from imagination.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Therefore, when necessity calls for it, imagination will be revived.

Or...  The reason things always have to get worse before they get better is because if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

nuinut's picture

+ frickin' heaps.

Is that necessity I hear callin'? Why, I do believe it is.

Oracle of Kypseli's picture


No matter what anyone's opinion is about the movie, as a minimum, it exposes the bankers evil doings. And that is the first step.

nuinut's picture

Agreed. It just frames the problem (evil bankers tool) as debt-backed money, which is incorrect.

The people just seem to have difficulty resisting the temptation of a free lunch. The people are equally guilty (as bankers), for accepting the debt in the first instance.

Shameful's picture

Could not agree more.  "You can't con an honest man"  The lure of free goodies has always been used as a trap throughout the ages.  Which is why sadly I cannot see the future being any different.  Might change for a while, like the depression era gen being savers and frugal, but memories fade with time and man's nature returns once more.

nuinut's picture

Which is why sadly I cannot see the future being any different.

I can.

Freegold makes the change in incentive, for everyone. 

With a bona fide store of value, dishonesty is disincentivized (is that a word?)

Everything continually deflates against value, which is continually created.

Value. The one thing we would all like to see more of.

Shameful's picture

Should freegold happen I'm inclined to agree.  However even freegold would not last.  In 100 years even with advanced tech the people would forget about what things were like in the pure fiat world and with the proper prodding might be lured back to it...maybe 200 years it has been pretty brutal :)

This thought strikes me, how will wars be financed?  Seems like in history when ti comes time for war the gold standard was always abandoned.  And should the gov just print it would send a bit of a panic through the gold holders, or info might break down.  IE confusion about how much has been printed. Since the whole banking system would be gone, selling debt to finance it would be rough, and printing if revealed would slag the transactional value of the currency.  Seems the only recourse would be direct war taxes, like way back in the day.

nuinut's picture

Freegold is not the gold standard though, it is a worldwide currency valuation system, with a floating reserve. After the caning we are about to receive, I think we'll collectively be swearing off debt for a bit longer than 200 years, and if Freegold works out like I'm picking, no one will want to go back anyway.

I see no reason why our monetary system cannot evolve with us past a lot of the behavior and attitudes we currently take for granted.

How is it the US has the deepest pockets, but hasn't actually won a war in 50 years? Looking back, it would appear that debt allowed WW1&2 to be so large, that the US financed most participants, and then financed the rebuilding too.

No single govt can go it alone, without massive collateral damage to their currency, which is the source of their power. I can't see war being such a feature of the future either, just like banking, finance and debt. Would we miss them?

Every govt would have to ditch the mantra of continual growth, and prioritize making their country sustainable and productive. 

 Since the whole banking system would be gone, selling debt to finance it would be rough, and printing if revealed would slag the transactional value of the currency.  Seems the only recourse would be direct war taxes, like way back in the day.

No one to buy the debt, so it couldn't happen.

Direct war taxes? What the hell is this future war over, that any populace will submit to that? War seems to be predominantly a financially inspired venture, and to be a lot less likely under a Freegold financial system.

A Nanny Moose's picture

War seems to be predominantly a financially inspired venture


All human conflict is economic in nature.

Shameful's picture

"Human behavior is economic behavior. The particulars may vary, but competition for limited resources remains a constant. Need as well as greed have followed us to the stars, and the rewards of wealth still await those wise enough to recognize this deep thrumming of our common pulse."

-- Nwabudike Morgan, "The Centauri Monopoly"

Yeah it's a video game, quote is still spot on.

Shameful's picture

That was were I was going with a war tax. Historically there were INSANELY unpopular. And it caused many a revolt. The central banking inflation model basically allowed a war tax to be done in a manner where the average person would not realize full what was being done.

I'm 100% against wars, and pretty sure that if the expenses for the US's adventures were financed with a war tax the war would be over post haste! But it would be difficult to expect there would be no war, but more likely they would be on a more limited scale without debt financing for them.

Max Hunter's picture

"You can't con an honest man" 

Absurd.. Sounds nice though.. Sheesh  So anyone taken by another had it coming.. JFC... what's next..

Shameful's picture

Most cons take advantage of human weakness so it's not that far off the mark.  Sure a lot of people get conned but a lot of it can be traced back to greed, indifference, or ignorance.  Look at what was happening in the housing market on the low level before the crash came.  I'm not saying it absolves anyone of anything, that excuse wouldn't hold up in court.  But then again no one is going to court over this collapse either.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Of those "victims" in the property bubble, can we say with certainty they were honest? Were they performing an honest day's work, for an honest day's pay? Or merely using a home as an ATM? Is this an  honest path to the product of one's mind, and it's call of the body, to action?

Did all of these machinations produce anything off which a family can survive? Since many are willfully defaulting now, are they still honest?

midtowng's picture

I disagree. The original sin is debt-based money.

Yes, I agree that the ultimate solution isn't to simply issue lots of non-debt-based money, like the money implies. But the movie is correct that the problems start with borrowing money into existence. There is no need for it except to enrich the banksters.

High Plains Drifter's picture

Not only this, but it is bad enough gold and silver bugs have to be continually bashed, and now this guy is doing it too.  I was hoping for something better, not to mention the historical broad brushed inaccuracies contained therein.


Bendromeda Strain's picture

Don't feel bad, I actually paid for the DVD. These guys are counting on "new" US fiat being the modern Rentenmark after Ben goes QE to infinity with the "old" Reichsbank Fed notes.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Why can you not have a goverment fiat system internally and a gold exchange to settle foregin trade.

A hybrid system is not beyond imagination and it would have the advantages of giving nations the freedom to develop their domestic capital via non debt credit creation while a Gold exchange with foregin countries would instill a discipline of not spending beyond ones means.


Trifecta Man's picture

The US government likely has little gold to back the international exchange.  The banksters conned the government into lending it out to suppress the price of gold.  They haven't returned it.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Yes quite possibly - I have a sense that the Gold standards of old were tied to coal economies where the fuel was less liquid and transportable -  while as the oil age began to take hold, especially outside the wests borders it became impossible for countries such as the US to hold gold as the worlds capital was elsewhere and easily transported.

Now that peak oil may have been reached the dynamics are changing once again.

Max Hunter's picture

Why can you not have a goverment fiat system internally and a gold exchange to settle foregin trade.

Well.. since we have a 500 billion trade deficit, how long would our gold last?.. Assuming we still have some..

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Yes Max that's a bit of a problem - in is no coincidence that the US went to a full fiat system in 71 as it reached max production of oil back then.

I imagine if yee remained on a gold standard very serious austerity and structural reforms would have been made and developments such as the wal-mart / truck based transport economy would never have been successful.

How the US is going to adjust to austerity when you had a century of increasing domestic energy and then free credit for another 40 years is beyond me.

Max Hunter's picture

Well.. by definition, we will adjust but it will not be a traditional "adjustment" but the necessary collapse of the current system..

You are right, it's not coincedence that we went the so called "gold standard" the same year the U.S. began a trade deficit..

Modern Money Mechanics's picture

This is one three great pieces on the nature of money and the private/public struggle that has gone on for 5,000 years.

The most complete description has to be Ellen Brown's The Web of Debt. On Amazon it has 160 reviews of which 24 are less than 5 stars! http://www.webofdebt.com/

Bill Still follows Ellen's book closely. He goes on site, providing great images such as the English Tally Sticks. An interesting example that Bill provides that is not in Ellen's book is the nature of early Roman copper coinage and the effect that Julius Caesar has by implementing gold coinage.

The third is Damon Vrabel who has a great series of essays that develop in detail the debt-based monetary system; how it supercides both government and private interests; how the private banking "without-boarders" has taken over the West. Damon also does a good job explaining how "sovereign debt" is an oxymoron. http://csper.wordpress.com/ and http://www.csper.org/

trav7777's picture


If oil has peaked, aggregate energy supply has peaked, EROI is declining to unity.

IT WILL NOT MATTER what our monetary system IS or who prints what.  There WILL NOT BE the energy to make more cars for more people to drive more miles!  OK?

All this talk about the Fed and the "criminals" is DENIAL.  What are you people gonna do when oil production falls materially?  Even after the Fed is ended, Dimon and Blankfein are in jail and we have a gold standard?

NOTHING can alter reality, not confidence, not monetary bullshit...there is NO deus ex machina out of this other than sustainable fusion power.

FOCUS your time and efforts on the achievement of increased energy supply and not kvetching over irrelevancies.

Debt money is collapsing SIMPLY because the future DOES NOT CONTAIN GROWTH.

The solutions proposed in all these articles are foolish and ineffective.

Frank Owen's picture

GODDAMMIT, Trav... I've got it! The new currency that meets all the criteria shall be:


ibjamming's picture

"Debt money is collapsing SIMPLY because the future DOES NOT CONTAIN GROWTH."


Yup...the base of the pyramid has stopped growing to support those above...and the little population growth we have...is the "wrong" kind of people...the poor.


ARE we in peak oil?  A plateau?  If we ARE into peak oil...we're fucked.