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9 Mind-Blowing Facts About Money

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China Invented Every Form of Money

China:

  • Seized gold six centuries before Franklin Roosevelt, in order to prop up its fiat currency and prevent runaway inflation

Debt Forgiveness Is The Basis for Modern Civilization

Religions were founded on the concept of debt forgiveness.

For example, Matthew 6:12 says:

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Periodic times of debt forgiveness – or debt “jubilees” – were a basic part of the early Jewish and Christian religions, as well as Babylonian culture.

David Graeber, author of “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” told Democracy Now:

If you look at the history of world religions, of social movements what you find is for much of world history what is sacred is not debt, but the ability to make debt disappear to forgive it and that’s where concepts of redemption originally come from.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote in 2009:

In the end, the only way out of all this global debt may prove to be a Biblical debt Jubilee.

Indeed, the first recorded word for “freedom” in any human language is the word for freedom from debt.

(Moreover, there is a long-standing legal principle that people should not have to repay their government’s debt to the extent that it is incurred to launch aggressive wars or to oppress the people … what is called “odious debt”).

The Real Reason Money Was Created?

Everyone was taught that money was invented to replace the messy business of barter. It’s hard work walking my cow all the way to your village to trade for firewood … and then carrying all of that firewood back home. And what if no one wants my cow?

But economist Charles Goodhart – a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee – anthropologist David Graeber, and other experts on the history of money say that this is a myth.  (Bloomberg has written on this issue.)  Instead, they say that money was invented to finance war, and to keep score while armies went about pillaging and looting.

(We're not vouching for their theory, or saying that money is inherently bad.  We just think it's interesting that there are alternatives to the "cumbersome barter" theory.)

Lifespan of Currencies

The average life expectancy for a fiat currency is less than 40 years.

But what about “reserve currencies”, like the U.S. dollar?

JP Morgan noted last year that “reserve currencies” have a limited shelf-life:http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/10/Reserve%20Currency%20Status.png

 

As the table shows, U.S. reserve status has already lasted as long as Portugal and the Netherland’s reigns.

Will the dollar last as long as Spain, France or Britain’s reserve currencies?  It’s impossible to know.

But given that the dollar’s reserve status has been slipping away for many years – and that the European Union (the world’s largest economy) has now entered into a currency swap agreement with China – the dollar’s reign may only have a couple of years left.

Big Banks Are Not Really In the Banking Business

Everyone thinks of banks as holding our deposits safe, and extending loans based upon the amount of deposits they hold in their vaults.

This is no longer true.

The big banks currently do very little traditional banking. Most of their business is from financial speculation (which, sadly, metastasizes into manipulation and criminal behavior).

For example, less than 10% of Bank of America’s assets come from traditional banking deposits.

Time Magazine gave some historical perspective in 1993:

What would happen to the U.S. economy if all its commercial banks suddenly closed their doors? Throughout most of American history, the answer would have been a disaster of epic proportions, akin to the Depression wrought by the chain-reaction bank failures in the early 1930s. But [today] the startling answer is that a shutdown by banks might be far from cataclysmic.

 

***

 

Who really needs banks these days? Hardly anyone, it turns out. While banks once dominated business lending, today nearly 80% of all such loans come from nonbank lenders like life insurers, brokerage firms and finance companies. Banks used to be the only source of money in town. Now businesses and individuals can write checks on their insurance companies, get a loan from a pension fund, and deposit paychecks in a money-market account with a brokerage firm. “It is possible for banks to die and still have a vibrant economy,” says Edward Furash, a Washington banks consultant.

Indeed, even though the taxpayers have thrown trillions of dollars at the “too big to fail” banks, they largely stopped loaning to Main street … and it was only the smaller banks that kept making loans.

Inequality Today In America Is Worse than In Ancient Slave-Owning Societies

Inequality is much worse than you think …

Indeed, inequality in America today is twice as bad as in ancient Rome, worse than it was in Tsarist Russia, Gilded Age America, modern Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen, many banana republics in Latin America, and worse than experienced by slaves in 1774 colonial America.

Quantitative Easing Hurts the Economy

81.5% of all money created through quantitative easing is sitting there gathering dust … instead of helping the economy.

Indeed, quantitative easing actually hurts the economy, Main Street, and the average American.

Yes, The U.S. Has Defaulted

It is widely stated that the U.S. government has never defaulted.  In reality, the U.S. has partially or fully defaulted on numerous occasions.

How Money Is Really Created

Banks create money out of thin air, without regard to whether or not they have deposits on hand.

This sounds like an outrageous statement … but the Federal Reserve has said as much.

For example, a 1960s Chicago Federal Reserve Bank booklet entitled “Modern Money Mechanics” said:

[Banks] do not really pay out loans from the money they receive as deposits. If they did this, no additional money would be created. What they do when they make loans is to accept promissory notes in exchange for credits to the borrowers’ transaction accounts.

Economist Steve Keen notes:

As long as 4 decades ago, the actual situation was put very simply by the then Senior Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Alan Holmes. Holmes explained why the then faddish Monetarist policy of controlling inflation by controlling the growth of Base Money had failed, saying that it suffered from “a naive assumption” that:

The banking system only expands loans after the [Federal Reserve] System (or market factors) have put reserves in the banking system. In the real world, banks extend credit, creating deposits in the process, and look for the reserves later. The question then becomes one of whether and how the Federal Reserve will accommodate the demand for reserves. In the very short run, the Federal Reserve has little or no choice about accommodating that demand; over time, its influence can obviously be felt. (Alan R. Holmes, 1969, p. 73; emphasis added)

Moreover:

(1) William C. Dudley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in a speech in July 2009:

Based on how monetary policy has been conducted for several decades, banks have always had the ability to expand credit whenever they like. They don’t need a pile of “dry tinder” in the form of excess reserves to do so. That is because the Federal Reserve has committed itself to supply sufficient reserves to keep the fed funds rate at its target. If banks want to expand credit and that drives up the demand for reserves, the Fed automatically meets that demand in its conduct of monetary policy. In terms of the ability to expand credit rapidly, it makes no difference.

(2) On February 10, 2010, Ben Bernanke proposed the elimination of all reserve requirements:

The Federal Reserve believes it is possible that, ultimately, its operating framework will allow the elimination of minimum reserve requirements, which impose costs and distortions on the banking system.

Under the current fractional reserve banking system, banks can loan out many times reserves. But even that system is being turned into a virtually infinite printing press for banks.

Germany’s central bank – the Deutsche Bundesbank (German for German Federal Bank) – has also admitted in writing that banks create credit out of thin air.

Steve Keen points out that 2 Nobel-prize winning economists have shown that the assumption that reserves are created from excess deposits is not true:

The model of money creation that Obama’s economic advisers have sold him was shown to be empirically false over three decades ago.

 

The first economist to establish this was the American Post Keynesian economist Basil Moore, but similar results were found by two of the staunchest neoclassical economists, Nobel Prize winners Kydland and Prescott in a 1990 paper Real Facts and a Monetary Myth.

 

Looking at the timing of economic variables, they found that credit money was created about 4 periods before government money. However, the “money multiplier” model argues that government money is created first to bolster bank reserves, and then credit money is created afterwards by the process of banks lending out their increased reserves.

 

Kydland and Prescott observed at the end of their paper that:

 

Introducing money and credit into growth theory in a way that accounts for the cyclical behavior of monetary as well as real aggregates is an important open problem in economics.

In other words, if the conventional view that excess reserves (stemming either from customer deposits or government infusions of money) lead to increased lending were correct, then Kydland and Prescott would have found that credit is extended by the banks (i.e. loaned out to customers) after the banks received infusions of money from the government. Instead, they found that the extension of credit preceded the receipt of government monies.

Indeed, Keen says that 25 years of research proves that creation of debt by banks precedes creation of government money, and that debt money is created first and precedes creation of credit money.

This angle of the banking system has actually been discussed for many years by leading experts:

“The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.”
- Economist John Kenneth Galbraith

“[W]hen a bank makes a loan, it simply adds to the borrower’s deposit account in the bank by the amount of the loan. The money is not taken from anyone else’s deposit; it was not previously paid in to the bank by anyone. It’s new money, created by the bank for the use of the borrower.
- Robert B. Anderson, Secretary of the Treasury under Eisenhower, in an interview reported in the August 31, 1959 issue of U.S. News and World Report

“Do private banks issue money today? Yes. Although banks no longer have the right to issue bank notes, they can create money in the form of bank deposits when they lend money to businesses, or buy securities. . . . The important thing to remember is that when banks lend money they don’t necessarily take it from anyone else to lend. Thus they ‘create’ it.”
-Congressman Wright Patman, Money Facts (House Committee on Banking and Currency, 1964)

The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented.”
- Sir Josiah Stamp, president of the Bank of England and the second richest man in Britain in the 1920s.

“Banks create money. That is what they are for. . . . The manufacturing process to make money consists of making an entry in a book. That is all. . . . Each and every time a Bank makes a loan . . . new Bank credit is created — brand new money.”
- Graham Towers, Governor of the Bank of Canada from 1935 to 1955.

Additionally, in First National Bank v. Daly (often referred to as the “Credit River” case) the court found that the bank created money “out of thin air”:

[The president of the First National Bank of Montgomery] admitted that all of the money or credit which was used as a consideration [for the mortgage loan given to the defendant] was created upon their books, that this was standard banking practice exercised by their bank in combination with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneaopolis, another private bank, further that he knew of no United States statute or law that gave the Plaintiff [bank] the authority to do this.

The court also held:

The money and credit first came into existence when they [the bank] created it.

(Here’s the case file).

Justice courts are just local courts, and not as powerful or prestigious as state supreme courts, for example. And it was not a judge, but a justice of the peace who made the decision.

But what is important is that the president of the First National Bank of Montgomery apparently admitted that his bank created money by simply making an entry in its book ….

Moreover, although it is counter-intuitive, virtually all money is actually created as debt. For example, in a hearing held on September 30, 1941 in the House Committee on Banking and Currency, then-Chairman of the Federal Reserve (Mariner S. Eccles) said:

That is what our money system is. If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn’t be any money.

Robert H. Hemphill, Credit Manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said:

If all the bank loans were paid, no one could have a bank deposit, and there would not be a dollar of coin or currency in circulation. This is a staggering thought. We are completely dependent on the commercial Banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the Banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it becomes widely understood and the defects remedied very soon.

(Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan was so worried that the U.S. would pay off it’s debt – causing the fed to “lose control of monetary policy” – that he suggested tax cuts for the wealthy for the purpose of increasing the debt.)

There is a growing movement to give the power to create money and credit back to the government, so that the people can save many billions of dollars in interest payments to the big banks.

But the giant banks are close to negotiating a secret trade treaty which would allow them to keep their monopoly on money creation.

 

 

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Tue, 10/15/2013 - 12:30 | 4056403 Freedom Isnt Cheap
Freedom Isnt Cheap's picture

money is a medium to exchange perception of value based on each person psychological makeup.

Very similar to "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder"

Who values money more; a person who has to perform hard physical labor to obtain it or a person who received it as a gift?

Most kids today have no concept of the value of money because they have not had to perform physical labor to know how to compare its value.

Human psyche determines the value of money. Depending on our psychological state of mind we will come to different perceptions of value. We see that everyday when we go to purchase or sell items. We call it barter when we don't agree on the sellers asking price and want to negotiate an agreed price.  

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 16:10 | 4057573 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

"Most kids today have no concept of the value of money because they have not had to perform physical labor to know how to compare its value."

Once upon a time, the only labor was the energy of animal bodies. Human, and other domesticated animals, provided the work to get things done.

The industrial revolution was about harnessing inanimate energy sources, which changed everything by many orders of magnitude ... far beyond the common sense understanding of most people, and far beyond the abilities of the obsolete religions and ideologies to cope with.

For example, a man could work hard all day, turning a hand powered electricity generator, and only make ten cents worth of that power. Similarly, a gallon of gasoline can be burned to deliver the equivalent of hundred of slaves working in the past. Clearly having the knowledge to operate the machines is what matters now, not actually doing any physical labor.

While I agree with your view, Freedom Isnt Cheap, I would expand it to say that most adults have no idea about the value of money either, since they tend to be urban barbarians, who do not understand the technologies that their lives depend upon.

Value is very psychological, but is not purely so, since there is still a real need for energy flows to maintain living brains, in order that there is any psychology at all! Value is also ecological, and relates to the total environmental circumstances. The main thing that has happened at an exponential rate within the past few hundred years has been advances in science and technology, which have left most of the human race behind in the dust, as far as actually understanding those go.

The leading edge is atomic power, which is billions of times BIGGER than anything that existed before in human history, and which has mostly driven Neolithic Civilizations INSANE, because the majority of people in our current kinds of civilizations do not understand the value of that, since it tends to be too BIG for them to comprehend, and understanding it requires turning all previous common sense and most philosophical presumptions upside-down!

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:31 | 4056083 withglee
withglee's picture

"Instead, they say that money was invented to finance war, and to keep score while armies went about pillaging and looting."

That's certainly the way improperly managed Media of Exchange (MOE) have been abused, but civilized societies of traders can certainly perform more efficiently through the use of a properly managed MOE.

How can so many people be so clueless about what money really is?

Money is "a promise to complete a trade". Its meaning is obvious in examining trade. Trade happens in 3 steps: (1) Negotiation; (2) Promise to trade; (3) Delivery. In simple barter (2) and (3) happen simultaneously on the spot. Money allows (2) and (3) to happen over time and space.

To work, it must be founded in trust. To be trusted it must be properly and transparently managed. If that is not possible (it never has been tried so we don't know), then you have to try to use money where it is useful (e.g. short term exchange), and find other ways to store value over longer periods.

Where mismangement of the MOE really hurts most people is in the purchase of a house by mortgage. They buy the house twice. First, they pay interest to the capitalist who supposedly put up the "money" to purchase the house from the builder (owner). Then the capitalist expects to have his so-called capital returned as well.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:15 | 4055988 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"(Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan was so worried that the U.S. would pay off it’s debt – causing the fed to “lose control of monetary policy” – that he suggested tax cuts for the wealthy for the purpose of increasing the debt.)"

 

I'm not buying this.

 

The burst Nasdaq bubble put an end to the budget surpluses and paid off national debt in 10 years myth.  Greenspan didn't have to suggest any tax cuts for the rich- the republicans were chomping at the bit to cut taxes for the rich.  If anything, republicans wanted Greenspan to tell congress that tax cuts for the rich were a great idea.

There was absolutely no reason for Greenspan to think for one minute that the debt would be paid off.  That is such a phony cover story.

Debt expansion grows the economy.  Greenspan needed a housing bubble to grow the economy out of the burst Nasdaq bubble.  Replace a bubble with another bigger bubble.  Running deficits was a part of that strategy of debt expansion to fuel the economy.  The Ownership Society was also part of Greenspan's housing bubble strategy.

 

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 10:35 | 4055810 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"81.5% of all money created through quantitative easing is sitting there gathering dust … instead of helping the economy."

 

How is getting deeper in debt, already up to the eyeballs, supposed to help the economy?

People are not short on debt, they are short on income.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:38 | 4056007 withglee
withglee's picture

At least 1/2 of it bought treasuries. These are the government's "promise to complete a trade". The trade was for services from employees, suppliers, contractors, dependents, and voters (used to buy votes to stay in power ... similar to dependents but a little different ... similar to contractors but a little different ... similar to suppliers but a little different ... similar to dependents but a little different). The repayment must come from tax collections. The government has never kept such a promise ... they always DEFAULT. Further, they pay the lowest INTEREST.

So by the relation: INFLATION = DEFAULT - INTEREST at least 1/2 of QE3 is going straight to INFLATION. At the rate of $1T per year, the can't subdue the real numbers for very much longer.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 12:39 | 4056449 Freedom Isnt Cheap
Freedom Isnt Cheap's picture

No, the trade was the taxpayers labor. It never was the Governments debt but ours. Its like having a wife who keeps racking up the credit card and you have to keep paying on it so it doesn't ruin your credit. The only way to stop it and eliminate the debt is to take away the credit card. If you don't and you keep asking your credit card company for credit line increases the outcome will be bad and you will default.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 17:59 | 4058086 withglee
withglee's picture

No. The actual government trade "always" turns out to be loss of purchasing power. What loans are paid back by the government (and really none are ... they just keep rolling them over ... and that is DEFAULT to a properly managed MOE), are paid back with dollars of less value. A properly managed MOE guarantees INFLATION at zero everywhere at all times. Our government doesn't want it below 2% and have averaged 4% for the last 100 years. The only "right" number is 0%. Doesn't seem like much but a 1913 dollars is now worth less than $0.04.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 10:26 | 4055768 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"But [today] the startling answer is that a shutdown by banks might be far from cataclysmic. Who really needs banks these days? Hardly anyone, it turns out. While banks once dominated business lending, today nearly 80% of all such loans come from nonbank lenders like life insurers, brokerage firms and finance companies."

 

That sounds fine, until the non bank lenders fail as well as the banks, due to the degree of the overall problem.  Bernanke famously said it was confined to sub prime.  Eventually AIG went under.  So let's not kid ourselves.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 08:16 | 4055343 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

An 'american' article on the 'real' causes and the 'real' origins of 'real' creation of 'real' money.

All that for 'real'.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 05:31 | 4055202 Shylockracy
Shylockracy's picture

Janet Joy

"So Yellen is, if you like, a member of my tribe here — and I think that’s a very good thing in today’s economy." - Paul Krugman

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/10/janet-joy/?_r=0

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 04:53 | 4055190 Catullus
Catullus's picture

I read the article on the "real" reason money was created. Seems like they focused more on coinage than why a particular metal was selected. The metal IS the money. And for an anthropologist to not understand that distinction is amazing. I guess all of these people they find buried with necklaces and jewelry were just buried with pretty objects. They must be symbols of their wealth and not their actual wealth. Find three more anthropologists that agree with that.

Then to say that money and credit came before barter? These guys can safely be ignored as contributing nothing.

When someone tells them that something other than metal can be used as money (like wampum shell) the coinage is money creation idea goes out the window.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 10:18 | 4055730 czardas
czardas's picture

As a coin collector I was fascinated at the huge, violent fights over coinage in our history.   Until 1961 the intrinsic value of coins was by law equal to the stated value.  Thus the repeated changes in size, design, additions of stars or banners or eagles were all to ensure that our currency was monetarily correct. When the "shield" nickle was introduced (from the silver half-dime) editorials railed at the use of "base" metal and congressmen warned of its danger.  The idea that currency would not have a precious metal backing was known only as the sure path to ruin (lol). 

As for China, it invented many things.  But unlike the West, these inventions occurred in a state where all knowledge was to reside in the State (emperor).  Many emperors had rooms of "useless" inventions they collected.  Again, a totally different attitude.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 02:37 | 4055127 David Merrill
David Merrill's picture

A suitor on my brain trust linked me here because the Credit River Money Decision is an integral attachment to the Libel of Review.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 02:13 | 4055110 2hangmen
2hangmen's picture

It's amazing it has taken more than a half of a century for this reality check to make it into my adled brainpan.  Apparently, even the Soviets couldn't hold a candle to our own propaganda-for-the-masses education. I can't wait to see what's next.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 00:36 | 4055034 firestarter_916
firestarter_916's picture

Maybe all these rich pricks who made billions off average Americans like Gates, Buffet, Goldman, Whitman, Jobs, Ellison, Bezos, Zuck, Bloomberg, Rockefeller, Walmart, etc could cut us a collective check for rapping us of labor with nothing to show for it, but debt!  We've funded many of the world wars, forgave debt only to allow Corporate America create slaves to line their pockets while hiding the cash off seas to avoid taxes.  There aren't even words for these shitbags.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 00:28 | 4055020 doMiKY
doMiKY's picture

What would it take for China to call for an end to the American dollar as the reserve currency? - It, of course, already has been done:

 http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2013-10/13/c_132794246.htm

Perhaps China is just throwing out editorials just to persuade American politics.

maybe we have enterred a period where a reserve currency can be questioned as a reserve currency and remain a reserve currency -  

while our "elected" politicians come up with their own non-negotiated deal to create enough u.s. dollars to run america to february 2104 - am wondering how our esteemed "elected" officials will non-negotiate with our friends who have expressed reservations on trusting u.s. currency.

maybe this is a period where none of that matters because Bernanke's stock market was up today...

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 10:25 | 4055758 czardas
czardas's picture

China couldn't end the dollar's dominance if it tried.    The reasons (1) too many national and financial systems around the world are based on the dollar as the transfer unit and (2) nobody in their right mind thinks the yuan - also not backed by anything except the word of the Chinese state - is a viable alternative.  Oh sure,  a few nations may choose to skip the exchange into dollar step for specific trades but (lol) in order to deteremine value they still use dollar equivalents.  

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 22:34 | 4054757 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

The only way to know how good or bad the present monetary system is, is to have a real alternative to choose. The fact that we don't only confirms the present one is corrupt. 

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 22:31 | 4054753 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Off topic but more on the personal data collecting spider trap that is the government healthcare exchange website.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obamacare-website-source-code-no-rea...

The launch of federal government's Obamacare insurance exchange, Healthcare.gov, has been plagued with delays, errors, and poor website design, even prompting USA Today to call it an "inexcusable mess" and a "nightmare".  Now comes another example of why the website's reputation is in tatters.  Buried in the source code of Healthcare.gov is this sentence that could prove embarrassing: "You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system."  Though not visible to users and obviously not intended as part of the terms and conditions, the language is nevertheless a part of the underlying code for the "Terms & Conditions" page on the site.

After creating an account on Healthcare.gov, users are asked to click an "I accept" button under some routine Terms & Conditions prohibiting unauthorized attempts to upload information or change the website.  Once users click the button, they may proceed to shop for insurance and enter detailed personal information.  However, when the Terms & Conditions page is visible, the hidden sentence mentioned above along with several others can be seen by using a web browser's "View Source" feature.  A screen grab below shows the visible Terms & Conditions page along with a simultaneous view of the code underlying it:

The full portion of the code which does not appear on the visible page displayed for users reads as follows:

You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system.  At any time, and for any lawful Government purpose, the government may monitor, intercept, and search and seize any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system.  Any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system may be disclosed or used for any lawful Government purpose. [The sentence beginning "To continue" also appears again, but is only visible once on the page as displayed for users.]

It is unclear why these sentences appear in the code at all since they are not displayed, although the code may simply have been copied from another website that does use the full warning.  In this case, the unwanted portion of the warning was rendered inert with HTML coding tags ("<!--" and "-->") usually used by programmers for inserting comments to explain the purpose of a section of code.  However, the code can be rendered "live" again by simply removing those tags, in which case the full text would appear on the screen to users.  However, it is unclear why the paragraph containing "no reasonable expectation of privacy" would ever have even been considered appropriate in this context.

The phrase "no reasonable expectation of privacy" is actually a stock phrase used in the terms and conditions of many government websites and information systems, but those who are entering personal, medical and financial information at Healthcare.gov may not find that fact reassuring.  An email sent on Thursday, October 10, requesting comment from Department of Health and Human Services, the agency responsible for the website, has not yet been returned.

 

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 22:35 | 4054764 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

And to go along with this no reasonable expectation of privacy for good reason.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/14/obamacares-website-...

A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.

HHS didn’t want users to see Obamacare’s true costs

“Healthcare.gov was initially going to include an option to browse before registering,” report Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in the Wall Street Journal. “But that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.” Why was it delayed? “An HHS spokeswoman said the agency wanted to ensure that users were aware of their eligibility for subsidies that could help pay for coverage, before they started seeing the prices of policies.” (Emphasis added.)

....

Yeah sure that it has absolutely nothing to do with building up the HHS private information database on people to be used later on for non-healthcare related purposes. Sure.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 10:32 | 4055795 czardas
czardas's picture

Thanks.   I was trying to get insurance for my son (the only time I will ever get something from the feds) and I was asked to enter information.   I kept looking for prices and benefits and found nothing.  Finally I called and got some lady who said, "Oh yah gotta put ya data in first."  I responded that I'd like to know the cost (TN was one of the hardest-hit states in terms of price increase) and she simply repeated (read) the statement again.  Have no idea why the feds would need to collect information they already have.  None of it was revelatory. 

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 18:13 | 4058131 nmewn
nmewn's picture

And ya got some of the classiest people in the country taking your personal, medical & financial information too...

Obamacare ‘navigator’ in Kansas has outstanding arrest warrant

http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/14/obamacare-navigator-in-kansas-has-outstanding-arrest-warrant/#ixzz2hpaFk0EB

...but not to worry, she's only wanted for passing a bad check.

Oh, wait a minute ;-)

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:38 | 4056139 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

she simply repeated (read) the statement again.

betya a yearly deductible that statement was written and handed down from the TOP

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 09:12 | 4055472 g speed
g speed's picture

TU Dewey---are you a "black swan" in the obama care world?

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 20:57 | 4054489 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

I think I'd like to pay some taxes with some cuneiform clay tablets like the good old days in Sumer.

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 23:42 | 4054924 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

The crazy thing is that with the stroke of a pen .GOV could force you to do exactly that, then when clay prices went through the roof and everyone had to begin using those things. Who would be laughing?

I just thought of an equally head exploding plan that may help fight crime plus help the government with the debt ceiling. Why doesn't the government offer an amnesty for organised crime to pay its unpaid and future taxes in the form of brown paper bags of used cash.

This way the government could get the money NOW while the criminals get to contribute to society, obviously any extra taxes could be refunded by the .gov into the criminals bank accounts within the banking system thereby helping bank deposits and enhancing financial system stability.

Of course this idea firstly needs an expensive feasibility study conducted by the relevant govt agency in order to ensure it complies with all appropriate laws and regulations. ( the study would naturally also be made as expensive as possible to help boost economic growth)

Disclaimer: this is not financial advice and the author does not profit from this idea.

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 20:44 | 4054457 Serfs_Up
Serfs_Up's picture

DEBT JUBILEE..Can I get a hell yah?!?!

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 08:31 | 4055368 autofixer
autofixer's picture

You don't think it will apply to you or me, do you?  Hardly.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 07:46 | 4055295 monoloco
monoloco's picture

If there is a debt jubilee I'm going to feel like the world's biggest chump for not having any debt.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 07:44 | 4055287 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

FUCK, NO.


Mon, 10/14/2013 - 21:08 | 4054513 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Hell yeah!

But it'll tank the "stock market" which is wholly dependent on moar national debt, it's issuance, its insurance/derivatives and the trusting sheeples dripping their wages into it via 401k's.

A real life financial conundrum, brought to you by, the very best & brightest financial and political minds on the planet.

Makes ya wonder what they get out of it ;-)

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:22 | 4056038 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

hell yeah,

yeah hell

is where it's all heading

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 18:03 | 4058106 nmewn
nmewn's picture

At least I'm enjoying the ride...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01AC4Y2E0t8

...but I've made some other plans too ;-)

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 20:30 | 4054414 Inspector Bird
Inspector Bird's picture

Almost none of this is mind-blowing.  Some of it is wrong, however.

First of all, nobody knows how or why money was created.  The improvement over barter story isn't an explanation of HOW money came to be, but rather a justification of its existence and why it's good for the economy.  It's possible (and likely) that the 'keeping score during war' story is more true for WHY it was created, but clearly when it was created, people realized it had many other benefits which made it worth keeping.

Second, inequality is worse now?  I think not.  Inequality is a subjective term.  Very subjective.  Ridiculously so.  It's possible that there are great income differences, but this isn't inequality.  My neighbor, across the street, is my best friend.  The guy makes much more than I do - probably 2 to 3 times as much annually (also has 2 more kids and a company with bills that I don't).  But we're great friends, and he doesn't treat me like I'm any less his equal.  I don't care how wealthy he is.  Good for him.  Works his ass off, and he's a fun guy.

OK, maybe income inequality isn't what he meant.  Maybe he meant something about the race differences.  Wait.  I worked in an all-white office in 1984.  Now...gasp...women run it, it's half full of minorities (probably more) and incomes in the office are pretty standardized by HR.

OK, so maybe he meant the difference between the top and the bottom in the income ladder.  Well refer to my neighbor, and then remember, while my income has stagnated for the last 15 years, my bank account has grown substantially.  Damn.  How'd that happen?  I'm thrifty, and I know how to manage money.  Wait...I've been unemployed for 2 of those 15 years, too!  So technically, I've had 2 years of zero income.  Yet still higher net worth.  Damn.

 

Inequality is a touchy subject for a guy like me, who grew up poor, had a liberal mom railing (and still railing) against the 'wealthy bankers' (with some justification).  But I take her insults "you're just another banker" (I'm not really, it's her version of insult) as a compliment.  Which drives her nuts.  Yeah, I appreciate money and I know how to use it properly.  But I don't blame it for problems.  That's an individual thing.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 03:59 | 4055165 janus
janus's picture

i do declare...that was well written, thoughtful, honest and fairly stylish -- which explains all the down votes.

giving you philistines the right to vote was the worst decision tyler ever made; yes, worse than those goddam full-page pop-up ads.

inspector, janus didn't vote either way -- but he did enjoy reading.

 

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:41 | 4056145 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

+1 janus (and bird)

brevity makes you wiser amigo

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 07:45 | 4055293 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

It's because he copped to bein' a banker (which is tantamount to admitting that he personally stole his bonus check from you, reader).

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:13 | 4055987 Inspector Bird
Inspector Bird's picture

LOL.

Nope, not a banker.  That's my mom's insult to anyone who knows how to manage money effectively.  She doesn't believe you can actually be productive and create.  

For years, she ran a day-care center.  She felt it was a public service (and she was a great teacher), never collecting fees from anyone but those she felt were 'wealthy'.  Eventually, the 'wealthy' took their kids to a place that was better run and had lower prices.   Soon she had only non-paying kids showing up and tons of unpaid bills.

She turned to me for help.  I reviewed her books, told her to dun the parents and set up payment schedules.  "Oh NO!  They are poor.  If the government would only pay for them..." 

I cut her off.  First, what the government will or will not do is meaningless.  What you want is irresponsible, so you need to get responsible with your own life.

Second, they are using you (they were - at a local bar, I heard one drunk mother laughing at how she got free daycare) and you need to start making them pay for your services.

She then called me "a banker".  At that point, I said "Fine.  Run your business as you see fit."  She still calls me "the banker" whenever she's angry at me.  I laugh and say "thank you".

Of course, her business failed eventually (a shame, really, she provided great care and facilities when she started, but let it all fall to crap), she had to sell it at a massive loss, and she started drinking because "nobody will step up to help."  Riiiiight, mom.  You asked for help (and you still do) and then reject it if it's not on your terms.

Democrat...yup.  Sounds pretty typical (I'm a Libertarian) of both parties, but my Democrat friends are the worst at asking for help on THEIR terms.  I always reject that.  You only stand to lose if you work on their terms when you know their terms have already failed miserably.

 

Emotional wreck?  Nope, I'm not.  She's her own person, I'm mine.  People choose their path in life.  I feel bad for her.  She feels bad for me.  I think I'm doing fine, she knows she's not (rehab 3X).  

Tough luck.  Not really.  Life is tough, in general.  She's failing at it.

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 20:23 | 4054403 orez65
orez65's picture

"...  David Graeber, and other experts on the history of money say that this is a myth.  (Bloomberg has written on this issue.)


Instead, they say that money was invented to finance war, and to keep score while armies went about pillaging and looting."

I'm sick of hearing about so called "experts" and their "verbal diahreah".

This article is complete bull shit.

The "experts" confuse "money" with "paper script, aka fiat money".

It was fiat money that was invented to finance war.

Real money, gold and silver, make it much harder to finance wars.

Fuck the "experts"!

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 12:08 | 4056269 scrappy
scrappy's picture

This guy seems to know something about the history of money...

http://www.monetary.org/

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 03:55 | 4055163 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

I fear you have to read David Graeber before you talk about his theories. he indeed postulates that money was invented to finance war. yet it's money as in gold and silver

there is nothing about war that can't be financed with gold and silver. what fiat currencies can that PMs can't, is finance war diguised as peace

a subtle but important difference which seems lost on many. tell me, is your country at war or at peace?

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 09:36 | 4055563 LawyerScum
LawyerScum's picture

Among the very top priorities of the Hitler war machine was the acquisition of Europe's gold reserves. 

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 19:52 | 4054342 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I saw Zer0head's post up top and didn't want the discussion to drag into religion "up there" becoming a diversion...so I post here.

Maybe everyone's starting to understand, those who believe, are not knuckle dragging neanderthals afterall.

I've been a proponent of Jubilee (in a national & personal sense) for a long time...its the right thing to do and the rational thing to do, if we're going to have usury at all. In the system we have now (at the national level) it just keeps piling up until it implodes, not good for anyone and there is precedent for christians forbidding usury because of its long term effects...morally & ethically.

Now some will argue (at the personal level) the scoundrels among us will just pile up "stuff" knowing the debt incurred by buying with debt will be forgiven one day, by Jubilee. That may be true but, turning back to Luke 7:42, the creditor doesn't have to loan to either ever again. Forgiven does not mean forgotten.

The crux of the matter remains this, it is not our debt, that is to say...the Peoples debt.

The obligation to pay principle & interest remains with the two parties involved, government and the bankers they create and allow by their legislation & laws.

It would be as if Paul borrowed money from Peter and obligated Thomas (us) to pay it back...Aquinas, that is ;-)

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 07:51 | 4055301 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

I disagree on the wisdom of Jubilee (but agree on the danger of usury) and you get the +1 just for sheer quality of post and the great point about memory.

'Crux' (I see what you did there) LOL

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 17:58 | 4058093 nmewn
nmewn's picture

lol...don't tell Element I was drinking ;-)

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 23:24 | 4054900 brettd
brettd's picture

Nice.

There's a reason it's called "The Book of Life...."

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 21:06 | 4054514 lex parsimoniae
lex parsimoniae's picture

The simplest solution is finally posited. I thought it was timely back in 2008 though I doubt it would ever get any serious consideration from the banksters-in-charge. Talk about heads exploding, tho it would be fun to watch.. 

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 22:20 | 4054709 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Its simple until thieves (confidence men) complicate it.

Thieves always try to complicate matters, to ensnare the unwary...see below ;-)

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 02:04 | 4055103 donsluck
donsluck's picture

Jubilee only works if it is scheduled, not announced arbitrarily. Under the jubilee system, everyone knows what year was the jubilee year. Typically there was no lending past that year. An automatic reset.

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