Chris Martenson Warns "There Is Nothing More Important Than Understanding This..."

Tyler Durden's picture

Having watched Mike Maloney's "Secrets Of Money" series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 here), Chris Martenson discusses the critical aspects of the must-watch episodes. Crucially, as we enter a period of apparent Nirvanic equity markets (and dystopian 'real' economics), Martenson's points on the "unnecessarily complex monetary system" that we have today are summed up by his statement that "there is nothing more important that understanding how our money system operates... and why it will fail us."


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
SpykerSpeed's picture

What's funny to me is how many ZeroHedgers understand intimately how the US Federal Reserve system works, but they couldn't tell you the first damn thing about how Bitcoin works.

I understand gold.  I understand USD and other fiat currencies.  Now please, if you're going to criticize Bitcoin, at least first understand it.

Pladizow's picture

“It's all well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for If they did, there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”  - Henry Ford.

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

“Money is a new form of slavery, and is distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal, there is no human relation between master and slave.” – Leo Tolstoy

“Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked: 'Account overdrawn.'”  - Ayn Rand

“In our time, the curse is monetary illiteracy, just as inability to read plain print was the curse of earlier centuries.” - Ezra Pound

"The few who understand the system, will either be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of the people mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests." – John Sherman - Protégée of the Rothschild Family

“All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise not from defects in the constitution or confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, as much from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin and circulation.” - John Adams in a letter to Thomas Jefferson.

"The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise or to evade truth, not to reveal it.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

markmotive's picture

F@ck dropping 100 grand on school. If there's one course you're going to take, make sure it's Chris Martenson's 'Crash Course'

Chief Kessler's picture

I can't buy Christmas presents for my kids because John Kerry is coming for my guns-ex-Chief Kessler


GetZeeGold's picture



but they couldn't tell you the first damn thing about how Bitcoin works.


I can tell you how gold doesn' just sits there.


I'd love to join the you could spot me......that would be super cool!

Eeyores Enigma's picture

Bitcoin is the Mana from Tecnoheaven.

All who worship at the alter of Technology shall accept the Devine value of Bitcoin.

mvsjcl's picture

I'll just say it and get it over with: I think Bitcoin is a gold (price) control scheme. It's the only thing that makes sense to me.

ebworthen's picture


The thinking processes and tone are identical to those in a cult.

Eeyores Enigma's picture

Money as with anything only has value if there is a perceived shortage which is why we need more and more poor people as money is debased.

War_is_Peace's picture

I posted the link to episode 4 but then realized it's embedded in the text above. Oops. 

czardas's picture


We should remember that those running the current systems are not evil - they believe they are doing the right thing. They think, for exampe, that they can invest and use wealth better than hordes of zombies. It's easy to say, "They're rotten SOBs who want to destory the currency and take over the world" but it's not that simplistic.  The sad truth is that we act alike - advocating politicies with good intentions.  It's like the Obamacare nuts who truly think this fiasco is for the best.  Or those who think masssive regulation is for the best. 

It's taken years to accept the fact that folks I ideologically disagree with 100% think they are doing the moral thing.  Their convictions are just as strong and rooted as ours. I respond with, "Look at the evidence.  We've tried your way for decades and the result is a society with growing massive debt, lowered expectations and no hope of future prosperity."  Let us try for a while. 

XenoFrog's picture

Try to keep your bullshit scams in their own threads. Thanks.

SpykerSpeed's picture

I think by "bullshit scam" you meant to say "the world's first decentralized consensus protocol".

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Do you have a good reference (link) to Bitcoin for beginners, you know, for clueless Bearings without a brain the middle, thanks!

SafelyGraze's picture

one reference is the source code

where you can find, in main.h

line number 48 which says

static const int64 MAX_MONEY = 21000000 * COIN;

and that is one of the lines of code that can be changed at any time

for example, the max number of coins can be increased by a factor of a thousand or a million or whatever

kind of like the balance sheet of the fed

which is pretty cool, because somewhere down the road there probably "won't be enough bitcoins", so the number will need to be increased


DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Beginner Bearing only knows just enough SQL to get himself into trouble.  I had a feeling when I clicked your links that I would be plunged into the Raw Computer Code River, where I would be lost forever.

Does that 21,000,000 business REALLY MEAN that they (whoever "they" are) can increase the quantities of Bitcoins whenever they want?

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Amazing!  Your secret is safe with me!

Harlequin001's picture

I won't tell anyone either... promise...

prains's picture

you mean to say Bitcoin is hackable and easily manipulated for evil self serving means?


shocked, say it isn't so, i thought christians were better than that?

Scarlett's picture

yeah, like you only have to convince all miners and your own computer to accept dishones bernanke blocks... 


the ignorance is repelling

Bendromeda Strain's picture

Listen and see your own bountiful ignorance on display. This revelation is news to me, I thought that there was a FIXED mathematical impediment to the quantity of BTC. Finding that it is pinky swear arbitrary, based on promises, cooperation and coercion seals it for me. Frickin paper money was sold on the exact same bullshit AT THE BEGINNING.


Go back in time dipstick, and tell them that QE is on it's third iteration. Enjoy the scorn and ridicule.

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture


The Bitcoin network is governed in the same way the web itself is governed. As Professor Charles Vincent from Harvard University has pointed out, “The Internet offers a very successful model of minimal governance to create network standards in a decentralized decision-making environment. This is because the process relies on transparency, inclusiveness, & accountability”. Maintenance and improvements to Bitcoin follow a Proposal, Review, Consensus, Testing, and Deployment process. Any changes to the protocol must be agreed by both the consensus of the users and by the operators of the thousands of computers in the miner network that are responsible for transaction processing. Both of these large groups have a direct economic interest in maintaining network integrity and keeping the supply limited.

It's amazing to me that there are so many ZH'ers who are haters. Yes buy some more gold, but get yourself educated and you'll see the reason you hold gold may be the same reason you would hold XBT.

Oracle of Kypseli's picture

ZHers understand the difference between physical limited supply and agreed by concensus limited supply which is governed by opinions, emotions and math formulae not well understood by  most.

If man can create precious metals, then I for one will give up on money and settle with a farm 

quasimodo's picture

Many of the precious metals man creates I am happy to purchase at the shooting supply store I visit often.

BurningFuld's picture

Bitcoin will soon be governed by the same thing that governs everything else......GREED.

czardas's picture


The day is coming (and quite soon) when we will be able to create gold (or diamonds or silver or any element) with atomic manipulation. I've wondered what would then be a true backup for currency - it HAS to be something besides trust in a failed State.

Doña K's picture

That is correct. But there will be a cost associate with it. And if gold, then oil as well. better days ahead.

But the ultimate is still a farm in an agrarian friendly country

SafelyGraze's picture

"Got an account on a site like Github? Hackers may know your e-mail address"

there is nothing magical about github to make it the only website that can't be hacked

there is nothing magical about a particular github project that makes it more hack-proof than other ones

there is nothing magical about a particular project's owners that make them more anonymous and incorruptible than other people

there is nothing magical about lines of code in a particular project that keep them immutable

there is nothing magical about a project that would prevent some cloned variant from being preferred and adopted intead of, or in addition, to the original

except for a patent of course


Running On Bingo Fuel's picture

include < sstream >
do { std::stringstream s; s << (BITCOINS);
} while(0)

Ctl-P bitches.


SolarSystem1932's picture

while(0) ???

Single iteration, then quit?

I prefer


Infinity and beyond!

Running On Bingo Fuel's picture

Hey bro, what are you Professor C++ from Tel Aviv? The home of BitCoin.


digi's picture

I'm gonna modify the source code of zerohedge and make my own new version where you can edit peoples comments to correct them to your liking. You guys will all use my new version, right? ...RIGHT?

Running On Bingo Fuel's picture

Right Alice!? Right!

mv 'your comment' /dev/null


digi's picture

Looks like the troll is in on my new ZeroHedge 2.0. Any other takers? I am thinking about also adding the ability for everyone to have unlimited up and down arrows for any post, junk to your hearts content.

BigJim's picture

You do that, you'll be overwriting /dev/null with the file called 'your comment' (assuming the latter exists).

Is this a bit like your previous 'while(0)' statement?


Trucker Glock's picture

"line number 48 which says

static const int64 MAX_MONEY = 21000000 * COIN;"

Limited to a mere 64-bit integer.  Ultra-rare.

kjj's picture

MAX_MONEY has no control over the bitcoin limit.  It is used for sanity checking values.  MAX_MONEY is greater than the number of bitcoins that will exist, so any transaction or other value claiming to have more bitcoins than that is invalid and can be discarded without any further computation.

The real bitcoin limit comes from the subsidy function, GetBlockValue() in main.cpp.  The first blocks had a subsidy of 50 BTC each.  After 210,000 blocks, the subsidy was cut in half (actually, right-shifted by 1 bit in binary, which is almost, but not quite, the same thing), and will continue to be cut in half each 210,000 blocks until it reaches zero.  The sum of the subsidies from genesis block until it reaches zero gives a value a bit under 21 million BTC.

When a miner produces a new block, each node on the network checks that the subsidy claimed is not more than what they calculate in that function.  So, if someone tries to inflate the currency by creating more of it than they are allowed to, the whole network will reject their work.  Miners are allowed to claim less than the subsidy amount, and they have a few times, so the actual bitcoin limit will be somewhat lower than what it could have been.

Inflating bitcoin will require essentially everyone to agree to it, which doesn't seem very likely.

The solution to "not enough bitcoins" is for the bitcoin value to increase, and for people to use smaller fractions of them.  Fortunately, the system is already designed to operate on units of 0.000 000 01 BTC, and the precision could be changed without economic effect if 8 places turns out to be not enough.

NoDebt's picture

Do a Google search.  There are many good articles.  How it works is not as important as why it works.  On that subject, you won't find any articles.

BTW- Bitcoin is now at 333.  It didn't hit 400.  Not yet, anyway.


DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Well, my problem with a Google search is that I would likely find LOTS of hard to understand stuff like Safely Graze sent me to.

I find that informed ZH-ers are often a good source of info...

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Thanks, seek!  Normally if I have to start a search for new (to me) knowledge, I go to wikipedia, which I do understand is not particularly reliable, but, it is written for the masses:

where I found this interesting little link:

SpykerSpeed's picture

This is the Bitcoin wiki, it's better for answering your questions related to Bitcoin:

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Thank you as well Spyker.  Even having looked at all the above "easy" ones, it is still a little hard for me to understand.

I need to find someone around here (you know, where I live and has a computer or whatever) who has some BTC and can show me how it works.

But, I really appreciate the links, everyone, thank you again.

seek's picture

Go here:

Download wallet software. You  want a software wallet, trust me, not a web service.

Multibit is probably best at the moment (I don't use it, but bitcoin-qt will days hours to days to sync up.)

Once you have wallet software installed, generate wallet/keys per instructions (or it'll happen automatically.)

Create an address to receive bitcoins, and paste it in thread, I'll make sure you have at least a small bit to play with.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Thank you again, seek.  I copied and pasted your post above into an email to me for use tomorrow.  

We just had a Peruvian "Fiesta Criolla" (just two of us (of 10) "Made in USA"), anyone who has partied with Peruvians knows that these kinds of things can go on for many hours, and it is late...

Very kind.  Let me get set-up and I'll catch you on a thread in the near future.


Does this mean I can go to Starbuck's soon, wave around my flash drive (or iPhone), and say fill-er up (16 oz blonde roast) with my shiny new 0.01 BTCs?



Slightly O/T, it is very simple to find my blog, make a comment on an old thread (you know, like your email address), and then delete it right away.  FOFOA told me that little trick.  I get the message at my own email even though your comment was deleted!  Kind of cool, perhaps not super-secure, way of sending out secret messages, but good enough for most applications.  I do have a hushmail account as well, FWIW.


old naughty's picture


please check this out also:

interesting that he believed bitcoin would die overnight while it might go to $million per coin.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

The first comment was badly off topic.

Several comments above this one someone points out how such things should be kept to their own threads.

Sounds good to me, but the gold nazis are far more offensive in that regard than bitcoin people.  You can go into any comment thread on ZH about money and someone will decide it's about "PMs".  Mention of Bitcoin, conversely, is pretty rare on non bitcoin threads -- and let's define rare as 1 off topic violation per the 20 or so that happens with gold.