“If two parties, instead of being a bank and an individual, were an individual and an individual, they could not inflate the circulating medium by a loan transaction, for the simple reason that the lender could not lend what he didn’t have, as banks can do….. Only commercial banks and trust companies can lend money that they manufacture by lending it.” – Professor Irving Fisher, economist in his book 100% Money (1935)
“The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it.” – John Kenneth Galbraith economist, author
“The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.” – Lord Acton (1834-1902) English historian
Maybe your first experience of putting money in the bank wasn’t quite as heartwarming as this. But odds are, years later, you still refer to the balance showing on your bank account as being your money in the bank. But it isn’t.
If we have a deposit box at the bank, the valuables we put in it are still ours. We’re just renting secure space to store them. In common usage, the word “deposit” means to set something down. But the use of the word deposit to refer to a bank account is misleading. A bank deposit is in reality… a loan. What the amount in our bank account really indicates is how much money the bank owes us. It is a record of the bank’s promise to pay us money, not the money we deposited itself. The difference is important. The truth is, when we hand the contents of our piggy bank to the bank teller, our money becomes the bank’s money to do with as it pleases. All of the money in the bank is the bank’s money. None of it is ours. That’s why the bank pays us interest. We have loaned the bank our money.