There comes a time when we need to take the next steps or whither away. No one is going to replace Stephen Zarlenga with his vision. In many respects, he succeeded beyond many of his hopes: the successes of the conferences, the writing of the NEED Act, and winning the day to where informed and morally concerned bankers, economists, lawyers, modelers, scholars, and us everyday money users can figure out how to structurally change it and make it viable for the common people everywhere . Thank you, Stephen Zarlenga! You did more than your share to give a hoot and care for our world.
Stephen ran the AMI on a shoestring budget. Since his death, people have come together and said that this is not the time to lay down Stephen’s AMI but to carry on with the work. Having been close to Stephen for most of the last two decades, I know that when there are two or three Zarlenga-influenced thinkers, his vision continues as if he was still present with us.
Also, his strength of presence gives us flexibility, at least for a while going forward. As he did with his conferences, we can look at the monetary scene today and consider and try different paths as we advance to some extent, knowing that we can fall back on his three pillars of monetary reform:
-Nationalization of the Federal Reserve System,
-Private commercial banks and financial institutions no longer issue the nations’ money by making investments or loans.
-All legal tender money is issued through the government, which captures the full use of the seigniorage benefit.
At the same time, we are flexible and remain steadfast in promoting his message.
Based on this theme of flexibility, I’ll share two perspectives. The firstis: Welcome to the new website! And the second is a role for AMI on the international scene.
Welcome to the updated and redesigned American Monetary Institute Website
Yes, we have a new logo, and the blue and green colors creating a globe emphasize planet earth. The warm colors of orange and yellow and the coins, clocks, and compasses are still around, and they will come out here and there.
This website intends to be open for all monetary reformers as a go-to place for research and education. Also, there is an open invitation to become involved. Visitors can make suggestions, see an AMI video, write a much-needed abstract with keywords describing the video, submit a blog, article or paper, or comment on someone else’s contribution. Your help in these efforts would be appreciated!
In the meantime, please do not mind the dust as we continue to work to make the website more accessible and meaningful. The old website needed a more commonly used platform (WordPress), which allows a greater number of people to help edit the website, make postings, and submit articles and papers. On the old website, visitors could find error messages, and hopefully, here, we will eliminate those.
Meanwhile AMI will be hosting the extensive monetary bibliography, including its most recent update and a small editorial highlighting some of the newly added items [link].
Our first article is a summary of a 2001 paper by Louis-Philippe Rochon on “Five Propositions on Bank Credit Creation”, a Post-Keynesian take on credit creation which they named “endogenous money”. The article also addresses a 2018 study applying Rochon’s insights.
The AMI and the International Monetary Scene
The reality is that the existing financial powers, though acknowledging that commercial banks create our money supply, they have maintained their wall of resistance against reforming it based on their financial strength and the use of jargon. Today, AMI and its sister organizations work together to tear down this bankers’ wall in the United States and worldwide by educating all who will listen. Nationally and internationally, the bankers ignore our reform proposals while they continue their exploitative business.
In the more developed countries, money creation by the banks allowed them unfair financial gains. However, in lesser developed countries, this problem was compounded. After the colonial occupation ended during the mid-20th century, it was replaced with economic colonialism that, at the core, kept hush on how money is truly created. In lesser developed countries that development came about based on domestic savings and borrowings from international entities, and not the fact that money could be created when it was needed for development. Officials and students everywhere were taught this as the only source for international economic development.
This situation meant that while everyday money users in western developed countries were dominated by their bankers, the people in lesser developed countries were dominated by their bankers and the western bankers. (Below, I source Richard Werner and Djamester Simarmata for documenting this process.)
However, the domination in western countries was somewhat ameliorated because western bankers tended to spend their earnings in western countries. As this money circulated, western everyday money users had more money around them to earn and pay their loans. Again, the people with the more significant burden were the money users in lesser developed countries. They had to pay for their local bank loans and the loans their governments took from international institutions and banks. Additionally, countries that failed financially and accepted the dollar as their local currency suffer still worse because of the lost seigniorage.
Many poor people everywhere, but especially in lesser developed countries, believe that it is only because of the benevolence of the rich that they get by. Monetary reformers may have known about these problems. If they did, they would be right in saying that monetary reformers in financially more developed countries still don’t experience the unfairness experienced by ordinary people in lesser developed countries daily.
Stephen Zarlenga did not get a chance to elaborate on this problem, but it is a problem that now stares us in the face. My response to helping lead AMI is simple. As the bankers maintain their wall and ignore us, we do the right thing, go around that wall, and learn to connect with money-using people worldwide.
As a monetary reform organization in the Western world, we must represent the change we want to see with our central banks and the worldwide banking system. We must learn to understand the problems and support people everywhere. We must figure out how to solve this money creation problem and its usurious system by replacing it with a fair public money creation system.
Werner, Richard. 2015. “A Prosperous Future Together”. Dialogues of Civilizations, Rhodes Forum 2015. Dialogues of Civilizations YouTube Channel, 23 Dec 2015.
Simarmata, Djamester. 2023. “Development Finance by Money Creation, instead of Foreign Debt or Saving: A New Paradigm For Development Economics”. MS [Forthcoming]
Richard Kendall says
You are right now is the time to carry on Stephen’s work more than ever. If this is Jaime, then thank you for continuing with this as I had to take a break and start a family. Now that that’s done, I am hoping to see what develops and perhaps can attend this year’s conference.