News

May 2017 Positive Money New Zealand issued a press release seeking clarity from the Reserve Bank on how our money is created.  They still refer to intermediation by the banks, which is not how our banking system works.

5th November 2016 An article in The Guardian newspaper in England argued that abolishing debt-based currency holds the secret to getting our system off its addiction to growth.

5th September 2016 KPMG released a report, commissioned by the Prime Minister of Iceland, titled "Money Issuance" The report looked at money created by the Government.

28 March 2016 Bryan Gould has agreed to be the Patron for Positive Money New Zealand.

Bryan is a respected commentator on economic matters, an author, academic and Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

31 October 2015 A monetary reform group in Switzerland has enough signatures for a referendum on who creates their money supply.

14 October 2015 The Finance Commission of the Dutch parliament discussed monetary reform.

31 March 2015. The Telegraph in London reports on the Icelandic governments plan to have their central bank issue their money supply and calls it a radical plan.

22 November. The British parliament debated money creation last week, for the first time in 170 years. There was cross-party support for a proposal to set up a monetary commission

23 September. A new generation of young people, dubbed ''property orphans'' may be destined to be renters for life.

17 September. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the bank used by central banks, confirmed New Zealand houses are among the most "unaffordable" in the world compared to people's incomes.

6 September. Bruce Bisset of Hawkes Bay today reveals the true story behind the so called Rock Star economy.

25th April 2014 "Strip private banks of their power to create money”: says the Financial Times’ chief economics commentator Martin Wolf, who endorses Positive Money’s proposals for reform

15th March 2014 - In a historic move The Bank of England quarterly bulletin explains how money is created. Whenever a bank makes a loan, it creates a deposit in the borrower’s bank account, thereby creating new money. The bank says that this differs from the story found in some economics textbooks.

16th August 2013. The retiring head of the Financial Markets Authority apologised for the mistakes made saying “You were let down”.

 

The Earl of Caithness“… our whole monetary system is dishonest, as it is debt-based… We did not vote for it. It grew upon us gradually but markedly since 1971 when the commodity-based system was abandoned.”

The Earl of Caithness, in a speech to the House of Lords, 1997.

Making loans


Unlike the current system, the process of making loans after the implementation of the modernised system is very mechanical, with no scope for money creation.

In the post-reform banking system, a bank will only be able to make loans using money from one of the following sources:

a) the money that bank customers have given to the bank for the purposes of investment (specifically, the money that bank customers have used to open Investment Accounts)

b) the bank's own funds, for example from shareholders or retained profits

c) any borrowings from the Reserve Bank (when permitted).

In contrast with the current system, all money in Transaction Accounts (which would currently be held in 'current' accounts) would be 'off limits' to the bank's loan-making side of the business.

The Investment pool

Each bank will hold an account at the Reserve Bank, known as the Investment Pool. This account will be held at the Reserve Bank. All loans will be made from this account, and all loan repayments will be paid back into this account.

Filling up the pool

When a customer opens an Investment Account, the behind-the-scenes transaction will actually involve money being taken from the customer's Transaction Account and transferred into the bank's own Investment Pool.

(Recall that the customer's Investment Account is really just a customer-friendly way of representing the investment contract made between the bank and the customer).

How banks would make loans

When the bank wishes to make a loan, it will effectively transfer the amount of the loan from its Investment Pool into the borrower's Transaction Account. To do this, it will need to instruct the Reserve Bank’s computer system to transfer the amount of the loan from the bank’s Investment Pool into the bank’s Customer Funds Account, and update its internal records for the borrower’s Transaction Account.

How customers would repay loans

When a customer wishes to make a repayment on the whole or part of a loan (or when the bank regularly takes its deposit), money will be transferred from the customer's Transaction Account back into the bank’s Investment Pool.

How banks would repay customer investment accounts

When an Investment Account reaches its maturity date or notice period, the bank transfers the money that it owes to its customer from its Investment Pool into the customer's Transaction Account.

A worked example

Let’s look at a worked example, starting with a customer who wishes to invest some money.

  1. The customer decides to invest $1000 in an Investment Account with the same bank that he normally uses for his Transaction Account. He or she chooses the account type and agrees to accept the terms and conditions of the account.
  2. The bank then transfers $1000 from this customer’s Transaction Account into the bank’s Investment Pool. At the same time, it creates a record of an Investment Account of $1000, belonging to the customer, and records details of the maturity date, interest rate paid and so on. The Investment Account does not hold any money - it is simply a user-friendly way of representing this investment.
  3. The bank now has $1000 in its Investment Pool Account at the Reserve Bank, which it can use to fund new loans.
  4. A different customer applies for a loan of $1000. The bank makes this loan by transferring $1000 from the Investment Pool into the bank’s Customer Funds Account and increasing the borrower’s Transaction Account balance by $1000 in its internal records.

(Note that in the example above, the figure of $1000 is used for simplicity. There is no need for the amount of a loan to match the amount of an individual investment - the $1000 loan could just as well have been funded by five people investing $200 each. On a bigger scale, there would be thousands of investors and thousands of loans, with parts of each investment going into each loan.)

Note the major change

Note that in all these transactions, every time the balance of one account is increased, the balance of another account is decreased by an equal amount. In other words, money can only be moved from one account to another.

This is in direct contrast to the current loan making process, whereby the borrower’s account is credited with the amount of the loan but the original depositors are never told that their money is ‘on loan’. It is impossible under this modernised system for new money, purchasing power or 'credit' to be created within the banking system as a result of the loan-making process (or indeed any other process).

Inter bank lending

Interbank lending in the modernised system is very simple. If Bank A wishes to lend $100,000 to Bank B, it simply instructs the Reserve Bank's clearing system to transfer $100,000 from its own Operational Account to the Operational Account or Investment Pool of Bank B.

The legal contract or agreement dictating how and when the loan will be repaid is a matter for Bank A and Bank B to arrange between themselves. The Reserve Bank will have no interest in, or record of, which bank owes what to who. It will only record the amount of money in each of the banks' accounts at any one time.

As with loans to the general public, a bank may only make a loan to another bank using:

  • Funds in the bank’s Investment Pool
  • The bank's own capital (retained profits, shareholders' funds etc)

Banks should not make interbank loans with funds that they have borrowed from the Reserve Bank.

Consequently, with interbank lending, it is impossible for both banks to use the same money at the same time. If the money is with Bank A, it can't be used by Bank B. Clearing between the two banks would be instantaneous and final, and no money creation would take place at any point in the process.

 

 

 

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