The Federal Bank Option
This is from an article titled "A Radiacal Plan for Funding the New Deal" written by Ellen Brown and published in "Yes" magazine, available here.
The Federal Bank Option
The federal government could issue credit through its own lending facility, leveraging “reserves” into many times their face value in loans just as banks do now. Franklin Roosevelt funded his New Deal through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), a government-owned lending institution. However, the RFC borrowed the money before lending it. 4 A debt-free alternative would be for a government-owned bank to issue the money simply as “credit,” without having to borrow it first. This was done by the state-owned central banks of Australia and New Zealand in the 1930s, allowing them to avoid the worldwide depression of that era. 5 In the informative booklet “Modern Money Mechanics,” the Chicago Federal Reserve confirms that under the fractional reserve system in use today, one dollar in reserves is routinely fanned by private banks into ten dollars in new loans. 6 Following that accepted protocol, the government could fan the $700 billion already earmarked to unfreeze credit markets into $7 trillion in low-interest loans.
Apparently, that is how Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke are planning to generate the $7 trillion they say they are now prepared to advance to rescue the financial system: they will just leverage the $700 billion bailout money through the banking system into $7 trillion in new loans. 7 But the Federal Reserve is a privately-owned banking corporation, and the recipients of its largesse have not been revealed. 8 The $700 billion in seed money belongs to the taxpayers. The taxpayers should be getting the benefit of it, not a propped-up private banking system that uses taxpayer money for the “reserves” to create ten times that sum in “credit” that is then lent back to the taxpayers at interest.
Seven trillion dollars in government-issued credit could furnish all the money needed to fund Obama’s New Deal with a few trillion to spare. Among other worthy recipients of this low-interest credit would be state and local governments. Many state and municipal governments are going bankrupt through no fault of their own, just because interest rates shot up when the monoline insurers lost their triple-A ratings gambling in the derivatives market.