In late January 2022, the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors published a paper, Money and Payments: The U.S. Dollar in the Age of Digital Transformation that focused on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), and solicited comments on it from “the general public and key stakeholders.”
The Alliance For Just Money, Inc. (AFJM) submitted our public comments in May 2022 to the Board of Governors. AFJM strongly believes, as do other member organizations in the International Movement for Monetary Reform, that CBDC is not and cannot be viewed as a step toward a fully democratic sovereign money system so long as the private banking industry’s creation of money through credit (Bank of England, 2014, p. 14) still exists.
On March 9, 2022, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets. It instructed over 24 Executive Branch senior officials and departments or agencies to analyze the implications of implementing CBDC in the US. Officials were directed to report back by June-October 2022 and again a year later.
In January 2023, AFJM mailed a packet of information to the President, Vice President, and 29 senior officials or leaders of named Executive Branch units. We explained that the vast majority of modern money is created through bank loans as private interest-bearing debt. Rising debt with scarce money to service that debt has created growth imperatives and great inequity within and between the economies of the world. This has led to continued economic, social, and ecological crises.
We also noted that, if implemented within this current system, CBDCs will not fix the debt-money problem. Thus, AFJM’s interest in CBDC extends only to what potential exists for it to be part of systemic monetary reform that was already proposed in 2011-2012 in H.R. 2990, the National Emergency Employment Defense Act and that AFJM recently updated as the American Monetary Reform Act. Our proposal requires the federal government to be the sole creator of all United States money (coin, paper, and digital), ends the privilege of commercial banks to create money, and transfers all remaining operations and resources of the Federal Reserve to the United States Treasury.
AFJM will soon conduct follow-up calls and reach out to Congress. We encourage readers to do the same!
Why an SOS?
Most people believe that the government creates our money and banks lend existing money from deposits, and that this is how it should be (Glocalities). But the Federal Reserve, like the Bank of England, acknowledges the first statement is not entirely true. Well over 90-95% of our money is created by banks with keystrokes as they make loans.
AFJM believes the nation’s monetary system should not be run as a private for-profit business but should instead function as a public utility. Instead of commercial banks issuing the nation’s money as interest bearing debt, as is currently the case, the government would issue permanently circulating public asset money. Congress would no longer have to borrow bank-created money to fund the deficit, increasing the national debt and annual interest payments that are already over $31.6 trillion and $540.6 billion respectively. Their chronic antics, as we are now witnessing for the 78th time, before inevitably raising the debt-ceiling would become a charade of the past.
In the sovereign Just Money system we advocate, all newly created money will be spent, lent, invested, or granted into the economy for the general welfare of the nation as its first use, and debt to holders of U.S. Treasury bonds can be paid off as it comes due. This would eliminate the boom/bust cycle, stabilizing the economy for the first time in the nation’s history. Banks will still lend, but they will be lending pre-existing United States money. Just Money would also empower Congress to fulfill its Constitutional mandate “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” (The Preamble, United States Constitution).
As the Federal Reserve paper admits, it has no legal authority to proceed with issuance of a CBDC without “a specific authorizing law” (p. 3). The DOJ and Attorney General Garland’s assessment “of whether legislative changes would be necessary to issue a CBDC” was privately transmitted to the White House Counsel’s Office. AFJM calls on Attorney General Garland to make his determination public. Such a law, which AFJM agrees is necessary, should entail the public acquisition of the Federal Reserve Banks and their operations and fundamental transformation of the private debt-money system into a public asset-money system. These measures are exactly what American Monetary Reform Act lays out.
In short, all new or publicly reinjected money must serve the public good, whatever We, the People, through our democratically elected representatives, determine that to be. Once Just Money enters circulation for the public good in amounts that keep the purchasing power of money stable over time, it can remain in circulation in perpetuity, enabling us to work together to redress the ecological disasters, unsustainable economies, social injustice, and unending wars that we currently experience, and to do so before it is too late for today’s grandchildren’s children.
Dialogue for Just Money: Change Our Money, Change Our World
AFJM believes the United States monetary system is a primary matter of public policy and warrants open dialogue. We commend the Board of Governors for soliciting public comments on its Money and Payments paper, and the President for recognizing that “sovereign money is at the core of a well-functioning financial system, macroeconomic stabilization policies, and economic growth” (sec 4(a)(i)) though we suggest it is sustainability, not growth, that all Peoples and nations want and need. We look forward to ongoing dialogue with them and others on the money question. Together we can change our money, change our world!
Respectfully, ~~the Board of Alliance For Just Money, Inc., 2022-2023
For more information about or questions for AFJM, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m a bit confused about the whole premise that the US is looking at creating a Digital Currency. Most of our money is currently Digital. Very little of it is printed or in coin.
If a new type of digital currency were created, and its value equivalent to existing currency it would effectively be only a name change for our medium of exchange.