Federal Reserve Is Mercantilist – Not Private
By Staff News & Analysis - October 17, 2011

Alert: Federal Reserve Tries to Censor Infowars Video … Alex Jones addresses the latest intimidation tactic from the private Federal Reserve bank, whose San Antonio branch has filed a privacy violation with You Tube demanding the removal of a video filmed at the location during an "occupy" rally. Alex tells them cease and desist this action, which violates the First Amendment. Federal Reserve branches across the country have a long history of trying to stifle free speech and press coverage, from fraudulently claiming that filming its buildings is illegal to threatening arrest and more. "I can't take the Bankster Fed pushing people around any more! Now the Fed wants to take down the video where we prove the Federal Reserve is a private bank impersonating a Federal agency. The Fed is the fraud that gives the globalist their power."PP Forum

Dominant Social Theme: It's a private entity, folks. That's the problem!

Free-Market Analysis: Ellen Brown, Alex Jones and others have done much good work to ensure people know the Fed is "private" not public" – and the latest action by the Fed in attacking Alex Jones is another indication of the essentially private nature of the US central bank. Here's more from Alex Jones' PP forum:

Federal Reserve Tells YouTube to Take Down Critical Video … We have received a privacy claim by agents of the FED. They are threatening to remove the video and take down the channel within 36 hours if we don't bow down to their demands. Alex is preparing a video response later and will talk about this more on the (Monday Edition) of the Alex Jones Show. Alex is also looking at taking legal action against the Privately owned Federal Reserve for violating his crews first amendment rights when they were shooting film at a world war one memorial back in April 2009.

But despite the OPERATIVE posture of the Fed as a private institution, it is not entirely private. Alex Jones actually comes close to defining the problem in the forum excerpt above when he explains that the Fed is a "private bank impersonating a Federal agency." There is already a word to define this process: Mercantilism.

Ms. Brown – who has been most vocal on this issue – does not use the word "mercantilism." She wants to emphasize the PRIVATE nature of the Fed so as to offer the alternative of "public banking." Public: good. Private: bad.

The Federal Reserve is a MERCANTILIST entity, one that hides behind a government endorsement. It's private but it would not work without the monopoly power provided by the government. That's how mercantilism works. Powerful private interests seek and receive legal approbation for their private activities.

The Fed didn't come into being until Congress passed an act legitimizing it and even today the US Congress is directly and significantly involved in its structure and activities. Congressman Ron Paul, for instance, is conducting an audit as we write.

It is true that the Fed OPERATES as a private entity, but that's different from stating that the Fed is FORMALLY a private entity. It's evidently and obviously not. As the Fed website itself points out: "[T]he Federal Reserve is subject to oversight by Congress, which periodically reviews its activities and can alter its responsibilities by statute."

Ms. Brown's response? In a 2008 article, "Who Owns the Fed?", she focused on the reality of the Fed as opposed to the statutes justifying its existence. From her point of view, the Fed's activities prove that it is private rather than public, as follows:

As we know from watching the business news, 'oversight' basically means that Congress gets to see the results when it's over. The Fed periodically reports to Congress, but the Fed doesn't ask; it tells. The only real leverage Congress has over the Fed is that it "can alter its responsibilities by statute."

It is time for Congress to exercise that leverage and make the Federal Reserve a truly federal agency, acting by and for the people through their elected representatives. If the Fed can demand AIG's stock in return for an $85 billion loan to the mega-insurer, we can demand the Fed's stock in return for the trillion-or-so dollars we'll be advancing to bail out the private banking system from its follies."

If the Fed were actually a federal agency, the government could issue U.S. legal tender directly, avoiding an unnecessary interest-bearing debt to private middlemen who create the money out of thin air themselves. Among other benefits to the taxpayers, a truly "federal" Federal Reserve could lend the full faith and credit of the United States to state and local governments interest-free, cutting the cost of infrastructure in half, restoring the thriving local economies of earlier decades.

One can see the inevitable logic flow from the argument that Ms. Brown has presented. If the Fed is "private" and only nominally public, then it ought to be publicly "perfected" and its attributes and functions fully nationalized.

But there is nothing magical about taking private functions and turning them into public ones. Government is not a magic wand. In fact, in the case of the Fed, it could not pursue its destructive monetary policies without a government mandate. The government's endorsement is part of the problem. But fully federalizing the Fed will only make things worse.

The Fed, like all central banks these days, prints money from nothing. There is no "governor" on how much money the bankers at the Fed authorize – and always central banks print too much, causing first booms and then terrible busts.

Eventually this central banking business cycle bankrupts the communities it serves. It hollows out economies and promotes ruin. That's what's going on now. Some even say it's being done on purpose to promote globalist solutions as a better alternative.

In any event, a PUBLIC central bank would not likely print less money. There is no human being in the world – or committee of human beings – that understands how much money an economy needs. It is impossible. Only private money issued into the economy through the market itself offers a solution.

History shows that in a private economy, gold and silver (or representative equivalents – digital or otherwise) would probably circulate. Too much gold and silver, and mines shut down and people begin to hoard. Too little gold and silver and mines open back up and people dishoard. Simple.


This is the crux of the matter and neither Ms. Brown nor anyone else knows how to answer it. The Fed, with its government imprimatur, has many public signifiers. It is chartered by the government, enjoys a monopoly from the government, and issues money on behalf of the public – entirely bypassing the marketplace of private money creation.

Calling the Fed a "private bank" is a kind of sub-dominant social theme. The nomenclature takes the emphasis off "mercantilism" and places the blame for what's taken place on the activities of a "private" group of bankers. This suits certain (elite) agendas but it's not accurate.

Edited on date of publication.

After Thoughts

The monetary debate now raging has been complicated by the refusal to use the correct terms. The term for the Fed is "mercantilist" not "private."