How to Rob a Bank Without Stealing Any Money

(Thanks for the tip, you know who you are)

One thing that gets occaisionally pointed out is that, if you can print money, technically you’ve more or less enslaved everyone else.

The reason for this is, everyone else has to work to get money — to pay their rent, buy food, etc. If you are the “source” of money then you can always print more and thereby ensure everyone else has to work. In fact you (with your theoretically infinite wealth) will always be calling the shots, since you can pay more than anyone else.

Therefore, you get a lot of conspiracy theories along the lines of, “well, productivity has long since surpassed the point where we should all be working 10 hours a week… clearly, it’s the evil banksters printing money so they get the benefits of all that excess productivity and we have to keep working! And every time the general public gets wealthy enough to think about making some changes, they just print more so people have to go back to work and forget about their little revolution.”

The counterpoint to all this is that since money is just a proxy for value, assuming you provide a constant or increasing output of value (i.e stay as productive) then you should be able to convince people to pay you whatever the current value-to-money exchange rate is.

So if productivity has really gone up but pay hasn’t, then either people are doing more “useless” work or people have in general gotten shittier at negotiating salaries. Both are in fact plausible! Stories abound of neo-Soviet “they pretend to pay us, we pretend to work”-ism at the modern corporation.

And cell phones have been shown by multiple researchers to reduce sperm count and/or testosterone, which possibly explains the larger social trend towards guys being less fertile… a trend which would be consistent with people being suckier at sticking up for themselves. (Negotiators, trial lawyers, and the like all tend to have high testosterone.)

Anyway, I’ve gotten way off anything approaching the point I was going to make, so here are some fascinating quotes from this interview with a guy who wrote a book about a hypothetical social engineering-based heist on the US Federal Reserve.

After all if you can siphon off lots of money at the “source” that’s as good as printing it, and it turns out that the US Federal Reserve is indeed privately owned… (shares are issued to banks in proportion to their size, if I remember correctly.)

“They have to trade back and forth with these 19 or 20 banks, and they have 8‑10 guys at this trading desk, trading about $5.5 billion a day. That’s actually how the government prints money and expands and contracts the monetary supply.”

“The point is, if you know what the trading desk is going to do you could make a lot of money.”

“…the really interesting thing about the former Fed officials is, if you do a full term as a governor, you’re allowed to go directly into banking. Larry Meyer, who runs Macroeconomic Advisors, he will routinely describe Fed vote counts and other stuff that’s not public.”

“The Fed … it’s crazy, because the major banks own the stock of the Fed — so they technically own it — and the Fed is responsible for stability, so the last thing it wants to do is surprise these people. It somehow has to ask them about economic conditions, do everything it can to reassure them about the way it’s going, and do that without tipping its hand at all.

Some people argue that it’s impossible that the Fed could keep information from the major traders.”

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