Orrin Woodward Leadership

Inc Magazine Top 20 Leader shares his financial & leadership secrets.

  • Orrin Woodward

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    Guinness World Record Holder for largest book signing ever, Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of And Justice For All along with RESOLVED & coauthor of LeaderShift and Launching a Leadership Revolution. His books have sold over one million copies in the leadership and liberty fields. RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

    Orrin made the Top 20 Inc. Magazine Leadership list & has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE Leadership. He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.

    This blog is an Alltop selection and ranked in HR's Top 100 Blogs for Management & Leadership.

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Losing and Winning: Comfort or Change

Posted by Orrin Woodward on January 26, 2016

You either hate losing enough to change or you hate change enough to lose. – Orrin Woodward

Why do some people seem to win at whatever they do while most settle for the middle of pack mediocrity? I believe the difference boils down to a person’s hierarchy of needs, namely, comfort or winning. On one hand, if comfort is the most important, then the person will resist all change regardless of whether it’s better because it’s uncomfortable. On the other hand, if winning is more important, then a person will get uncomfortable enough to improve to produce the results he desires. In a nutshell, winners are different because they refuse to settle for good when great is possible.

Change or Comfort?

Change or Comfort?

I recently gave a keynote presentation where I played a classic 1988 Wendy’s advertisement that captured the key difference between those who win and those who simply work. It took less than 30 seconds for some advertising executive to pinpoint why most people don’t change. For many people are comfortable in past victories  rather than uncomfortable in present mediocrity. Can my readers identify areas where they are settling for comfortable mediocrity rather than changing into uncomfortable champions? True, winning may not be as easy as some winners make it look, but I can promise you its not as tough as some losers make it sound either. :)

Simply put, the toughest part of winning is (dare I say it) getting comfortable being uncomfortable. Every day winners are pushed to get better because your competition never rest. Show me someone who is comfortable with an average scoreboard and I will show you someone who is one a downward slide. In contrast, show me someone who is already winning at the highest levels, but is still uncomfortable, and I will show you someone who is on their way to revolutionizing a their chosen field. LIFE Leadership CEO Chris Brady and I have vowed to stay hungry, honorable, and honorable on our way to helping millions of people escape the Financial Matrix!

I am embedding the Wendy’s ad for your viewing pleasure. What is your takeaway from the video?

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward – Chairman of LIFE Leadership

Posted in Finances, Leadership/Personal Development, LIFE Leadership, Orrin Woodward | 25 Comments »

Whatever Happened to the American Dream?

Posted by Orrin Woodward on January 14, 2016

Writer Adam Levin shared some sobering statistics on debt and the loss of the American dream. Unfortunately, government cannot and will not supply the answers for these challenges. If anything, government debt is exacerbating the problems, not leading to the solutions. In reality, the only viable solution is for each citizen to learn financial literacy and escape the Financial Matrix. When enough people do this, then, and only then, will we be in a position to expect government to practice  financially sane principles also.

LIFE Leadership has the produce (Financial Fitness Program) to teach people the defense, offense, and the playing field for financial success. There is not better time than today to start your journey to debt-free.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

The American Dream

              The Vanishing American Dream

A great number of Americans are redefining the American Dream. That was the takeaway from a recent Credit.com poll, which showed that nearly one in four people between the ages of 18 and 24 defined the American Dream as being debt-free. Shockingly, that’s more than those who dream of owning a home.

The poll underscores something I have long suspected — there’s a great deal of nostalgia for a promise that increasingly and tragically looks to be further out of reach for newer generations. Once upon a time, the American Dream was a Technicolor affair, replete with two and a half thriving, college-bound kids, a dog or cat and not one, but two cars in the garage that were owned outright, or would be before they were ready for the crusher. Finally, and most importantly, for generations of Americans the American Dream was about owning a home.

“The value of homeownership is deeply ingrained in American public culture,” write William M. Rohe and Harry L. Watson in the introduction to their book, Chasing the American Dream: New Perspectives on Affordable Homeownership. “From early laws requiring landownership for the right to vote, to nineteenth-century homestead legislation, to contemporary real estate brochures, the ownership of a home has long been presented as a crucial part of the ‘stake in society’ expected of full fledged members of American communities.”

Now it appears that for millions of Americans, the American Dream is looking different. Our study found while 27.9% of respondents see the American Dream as retiring at 65 and 18.2% see it as owning a home, 23% view the American Dream as being debt-free.

How Did We Get Here?

The Great Recession affected all of us. The irrational exuberance of the mortgage boom and investment portfolios yielding 10% growth year after year led to a burst bubble, downsizing and various kinds of over-corrections. At the height of the boom, USA Today published a poll in which 81% of young adults said getting rich was their top priority (and 51% gave the same priority to becoming famous). Americans now face a new personal finance reality.

For millions, fame and fortune is probably out of the question absent a win on reality television. To them, financial survival equals success and the American Dream is about staying above water while the kids pile up an average $27,000 student loan debt, mortgages are upside-down, and not enough money is finding its way into retirement portfolios.

Today, more Americans dream not of affluence, but of basic financial stability. That’s what both retirement and freedom from debt have in common. When Americans dream of retirement and freedom from debt, they dream of being able to exhale. Homeownership is a little different. Rohe and Watson frame it as an aspirational component of American citizenship. Others believe that you haven’t really “made it” until you own a home. However, the failure to own a home is generally not a source of stress in the same way that drowning in debt and the inability to retire are.

In another section of the survey, in fact, we see just how important debt is to consumers. When we asked what financial goals are most important to respondents right now, being free of debt/credit card debt was at the top (33.4% of responses). The runners-up weren’t even close: Retiring at age 65 (11.6%), buying or paying off a car (11.3%), sending a kid to college (8.1%), buying a home (6.8%), paying off student loans (6.2%), paying off a mortgage (5.6% ) and buying a vacation home (3.2%). (And 13.8% had no response, for those of you doing the math).

Finally, the poll found that nearly one in six respondents felt that it was unlikely that they would ever be debt-free in their lifetime. That’s a troubling number and one we’re going to have to watch over time.

Are We in Denial?

This is all sobering news, but there’s further evidence in this study that most of us aren’t really grasping. An interesting contradiction in the data lies in the fact that the latent pessimism described above is not reflected in any age group when it comes to the question of whether the American Dream is within reach. In the study, 78% of respondents said that the American Dream was either within reach or they had already achieved it, compared to 17.7% who said that it wasn’t within their reach. Meanwhile, 55% said that the American dream wasn’t within reach for most Americans. That means a good portion of us are either overly optimistic about our own prospects, or overly pessimistic about the prospects of others. My bet is the former.

Here’s my takeaway: Most of us still believe in the American Dream — but the nature of that dream seems to be changing. Debt is now woven into the fabric of our society. While some debt is absolutely vital for a healthy American economy, the way many of us experience debt is anything but positive. We’ve all seen the statistics about record-breaking credit card and student loan debt. Those numbers are troubling for some and sources of enormous personal stress for others. Many of us don’t take the time to consider how this new financial reality has changed our expectations of what’s possible for each of us to achieve.  Even though we call these things dreams, what’s always been special about the American Dream is our ability to make them come true. When we’ve lost that, we’ve lost a little bit of what it means to be an American.

Posted in All News | 47 Comments »

Rethinking the Dollar

Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 29, 2015

Several weeks ago, I was asked to be a guest on the financial education site Rethinking the Dollar to discuss my new book The Financial Matrix. The interviewer asked some great questions (and despite some internet issues) the content should help citizens from across the world in their quest to be debt-free.

Many people believe that money and financial literacy is not really that important. However, I’m not sure how to respond to this since nearly everyone who tells me this also later admits to me that they are in debt personally. This seems absurd to me. If money truly isn’t that important, then why sell yourself into debt slavery to obtain such a trivial item?  Ouch! I know that’s quite a truth bomb, but think about it – if money really wasn’t that important then there would be a lot less debt! People speak foolishly when they buy their own lies and then start selling them to others. Does anyone else see the hypocrisy of spending more time working for money than investing time with family and friends and yet still claiming money isn’t important? Especially when we remember that the best way to read a person’s mind is through their actions and the actions and words simply aren’t aligning in most people’s lives.

The truth of the matter is that family and friends are much more important than money, but because the masses lack financial literacy, the elites control the masses through the masses ignorance. For instance, I don’t believe one in a thousand people can accurately explain what money is; nonetheless, the average person will spend over 40 hours per week for nearly 50 weeks per year for over 40 years in a quest to accumulate the object they cannot even define. Believe me, I am not knocking the reader when I say this because it is exactly the same position Laurie and I were in when we awoke from our fog. We asked ourselves, why are we spending so much of our life seeking something we do not even understand (money), let alone love. We were not seeking money for its own sake, but rather for the choices, charity, and security it could provide for our family. 

At any rate, in a capitalistic society, money rates close to oxygen in the hierarchy of needs. Interestingly, you rarely hear someone say that oxygen isn’t important to them. :) In fact, classic historian Augustus Boeckh, described money’s importance in ancient Athens when he noted, “The intellectual faculties however are not of themselves sufficient to produce external action; they require the aid of physical force, the direction and combination of which are wholly at the disposal of money, that mighty spring by which the total force of human energies is set in motion.”  Money, in short, is power because it can requisition whatever resources necessary to accomplish the owners objectives.

As a result, when society surrenders its money to the Financial Elites, it soon loses the media and military to the elite manipulation when they use the easy money to buy them as well. Suddenly, the once free nation has now become a subjugated State where puppet politicians serve the Financial Elites rather than the people. Yes, the Financial Matrix rabbit hole continues to go deeper every time I study it. Even so, I will continue to study and ask the tough questions so long as I have the freedom to do so. Simply put, in a capitalist society, he who controls the money controls the society. Hence, the only way to regain our freedoms is to restore the free enterprise system to money where the price of the commodity (interest rate) is determined by the supply and demand for money in the marketplace.

What can the readers do to help restore freedom? For starters, they can educate themselves by applying the principles taught in the Financial Fitness Program. LIFE Leadership is on a mission to educate the masses around the world on the importance of financial literacy. You will either master money or money will master you. When money becomes your master, the person typically responds by becoming the King or Queen of Denial, claiming the money idol has no control over his/her life while it increasingly enslaves them in a web of debt and despair.

Thankfully, for those who are willing to look honestly at their financial situation, there is a path to freedom. Indeed, the birth of new knowledge begins with an admission of old ignorance. Laurie and I were ignorant in financial literacy and thus had entrapped ourselves in the Financial Matrix. Indeed, it was only once we realized our error that we sought better information to free ourselves from financial slavery.

Maybe 2016 is the year you make the change from debt slavery to debt freedom. If the reader is ready, I suggest you begin by diving into the Financial Fitness Program and start the journey of setting your family free! I hope you enjoy the video below.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Finances, LIFE Leadership | 28 Comments »

Commodity or Debt Money?

Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 4, 2015

“The great question which in all ages has disturbed mankind, and brought on them the greatest part of those mischiefs which have ruined cities, depopulated countries, and disordered the peace of the world, has been, not whether there be power in the world, nor whence it came, but who should have it.” – John Locke – First Treatise of Government

Power, as John Locke inferred, is an omnipresent force in the world. The strong, from the creation of mankind, have ruled over the weak, subjecting  them to various degrees of oppression. Although many believe the worst is behind us with the end of slavery and serfdom, this may not actually be the case. For the modern Big Bank/Big State/Big Business marriage, known as Crony Capitalism, has increased the elites’ control over the weak through the power of  leveraged debt. This subtle form of coercion (through the fear of debt collectors harassment, mortgage defaults, and bankruptcy proceedings) forces many people into the purposeless quagmire of long hours, loads of stress, and yet little real ownership. In effect, today’s indebted people do not work to own anything but merely work to service debt. This, however, is historically little different than the slave or serf was also coerced into working without owning. No wonder Solomon once wrote, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Whereas Slavery was a Physical Matrix of control and Serfdom was a Feudal Matrix of control, what should we call the financial subjugation of society? I termed it the Financial Matrix and I believe it’s the elites most powerful matrix of control yet. Why? Because few people even know it exist let alone know how to resist it.  While a slave knew he was enslaved physically and a serf knew he was trapped on the lord’s land, few comprehend that debt traps a person to the financial lords. In other words, a person in the Financial Matrix is enslaved and yet believes he is free; in consequence, escaping the web of debt is very difficult because he is not even aware he has been captured.  The elites, on the other hand, understood quickly the benefits of the masses feeling free while actually being entrapped by their lack of financial literacy. The Financial Matrix, in other words, ensured the masses worked harder and longer than slaves or serfs were while reaping little longterm rewards. Simply looking at the statistics of the average person’s wealth at 65 is enough to demoralize anyone. How can the masses work that long and have so little to show for it? Simply put, a lack of financial literacy entraps them into the Financial Matrix the benefits the elites and breaks the masses.

The economist Henry Macleod highlighted the power and influence debt money has had upon society when he noted, “If we were asked – Who made the discovery which has most deeply affected the fortunes of the human race? We think, after full consideration, we might safely answer – The man who first discovered that a Debt is a Saleable Commodity.” The importance of Macleod’s statement cannot be overemphasized because until the reader understands its underlying message, he will think I am exaggerating the effects of debt upon people’s freedoms. Nonetheless, no less an authority than Ludwig Von Mises (one of the early members of the Austrian School of free market economics), pointed out the key differences between commodity money and debt money. Mises defined money as simply society’s most in demand commodity (typically silver or gold).

The free market has never chosen paper bank notes as its money of choice freely. Hence, when the banking system discovered they could make debt a saleable commodity, it needed to partner with the State and use its “monopoly of force” to coerce society into using debt money through passing legal tender laws. Not surprisingly, the States gladly accepted the cheap debt money created out of nothing by the Big Banks and then forced society to do the same. This is a win for the Big Banks (massive interest profits) and a win for the States (massive increases in power from access to funds) and a massive loss to society in increasing debt and inflation while decreasing the people’s freedoms. As a result, the Financial elites now control the State and the State controls society (the same old story of the strong oppressing the weak) through the Financial Matrix’s system of control.

Federal Reserve Massive Increase in Fiat Money

Federal Reserve Massive Increase in Fiat Money

Author Felix Martin noted in his interesting book Money, “For credit to become money, sellers must also trust that third parties will be willing to accept the debtor’s IOU in payment as well. They must believe that it is, and will remain indefinitely, transferable – that the market for this money is liquid. Depending upon how powerful are the reasons to believe these two things, it will be easier or harder for an issuer’s IOUs to circulate as money. It is because of this third critical element of transferability that money issued by governments, or by the banks which governments endorse and backstop, is thought to be special. Indeed, there is an influential school of thought – known as chartilism – which argues that governments and their agents are the only viable issuers of money.”

Martin, although brilliant in his historical analysis, is an apologist for the Financial Matrix and supports Statism in monetary matters (State intervention into society’s money). Thus, it’s not shocking he supports the State’s role in legalizing and supporting the creation of debt money. In reality, the State must get involved if debt money is to survive in society, for no one would accept the bank notes without the State’s unnatural coercion. Again, this is nothing less than State coercion over society to for the benefit of the strong (Financial and Political Elites) over the weak (the masses). Interestingly, however, when the State collapses the paper banknotes return to their true value – nothing. State force, in other words, is the only thing that props up the value of the fiat paper notes. A true commodity money, as Mises points out, does not need State intervention to prop up its value because it marginal utility is determined by the market, not a dictating State. All the State needs to do in a free market system is define the amount of gold and silver in its monetary unit. Then, the State should ensure the weights and measurements remain unchanged. Of course, the marginal value of the monetary unit will change as the production and consumer demand for money changes, but the standard itself should never change.

Bank Notes Increase

Federal Reserve Bank Notes Increase

The money supply will change slightly as more gold is discovered, but not anything close to the amount it changes in the Financial Matrix. For instance, the total value of the gold and silver mined during the entire time the Spanish controlled its South American colonies was approximately $250 billion. In comparison, the Federal Reserve increased the money supply by $250 billion in digitized debt in just one day during the 2008 Great Financial Crisis. What took the Spanish State over 250 years to accumulate, in other words, the Federal Reserve accomplished in mere milliseconds! Disastrously,  the State’s “monopoly of force” is no longer used to ensure justice for its citizens, but rather to ensure Financial Matrix injustice. How do you win an argument against a person who has a gun pointed at your face? No matter how logical or reasonable your position is, the person with the gun always gets his way. In a similar fashion the State always wins an argument regardless of how illogical its position is.  :) Does the reader now understand why its absurd to surrender control of the money supply to the Big Banks/Big States Financial Matrix?

Banker apologist, Felix Martin,  concluded, “If money was such a powerful invention – such a revolutionary force for the transformation of society and the economy – the next question is obvious. It is one posed with brilliant clarity by the father of English political philosophy. It is to the perennial battle over who controls the money that we therefore turn next.”  Martin, in reality, has posed the wrong question.  And, when someone asks the wrong question, he rarely receives the right answer. The real question is – why does anyone need to control the money supply? Why not let the market determine the commodity, quantity, and price of money just as it should all other commodities? Isn’t this the definition of a free market and freedom for the people?  A free market is where no one controls the supply or price of any commodity within society; instead, the marketplace (consumers) determine demand, supply and price based upon the sum of the individual valuations. 

We are fast approaching the end of the road and we only have one fork remaining. Down the current path is the Hayekian road to serfdom while the last for is the path returning to freedom. Unfortunately, most people spend their whole life working for money, all the while, remaining ignorant as to what money is and how personal debt controls them. LIFE Leadership has vowed to right this wrong by by sharing the Financial Fitness Program  principles of financial literacy with the masses. I can think of no better way to fulfill my God-given purpose than to take the principles Laurie and I learned to break free from the Financial Matrix and teach them to others. It’s time for LIFE Leadership to set millions of financial captives free!

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Finances, Freedom/Liberty, LIFE Leadership | 50 Comments »

USA Defaults & World Debt Explodes

Posted by Orrin Woodward on November 9, 2015

Still wondering if the gold standard really protected the world’s citizens from increased debt? Here is inarguable data that, in 1971, when President Richard Nixon took America off the last vestige of the Gold Standard (when he killed Bretton-Woods agreement), he launched the debt explosion trapping citizens across the civilized world. For without any commodity to restrict the production of  paper money, it becomes a 100% Fiat standard that can be produced without restraint. This is a huge win for the Financial Elites by increased profits and prosperity and a huge loss for society’s citizens by the destruction of their wealth and wellbeing.

LIFE Leadership has a plan to help people escape the Financial Matrix by learning the Defense, Offense, and the Playing Field (what’s the Financial Matrix and how to protect your family).  Here is the latest data.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

The St. Louis Federal Reserve announced the total US debt (the combination of government, business, mortgage, and consumer debt) in the first quarter of 2014 totaled nearly $59.4 trillion. That’s a boatload of debt! Even at just 5% interest, this amounts to over $3 trillion in interest to service the debt. That’s 3,000,000,000,000 dollars every year!

Compare this to the total debt of $2.2 trillion just forty years ago and it doesn’t take a statistician to recognize something has significantly changed in how society treats debt. Forty years ago, the total debt was less than the interest paid to service the debt today. The debt, unbelievably, has increased more than twenty-seven times in the last forty years! If this doesn’t wake someone up to the increasing debt crisis of Western nations, nothing will.

Fortunately, many people are waking up. Author James Butler is one of them. He wrote in a recent op-ed piece, “In 50 short years, debt has gone from being a luxury for a few to a convenience for many to an addiction for most to a disease for all. It is a virus that has spread to every aspect of our economy, from a consumer using a credit card to buy a $0.75 candy bar in a vending machine to a government borrowing $17 trillion to keep the lights on.”

In other words, households, businesses, and governments (at the local, state, and federal levels) have all been seduced into the web of debt to generate the $59.4 trillion issue. Disastrously, however, it’s the people who end up paying for the debt sins of business and government. Remember, governments do not earn income, but can only income from its citizens. Thus, when government debt expands (surging past $20 trillion now), the people’s taxes are increased in order to pay the growing amount of interest due. Has anyone else noticed how much money is taken out of their paychecks in federal, state, and local taxes? Moreover, when Social Security, property taxes, and various licensing fees are added in, it’s no wonder most people must borrow to live.

Finally, let’s not forget about the corporate debt that amounts to nearly $20 trillion in the United States alone. In order to service this debt, corporations increase the price of the products and services they sell. In other words, a company’s increased debt equates to consumers increased prices. For a company merely combines its corporate taxes, social security taxes, and interests on debt into its other cost to arrive at the price it can sell its product and still make a profit. Shockingly, the already overloaded households must pay, not only for its own lack of fiscal restraint, but also for the corporations’ and governments’ lack of restraint as well. Perhaps a visual representation of the Financial Matrix debt trap will help emphasize the importance of living debt-free.

Financial Matrix Trap

   Financial Matrix Debt Trap

Posted in Finances | 45 Comments »

Word of Mouth Marketing

Posted by Orrin Woodward on October 19, 2015

Word of Mouth advertising is the most effective form of advertising and thus why LIFE Leadership leverages the concept through its Compensated Community to spread its message. The Financial Matrix looms larger everyday for those without financial literacy. Thankfully, however, there is a community of people who are doing something about it. Below are some thoughts I am working on about Word of Mouth marketing.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Word of Mouth Advertising

Word of Mouth Advertising

LIFE Leadership leverages word-of-mouth marketing to compound its growth. Instead of paying millions of dollars per year to advertise in print, radio, or TV, LIFE Leadership instead rewards people who recommend our products. This is a major competitive advantage! For example, authors Huba and McConnell proclaimed, “Word-of-mouth is THE valuable currency in today’s advertising-saturated world.” Meanwhile, Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising noted that 92% of respondents surveyed trusted recommendations received from friends about products or services. Last but not least, a recent McKinsey study identified word-of-mouth as the most effective form of marketing and advertising in the world. According to the McKinsey study, word-of-mouth marketing generates twice as much sales as paid advertising, and over 50% of all purchases are influenced by word-of-mouth. Indeed, the buzz generated by word-of-mouth marketing is vital to the growth of a company.

Because word-of-mouth marketing is so effective, LIFE Leadership built all of its marketing and advertising budget around it. We reward loyal customers and members who are effective in recommending our products to others. All word-of-mouth marketing can be boiled down to a three-step process:

  • 1. Discovery: Somebody encounters a new idea.
  • 2. Wow: This person is convinced that the idea is worth sharing.
  • 3. The Share: The person shares the new information with others.

Once this process loop is started, the share stage for one person corresponds with the discovery stage of another one, and the word-of-mouth chain reaction has started. Seth Godin, author of Unleashing the Ideavirus, emphasized the importance of making it easy to share the product or company’s message: “How easy is it for an end user to spread this particular ideavirus? Can I click one button or mention some magic phrase, or do I have to go through hoops and risk embarrassment to tell someone about it?”

Posted in LIFE Leadership, Orrin Woodward | 16 Comments »

What is Fiat Money?

Posted by Orrin Woodward on September 15, 2015

Society developed money to make trade easier between its members. Real money is simply the most marketable commodity within a society. For the most marketable commodity is in high demand and is generally accepted by all parties; consequently, over time, the most marketable commodity becomes the preferred medium of exchange. Of course, this is just another way of saying the most marketable commodity becomes society’s money. Without exaggeration, money is one of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind because it greatly increases the amount of win-win exchanges.

How does it do that one might ask? Because money allows all goods to be rated using the same monetary units which makes valuation of each item much more convenient. This leads to quicker agreement on win-win exchanges compared to the older and less convenient bartering process. It’s easier, in other words, to trade excess eggs for its money  market price and then buy bacon at its money market price rather than barter with every customer over how many eggs is bacon, milk, or even a chiropractic adjustment worth. Money simplifies the exchange process for all members in society; thus, it increases the amount of exchanges occurring. As a result, the division-of-labor and subsequent production and wealth for society’s members greatly increases.

Gold and Silver appear to be mankind’s preferred money because the commodity is in demand outside of its potential use for money, is easily divisible, and is extremely durable (coin collectors have many specimens over 2,500 years old). Of course, as the marketplace within society grew, the time and cost associated with moving precious metal coins from one location to another also grew. Predictably, the marketplace developed a solution to this challenge by creating modern banking. Instead of transferring the physical gold or silver, a bank would create a title or metaphysical representation of the physical precious metal. The paper claim (bank note) would allow the recipient to either receive the said amount of precious metals for the bank note or just exchange the bank notes to others in exchange for goods.

This allowed business to be carried on in others cities without  having to physically move the gold or silver. So long as the banks ensured the paper titles represented actual physical gold in the banks, the system worked wonderfully. Unfortunately, however, it didn’t take long for the banks, once they had established a reputation of integrity and trust,  to start printing more paper notes than the had precious metals backing them. This resulted in the birth of fractional-reserve bank notes – metaphysical banknote money backed by only a fraction of the physical precious metals the notes allegedly represented.

In essence, banks began printing more banknotes supposedly redeemable in precious metals even though the banks did not have enough gold/silver on hand to do so. Naturally, this increased banker profits exponentially but also caused rapid inflation from more not circulating within society. Furthermore, as bank members discover the bank’s fraud, they respond by returning the banknotes and demanding precious metals. Of course, this only works for the early returners of the fiat paper because the precious metals are quickly depleted and the bank collapses. The numerous remaining banknotes, allegedly redeemable in precious metals, are now worthless since the bank pledging to redeem them has bankrupted itself by falling for the something-for-nothing temptation of the fraudulent fractional-reserve-banking system. 

This process of collective banknote redemption by the banks members is called a bank run. Although the banks feared and hated this scenario, it is merely society’s natural response to the banks unnatural behavior. For how can a paper note, that is supposed to be simply a representation of the physical money (precious metal), now be passed off as the actual money? This is no different than a seller of land printing multiple paper titles to his land and selling the paper titles to different buyers to reap multiple profits from multiple sales.  Indeed, the main difference in the two frauds is that most land title holders will eventually want to see the physical land backing the title where few banknote holders (unless they lose trust in the bank) ever request to see the physical precious metals backing the note. The other difference, ironically, is the seller of multiple land titles (representing the same land) will be prosecuted for fraud while the seller of multiple banknotes (representing the same precious metal) will be protected by the government.

How did the banking system manage to convince governments to support fractional-reserve banking (FRB) fraud when similar practices in any other field are punished severely? Why would governments across the world support such an unethical behavior Perhaps the simplest answer is that all governments are insatiable in their desire for more money and power. The banks offer governments the philosopher’s stone of creating money out of thin air through the ‘joys’ of fractional-reserve banking. The government, in other words, supported the banks fraudulent activity because the banks happily agreed to loan copious amounts of fractional-reserve banknotes to the government. This is an ignominious alliance where the banks gain extra profits by creating money out of thin air and the governments gain extra power by borrowing the FRB funds. As a result, both the banks (profits) and governments (power) benefited while society paid the bill through the predictable inflation, boom/bust cycles, and lost liberties. 

The Birth of the Financial Matrix

Fiat Money

Fiat Money: Only Backed by State Coercion

Absurdly, the monetary madness gets even worse with the beginning of World War I. For before the first World War, the bank notes at least had to be redeemed in gold or silver when demanded by the owner of the notes. Governments, however, knew this would be impossible to do during a war where billions of extra banknotes were create to fund the war without without the backing of any precious metals. As a result, the European governments ended the gold standard and permitted banks to no longer redeem the metaphysical banknotes into the physical precious metal. This was the beginning of fiat money – paper notes not backed by any precious metal but only by the coercion of government.

Fiat paper notes backed by government coercion knocked out the last connection between the metaphysical paper and the physical money. From now on, the central banks would create fiat paper and call it money. Then it allowed the big banks to pyramid fractional-reserve-banking on top of the fiat notes to multiply the money supply ten, one hundred, and eventually thousands of times over the actual commodity money. The purchasing power (amount of production each monetary unit can purchase) decreased disastrously as inflation increased the cost-of-living to unheard of levels.

Fiat paper money allows the banks to create money at will and profit on the loans to governments, businesses, and families. Meanwhile the government supports the FRB fraud by declaring the paper legal tender good for all taxes and monetary exchanges even though it is not backed by any physical precious metal commodity. Fiat money, in effect, is the victory of the governments and banks to replace the physical commodity money society developed with a metaphysical counterfeit that has no physical commodity backing whatsoever. Indeed, the only reason the banks can get away with this scheme is they have purchased government’s support (by loaning FRB money to it) and then using government’s monopoly of force to coerce society into using its funny money. The government has mandated acceptance of the banking system’s fiat paper money and punishes anyone who refuses to do so. Welcome to the wonderful world of fiat money. :)

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: Chairman of the Board of LIFE Leadership

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The Quest for the Philosopher’s Stone

Posted by Orrin Woodward on August 31, 2015

“The trouble with paper money is that it rewards the minority that can manipulate money and makes fools of the generation that has worked and saved.” – George Goodman

The philosopher’s stone was mankind’s quest to turn base metals into gold. Although there were several reasons for the quest, the main one was to increase the power of the sovereigns over their people. Kings and princes encouraged and rewarded alchemists from the Middle Ages to the end of the 17th century in the effort to discover the philosophers stone to no avail. Unfortunately, however, mankind discovered an easier way to turn valueless material into gold, namely fiat paper money and fractional-reserve banking. I cover the basics of these two processes in my book The Financial Matrix, but I wanted to share from Jack Weatherford’s informative book The History of Money to convey just how confused most people are about money. These are blue quotes are from Weatherford’s book with my comments below. Sincerely, Orrin Woodward – LIFE Leadership Chairman of the Board

Nero Debases Roman Coins:

Nero began to tamper with the coinage itself. In A.D. 64, in a naive attempt to deceive the populace, Nero decreased the silver content in the coins and made both the silver and gold coins slightly smaller. By collecting the existing coins and reminting them with his portrait bust but less silver, Nero produced a momentary surplus of sliver and gold. The same pound of silver that had formerly produced 84 denarii now produced 96, giving Nero almost a 15 percent ‘profit.’ He similarly increased from 40 to 45 the number of golden aurei manufactured from a pound of gold, thus rendering the coins about 11 percent less golden.”

Nero attacked private property by manipulating the measuring scale of money. Instead of a certain amount of silver making 84 denarii coins, it now made 96 denarii coins. The measure of how much silver in each coin was arbitrarily changed by the sovereign. This attack on private property is no different than the State owing a certain merchant 100 pounds of gold, and then paying the merchant only 50 pounds of gold. When the merchant complains, the State points to a new law that has changed the pound to half its former weight. Therefore, the State did pay 100 pounds of gold, but changed the definition of the pound to steal half the value of amount owed. In a sense, the State debased the weight of the pound just as Nero debased the denarii coins.

Law of Inertia: If Bad Behavior is not Punished, it Expands:

Roman Coin Debasement

Roman Coin Fraudulent Debasement = Inflation

Thus over the course of two hundred years, the silver content was cut from nearly 100 percent to virtually nothing. The amount of silver previously used to mint a single denarius eventually produced 150 denarii, and as the silver content decreased, the price of good increased in direct proportion. Wheat that had sold for one-half a denarius in the second century increased to 100 denarii a century later, a two-hundred fold increase.

If the State is allowed to arbitrarily change the monetary units at will, inflation occurs and the price system quickly accounts for the debased purchasing power of the monetary unit.  The State receives the benefit of the inflated money first, but they do so at the expense of later users of the money who now need more monetary units to buy the same production as previous. This is fraud perpetrated by the State upon society and one of the main reasons Rome fell.  The people lost trust in the money supply because the State could not stop debasing the dollar to benefit itself.  Accordingly, the late Roman empire devolved backwards to payment in kind and landlords protecting people rather than State. Once this occurred, society could no longer support the bloated  State and the Roman Empire collapsed under its own weight.

The Roman Empire Kills Its Money:

In the last centuries of the Roman Empire, the emperors operated without a workable currency; like the ancient empires that had preceded it, Rome turned to conscription and forced labor to meet its needs. The government often would not allow its citizens to pay taxes in the debased money that it still issued; instead, officials demanded payment in good, crops, or labor. . . As tax (and monetary) policies continued to suppress productivity and commerce, the emperors found it increasingly difficult to supply their armies and the bureaucracy with the equipment and goods necessary to rule the far-flung but diminishing empire. The markets had withered; even the emperor could no longer depend on the open market to supply him with the sandals, armor, weapons, saddles, tents, and other goods that an army needed. Out of desperation, Diocletian created government-sponsored workshops to manufacture armaments and supplies. As privately financed shipping and other transport enterprises declined, Diocletian also had to create government transport companies to move the goods that were manufactured in the workshops. Well before the end of the third-century, these changes made the emperor and the government the greatest manufacturers in the empire, in addition to being the largest owner of land, mines, and quarries. Step by step, the imperial government took over the direct administration of the economy and crowded out the small, independent merchants, landowners, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs. . . By its last decades, Rome had become another state-administered economy, an empire without money and markets. It had reverted to a palace system more like that of pharaonic Egypt or imperial China than that of the republican system on which it had been built.

Rome fell because as the State expanded, it destroyed the monetary system and thus the commercial system that used it as the medium of exchange in trade. Through increasing inflation and taxation the State killed society to feed the growing bureaucracy and military. The originally thriving Roman society provided a level of systematic justice unknown to previous empires eventually became just like the other empires as it killed the monetary system through repeated unjust debasements and the commercial society reverted to a command and control empire without money.  The Roman Empire died, in other words, when its money did.

Fractional-Reserve Banking is Fraud:

Under the new system a bag of a hundred florins that might once have sit idle for years in a noble’s strongbox could now be deposited for safekeeping in an Italian bank that had access to branches across the continent. The bank then lent the money and circulated the bill of exchange as money. The noble still had his one hundred florins, which were now one deposit in the bank; the bank had one hundred florins on its books. The merchant who borrowed the florins was richer, and the person who held the bill of exchange now had one hundred florins as well. Even though only one hundred gold coins were involved, the miracle of banking deposits and loans had transformed them into many hundreds of florins that could be used by different individuals in different cities at the same time. This new banking money opened vast new commercial avenues for merchants, manufacturers, and investors. Everyone had more money: it was sheer magic.

Actually, it is not sheer magic, but sheer fraud. In a nutshell, the banks creates a metaphysical representation (bank notes) of the actual money (precious metal commodity florins). This would be fine if there was only one banknote to represent the same commodity money, but fraudulently, the banks through FRB create multiple sets of banknotes to represent the SAME bag of florins. This is no different than a bank selling 10 people the same physical property by creating 10 separate metaphysical property titles to represent the land. Of course, in the property example, the fraud would be exposed because the owners would eventually show up at the property and realize, along with the the other “owners” of the property, that they were duped by duplicate property titles created for the same physical property. In the same way, the bank creates duplicate banknotes to represent the same physical commodity money. This is FRAUD. In the banknote example, however, all parties can use the banknotes representing the same bag without being aware that the others also have banknotes that represent the EXACT same physical bag of money.

Of course, this violates the laws of Logic. For two people cannot 100% own the same item at the same time and two people cannot be in the same spot at the same time. In a similar fashion, two people (let along 9 or 10 than FRB legally allows) cannot both have banknotes that metaphysically represent the same bag. Because this “magic” (read fraud) is allowed, the money supply is expanded metaphysically even though the physical money hasn’t changed size, just like the land was metaphysically  expanded by the fake titles even though the physical land has not changed. Unfortunately, the scam is rarely detected because the banknotes are just transferred from person to person without anyone realizing their are counterfeit not not backed by real commodity money. The result is huge bank profits, huge societal inflation, and indebtedness for governments, businesses, and people. Of course, another result is the predictable boom/bust cycle that bankrupts many others when the money supply deflation from its previous inflation.

Fractional-Reserve Banking (FRB), in other words, is modern man’s solution to the Philosopher’s Stone. Add to it the Central Banks special privilege to purchase items by creating banknotes not backed by anything and one can see that the modern day elites have accomplished what the middle-age kings and princes only dreamed of – creating fools gold, but having the legal right to pass off fool’s gold as real gold and enslave the people in the process. The is the Financial Matrix! Like I said previously, the modern golden rule reads: He who controls the fool’s gold controls the fools.

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Leisure & the Pursuit of Wisdom

Posted by Orrin Woodward on August 10, 2015

A big secret to life is when you discover that learning is just as enjoyable as entertainment is, but with long term benefits. – Orrin Woodward

image18aIn the process of researching for my second book in the And Justice For All series, I stumbled across one of the most profound descriptions of the importance of education in a person’s life by Professor Ernest Barker. As I read the words below, I realized how important LIFE Leadership is in improving society. For LIFE helps people focus on achievement through a process of eliminating debt and building a community through serving others by pursuing wisdom and leadership. In effect, the size and speed of the results achieved is a measurement of the wisdom applied to their life and business. The Bible teaches clearly that all true wisdom begins with fear of the Lord and that Christians should seek righteousness and all others things will be added.

Unfortunately, however, few people apply these Biblical lessons consistently. Despite the numerous historical examples of people who applied Biblical wisdom to life and were blessed beyond measure, many still chase money rather than wisdom. In a capitalistic system, money flows to those who apply wisdom to business, but the reverse of this is not true – wisdom flows to those with money. For instance, Laurie and I have many monetary blessings, but none of these satisfy like sharing wisdom with others to stimulate breakthroughs in mentoring sessions or the “aha” moments of self-discovery when the veil of ignorance is removed and one sees clearly the principles to apply to move ahead. Indeed, once a person becomes a seeker of knowledge, he will never be bored again because there is always more wisdom to learn and apply. I love my life and wouldn’t trade places with anyone else because I have been blessed with the leisure to learn and grow. Even more importantly, I am blessed to share what I have learned with other hungry students seeking wisdom in life.

The Financial Matrix is a system of control designed to enslave people in their own ignorance. Hence, if one wished to escape the matrix, one must escape not only physically, but also mentally. To do this, a person must build a business asset to buy back his time because only then will he have the leisure to invest in a self-directed education to develop wisdom. LIFE Leadership is the vehicle to accomplish this where people can live their dreams by losing their debt? However, living your dreams requires a plan and a willingness to work hard. What is the reader’s plan to develop wisdom and seek righteousness? These two steps are foundational to having everything else added unto him to live his/her dreams. I pray you achieve all the success you earn.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Our modern economic society, we have seen, requires leisure and education as its complements and its correctives. They are two things which should go together. Leisure is a time to be devoted — not wholly, for the body has its claims to relaxation, and the mind too needs its gentle indulgences ; not wholly, but at any rate largely — to the purposes of education and the gaining of that knowledge, not to be acquired in the course of work, ‘which brings wisdom rather than affluence.’ Education, on the other hand, should be a training — not again wholly, but at any rate largely — in the right way of using leisure, which without education may be misspent and frittered away. This vital connexion between leisure and education is a fundamental thing. Unless we grasp it, we are in danger of abusing leisure and misusing education. And in order that we may grasp it, it is necessary that we should have a right conception of the meaning of leisure;

One of the old Greek philosophers made a distinction which may help us here. He thought that we ought not merely to distinguish between work and leisure, but also to distinguish between leisure and recreation. Work, he thought, was something done not for its own sake, but as a means to something else — affluence, let us say, or at any rate subsistence ; recreation was rest from work, which took the form of play, and issued in the recovery of the poise of body and mind, disturbed and unbalanced by work ; but leisure was a noble thing, and indeed the noblest thing in life ; it was employment in some activity (we may almost say some form of work) which was desirable for its own sake such as the hearing of noble music and poetry, intercourse with friends chosen for their worth, or the exercise of the speculative faculty.

In this fine sense of the word, we may say that we live for leisure ; that it is the end of our being, which transcends work and far transcends recreation ; that it is the growing time of the human spirit, which in its leisure from necessary toils, and the necessary recreations they entail as their counterpoise, can expand in communion with its own thoughts and with the thoughts of others and with the Grace of God. The sad thing about modern English society is that there is so little leisure in this higher sense. It is not only that we work so hard : it is also that we play so hard. Perhaps the monotony and uniformity of work sends us in reaction to the hazards of games, or the excitement of watching them, or the still greater excitement of betting upon them : perhaps the urban aggregations in which men now live make them unhappy unless they are crowding together to some common game or spectacle.

Whatever the reason, poor leisure is far too often out in the cold, while recreation is romping about all the rooms in the house. One need be no kill- joy or Puritan to think or talk in this strain. Life is something more than a series of alternate layers of lean work and fat hearty play. It is meant for the growth and development of the human spirit. And that growth needs its growing time, which is leisure. If leisure be largely for education, education is also largely for leisure. We too often think and speak of education as something intended to fit us for life’s work. Ideally, it should rather be intended to fit us for life’s leisure. I do not mean that education should be humane rather than vocational.

Education may be humane, and yet directed to work and the better doing of work. I mean something more — that education should mean the filling of our mind with interests and possibilities of high delight, which we can develop for ourselves in all our leisure hours ; that it should be an initiation in the tastes and pursuits which will crown our leisure with fulfilment ; in a word, that it should be a training and a preparation for the right use of the time of the spirit’s freedom. Perhaps education has not hitherto been sufficiently adjusted to this end. Perhaps, if it had been, it would have been directed more to the awakening of a taste for art and music, in order that they might become the permanent possession and the abiding joy of later years.

Be that as it may, it is surely true that education is a necessity if men are to gain the faculty of using leisure easily, happily, and fruitfully. The use of leisure is a difficult thing. The majority of us, when freedom is given into our hands, fly to the excitement of some form of recreation. We must be ‘doing’ something — preferably something physical : if we are not, we are lost and without resource. We know the routine of work : we know the rules and the routine of different forms of play ; but we do not know how to move freely, originally, and by our own choice in the world that lies above work and play — the world of leisure. This is why holidays sometimes pall, and leave us at a loss : it is why men who have retired from work sometimes fall into melancholy, and find their reason for living gone.

Leisure without faculty for its use may even be a mother of mischief; men may dissipate themselves in frivolities, and worse than frivolities, because they do not know how to concentrate themselves upon better things. A society which guarantees leisure is guaranteeing something which may be useless, and even dangerous, unless it adds, or at any rate encourages its members to add, the one thing which will enable the gift to be used — a continuous process of education.

The world offers to the mind of man many noble joys. There is a joy in knowing the flowers of the field, and calling them by their names. There is a joy in knowing tlie heavenly bodies which move above us, and in understanding the rhythm and the rules of their motions. There is a joy in knowing the past of our kind, and in unrolling the long record of human history which explains what we are to-day. There is a joy in entering into the vision of the poet and painter, who have seen the ideal beauty which is hidden from ordinary eyes. There is a joy in wrestling with the thought of great philosophers, who have pondered about the why and wherefore of this mortal world and our mortal existence in it. These are the joys of leisure ; and leisure is the growing time of the spirit because it is the time of these joys. But it needs an effort to catch these joys ; and you cannot catch them without hooks of apprehension.

You must know a little in order to want to know more. Blank ignorance is blank incuriousness, but a little knowledge may be the opportunity and the incentive for more knowledge. The facts presented to mere ignorance are facts which there are no hooks to catch ; but when a mind has had some little training, it develops tentacles of apprehension ; it is anxious to seize new stuff, to arrange it and co-ordinate it with the old stuff which is already there, and so to make a little systematic world of its own for its own high delectation. The mind which is furnished with these tentacles and hooks of apprehension is a mind which will never be embarrassed or dumbfounded by leisure.

It will begin to play at once, in the nobler sense of the word play: the hooks will grip more and more of things seen and unseen into its consciousness ; and in the growing time there will be growth. When we say, therefore, that education is a preparation for the enjoyment of leisure, we mean that it is an equipment of the mind with these hooks and tentacles, these curiosities and appetites. And from this point of view we may see that there is a large sphere for the education of the adult, and that education is in no sense only the concern of childhood. The child learns at school ; but the child learns at a time when real experience of life has not yet begun. He learns, and is often curious to learn ; but what he learns cannot be co-ordinated with, or grappled into, a first-hand experience, because such experience has not yet begun to be gathered.

When he goes out into the world, and begins to gather experience, that experience may seem to him the one essential thing, and the school time lessons may fade away into the outgrown occupations of a vanished childhood. It is at this age — the age of adolescence, young manhood and young womanhood — that everything turns on the rescue of young minds from being immersed in mere experience. It is now that they need to recover curiosities, and to be furnished with hooks and tentacles of apprehension, by which they can capture a knowledge which can now be co-ordinated with experience. History, for example, is one thing to a child — a record of exciting events which satisfies curiosity : it is another thing to an adult — a record of the moral experience of men and nations which can be compared with and interpreted by the moral experience which the adult has himself gone through.

But unless, in adolescent and adult years, the curiosity be reawakened and recovered, the adult mind may remain immersed in its own more immediate experience ; and the high contemplation which lifts it above such experience, and yet explains and interprets that experience, may never be attained. Adolescent and adult education are in this way of primary importance, if man is to rise to that height of his being in which he uses leisure for the purpose of contemplation of the world, in order to explain it, and his own experience of it, and to attain to the justification of faith in its purpose and operation.

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Austrian Business Cycle

Posted by Orrin Woodward on July 21, 2015

Jesus Huerta de Soto

Jesus Huerta de Soto

The perpetual booms and bust we see in Capitalism are not caused by the free market. Rather, they are the direct result of interventions in the natural rate of interest by Big Banks and the State (yes, it’s the dreaded Financial Matrix). These centrally planned interventions into the free markets cause the booms and bust, but in an ironic twist, the free market is blamed when the predictable dismal outcome occurs. Hence more central planning is proposed to fix the allegedly broken free market. The illogicalness of this argument almost makes me lose my emotional intelligence. :)

For it reminds me of the story of  a drunk suffering from a hangover who blames his pain, not on too much drinking, but rather believes his body’s natural systems are imbalanced. Thus, he surmises to drink even more because he must make up for his body’s deficient natural system. When the pain goes away temporarily, he proclaims his intervention successful because he is pain-free. Unfortunately, the party (boom) always ends and when tomorrow morning hits, the cycle will repeat itself with even more rationalizations about the inherently unstable bodily systems and the need for more drugs. Of course, this leads to even worse cycle of temporary joy and longterm pain until the drunk either wizens up or dies. I wish I were exaggerating here, but the drunk’s logic is the same as our modern day politicians and economists (owned mouthpieces of the Financial Matrix controllers) who increase interventions into the economy which cause increasingly disruptive boom/bust cycles.

Nonetheless, further government intervention within the free market is always the answer when the previous intervention fails. Regretfully, many seemingly intelligent people buy into this line of thinking because it is promoted across the mainstream media outlets by the hired hands of the elites. As for me, I could care less how many “authorities” state their opinions because no matter how many people with whatever titles say something foolish, it’s still foolish. Even a majority doesn’t change this because foolish plus foolish is foolish, not wisdom. As an aside, if anyone is seeking rational discussion on this subject, he or she need look no further than de Soto’s fantastic book on money, banking, and business cycles displayed on this blog post.

To wet your appetite, I will attach a short description of the Austrian Business Cycle theory that I found online. In my nearly 15 years of research into the Austrian School of economics, I have not found an economic philosophy  that reasons clearer and states the facts better regardless of the political costs than this group does. LIFE Leadership is on a quest for truth and the Austrian School has much truth to share.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

The article below was written by Ben Best and describes the Austrian Business Cycle Theory:

Austrian Business Cycle

Austrian analysis asserts that in a world of hard money and free banking, the inflationary forces of credit expansion due to fractional reserve banking would not exist. If banks were warehouses of commodity money — gold, for example — then currency would consist of bank notes representing claims on the gold held by a bank. Any bank that made loans in excess of its reserves (fractional reserve banking) would soon find itself insolvent when other banks demanded hard money in exchange for checks & banknotes issued by that bank. This effect on banks is entirely analogous to the effects on countries that occurred after World War I when most nations attempted to implement a fractional reserve gold standard for their currencies. Countries issuing large amounts of currency backed by small amounts of gold found themselves in trouble when other countries sought to exchange currency to obtain gold. (See History of Modern Monetary Standards.) Banks in a free banking system would face similar pressures against fractional gold backing for their banknotes.

According to Austrian Economists, fractional reserve banking only became possible through the outlawing of private money and the creation of central (ie, government-controlled) banks — which allowed governments to control money supply and bank credit expansion.

In a free market interest rates are determined by subjective time-preference and the supply & demand of loanable money. If there is a low rate of savings the quantity (supply) of loanable money will be low and competition for this money (demand) by potential borrowers will result in high interest rates. High interest rates will encourage more savings and thereby bring the price of loans (interest rates) downward. As with supply & demand for any good or service, a free market will find a “clearing price” for the supply & demand of loanable funds. This clearing price is the natural rate of interest.

The natural rate of interest plays an extremely important role in the capital structure of an economy. Entrepreneurs/capitalists base decisions on whether to begin long-term capital projects based on interest rates. If interest rates are low, then borrowing to build a new factory, invest in a telecommunications network or assemble the capital goods for a new business venture appears feasible. Supply & demand of loanable funds will respond gradually to adjustments in business activity. If business investment (competition for loanable funds) rises, so too will interest rates — reducing borrowing for investment.

Central bank control of money & short-term interest-rates in national economies is at the root of contemporary business cycles. (For background on the mechanics of short-term interest-rate manipulation by central banks, see Money-Creation by Banks and A “Managed Economy” Under the Federal Reserve System.) When central banks artificially lower short-term interest rates below natural market levels, this results in two major distortions in capital markets. First, those who would save money receive less than the natural rate of interest — and this disincentive to save actually reduces the amount of loanable funds in real (as distinct from nominal) terms. Second, those who would borrow money for large capital projects are paying less than the natural rate of interest — thus encouraging borrowing investors to believe that capital projects are more sustainable than they really are.

Artificial lowering of interest rates by central banks is thus accompanied by expansion of the money supply — resulting in an artificial stimulus to spending for both consumer goods and capital goods. This artificial stimulus results in an inflationary boom which is not sustainable. Central banks are ultimately forced to raise short-term interest rates to counteract the inflation, resulting in a bust. Supporters of central bank monetary manipulation justify the practice as a means of leveling-out the business cycle when, in fact, central banker monetary manipulation is the cause of the business cycle!

In the 19th century, when money was based on gold & silver rather than government fiat, economic growth was mildly deflationary — because increased productivity lowers production costs. Inflation follows from government expansion of money supply and is not the result of an “overheating” economy that is growing rapidly. A distinction should be made between non-inflationary economic growth due to enterprise & technology and inflationary unsustainable booms due to central bank interest-rate cuts. Lack of clarity about this distinction has misled many economists into believing that there is an upper limit to growth (about 3%) above which growth is inflationary and unsustainable. Artificially low interest rates increase consumption spending, reduce incentives to save and increase investment spending with new fiat money that creates the illusion of new wealth. After having expanded the money supply with credit-expansion, central bankers worry that economic growth is “overheating” the economy, and the bankers then increase interest rates to “fight inflation”.

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