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Assessment of The Documentary Century of Enslavement: The History of The Federal Reserve, by James Corbett

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Assessment of The Documentary Century of Enslavement: The History of The Federal Reserve, by James Corbett essay

Central banking systems are highly complex, secretive, and powerful. In the documentary “Century of Enslavement: The History of the Federal Reserve,” filmmaker James Corbett aims to provide an easily understandable overview of the United States Central Bank. In plain English, Corbett explores the fundamental questions of what is money and how should it be made. He asks viewers whether national debt is necessary and ultimately explores alternatives that may replace the “fascistic collusion” spearheaded by the current central banking system. In addition, he explains how the Federal Reserve works and raises many critical arguments against the organization’s activities.

Corbett’s documentary is very antagonistic towards the Fed and the “elite-banking cartel” that runs it. The Federal Reserve is extremely powerful as it manages the overall money supply in the US. It has the power to “create” or “destroy” money and can adjust interest rates. Corbett asserts that 90% of the US money supply is created by private banks as loans to the Fed that are payable back to the banks at interest. Therefore, the majority of money in the economy is created not by a government printing press, but by the bank itself. Money is created out of thin air as debt. Furthermore, due to fractional reserve banking, banks can loan out more money than they actually have in their reserves. Overall, Corbett explores the conflicts of interest that are inherent to the Federal Reserve System. For example, the collapse in 2008 was caused by large-scale institutional speculation and manipulation of the markets. The private banks that orchestrated the financial crisis by packaging and selling sub-prime mortgages and then, in turn, betting against these faulty financial packages with credit default swaps, ended up profiting from the bailout that was “necessary” to “revive” the economy. In fact, Corbett states that the 2012 GOA report indicated that Federal Reserve board members were tied to $4 trillion worth of loans after the Great Recession of 2008. This enormous bailout led to record profits for the banks involved in subsequent years and reveals the importance of reconsidering what the purpose the Fed plays and who the Fed is supporting. Does the Fed work for the American people? It does not have to answer to the government and it clearly is not a public organization.

Overall, the most important question that Corbett’s documentary discusses is: will a new global financial system be created? How do we globalize and integrate our financial system? Imaging a post-fed economy may be difficult, but the emergency of crypto-currency is a clear indicator of the changes that may be possible. Bitcoin is a revolutionary new monetary system that some argue has the potential to topple the current global financial system. Bitcoin offers a decentralized currency system that utilizes blockchain technology to remove financial intermediaries. Blockchain enables one to send money to anyone anywhere on the planet through a public ledger. Bitcoin is a digital currency or asset that is not backed by a bank or government and is thus decentralized. Bitcoin can be bought and sold through online exchanges. The mathematical nature of bitcoin puts a hard limit of approximately 21 million coins. This means that Bitcoin offers a new alternative to our current banking system that is removes the corrosive flaw that is inherent to the practice of printing money on any governmental whim. The financial system is now a global system. Decentralized currencies may be the future of the world economy.

The other two videos discussed the Bank for International Settlements, which is the central bank of the central banks of the world. The Bank for International Settlements, or the BIS, is the main meeting point for the central bankers of the world to secretly discuss monetary policy. Established in Switzerland, the BIS has a very dodgy history of funding Hitler’s Third Reich. However, the Bank for International Settlements has endured since its founding in 1930. It played an important role in conducting the technical work for the issue of the Euro in the 1990’s. It also gave birth to the European Central Bank. In addition, China and Russia joined the bank in 1996. Now, important trade policy discussions take place at the BIS and it was an important point of contact for bankers to discuss financial crises and set agendas for their individual country policies. One major issue that is currently being discussed is that of quantitative easing, or the printing of money. Quantitative easing has created super low interest rates, which means that capital has started to move around the world in search for better rates. Countries like Korea and Malaysia are being flooded with investments due to their interest rates. This illustrates the global nature of our current economy. To conclude, the videos from this week presented a radical depiction of the current banking systems. They represented the banking elites as a cartel with unrestrained power. They issued a call to action and asked viewers to question the current central banking system and aim to imagine new, more global and decentralized means of controlling the world’s economies.

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Assessment of the Documentary Century of Enslavement: the History of the Federal Reserve, by James Corbett. (2019, February 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from
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