[ CHAPTER 8 ]ENOUGH DEBT

Reforming Monetary and Financial Systems

Even the apparently simple question of where money comes from is hard to answer. It’s not the government printing press; money really originates when banks make loans. And since they charge interest for those loans, part of the endless-economic-growth model is in place right from the beginning—without the growth, you can’t pay off the interest.

BILL MCKIBBEN1

WHAT ARE WE DOING?

In the early 1990s when financial derivatives were taking off in the world of securities trading, one of Wall Street’s rising stars, John Fullerton, was taking off on a flight bound for Tokyo. It was his inaugural trip as the manager of J. P. Morgan’s commodities investment business in Asia, and it was a ...

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