What is money? It was worth something real when it was made of precious metal, but now it's worthless metal or paper - merely a token to be exchanged for something of worth. On the banknotes in Britain it says that the note is a "promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of" x pounds (in gold/silver). So you are supposed to be able to claim your gold any time you like? Not the case. The writing is only a relic, it isn't valid any more, since the gold standard was abolished for nearly every country after WWI. (I wrote to the bank of England and they confirmed this.) Roosvelt severed the connection between dollars and gold in 1934. It began with the (Hebrew) goldsmiths, the ancestors of the present day bankers, back as far as ancient Rome. People who had some gold took it to the goldsmiths for safekeeping. The goldsmith gave the customer a claim receipt for the gold. These receipts could be used to reclaim the gold by anyone who brought it back - and could be exchanged for goods in the meantime. The receipts began to circulate as paper money. People realised it was easier for them to carry on trade by passing these receipts and never bothering to withdraw the gold itself. Their faith in the value of the paper was based on the idea that it could be redeemed for gold any time. Thus the goldsmiths discovered the key principle of banking: "fractional reserve". With few people ever claiming back the gold and trading using receipts instead, it occured to the goldsmiths that they could loan out gold, that didn't really belong to them, with interest charges added. So: money out of thin air - with interest! They didn't even actually loan out the gold itself, but once again issued receipts which were for the loan, and which once again went into circulation. The goldsmith was in fact writing out claim receipts for several times as much gold as he had available, and no body was any the wiser! The moneylender had struck a fabulous gold mine without having to so much as turn a shovel full of dirt! "Fractional reserve" the Gimmick. "Fractional reserve" refers to the fact that the moneylender only needed to reserve a fraction of gold - enough to cover any day to day withdrawals. This worked fine as long as there was no sudden demand (run) on the gold that was not his - only for safekeeping. Sometimes there were such panics and when the goldsmith couldn't give people their gold they were hanged from the nearest tree. Over time, those that were not hanged got very very rich. In the middle ages many countries outlawed Jews from engaging in a number of trades and businesses; allegedly because they feared monopolisation of those trades. Yet money is the nerve centre of business. In time, together with monopolising moneylending came control of every worthwhile business. The bankers were now lending money to governments as well as individuals. With a fierce loyalty, they maintained a monopoly of banking, issuance of money, financing, stock markets and gold supply. It is an awesome power to have and it led to domination of the means of propaganda (media) and every nerve centre of power, including government itself. To cut the long story short: now the claim receipts won't even get you your gold back. Impressive achievement or what?