Guernsey’s Monetary Experiment

English: Chequered flag of Guernsey (as of 1863)

English: Chequered flag of Guernsey (as of 1863) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Years ago, being the philosophical Social Creditor that I am, I sought out experiments in the history of creating money. This is one such experiment that I came across 30 some years ago, and I am thrilled that this same article has made its way onto the screens of your and my computer. I wanted to add it to my blog as a testimonial that our system of economics isn’t the only one on the planet. The banks profit from the world thinking that it is. I am sure that Greece and Company of bankrupt nations would not be in the financial mess that they are in if they knew that they could create their own money and thereby not have to borrow money from the very banks that stand poised to destroy their nations.

I give you the Guernsey Monetary Experiment written by Louis Even.

Guernsey is a small island located in the English Channel. An Anglo-Norman population. This island is located closer to the French coast than to the English one.

Sark & Guernsey

Sark & Guernsey (Photo credit: SteveCottrell)

At the close of the Napoleonic wars, the island, like several countries, was in pitiful condition, both physically and financially.

No money

Sea walls, roads, markets were needed.There was no manpower shortage. but there was no money to pay for these works.

The money used by the people on the island was the money from England, the pound sterling. But, like after any war, the financiers were calling back the money advanced to finance the slaughter, and the pounds sterling were very scarce everywhere.

The island had an autonomous government, “the States of Guernsey.” So it had the rights inherent in all sovereign government, among other rights, that of regulating the volume of money in circulation in the country. But, no more than any other country, the States of Guernsey had thought of exercising this sovereign prerogative.

An intelligent governor

The island was especially in need of a new market house, and a committee was set up to take care of it. The committee went to see the governor to explain the situation to him:

“We need a new market, but we have no money to build it.”

“With what material are you going to build a market?” asked the governor.

“With stone and wood.”

“Do you have it in the island?”

“Certainly, and in plenty.”

“Do you have workers?”

“Yes again. But it is money that is lacking.”

“Could not your parliament issue money?” asked the governor.

Guernsey landscape 2

Guernsey landscape 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new idea!

This idea had never occurred to the committeemen, who had never analyzed the money question. They knew where to get money when there was some: but they never wondered where money begins or can begin.

The method of taxing when there was money was quite familiar. But the method of injecting the money that is lacking, and of taxing only after, was something new to our administrators.

Issues of national currency

An estimate of the cost was prepared and the States printed the money required, which was paid to those who either worked on the project or furnished materials for it.

As the new currency was paid out into circulation among the people, exchanges were being expedited. The wage-earners went to the shopkeepers, the shopkeepers went to the producers, the producers bought enough to increase their production.

The currency was accepted everywhere. The government took measures against inflation by decreeing that money would be withdrawn by taxes, so it does not accumulate. And, in fact, the money was retired on schedule by taxes. But, as the increasing activity required a corresponding volume of money, other issues were brought out by the government for other works.

On October 12, 1822, the new Market house was completed and opened. Not a penny of public debt on this public enterprise.

Elizabeth College, school in Guernsey

Elizabeth College, school in Guernsey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The bankers intervene

At the time of the original issue, there was no bank upon the island. This explain, without doubt, why there was no opposition to the issue of State money.

But ten years after the first issue, the island had become so prosperous, thanks to the activity allowed by a sufficient volume of money, that the banks of England had en eye on this island.

English bankers set up branches in the island and brought the population around to orthodox rules. “It was unsound,“ they said, “to let the government finance its enterprises without getting into debt.”

The bankers did everything to stop further issues to introduce the system of interest-bearing loans to the government and to withdraw from the island the State money that had been paid out into circulation.

There was some resistance, but the bankers won their point, with their usual methods, and on October 9, 1836, the States of Guernsey had abdicated their sovereign prerogative over the control of the volume of money. From then on, the amount of the national currency decreased gradually, and was replaced by money issued by private bankers in the form of loans getting the island into debt.

Nevertheless, there is still about 40,000 pounds sterling ($200,000) of national currency outstanding at this date in the island. (According to Gertrude M. Coogan in Money Creators, published in 1935.)

Why a financial problem?

As we can see, with natural resources, workers, and a bit of common sense, there is no financial problem.

But when shrewd exploiters want to regulate economic activities according to their power and their profit, there financial problem arises.

Of course, minds in search of arguments to justify the present regime will say that Guernsey was only an insignificant small island; that the control of the volume of money by the representatives of the people is good for a small country, but not for a big country.

All right. Take note of what these gentlemen object to you today. Next week, these same gentlemen will tell you that the money problem cannot be solved properly in a small territory or a province, but must be brought to a federal or even an international level!

It was not Social Credit yet in Guernsey from 1820 to 1836. No doubt that the development of that time and that place would not have allowed to go as far as to give a dividend to consumers. But it was already a non-debt-bearing national currency, issued in accordance with the possibilities in front of the needs.

The issues of national currency by the States of Guernsey caused neither inflation nor idleness. They created activity and prosperity. But these issues did not make any slaves, and that is why the bankers intervened.

Louis Even

This article was published in the January-February, 2004 issue of “Michael”.



About pushinback

Back in 1993, I attended an anti-Nafta rally in Ottawa along with over 110,000 others. But despite the overwhelming opposition to NAFTA, the steamroller rolled on. It was there that I came to understand the one vital thing that I have been preaching ever since. There are so many issues, and so many fighting each issue, we are all spinning our wheels, and wasting our time, talents and energy, because each election, we give the politicians our power and so the deck is stacked against us. I said it that day and I say it with more fervency today. We all have one issue that we share, and we should all stop fighting for our own issues and losing anyways, and we should fight to achieve that one thing that we all share. We Canadians all have to fight to finally get a say between elections. We need to fight to make politicians accountable to us, the people. If there is no accountability, and the people have no say between elections, we have no Democracy. My Blog is written to teach the reader the essential knowledge of freedom and Democracy. Please read, and learn. I am one person, but I leave you my witness that one person is not powerless, only first you must first learn and then act. Let the democratic revolution begin. Kindest regards, Rob McQueen
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