Brad Meltzer and The Millionaires – when our money is not real

Here is some food for thought during the current financial crisis. When I read the book “The Millionaires” I realized that I used some of the same words in previous blog articles and off-the-record discussions:

“..grab Duckworth’s program and sell it to the highest bidder. Let a terrorist organization get ahold of it. Even worse, put it in a too-big-to-fail.”

“A what?”

“Too-big-to-fail. It’s what the Federal Reserve calls the top fifty or so banks in the country. Once Duckworth’s little worm digs in there, your three hundred million is suddenly three hundred billion – and it’s flowing everywhere – Citibank … First Union … down to the little mom and pops across the country. The only problem is, when all is said and done, the money’s not real. And the moment someone realizes that the emperor is not wearing any clothes, the pyramid scheme collapses. No bank trusts its records, and none of us knows if our bank accounts are safe. The whole world lines up at the teller windows and the ATMs. But when we go to make our withdrawls, there’s not enough real cash to go around. Since the money’s fake. Every bank runs out of funds. The too-big-to-fails implode first, then the smaller banks that they lend to, then the hundreds of banks below those. They all crater at once – all of them searching for money that was never really there. Sorry, sir, we can’t cover your account – all the money in the bank is now gone. And that’s when the real panic begins. It’ll make the Depression look like a stock market dip.”

– excerpt from “The Millionaires”, written by Brad Meltzer (see his website)
– Copyright 2002 by Forty-four Steps, Inc

You can tell me if this scenario sounds eerie in 2009, even though the book was written in 2002. I’m not a big fan of cover-ups and conspiracy theories, but too much of this book hit the mark today. This work of fiction is worth reading, and it is well written. Find it on eBay here.