Understanding what propels the World Economy is mandatory to comprehend its Demise
by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics
Banking has existed for a long time. The idea of debt dates back to the ancient world, as evidenced for example by ancient Mesopotamian clay tablets recording interest-bearing loans. Far too many people attribute our financial doom to fractional banking etc. They are actually taking the side of the bankers who want money to retain its purchasing power or rise rather than devalue with economic expansion. Indeed, they are in truth arguing for austerity that is tearing Europe apart at the seams. They honestly do not comprehend what they are supporting. They want money to retain its value, yet they expect profits from investment, trading, and their home to rise in value with wages.You cannot have your cake and eat it simultaneously. What these theories tout is the stuff that Euroland was supposed to create and it is now sending the entire global economy into a major economic decline not seen since the 1930s along with the US law FATCA hunting down Americans globally lie dogs.
Here is a picture I took in the Roman Forum. This was the ancient Wall Street of its day known as the Via Sacra (Sacred Road). Cicero (106-43BC) wrote that anytime there was news of a disaster in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), a financial panic would be unleashed in the Roman Forum on this very street. The Via Sacra was the main street of ancient Rome, leading from the top of the Capitoline Hill, through some of the most important religious sites of the Forum (where it is the widest street), to the Colosseum.
Asia Minor was the “emerging market” into which the Romans invested and lent money no different from today. Cicero tells us that the infamous traitor Brutus (85-42BC) who had lent money to the King of Cappadocia (Turkey) and to the city of Salamis at a 48% rate of interest. Brutus was not defending the people and the Republic when he killed Caesar, but his own greedy power. Brutus’ coinage depicts his own image declaring he killed Caesar proudly for the people on the 15th of March (Ides of March – EID MAR). This is why history repeats because human nature and ideas are always the same.
The Roman bankers would line the Via Sacra in the more modern days of ancient Rome. Previously, the temple on the Capitoline Hill served both as the bank and the official mint where coins were produced. This was part of a tradition where people were trying to buy redemption with donations to temples. Since the various gods never spent the MONEY, it became a hoard of cash that served as “capitalization” for early forms of bankers where priests who would lend out the MONEY from the Capitoline Hill (capital) for a profit. This profit became known as interest that was literally acquiring an “interest” in the venture for which MONEY was borrowed. Such interest would be in things as planting next season’s crops or a voyage for trade. The second reason religion became involved in some cultures as the producer of MONEY was because supposedly the priests were trustworthy – no doubt like our politicians claim to be honorable today.
In the case of Rome, the actual mint was on the Capitoline Hill at the head of the Roman Forum located in the most venerable temple of ancient Rome. Situated on the Capitoline hill this temple was dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus who was the Roman king of the gods also known as Jove and his two companion deities: Juno and Minerva. Juno is the Roman goddess of love and marriage and is the equivalent of the Greek goddess Hera.This was a holy trinity or triad so to speak between the three of them – Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. Juno was the Queen of the Gods. Minerva (Etruscan: Menrva) was the Roman goddess of wisdom and sponsor of arts, trade, and strategy. She was born with weapons from the head of Jupiter.
A sacred flock of geese were kept there at the Temple on the Capitoline and in 387BC, there was a marauding Gallic tribe that swept down from the Po River valley and sacked Rome extracting a heavy ransom in gold. Rome is said to have been founded in 753BC when their last Tarquin King was overthrown creating the Roman Republic in 509BC. This was followed by its first Etruscan war fought against the Fidenae (437-426BC). Consequently, the Gallic Invasion was a serious blow and no doubt would provide for good reason to conquer Gaul 300 years later by Julius Caesar.
As the legend goes, the Gauls attempted to invade the city quietly, but had frightened the sacred flock of geese that made a lot of noise. This alerted the Romans to the surprise attack giving us the word “monere“ meaning in Latin to warn. The Temple of Juno then became popularly known as the Temple of Juno Moneta. Since this is where the coins were minted, we now arrive at the word “MONEY” that springs from the origin of this legend and place that was an ancient mint. Our terms such as capital flow now arrives from the Latin word “currere“ meaning “to run” or “to flow” and this is where the MONEY flowed from giving us the word “CURRENCY” meaning the flow of MONEY. This is why Juno Moneta is pictured on Roman coins as holding the balance scales in one hand and a cornucopia in the other symbolizing endless bounty or wealth. This is the birth of the terms MONEY and CURRENCY.
During the Roman Republic (509-27BC), there were societates publicanorum, which were organizations of contractors or leaseholders who performed various services for the government – privatization. Participants in such organizations had partes or shares in the venture. This is the origin of corporate shares. This form of financial instrument was mentioned various times by Cicero. In one speech, Cicero mentions “shares that had a very high price at the time.” These shares rose and fell as they do today for the driving force was human emotion. These instruments were tradable, with fluctuating values based on an organization’s success. The societas going work for the government declined during Imperial Rome as most of their services were taken over by direct agents of the state – bureaucracy. Corporate shares thus became private ventures. These shares traded in the temple.