June 21, 2014
This article originally appeared in The International Forecaster newsletter. To subscribe to the Forecaster, please visit the website.
On the evening of Monday, September 4, 1989, a handful of people dissatisfied with the East German government organized a peaceful demonstration in the courtyard of the St. Nicholas Church in Leipzig. People in other cities, hearing of the demonstration by word of mouth and from West German television coverage began convening their own demonstrations on Monday evenings. By early October, the Leipzig demonstration had swelled from its original few hundred participants to a massive 70,000 people, a full 14% of the population of the city. The next week, there were 120,000 people at the protest. The week after that, 320,000. The East German security forces refused to intervene for fear of causing a massacre, and in November the Berlin Wall fell. A revolution had occurred.
Three months ago, Lars Maehrholz, a German citizen concerned about war, freedom of the press and the Federal Reserve began a weekly peace demonstration in Berlin. At the time he was the only person in attendance, but after attracting a larger audience and garnering coverage from a local mainstream journalist, Ken Jebsen, the movement now boasts a combined 20,000 participants in 100 cities across Europe.
Is a revolution occurring? Lars Maehrholz hopes so. Last week, he told Luke Rudkowski of citizen journalist group We Are Change about the origin of the protest: “I started this movement because I realized that the Federal Reserve Act is one of the worst laws in the whole world. A private banking company is lending America money, and in my opinion America is not democratic anymore. The Federal Reserve tells the government what to do, and that’s a problem.” Asked by Rudkowski why a German protest movement would have as one of its targets the U.S. central bank, Maehrholz explained: “Because when you realize that the finance system is a global system, you have to go back to the beginning of the system. And in my opinion it’s also the World Bank and the IMF and things like this, but at the beginning of all this is the law from 1913.”
That the German people (or at least a segment of that population) seem to be better informed about the evils of the Fed than the American people may be surprising at first glance, but there may be a logic to it. After all, this is the country where a growing grassroots movement called “Repatriate Our Gold” arose in 2012 and forced the Bundesbank to issue a remarkable statement in January 2013 announcing that they would indeed repatriate 674 tons of their gold holdings at the New York Fed by 2020. The announcement came as a shock to world markets and the clearest sign yet that the Bundesbank was taking the threat of a death spiraling Euro seriously.
Boy what a difference a year makes. In all of 2013, the Bundesbank actually received a paltry 5 tons of gold from the New York Fed out of a scheduled 84 tons. High-ranking Merkel officials are tripping over themselves to tell the public that this is a good thing, but the public clearly are not buying it. They know that something is rotten in the state of Germany, and that rot goes back to the Fed. Hence the Monday demonstrations.
Depending on whether you’re a glass half full or glass half empty kind of person, this is either great news or depressing news. It’s great insofar as there is a growing movement of concerned people across Europe that are identifying the real cause of the world’s economic problems: private central banking in general, and the Fed in particular. It’s depressing to think, however, that there is a larger and more active anti-Fed movement in Europe than there is in America itself. The wind has long since left the sails of the American End The Fed movement and the Campaign For Liberty has so far failed to continue Ron Paul’s legacy of opposition to the bank. The real question is: who is the American Lars Maehrholz and when will Monday demonstrations begin in Washington?