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Special Privilege:
How the Monetary Elite Benefit At Your Expense

(Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education, 2001) 244 pages/ ISBN 0-9710380-3-1

By Vincent R. LoCascio

Special Privilege alleges that government grants special privileges to the financial sector of the economy that violate the fundamental principles of free enterprise that most of us cherish. In addition to the injustice of these special privileges, they pervert the free market, thereby guaranteeing a mammoth future crash. In other words, like a needle in the arm to a drug addict, special privileges not only guarantee a future collapse but also push it off further into the future. The solution can take one of several forms, all of which boil down to: remove the special privileges.

Full Text of Special Privilege in pdf format. (Read as much as you like prior to purchase at no charge. We do ask that you Join the Fight.)

 
   

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

Frederick Bastiat - (economist, statesman, author of The Law)


 


About the Book

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Tick, Tock…Tick, Tock
 
Six special privileges of the elite distort the system and point toward future collapse.

Chapter 2: Early Casualties
  S&L Fraud – a glimpse of things to come.

Chapter 3: Seeds of Perversion
  Bank money creation – and its implications.

Chapter 4: Recurring Nightmare
  During the 19
th century, money panics kept money and banking issues in the forefront.

Chapter 5: Building Confidence
  The Fed: fundamentally flawed, inept, and ineffective, yet very powerful.

Chapter 6: “Nothing to Fear, But…
 
The worst legacy of the Great Depression: taxpayer protection of bank liabilities.

Chapter 7: Dollars and Sense
  Currency fluctuations lead to irregular, unpredictable, and devastating inflation.

Chapter 8: Heads I Win, Tails You Lose
  Taxpayers bail out the monetary elite.

Chapter 9:  Who’s Watching
  Phony accounting disguises how bad the reality actually is.

Chapter 10: Destroying the Host Organism
  A pessimistic assessment with a hopeful glimmer of our future.

Special Privilege will (further) acquaint you with the following important facts:

  1. Banks create money out of thin air and distribute it, unevenly throughout the economy, at interest.
  2. The Fed is expected to combat inflation; instead it has allowed the dollar to lose 75% of its value in the last 30 years alone.
  3. Using the accounting rules that apply to others, every money center bank has been hopelessly insolvent for over 20 years.
  4. Financial bailouts --- by both the IMF and the U.S. government--- involve massive wealth transfers from ordinary taxpayers to the financial sector (mostly banks).
  5. FDIC insurance coverage encourages money to flow into banks---particularly risky banks--- that otherwise would have flowed elsewhere in a free market.
  6. While money creation always increases prices, some methods and patterns of distribution produce dramatic wealth transfers while others have no such effect.
  7. The Fed was formed in 1913 to be a lender of last resort; yet, throughout the 1920s, banks failed at unprecedented rates and in 1933, 1/2 of all banks failed.

As you learn (more) of the facts, you will likely begin to consider the following conclusions:

  1. Democracy and free enterprise both suffer when government permits an elite group to create money and forces the rest of us to honor that money through legal tender laws.

  2. Since the money creation privilege is always abused, the government must grant additional special privileges to cover-up the effects of those abuses.

  3. Special privileges cover-up reality and temporarily restore confidence but do not actually rectify the resulting distortions.

  4. A massive financial collapse is the only viable result. Special privileges make the ultimate crisis inevitable but also make the timing unpredictable.

  5. The special privileges, below, make financial collapse inevitable:

    a- unlimited money creation
    b- allowed accounting irregularities
    c- protective bank secrecy rules
    d- insured bank deposits
    e- Fed-protected bank assets
    f- taxpayer bailouts of bank losses

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Critical Acclaim

Here is what others are saying about Special Privilege:

 “In a scholarly but easily readable style, Vincent LoCascio strips away all the technical mumbo-jumbo of the bankers’ jargon and lays bare the awful truth about the American monetary system.

When the inevitable and cataclysmic crack of the U.S. economy occurs, people will single out this book saying, ‘Oh, if only we could have used this to awaken the American public to the devastating role the banking system would play in the destruction of our nation.’

Sadly, for the very reason the author spells out, I am afraid we are doomed to experience the coming disaster like lemmings racing to the sea-cliffs, rather than to initiate the relatively simple solutions.” 

Jack Gargan, former National Chairman of the Reform Party,
financial author, political activist

  “In his outstanding explanation of the injustice of our current monetary system, Vince LoCascio exposes the grim reality, yet manages to be entertaining in the process. When the 'dollar' finally collapses, Special Privilege will make a very important contribution to the understanding of what went wrong and how to fix it.” 

Larry Parks, Executive Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education, author of What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? 

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Media Inquiries                     Media Flyer in pdf format               

Contact: 

Vincent R. LoCascio vinceloc@monmouth.com
Phone: 732-679-7480

Sample Questions for radio/television:

  1. Your book has an intriguing message; would you summarize it for us?
  2. Why do you feel that a financial collapse is inevitable unless we make important reforms?
  3. If, as you say, the system has defied reality for over 20 years, why can’t it continue to do so?
  4. What do you say to defenders of the system that claim you are an alarmist?
  5. What are some of the steps we can take to put the system on a better footing?
  6. Is the Fed too concerned with fighting inflation rather than stimulating the economy?

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Reviews

Excerpts from Scott Ryan, "Top 50" Reviewer at Amazon.com:

"...LoCascio seeks to provide the reader with an accessible, easily understood introduction to the sort of jiggery-pokery that currently goes on with our "money." His effort seems to me to be quite successful...and his proposals for reform are presented cautiously and with due regard for alternative proposals."

The ‘special privilege’ of the title is six-fold. Under current U.S. law, banks have six "special privileges" that grant them sweeping and pretty scary powers: the power to create money out of thin air (both by the Fed’s initial creation of irredeemable currency and through individual banks’ pyramiding new money on top of it through the "fractional reserve" system); special protection of their assets (any bank whatsoever can be "rescued" whenever the Fed chooses to do so); liability protection (FDIC deposit guarantees that encourage banks to engage in rash speculation); bailout schemes (at taxpayer expense, of course); funny accounting (e.g. booking outstanding loans at their original value instead of at their current value); and secrecy (banks don’t have to report certain information even to their stockholders, let alone to the public). Each of these topics gets a chapter-long workout, and LoCascio does a good job of making them clear.

On the whole LoCascio’s presentation is thorough and even gripping, and he has a knack for grabbing the reader with the most telling points up front: for example, that the purchasing power of the dollar in 1937 was just about what it had been in 1802, whereas today’s dollar is by comparison worth about eight cents. This fact appears on page eight and sets the reader asking exactly the question LoCascio wants to answer: how in the world did this happen?

LoCascio’s hope is to help prevent a financial disaster by informing the ordinary citizen about these "special privileges" and their ill economic effects. One way of helping him to succeed in that aim is to read this book."

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Vincent R. LoCascio

 

 

Vince received a B.A. in Economics, magna cum laude from Hunter College in 1966 and an M.B.A. in Corporate Finance, with distinction, in 1968 from NYU. From the late 60s to mid 80s, he was a litigation consultant with Peat, Marwick and, later, Ernst & Whinney. In this capacity, he conducted studies on disputed economic and financial issues in litigation and testified on his findings.

In 1985, Vince became a member of the American Stock Exchange where he traded for his own account using a mathematically sophisticated model he had developed for that purpose. In 1994, Vince hoped to fulfill a lifelong goal to teach by educating people about prudent financial planning. As it turned out, financial planning was more about selling than educating. Vince continues to write about, and give seminars on, self-sufficient financial planning, but he no longer takes clients. To fulfill his thirst for teaching, Vince currently teaches and tutors for Kaplan Test Prep. He also participates in curriculum development and trains new teachers for the organization. In 2000, he was named “Teacher of the Year” for the Connecticut-New York-New Jersey tri-state region.

Vince views Special Privilege as another opportunity to teach about a subject he knows much about and over which there is such confusion. Vince is 60 years old, married, and has two grown children. He lives with his wife, Bette Jayne, in Old Bridge, NJ.
 
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