The Non-Revolution in Digital Payments with Eric Hughes – March 7

“So long as it is digital and centrally controlled, Mr. Global could not care less whether the new currency system is called dollar, peso, franc, gold, silver or wampum beads. ~ Catherine Austin Fitts

By Catherine Austin Fitts

It was the 1990’s. Eric Hughes was a brilliant mathematician from Berkeley, a founder of the Cypherpunks and an entrepreneur with a deep interest in the payment systems that serve as the financial train tracks of the global economy. My company in Washington was growing, investing our profits in financing software tools and venture vehicles that would allow small business and communities to circulate and build equity. We both believed that digital technology could revolutionize our investment model.

That revolution, however, did not happen. Instead, Silicon Valley was pumped and dumped in the dot.com boom, while Wall Street created a sky high pile of mortgage bubbles and derivatives and the banks drove the payment system deep into the last mile of retail transactions.

In the process, Eric and I learned a great deal about the “deeper” organization of our financial system.

Where does this leave us and what’s next? Eric joins me this coming Thursday night to talk about digital money – the state of global payment systems, currency wars, the shift to mobile payments and wallets, and what this means to me and you and, yes, answers to your questions about Bitcoins!

To celebrate that dreams can and do come true, in Let’s Go to the Movies, I will review Searching for Sugar Man, winner of this year’s Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and British Academy Film Award for Best Documentary. The film tells the story of two South African fans who set off to find out what happened to American musician Sixto Rodriguez, whose music was a smash hit in South Africa, but never took off in the U.S.

I will start with Money and Markets. Please post your questions for Ask Catherine on the blog. Talk to you Thursday!