The 'monarchs of money' and the war on savers01/05/2013 17:39
Quietly, without much public fuss or discussion, a new ruling class has risen in the richer nations.
These men and women are unelected and tend to shun the publicity hogged by the politicians with whom they co-exist.
They are the world's central bankers. Every six weeks or so, they gather in Basel, Switzerland, for secret discussions and, to an extent at least, they act in concert.
In fact, these individuals now wield at least as much influence over the lives of ordinary citizens as prime ministers and presidents.
The tool they have used to change the world so profoundly is one they alone possess: creating money out of thin air.
There is an economic term for this: quantitative easing. More colloquially, it's called printing money.
Since the great economic meltdown in 2008, these central bankers have probably saved the world's economy from collapse, and dragged it into the unknown at the same time.
The amounts they have created are so vast as to be almost incomprehensible — trillions of dollars in pounds and euros, among other currencies.
At the end of 2012, the balance sheets of the world's largest central banks, those of the G20 nations and the eurozone, including Sweden and Switzerland, totalled $17.4 trillion US, according to Bank of Canada calculations from publicly available data.