Who owns America? That depends who you ask.
A growing body of opinion points to an obscure, but immensely powerful organisation called CEDE and Company.
This small New York based financial institution has a dozen directors and no more than a half dozen employees but holds, according to some reports, some 34 trillion dollars in assets.
A complex system of interlocking bodies, such as The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, the National Securities Clearing Corporation and the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation oversee all stock trading in the US. They all come under the umbrella of Cede.
And, on paper at least, own all the stocks traded.
The multi-trillion dollar secret works like this: The Depository Trust Company is a private bank for securities. Every other financial organisation in the US, bankers and brokerage houses, is obliged to secure membership with DTC.
Like the Federal Reserve, DTC is a private company entrusted with national responsibility. It processes all stock and paper securities for every US bank and brokerage house.
Cede technically owns nearly all of the publicly issued stock in the United States. Private investors don’t own the stock they think they own, but rather have contractual rights that are part of a complex chain of rights ending up at Cede and Company.
It sounds dry and academic, but it impacts every American. And as long as the USA remains the preeminent economic power on Earth, it affects the rest of us too.
The Depository Trust Company absolutely controls every paper asset transaction in America and they physically hold the majority of stock and bond certificates in their name.
Very few people hold genuine stock ownership certificates. Most trust their brokers to do that for them.
And many Americans, who unlike Brits depend on private finance for all of their retirement and health needs, are concerned that these precious stocks could at any moment ‘vanish’ overnight to service the country’s staggering national debt.
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation is notoriously publicity-shy, but the DTC’s Jim McNeff spoke to financial journalist Anthony Wayne. Explaining to Wayne how infallible the DTC’s governance of the US stock market was, he said ”DTC’s first controlled test was 4 or 5 years ago. Do you remember Black Monday? There were 535 million transactions on Monday, and 400 million transactions on Tuesday”.
“DTC cleared every transaction without a single glitch!”.
The 2008 financial crash which led from a crisis in the US subprime mortgage market to a series of massive bailouts that taxpayers are still paying for is just one symptom of a system that’s not only too big to fail.
As one Reddit user put it: “America has gone bankrupt 4 times. The government has mortgaged the entire country. No one really owns anything…we don’t even have our original birth certificates. Titles and deeds have small print telling you the original is with the DTCC.
“All the people, and their property, are really owned by Cede, which is owned by the private bankers…
“It is not a lawful system, but it is legal.”