I have started a collection to depict our current economic conditions, how we got here and where we might be headed. The series is called ‘Making Money’
First in the series is based on the 100 dollar currency note. I have recreated the note with certain changes to portray what I have to express. In this I illustrate how the Nixon Shock of 1971(the changes brought about by then president of the United States, Richard Nixon) changes the entire global economy. How we went from representative/ commodity money backed by the Gold’s Standard to ‘Fiat Money’ (nonconvertible paper money made legal tender by a government decree). This meant that nations could print any amounts of money without anything backing it like gold or other precious metals. So the paper currency was just paper, it had no intrinsic value anymore.
Due to this, myriad of effects are seen in the economy, some good but most are bad. Inflation goes up, banks get more powerful and rich, rich get richer and the poor gets poorer, the middle class is created, consumer spending is at an all time high, debt goes up, complicated and confusing systems enter the stock and the commodity market, new debt instruments are created which are profusely traded, etc..
This brings about various financial crises in the economic scene like that of the dot com bubble(2000),the housing market collapse (2008) etc..
Even after all these nothing has been changed, we are still headed in the path of grave danger unless we make swift and severe changes to avoid a depression of mammoth proportions even dwarfing that of the Great Depression of 1929.
To depict this I have changed the promissory note on the dollar, changed the year series, changed the-name of Benjamin to Debt and finally Benjamin Franklin has been disfigured; replacing his eyes with concentric hypnotic circles in black.