Writing about conspiracy theories and having the last name Rothschild is an interesting experience. Believers immediately disregard everything I say, usually with a snarky comment that “of course a Rothschild would say that!”
For the record, I have no relation to the European banking scions of the 18th Century. Even so, I feel compelled to debunk conspiracy theories about them, not only because they share my last name, but but because said conspiracy theories are virulent, anti-Semitic, and somehow get generations of people believing them.
A pernicious version of one of these has popped back up in conspiracy circles due to the events of the week, and it’s a claim that, despite having no evidence and not making any factual sense, is impossible to kill: that North Korea is one of a shifting number of countries without a “Rothschild-owned central bank.”
The claim is incorrect, and relies on a fundamental misunderstanding of how banking works. It is also, of course, backed by the same tropes of Jews as money-hoarding string pullers that have powered pogroms and ethnic cleansing for centuries.
One of the hallmarks of a long-lasting conspiracy theory is that none of its proponents can agree on what, exactly, the conspiracy is.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t have widespread exposure. They do.
The first hit when you Google “Rothschild owned central banks” is this 2017 list, from the definitely not-a-crank site “the Event Chronicle. Its title is “Only Three Countries Left Without a ROTHSCHILD Central Bank!”
Yet it immediately declares:
In the year of 2000 there were seven countries without a Rothschild owned or controlled Central Bank: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Cuba, North Korea, Iran.
But things had changed by 2003, when:
The only countries left in 2003 without a Central Bank owned or controlled by the Rothschild Family were: Sudan, Libya, Cuba, North Korea, Iran.
What happened to Afghanistan and Iraq? Well, we did, sheeple. As Event Chronicle writes:
The first step in having a Central Bank establish in a country is to get them to accept an outrageous loans, which puts the country in debt of the Central Bank and under the control of the Rothschilds.
If the country does not accept the loan, the leader of this particular country will be assassinated and a Rothschild aligned leader will be put into the position, and if the assassination does not work, the country will be invaded and have a Central Bank established with force all under the name of terrorism. […]
The Attacks of September 11th were an inside job to invade Afghanistan and Iraq to then establish a Central Bank in those countries.
Got that? We false flagged ourselves as an excuse to invade Iraq and establish a Rothschild central bank. Duh.
Naturally, there are different versions of these lists. Because you can do that when you make everything up.
Here’s one with eight countries that adds Syria:
And here’s one that’s nine countries (that we are always at war with), adding China, Russia, Hungary, Venezuela, and Iceland (??); while removing Libya, Iraq, Sudan, and Afghanistan
Why are some countries on some lists and not others? Maybe because Hungary and Iceland nationalized their banks after the crash of 2008 (pitched by conspiracy theorists as “kicking out the Rothschilds“). Maybe because these are countries with inherently unstable governments. Maybe the people who made these memes aren’t that bright.
Because there is no such thing as a “Rothschild central bank.” And conspiracy theorists apparently don’t understand the different between a bank and a central bank.
A bank is an entity that takes deposits from customers, pays those customers interest on those deposits, invests those deposits to make the customer even more money, and/or loans money to other customers, to be repaid with interest. There are lots of different types of banks that do lots of different kinds of things, and over the past few centuries, and the Rothschild family has profited enormously from investing, loans, financial advising, and interest paid to and from their privately-owned banks.
They have branches around the world, thousands of employees, and are among the oldest banks in the world.
But these are private banks, not central banks.
A central bank is a government organ that manages a state’s money supply and interest rates, sets monetary policy, serves as a lender of last resort during a crisis, and is authorized by that government to print cash.
There is no Rothschild-owned bank that does any of this.
Central banking has a complex history that’s way too lengthy to go into here. It’s also shot through with conspiracy theories and nonsensical accusations, which makes it almost impossible to research this topic on the internet without immediately being deluged by garbage.
The bottom line is that yes, some central banks still have private shareholders. South Africa, Greece, Japan, Belgium, and Switzerland are among the few banks that have publicly-traded shares, though these are all governed by complex rules that prohibit any one buyer from cornering the market.
The US Federal Reserve technically has shares, but they’re only of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks around the country, only can be issued to other banks, and can’t be sold for profit.
Even so, the vast majority of central banks around the world are public (also called “state-owned”), and were nationalized either in the wake of the Great Depression or of World War II. Others, including Hungary, Iceland, and Russia; saw their banking systems partially or fully nationalized after the Great Recession – the so-called “kicking out the Rothschilds.”
But there’s no evidence that the Rothschild family owned a substantial amount of stock of any of these recently-nationalized banks. Not only that, but we are not “always at war” with these countries.
These lists almost always depict countries that have tightly-controlled state banking systems – which is the norm in the world. The rest of the world doesn’t have banks “owned by the Rothschilds.” It’s simply a nonsensical claim that has found root with people who don’t like Jews and really don’t like wealthy Jews.
It would be nice if Google’s search results reflected this, but what can you do? Apparently, the Rothschilds don’t own the internet. Yet.