Fractional reserve banking underpins the entire banking system, yet its effects on society are completely ignored. Our financial system consists of vast amounts of credit pyramided on top of very small amounts of real savings—all backstopped by explicit and implicit government guarantees. This poses significant risks to the stability of the economy and monetary system, which ought to give pause to any serious observer of financial markets. Hopefully this hearing will create a greater understanding among the American people about the nature of the banking system, and begin the movement towards serious systematic reform. The American people deserve a financial system that is stable and efficient; one that operates without taxpayer subsidies and bailouts.