Trade Sachs is the negation of a bank in every aspect. You can open an account from which you will never again be able to draw money: The Trade Sachs Trust Account. You give us your money – in cash – and we promise that we will do NOTHING with it. This trust is the first step into a brighter future: Towards a society that depends on trust in people, not in money.
Trade Sachs produces political interventions in public spaces by simply engaging people passing by in a discussion. In the manner of banksaleswomen, the performers try to persuade potential customers into opening an account. This persuasion includes explanations of money, banks, capitalism, and their intertwinement. The goal of Trade Sachs is to give people the feeling that they can be part of change.
Others turn nothing into money. We turn money into nothing.
Instead of fighting mere symptoms of the world’s problems – hunger, war, environmental catasprophes – Tobak Lithium fights against the roots of all evil: capitalism. There will be no further way into crisis, as we drain the blood out of his vains – money. Money that can be easily produced by banks. Money works for those, that already have it. Those that don’t have any money, have to work for it.
Tobak Lithium fights the system with its own means by calling for investment, investment into our anti-bank: Trade Sachs. Trade Sachs simply locks the money away, draining the blood from the vessels of capitalism. And this is just the beginning. Trade Sachs will fight back from a completely unexpected angle, facing money with its complete opposite: trust.
Trust is expensive. The less we are trusted, the more we have to pay.
The core business of any bank lies in keeping the money of its customers and loaning this money to credit users. The bank takes interests from the credit users and gives (a lot less) interests to their customer as a reward for using their money. This means, that your money never is on your account, in fact, you never really know where your money is, as soon as the bank has gotten hold of it. Your money joins the investmentcycle. As if this weren’t enough, the money on an account can be given away several times, and thus, return several times. This is how banks create money out of nothing.
This core business can only work through trust. If we deposit money, we trust in the bank keeping it safe and making it available to us anytime. If we take up a loan, the bank wants to know how much it can trust us. And the less we seem trusteable, the higher our interest and thus, one day, our debt.
Not only banks, but our whole monetary system is built upon trust. Our money relies on our trust in it, our trust in anybody else accepting it as valuable trading good. We put our whole trust in money — there is no necessity to trust in your trading partner. Money gives us the opportunity to treat anybody like a stranger, even our best friends: Instead of doing a favor and thinking, that this favor will be returned some day in whatever way, we want money for it.
We only trust in money — and by this, we trust those that have power over it: national banks, states, high finance.
We have created a self-reproducing system. Our money is based on trust, and our trust is based more and more on money. We pay our hotel rooms before even arriving, clothes, before we even tried them on, and yes, it has been a while since we’ve drank a beer that we let chalk up. Only who can pay is trusted.
It doesn’t matter who you are, but how much money you’ve got.
The Trade Sachs Trust Account and Trade Sachs Trust Fund
This is where Trade Sachs comes in. Our bank is set to be the negative of a bank in as many aspects as possible, allowing the performers and the audience alike a close examination of what a bank really is.
The banking system relies upon three trust-bound principles: the account, the myth and the credit. It is these three principles that are mainly targeted by Trade Sachs.
Opening up a Trade Sachs Trust Account (TSTA) leads to the exact opposite to what opening up an account at a regular bank does. The money of our TSTAHolders will never again be used, never again be returned into the capitalist cycle. This is our primary promise and requires a lot of trust by our customers, since it also means that they will never get their money back. Second, the TSTAHolders will always know where there money is, as we send them monthly updates with a picture and coordinate of their account. This means of course that we trust them to keep their knowledge to themselves or take measures that the account-boxes will not be stolen. And last but not least, TSTA Holders become equal members of Trade Sachs, enabling them on making decisions such as where the money should be kept or what should happen with the Trade Sachs Trust Fund (TSTF).
TSTA Holders can choose to invest part of their savings in the TSTF. The TSTF is devoted to destroying even more money — by different methods, of course, which are still open for discussion. Will it be a solidarity party, buying off debts from people, or even taking part in stock exchange by investing into Robin Hood Minor Asset Managment fund? What exactly is about to happen is up to the collective decision of all TSTA Holders.
The money in the TSTA is not hidden away, but locked up in transparent boxes, carried around visibly by the performers. This is not only a provocation (as we have learnt it to be during our previous sessions) , but also turns the locked-up money into a memorial against capital. The money itself loses its value, its power, and obtains pure materiality and a new meaning. So being out on the street, talking to people and collecting money is the main activity of Trade Sachs.
This collecting goes hand in hand with research and a fight against intransparency. Through words and mystical numbers, banksalesmen persuade the public over and over again that they are the experts, that we have to leave the money business to them, that we’ve got no other choice but trusting in them, since we will never understand it anyway.
This is, of course, not true. So Trade Sachs will work on busting the money-myths one by one. That’s where Trade Sachs moves from only the street to the internet. The performance is accompanied by blogging about the money in our hands and shelves as well as making knowledge about the whole system easily accessible and understandable. See http://www.tradesachs.org, for it has already begun.
The third part, which is still about to come, will be the perversion of the credit. What this “anti-credit” contains exactly will show during the work on Trade Sachs, since it is a performance with an open end, focussing rather on the process. This process will happen in co-work with interested TSTA Holders.
We would like to develop some kind of trust-credit, based not on investing into profitable ventures, but on being able to show people that you trust them. This might even contain the emergence of a completely new style of currency that you can only use for things that you think are valuable in a personal or communitarian manner.