Stephen Zarlenga – Wiki Entry

Stephen Zarlenga (1941-2017) was a researcher and author in the field of monetary history, theory and reform. Italian philosopher Giorgio Baruchello called him a “maverick intellectual”.[1]

In 1976 Zarlenga served on the board of the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) of Great Barrington, Massachusetts.[2] In 1996 he co-founded the non-profit charitable trust The American Monetary Institute for the “independent study of monetary history, theory and reform”.[3]

In 2002 he published his 700-page study The Lost Science of Money: The Mythology of Money – The Story of Power, which study, according to professor Dwight Murphy, was “an extended review of world monetary history”[4], and according to German Economist Dr. Michael Kumhof was “a masterful work”.[5]

He encapsulated his research in one perceptive phrase: “Over time, whoever controls the money system, controls the nation”.[6]

In 2004 Stephen organized the first AMI Monetary Reform Conference, which became a yearly event in which many academic experts, community activists and otherwise interested persons participated.

He was also instrumental in formulating and promoting monetary reform legislation for the US Congress to adopt. Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich from Ohio introduced in 2010 the National Employment Emergency Defense Act (NEED Act), which was based on an earlier version developed by Zarlenga, the American Monetary Act.[7]


Zarlenga, Stephen. 2000. ”A Brief History of Interest”. AMI Paper, 3. Valatie, NY: American Monetary Institute.

———-. 2002. The Lost Science of Money. The Mythology of Money – the Story of Power. Valatie, NY: American Monetary Institute.

———-. 2002. “Critique of Innes’ ‘Credit Theory of Money’ ”. Valatie, NY: American Monetary Institute.

———-. 2005. “Moving Monetary Reform to the ‘Front Burner’”. American Review of Political Economy, Vol 3, No. 1 (March 2005): 39-84.

———-. 2005. “The 1930s Chicago Plan and the 2005 American Monetary Act”. Valatie, NY: American Monetary Institute.

———-. 2006. “Is the Federal Reserve System a Governmental or a Privately Controlled Organization?.” Valatie, NY: American Monetary Institute.

———-. 2010. “Refutation of Menger’s Theory of the Origin of Money“. Valatie, NY: American Monetary Institute.

———-. 2013. “Sequesters, Shutdowns And Defaults”. Huffington Post. The Blog. 11 Oct 2013.

———- & Poteat, Robert. 2016. “The Nature of Money in Modern Economy –Implications and Consequences”. Journal of King Abdulaziz University: Islamic Economics, 29/2 (July 2016): 57-73.


[1]. Baruchello, Giorgio. 2013. “Review essay” of Economists and the Powerful: Convenient Theories, Distorted Facts, Ample Rewards. Häring, Norbert, & Douglas, Niall, London: Anthem Press, 2012.  Economics, Management, and Financial Markets 8/2: 216-225.

[2]. Stephen Zarlenga, Director, American Monetary Institute. Huffington Post.

[3]. American Monetary Institute.

[4]. Murphey, Dwight D. 2011. “Capitalism’s Deepening Crisis: The Imperative of Monetary Reconstruction.” The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies, 36/3: 283.

[5]. Kumhof, Michael & Benes, Jaromir. 2012. “The Chicago Plan Revisited.” IMF Working Papers 12/202, International Monetary Fund. 

[6]. American Monetary Institute.

[7]. H.R.2990 – National Emergency Employment Defense Act of 2011 (NEED Act). 112th Congress (2011-2012). 

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