A documentary about how money is created within New Zealand's economy.


A Wealth of Illusion is an economics documentary about the financialisation of New Zealand's economy from the 1980's and how it continues today. A radical transition took place that saw an almost complete reversal from the manufacturing sector of the economy to the financial sector. The implications of this we feel in the form of increasing inequality, crippling private debt, and economic instability.

At the core of the film is the issue of money creation by private banks, that is the ability to create money when making loans. In New Zealand 97% of all money is bank created debt. The central question is, to what extent should this extraordinary power be given to profit-seeking private entities?

Thew documentary looks at the link between money creation and housing inflation and how in New Zealand between 1988 and 2008 the money supply rose 409% and during the same period house prices rose 421%.

We ask NZ's leading economists and financial commentators about how we could find a more stable and fair future. By taking a look back at times of economic stability in New Zealand, particularly in the mid 20th century, we may understand solutions for an increasingly uncertain future. We also look at new alternatives to the monetary system that could help even-out a world where economic crises have become expected.

A note from Marcus Palmer

As an experienced producer/director of documentaries I produce work that adheres to the Principles of ethical journalism as set out in the Media Council Statement of Principles. I am an Associate Member of the New Zealand Media Council.