Kai Ryssdal, host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy, leaves some to wonder just how deeply he understands the subject that he writes and talks about. He doesn’t seem to understand the word MONETIZE. On a recent show, Kai referred to the Chinese getting something for money, thereby ‘monetizing’ the production. There are many others who misuse the word ‘monetize.’

To ‘monetize’ something does not mean to trade or exchange that something for money. ‘Monetize’ means to create money. Over the years this has been done by coining, stamping and printing then legalizing that process and calling it money. Now it is done by deception and used by common acceptance when banks make loans.  All money is now created as loans and uncreated when the loan principal is repaid. You don’t have any money. You go to the bank to borrow some.  The banker agrees to give you a loan.  To get the loan the banker demands that you sign a promise to pay ‘X’ number of dollars back to the bank.  The bank doesn’t loan anything that he has, he monetizes your debt to him.  The bank does this by transferring the number written on your promissory note into to your checking account. Now you have money (numbers) to spend.  The bank created new money by monetizing your debt by simply creating and transferring new ‘numbers’ that never existed before into to your checking account. Now you have money to spend. The bank has ‘monetized’ or used your promise to pay to create new money.

One does not turn anything into money when one sells or trades something for money.  You would not create any more cows if you traded a horse for a cow. You would not create any money if you traded a cow for money. You would simply make an exchange for money that had been previously created.

You will hear more and more people using their new found word, ‘monetize’ and most using it incorrectly; like Kai Ryssdal of APM Marketplace did on Thursday, June 6, 2013. I would talk with Kai about this. But, like so many, he has a one-way bully pulpit. We all get to listen to what they have to say but it is very difficult to give them feedback.

One does not ‘Monetize’ or create more money when one sells or trades something for money.