Four Horsemen is a 2012 British documentary film directed by Ross Ashcroft. The film criticizes the global finance system of fractional reserve banking, debt-based economies, and revolving door politics between corrupt Washington politicians and Wall Street lobbyists, which it regards as a serious threat not only to liberal, Western-style democracy, but to the entirety of Western civilization itself. It also strongly condemns the War on Terror, which it maintains is not fought to eliminate al-Qaeda and other militant organizations, but to prop up the artificial value of US currency through the imposition and perpetuation of the petrodollar by force. The US government enacted the Federal Reserve System in 1913, which converted the US dollar to a debt-based currency, and saw Congress passing off the US Treasury’s duty to print and issue federal currency to a privately owned, non-transparent central bank, though its Board of Governors is appointed by the President. In 1971, the Bretton Woods system of monetary management was abandoned, ending the dollar’s convertibility to gold and effectively rendering it an intrinsically “worthless” fiat currency, a move that became known as the Nixon shock. Instead of gold, the US dollar became tied to oil, with the Saudis agreeing to conduct all oil trades in US currency. As the Fed prints more currency, the money supply is expanded, decreasing the dollar’s superficial value and increasing inflation. When oil is traded for US dollars, those dollars circulate in foreign markets instead of returning to the US market, artificially preserving the dollar’s value. As an alternative to this system, the film promotes a return to classical economics and tying the dollar back to the gold standard.
As the Fed prints more currency, the money supply is expanded, decreasing the value of the dollar and increasing inflation.
Among those interviewed in the film are Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist at the World Bank; Noam Chomsky, linguistics professor; John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man; ecological economist and steady-state theorist Herman Daly, formerly at the World Bank; and Max Keiser, TV host and former trader. The film was released in the United Kingdom on March 14, 2012, followed by the publishing of a companion book based on the film.