The banks are continually making new loans and retiring old ones as they are repaid. In the aggregate, the debts owed to banks are increasing with the mere passage of time, because interest accrues over time. The money available to repay those debts, however, can be created only by the banks as they make additional loans.
The net requirement, then, is that banks must make new loans faster than they retire old loans, that is, there must be a continual expansion of bank credit money. If there is not, the result is depression—increasing numbers of defaulted loans, greater numbers of bankruptcies, expanding unemployment—and all the human misery that comes with it.
Source: Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender
Contributed by: peter