The theory claims that:
- when the United States government abandoned the gold standard in 1933,
- it pledged its citizens as collateral so it could borrow money.
- the government creates a fictitious person (straw man) corresponding to each newborn citizen
- with a bank accounts initially holding $630,000.
The theory further holds that through obscure procedures under the Uniform Commercial Code, a citizen can "reclaim" the straw man and write checks against its accounts. Its adherents and various fellow travelers sometimes call themselves "Sovereign Citizens".