Dear Monetary History Calendar reader,
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If you appreciate reading the Monetary History Calendar and the bit of effort to develop and update it, as well as its goals of demystifying how money is created and distributed and how it can be changed to further economic and social justice, democracy and environmental sustainability, please consider making one or both of the following contributions:
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1690 – PAPER MONEY ISSUED BY MASSACHUSETTS
Faced with a pressing need to fund military action against Canada during King William’s War, the Massachusetts colonial government authorized the issuing of £7,000 in public paper currency. This was the first public paper money issued in the history of Western civilization. The paper money possessed no intrinsic value. Its only value was that it was backed by the colony, accepted for tax payments. The notes could be redeemed for hard currency if such currency was available.
1762 – BIRTH OF DAMIEL DE LISLE BROCK, LEADING GUERNSEY ELECTED OFFICIAL
Since 1817 the island of Guernsey has used a money system based on government issued currency in response to public need. The amount of money issued is carefully controlled to prevent inflation. The island is prosperous. Taxation rates are low.
1896 – DEATH OF ALFRED NOBEL, INVENTOR AND BENEFACTOR OF THE NOBEL PRIZES
Annual international awards are bestowed on this day to honor great scientific and cultural advances in humanity in chemistry, literature, peace, physics and physiology or medicine, but not in economics. There has never been a Nobel Prize in economics. An annual Economic Science award is presented by Sweden’s Central Bank “in memory of Alfred Nobel” against the wishes of the Nobel family.
“The Economics Prize has nestled itself in and is awarded as if it were a Nobel Prize. But it’s a PR coup by economists to improve their reputation,” Nobel’s great, great nephew Peter Nobel stated in 2005. “It’s most often warded to stock market speculators…There is nothing to indicate that [Alfred Nobel] would have wanted such a prize.”
2009 — “SWEEPING BANK REFORM BILL CLEARS HOUSE” ARTICLE ON CNN MONEY
“The House passed legislation Friday aimed at preventing the next big financial crisis, ushering in the most sweeping set of changes to the banking regulatory system since the New Deal…
“‘The bailouts of AIG and Bear Stearns would be not possible — made illegal — under this bill,’ [Barney] Frank said. ‘If a company fails, it’ll be put to death.’”
The final legislation, The Dodd-Frank banking “reform” bill, did not break up the too-big-to-fail big banks, make it easier to prosecute fraudulent banksters responsible for causing massive predatory lending that led to mortgage foreclosures, or eliminate many highly risky banking practices (namely continued investments in derivatives).
1791 – FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF THE US OPENS FOR BUSINESS IN PHILADELPHIA
A 20-year charter had been issued by the federal government in 1791 (very unusual at the time since most corporate charters, or licenses, were issued by states) to create the nation’s first private bank. This was the first private institution empowered by the U.S. federal government to create paper money — with all the power and profit that goes along with it. The bank’s paper money was accepted for taxes. Eighty percent of its shares were privately owned. It was modeled on the Bank of England. Within 2 months of its creation, it flooded the market with loans and banknotes and then sharply shifted course and called in many of its loans. The result was the first US securities market crash — what became known as the “Panic of 1792” – the first of many panics, recessions and depressions due to the private/corporate control of our money system. On January 24, 1811, Congress voting to not renew the bank’s charter, thus dissolving the bank. During the first 50 years of the US, legislatures and courts, almost exclusively at the state and federal levels, routinely revoked corporate charters, which were considered democratic instruments and used to control the actions of corporations.
2014 – REMARKS OF STANLEY FISCHER, VICE CHAIR OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD
“I thought that when Dodd-Frank [proposed bank reform legislation] started, that the banks would not succeed in influencing it, having lost all the prestige they lost…Boy, was I wrong.” Remarks at Peterson Institute for International Economics gathering.
1942 – DEATH OF DAVIS RICH DEWEY, AMERICAN ECONOMIST AND STATISTICIAN
“The underlying idea in the greenback philosophy…is that the issue of currency is a function of government, a sovereign right which ought not to be delegated to corporations.”
1953 – BIRTH OF BEN BERNANKE, CHAIRMAN OF THE US FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
The Federal Reserve is a largely private system, despite the word “Federal” in its title. The 12 Regional Federal Reserve banks are private (e.g. Fed banks appear in the business not government pages of phone books and its employees are not on the government payrolls).
Bernanke said on May 17, 2007:
“All that said, given the fundamental factors in place that should support the demand for housing, we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system. The vast majority of mortgages, including even subprime mortgages, continue to perform well. Past gains in house prices have left most homeowners with significant amounts of home equity, and growth in jobs and incomes should help keep the financial obligations of most households manageable.”
Less than 1 year later, the housing market collapsed.
On October 31, 2007 he stated: “It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve – nor would it be appropriate – to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions.”
Turned out the Fed provided $1.2 trillion in secret loans to many of the nation’s biggest banks from 2007-9, which allowed them to grow even bigger. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-28/secret-fed-loans-undisclosed-to-congress-gave-banks-13-billion-in-income.html
This bail out of Wall Street by the Fed was not accompanied by any bail out of Main Street (small businesses) or the side streets (homeowners). The Fed served its constituents – banks.
2009 – DEATH OF PAUL A. SAMUELSON, ECONOMIST, AUTHOR OF ECONOMICS, AN INTRODUCTORY ANALSYS (BEST SELLING ECONOMICS TEXTBOOK OF ALL TIME)
“Few understand that all our money arises out of debt and IOU operations. The banking system as a whole can do what each small bank cannot do: it can expand its loans and investments many times the new reserves of cash created for it, even though each small bank is lending out only a fraction of its deposits.”
1799 – DEATH OF GEORGE WASHINGTON, FIRST US PRESIDENT
The First Bank of the United States (the 2nd central bank, privately owned) was chartered for 20 years by Congress and signed into law by George Washington, the first President of the United States under the US Constitution. At the end of the 20 years, Congress determined the bank did not serve the public interest and, therefore, did not renew its charter.
1793 – BIRTH OF HENRY CAREY, PRESIDENT LINCOLN’S CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISOR
Carey advised Lincoln on creating public money, Greenbacks, rather than take loans from private banks. He helped prevent the destruction of Greenbacks by the National Banking Act and its subsequent modifications (which were presented as monetary “reforms”) by banks but with the intent of eliminating Greenbacks.
2008 – PNC FINANCIAL SERVICES CORPORATION ACQUIRES NATIONAL CITY BANKING CORPORATION
The Federal Reserve Board announced that it has approved the application of PNC Financial Services to acquire National City Corporation. PNC was a major recipient of federal bailout funds. Rather than use the funds to help distressed underwater homeowners, the Pittsburgh based banking corporation used the funds to acquire Cleveland-based National City Bank, and thus, contributing to a further consolidation and concentration of the “too-big-to-fail” banking industry in the United States.
1863 – BIRTH OF GEORGE SANTAYANA, PHILOSOPHER
“Those you cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
[Note: Providing financial institutions the power to create and distribute money has in the past been economically, if not politically, harmful to the vast majority of individuals. It remains so in the present.]
2014 – PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNS FEDERAL SPENDING BILL WITH A BANK BAILOUT PROVISION
The $1.1 trillion spending bill contained a “rider,” or separate provision, that bails out banking corporations if their speculative derivative investments tank. The rider was essentially identical language contained in an earlier bill, HR 992, which was largely written by lobbyists of Citigroup Corporation, according to emails obtained by the New York Times. The rider weakened the already weak Dodd-Frank bank “reform” legislation.
Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt? Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice. This calendar is the original project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini, Deb Jose and Greg Coleridge helped in its development. It is currently updated by Greg Coleridge. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To see the calendar year-to-date, go to https://monetarycalendar.wordpress.com/
A second historical calendar, the REAL Democracy History Calendar, in many ways complements this calendar. For information, go to https://realdemocracyhistorycalendar.wordpress.com/about/