1836 – CHARTER (LICENSE) FOR SECOND NATIONAL BANK OF THE UNITED STATES REPEALED
This was the third quasi national bank of the US — following the Bank of North America (1781-1785) and Bank of the United States (1791-1811). While called a “national” bank, it was not public but actually a commercial/corporate bank with the power to issue money directly (just like its two predecessors). Early on, it issued a huge amount of money (more than 20 times its reserves) as loans that led to financial speculation and large corporate profits. A year later, it stopped providing loans, resulting in a severe contraction of the money supply — which led to massive bankruptcies and the Panic of 1819. When President Andrew Jackson threatened to repeal its charter, the Bank’s leaders used its power to restrict money circulation to cause another depression. Bank President Nicolas Biddle wrote, “Nothing but widespread suffering will produce any effect on Congress…Our only safety is in pursuing a steady course of firm restriction – and I have no doubt that such a course will ultimately lead to restoration of the currency and the recharter of the Bank.”
President Andrew Jackson said this about the bank, “The immense capital and peculiar privileges bestowed upon it enabled it to exercise despotic sway over the other banks in every part of the country. From its superior strength it could seriously injure, if not destroy, the business of any one of them which might incur its resentment; and it openly claimed for itself the power of regulating the currency throughout the United States. In other words, it asserted (and it undoubtedly possessed) the power to make money plenty or scarce at its pleasure, at any time and in any quarter of the Union, by controlling the issues of other banks and permitting an expansion or compelling a general contraction of the circulating medium, according to its own will.”
1929 – DEATH OF VERNON PARRINGTON, HISTORIAN
The only safe and rational currency is a national currency based on the national credit sponsored by the state, flexible and controlled in the interests of the people as a whole.
1933 – PASSAGE OF GLASS-STEAGALL ACT
Actual title was Banking Act of 1933. Considered one of the most important post Depression laws, the legislation created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which protected bank deposits. It also instituted several bank reforms to curb speculation that caused the Depression. One important provision was to create a firewall between Main Street depository banks and Wall Street investment banks. The Act was repealed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999
1843 – DEATH OF LORD ACTON, ENGLISH HISTORIAN, POLITICIAN, AND WRITER
The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later, is the people versus the banks.
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 a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini and Greg Coleridge helped in its development.
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