1812 – FIRST US TREASURY NOTES AUTHORIZED BY THE UNITED STATES
Treasury notes are promise to pay notes to borrowers to raise revenue. The US needed funds to fund the War of 1812. Rather than print US money (such as “Continentals” – an interest- and debt-free money issued by the Continental Congress to pay for the Revolutionary War), the US government followed a different course – to issue notes to borrowers with promises to pay the principal with interest at a later date. The original interest rate was 5.4%. Wars cause indebtedness. Bankers tend to like wars since they tend to create financial dependency of nations to bankers. Thomas Edison would later say about Treasury bonds, “If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good makes the bill good…”
1818 – SECOND NATIONAL BANK OF US TRIGGERS RECESSION/DEPRESSION
The Second National Bank of the United States (a private financial institution) on this day reversed its financial course from monetary expansion to contraction. They called in loans and cut future loans. They required payments from state banks in gold alone. This caused deflation, leading to a two-year recession/depression – called the “Panic of 1819.” This is what happened time and again when private financial corporations control a nation’s money system instead of We the People through their government.
1944 – BRETTON WOODS CONFERENCE BEGINS
The United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, known as the Bretton Woods Conference was a meeting of 44 Allied nations in New Hampshire, where the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank were created. Participant nations agreed to fix their currencies to a set value of gold. Debtor nations were to be helped with payments. The actual program was the use of loans (to be paid back with interest) to create political and economic dependence to loaning countries and their bankers. Agreements to receive further loans were often conditioned on “Structural Adjustment Programs” which called for privatization/corporatization of public services, wage cuts, and perversion of economies to service debt payments.
1967 – US POSTAL SAVING SYSTEM ENDS
Because of opposition from the commercial banks the postal savings system does not develop in a substantial way. The United States Postal Savings System was a postal savings system operated by the United States Postal Service from January 1, 1911 until July 1, 1967
1787 – LETTER TO JAMES MADISON FROM GOUVENEUR MORRIS, ONE OF THE PRIMARY ARCHITECTS OF THE US CONSTITUTION
In describing the motives of the owners of the new Bank of North America, Morris stated,
“The rich will strive to establish their dominion and enslave the rest. They always did. They always will…They will have the same effect here as elsewhere, if we do not, by [the power of] government, keep them in their proper spheres.”
1881 – PRESIDENT JAMES A. GARFIELD SHOT. HE DIED 10 WEEKS LATER
“Whosoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce, and when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.”
1890 – SHERMAN ANTITRUST ACT BECOMES LAW
The Sherman Act was an attempt to prevent unlawful restraint of trade and commerce and prevent monopolies – including banking monopolies. The Act was more aggressively enforced under President Teddy Roosevelt, including against the corporate practices of JP Morgan, the most powerful banker, if not corporate titan, of the day. In response to this increased enforcement of the Sherman Act and the Hepburn Act, Morgan created a financial panic by having his banks and those he controlled call in loans and refusing to grant new ones. The economic crash of 1907 followed. The “Panic of 1907” was a direct cause for the creation of the Federal Reserve System several years later.
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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