1876 – BIRTH OF CONGRESSMAN LOUIS T. MCFADDEN (R-PA), CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE BANKING AND CURRENCY COMMITTEE
“We have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. Some people think the Federal Reserve Banks are U.S. government institutions. They are private credit monopolies; domestic swindlers, rich and predatory money lenders which prey upon the people the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers….The truth is the Federal Reserve Board has usurped the Government of the United States by the arrogant credit monopoly which operates the Federal Reserve Board.”
1925 – DEATH OF WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SECRETARY OF STATE
“We say in our platform that we believe that the right to coin money and issue money is a function of government…Those who are opposed to the proposition tell us that the issue of paper money is a function of the bank and that the government ought to go out of the banking business. I stand with Jefferson…and tell them, as he did, that the issue of money is a function of the government and that the banks should go out of the governing business…When we have restored the money of the Constitution, all other necessary reforms will be possible, and … until that is done there is no reform that can be accomplished.”
1694 – BANK OF ENGLAND CREATED
A private central bank, England began to borrow all of its money from corporate banks rather than simply creating it debt-free as it had for hundreds of years.
1919 – BANK OF NORTH DAKOTA FOUNDED
The Bank of North Dakota is the only state-owned bank in the US. Its primary deposit base is the State of North Dakota. All state funds and funds of state institutions are deposited with the Bank, as required by law. Other deposits are accepted from any source, private citizens to the U.S. government. No tax dollars are used to pay interest to bond holders since the state has no debt. Coincidentally or not, North Dakota is one of the few states in the nation not facing a fiscal crisis.
1863 – BIRTH OF HENRY FORD, INVENTOR AND INDUSTRIALIST
“It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
1881 – BIRTH OF SMEDLEY BUTLER, US MARINE MAJOR GENERAL (TWICE DECORATED)
I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things that we should fight for. One is the defense of out homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
1912 – BIRTH OF MILTON FRIEDMAN, ECONOMIST
If you kill the Fed [Federal Reserve] and don’t kill fractional reserve lending, you’ve done nothing.
A PROGRAM FOR MONETARY REFORM RELEASED
A group of prominent economists issue a plan for US monetary reform. The lead author of the plan, “A Program for Monetary Reform,” [PMR] was University of Chicago professor and Quaker Paul H. Douglas. More than 230 economists from 150 universities approved it without reservations while an additional 40 supported it with some reservations.
In assessing the problem of the day, the PMR states, “If the purpose of money and credit were to discourage the exchange of goods and services, to destroy periodically the wealth produced, to frustrate and trip those who work and save, our present monetary system would seem a most effective instrument to that end.” It also stated monetary systems based on a gold standard “has had…disastrous results all over the world.”
The PMR called for government creation and maintenance in the quantity of money. “Our own monetary policy should…be directed toward avoiding inflation as well as deflation, and in attaining and maintaining as nearly as possible full production and employment.” The plan also called for eliminating fractional reserve lending – the process of banks loaning our many more times the amount of money in their possession. Back in the 1930’s the reserved requirement was 5:1. Today it’s 10:1. Some of the major banks involved in the economic collapse of 2007 had ignored this law and were loaning out 50 times their reserves. The PMR called for a 100% reserve requirement – banks could only lend the amount of money they possessed.
The document goes on, “In early times the creation of money was the sole privilege of the kings or other sovereigns – namely the sovereign people, acting through their Government. This principle is firmly anchored in our Constitution and it is a perversion to transfer the privilege to private parties to use in their own real, or presumed, interest. The founders of the Republic did not expect the banks to create the money they lend.”
Their plan to reduce the national debt was simply to have the government purchase government bonds with new US debt-free money.
NOTE 1: An excellent article explaining our monetary policy and describing in detail how to reform it is at the Center for Progressive Economics
NOTE 2: I’ve written an article on Eliminating Rather than Exploiting the Debt Crisis
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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