1811 – CHARTER OF FIRST BANK OF UNITED STATES NOT RENEWED
A 20-year charter was issued by the federal government (very unusual at the time since most corporate charters, or licenses, were issued by states) to create the first national private bank. This was the first private institution empowered 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, among these 75% were foreign owned (mostly by the English and Dutch). The bank 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. The result was Congress voting to not renew its charter, thus dissolving the bank. During the first 50 years of the US, legislatures and courts routinely chose to not renew or revoke corporate charters, which were considered democratic instruments and used to control the actions of corporations.
1939 – STATEMENT MADE BY ROBERT H. HEMPHILL, CREDIT MANAGER OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ATLANTA
“We are completely dependent on the commercial banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it becomes widely understood and the defects remedied…”
1898 – SECOND INDIANAPOLIS MONETARY CONVENTION BEGINS
Billed as a grassroots effort for monetary reform, the second convention brought together nearly 500 representatives from 31 states. It was a follow up gathering of major corporate leaders (including many bankers and economists representing leading corporations) to the first convention held a year earlier. Participants advocated for a privately run national central bank. Just as the proposed national central bank was misleading (to be privately controlled), the first and second Indianapolis Monetary Conventions were equally misleading. They were hardly “grassroots,” yet the image was useful when lobbying Congress and communicating with the public.
2010 — DEATH OF HOWARD ZINN, HISTORIAN
“The challenge remains. On the other side are formidable forces: money, political power, the major media. On our side are the people of the world and a power greater than money or weapons: the truth. Truth has a power of its own. Art has a power of its own. That age-old lesson – that everything we do matters – is the meaning of the people’s struggle here in the United States and everywhere. A poem can inspire a movement. A pamphlet can spark a revolution. Civil disobedience can arouse people and provoke us to think, when we organize with one another, when we get involved, when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress. We live in a beautiful country. But people who have no respect for human life, freedom, or justice have taken it over. It is now up to all of us to take it back.”
1737 — BIRTH OF TOM PAINE, US REVOLUTIONARY
Commenting on the value of colonial-issued money, the “Continental”…
“Every stone in the Bridge, that has carried us over seems to have a claim upon our esteem. But this was a corner stone, and its usefulness cannot be forgotten.”
1956 — DEATH OF H.L. MENCKEN, US JOURNALIST
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace in a continual state of alarm (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing them with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
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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For more information, visit http://www.afsc.net/economiccrisis.html