1844 – DEATH OF NICHOLAS BIDDLE, PRESIDENT OF SECOND NATIONAL BANK
Biddle threatened to cause a depression if President Andrew Jackson did not re-charter the Bank. The privately owned Second Bank was chartered in 1816. President Jackson did not sign the bill to renew the charter. “This worthy President thinks that … he is to have his way with the Bank. He is mistaken…[opposition] can only be broken by the actual conviction of exiting distress in the community… Our only safety is in pursuing a steady course of firm restriction [of the money supply] – and I have no doubt that such a course will ultimately lead to restoration of the currency and the re-charter of the Bank.” The result of the contraction of the money supply was a financial panic followed by a deep depression. (Edward Kaplan, The Bank of the United States and the American Economy)
1867 – BIRTH OF IRVING FISHER, MATHEMATICAL ECONOMIST
“If two parties instead of being a bank and an individual, were an individual and an individual, they could not inflate the circulating medium by loan transaction, for the simple reason that the lender could not lend what he didn’t have as banks can do … Only commercial banks and trust companies can lend money that they manufacture by lending it.” 100% Money (1935)
1856 – BIRTH OF WOODROW WILSON, 28TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
“A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men who, even if their action be honest and intended for the public interest, are necessarily concentrated upon the great undertakings in which their own money is involved and who necessarily, by very reason of their own limitations, chill and check and destroy genuine economic freedom.” (1911)
1876 — US SILVER COMMISSION (TO STUDY THE CRIME OF 73) REPORT RELEASED ON WHAT CAUSED THE 1873 DEPRESSION
The Commission concluded that the depression was caused to a reduction of the money supply. They compared the 1873 Depression to the deflation of the Roman era. “The disaster of the Dark Ages was caused by decreasing money and falling prices… Without money, civilization could not have had a beginning, and with a diminishing supply, it must languish and unless relieved, finally perish. Falling prices and misery and destitution are inseparable companions. It is universally conceded that falling prices result from the contraction of the money volume.” The Report suggested that the Dark Ages ended when paper money was issued, “It is suggestive coincidence that the fist glimmer of light only came with the invention of bills of exchange, and paper substitutes…”
1863 – LEGAL TENDER ACT PASSED
Congress authorizes the Government to print no more than $400,000 million Greenbacks to pay for the Civil War. This was interest-free and debt-free money. The Lincoln Administration did not want to borrow money from corporate banks to pay for the war.
1865 – NATIONAL CURRENCY ACT AMENDED BY CONGRESS
The act amended the National Currency Act of 1864. State banks were no longer permitted to issue bank notes (currency).
1884 – JULLIARD V. GREENMAN ( 110 U.S. 421 ) SUPREME COURT DECISION
US Supreme Court ruling upholding the legality of US Government issued money (Greenbacks) created following the Legal Tender Acts of 1862 and 1863. The Court ruled that the government possessed the authority under the Constitution to issue a national currency and that that currency could be used to pay debts.
2003 – WARREN BUFFET, SECOND RICHEST PERSON ON EARTH, IN HIS ANNUAL LETTER TO BERKSHIRE HATHWAY SHAREHOLDERS
“Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction.”
1789 – US GOVERNMENT UNDER NEW CONSTITUTION BEGINS OPERATION
The Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation as the overarching legal document of the nation. The new Constitution provides the federal legislature the sole power “[t]o coin money [and] regulate the value thereof.” (Article 1, Sec 8). The Government subsequently abdicated its responsibility when it gave the Federal Reserve and private banks the power to create money literally out of thin air…as debt.
1837 – FAREWELL ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT ANDREW JACKSON
Jackson was most responsible for not renewing the charter of the misnamed Second Bank of the United States, a private institution. In his farewell address when leaving office (Presidents used to sworn in during the beginning of March for decades, now it’s mid January), he stated, “The immense capital and peculiar privileges bestowed upon it [(Second National Bank of the United States] 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 federal contraction of the circulating medium, according to its own will.”
1861 – INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 16TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES – A REPUBLICAN
“The Government should create issues, and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of the consumers. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of the government, but it is the Government’s greatest creative opportunity.”
This is something to keep in mind during this period when Republican parties at the local level hold their “Lincoln Day” annual fundraising dinners.
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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