1892 – BIRTH OF PAUL DOUGLAS, ECONOMIST, US SENATOR, QUAKER
Douglas was a prominent University of Chicago economist who helped develop “A Program for Monetary Reform” in 1939 — sent to President Roosevelt as a means to end the Great Depression. 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 9:1. 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.
1948 – BIRTH OF MERVYN KING, CURRENT GOVERNOR OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND
“of all the many ways of organising banking, the worst is the one we have today.” Possible remedies included not just breaking up banks, but also “eliminating fractional reserve banking”—the centuries-old practice of banks taking in deposits and lending most of them out in riskier and longer-term loans.
1913 – DEATH OF J. PIERPONT MORGAN, BANKER
J.P Morgan founded one of the world’s most powerful banks and had extraordinary political influence in the U.S. The National Citizens League, funded by millions of dollars from Morgan and a few other major bankers, financed respected university professors to endorse the concept of creating a private/corporate central bank, what became the Federal Reserve Bank, created by the 1913 Federal Reserve Act. Morgan’s men were among the small number of architects of the private/corporate Federal Reserve.
1980 – US CONGRESS PASSES MONETARY CONTROL ACT
Popularly known as the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980. The Federal Reserve Board of Governors was provided with increased control over monetary policy and non-member financial institutions – requiring all financial institutions to follow Federal Reserve (a mostly private institution) regulations.
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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