As with the earlier Bank of the United States, the Second National Bank of the United States was a privately owned and run bank with many of the largest investors foreigners and those representing great wealth. Congress chartered (licensed) the bank for 20 years. It’s worth remembering that corporate charters are democratic tools once used by sovereign people (that would be We the People) to control and define corporate actions. As a result of bank practices geared to serving the interests of banks/bankers, (including limiting the issuance of money into the economy – which triggered economic stagnation) President Jackson pledged that the bank would not be issued a new charter after its 20-year charter ended. Without a charter – which provides those forming corporations certain legal protections (then and now) – corporations cannot exist.

1858 – DEATH OF THOMAS BENTON, US SENATOR FROM MISSOURI“I object to the renewal of the charter of the Bank of the United States, because I look upon the bank as an institution too great and powerful to be tolerated in a government of free and equal laws. Its power is that of the purse; a power more potent than that of the sword; and this power it possesses to a degree and extent that will enable this bank to draw to itself too much of the political power of this Union; and too much of the individual property of the citizens of these States. The money power of the bank is both direct and indirect.”


1932 – PECORA COMMISSION HEARINGS BEGIN – INVESTIGATE CAUSE OF US DEPRESSIONThe investigation was launched by a majority-Republican Senate, under the Banking Committee’s chairman, Senator Peter Norbeck. Hearings began on April 11, 1932, but were criticized by Democratic Party members and their supporters as being little more than an attempt by the Republicans to appease the growing demands of an angry American public suffering through the Great Depression. Two chief counsels were fired for ineffectiveness, and a third resigned after the committee refused to give him broad subpoena power. In January 1933, Ferdinand Pecora, an assistant district attorney for New York County was hired to write the final report. Discovering that the investigation was incomplete, Pecora requested permission to hold an additional month of hearings. His exposé of the National City Bank (now Citibank) made banner headlines and caused the bank’s president to resign. Democrats had won the majority in the Senate, and the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, urged the new Democratic chairman of the Banking Committee, Senator Duncan U. Fletcher, to let Pecora continue the probe. So actively did Pecora pursue the investigation that his name became publicly identified with it, rather than the committee’s chairman. Pecora not only documented a litany of abuses, but also paved the way for remedial legislation. The Securities Act of 1933, the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 — all addressed abuses exposed by Pecora. It was only poetic justice when Roosevelt tapped him as a commissioner of the newborn Securities and Exchange Commission.

1866 – CONGRESS PASSES THE CONTRACTION ACTThe Act authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to begin retiring Greenbacks (public debt-free money first issued by the Lincoln Administration) in circulation and to contract the money supply. By 1876, two-thirds of the nation’s money had been called in by the bankers. A contraction of the money supply when demand is high causes depressions, which is what happened from 1873-79.

1910 – DEATH OF WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER, PROFESSOR, YALE UNIVERSITY, MONETARY THRORIST“For as the currency question is of first importance and we cannot solve it or escape it by ignoring it. We have got to face it and the best way to begin is not by wrangling about speculative opinions as to untried schemes but to go back to history and try to get hold of some firmly established principles.”

1945 – DEATH OF PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT“The real truth is…that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”


1743 – BIRTH OF THOMAS JEFFERSON, THIRD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES“This institution (the Bank of England) is one of the most deadly hostility against the principles of our Constitution…suppose an emergency should occur…an institution like this…in a critical moment might overthrow the government.”
“And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”
“Bank-paper must be suppressed, and the circulating medium must be restored to the nation to whom it belongs.”


1865 – ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN“The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy.”
It was President Lincoln who advocated for and oversaw the creation and circulation of our nation’s last debt-free money, the Greenbacks. This was money not borrowed from banks, but created (as authorized in the US Constitution, Article 1, Sec 8) by the government to meet the nation’s needs.


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.
Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, contact For more information, visit


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