MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR June 25 – July 1

JUNE 30

1812 – FIRST US TREASURY NOTES AUTHORIZED BY THE UNITED STATES 
Treasury notes are promise to pay notes to borrowers to raise revenue. The US needed funds to fund the War of 1812. Rather than print US money (such as “Continentals” – an interest- and debt-free money issued by the Continental Congress to pay for the Revolutionary War), the US government followed a different course – to issue notes to borrowers with promises to pay the principal with interest at a later date. The original interest rate was 5.4%. Wars cause indebtedness. Bankers tend to like wars since they tend to create financial dependency of nations to bankers. Thomas Edison would later say about Treasury bonds, “If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good makes the bill good…” 

2005 – PUBLICATION OF “A MATTER OF INTEREST” BY WILLIAM HIXSON, CANADIAN ECONOMIST 
“The very idea of a government that can create money for itself, allowing banks to create money that the government then borrows, and pays interest on, is so preposterous that it staggers the imagination. Either everyone in government in charge of the procedure is lacking in intelligence or they have been bought and paid for by those who profit from their skullduggery and their infidelity to the public interest.” 

JULY 1

1818 – SECOND NATIONAL BANK OF US TRIGGERS RECESSION/DEPRESSION
The Second National Bank of the United States (a private financial institution) on this day reversed its financial course from monetary expansion to contraction. They called in loans and cut future loans. They required payments from state banks in gold alone. This caused deflation, leading to a two-year recession/depression – called the “Panic of 1819.” This is what happened time and again when private financial corporations control a nation’s money system instead of We the People through their government. 

1944 – BRETTON WOODS CONFERENCE BEGINS 
The United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, known as the Bretton Woods Conference was a meeting of 44 Allied nations in New Hampshire, where the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank were created. Participant nations agreed to fix their currencies to a set value of gold. Debtor nations were to be helped with payments. The actual program was the use of loans (to be paid back with interest) to create political and economic dependence to loaning countries and their bankers. Agreements to receive further loans were often conditioned on “Structural Adjustment Programs” which called for privatization/corporatization of public services, wage cuts, and perversion of economies to service debt payments.

1967 – US POSTAL SAVING SYSTEM ENDS 
Because of opposition from the commercial banks the postal savings system does not develop in a substantial way. The United States Postal Savings System was a postal savings system operated by the United States Postal Service from January 1, 1911 until July 1, 1967 

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NOTE:  Several individuals have inquired about the June 24 posting from last week. On that date in 1996, the US Supreme Court ruled, in Lewis v. United States that federal reserve banks were not federal agencies. Below is background on the case from http://nesara.org/court_summaries/lewis_v_united_states.htm 

John L. Lewis was injured by a vehicle owned and operated by a federal reserve bank, and brought action alleging jurisdiction under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The District Court dismissed the case by ruling that the federal reserve bank was not a federal agency within meaning of the Federal Tort Claims Act and the court therefore lacked subject-matter jurisdiction. The Appeals court affirmed the decision.

The court stated “Examining the organization and function of the Federal Reserve Banks, and applying the relevant factors, we conclude that the Reserve Banks are not federal instrumentalities for purpose of the FTCA, but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations.”

However, this does not imply, as so many wrongly interpret, that private individuals own the banks for the court also stated “Each Federal Reserve Bank is a separate corporation owned by commercial banks in its region. The stockholding commercial banks elect two thirds of each Bank’s nine member board of directors. The remaining three directors are appointed by the Federal Reserve Board. The Federal Reserve Board regulates the Reserve Banks, but direct supervision and control of each Bank is exercised by its board of directors. 12 U.S.C. Sect. 301. The directors enact by-laws regulating the manner of conducting general Bank business, 12 U.S.C. Sect. 341, and appoint officers to implement and supervise daily Bank activities. These activities include collecting and clearing checks, making advances to private and commercial entities, holding reserves for member banks, discounting the notes of member banks, and buying and selling securities on the open market. See 12 U.S.C. Sub-Sect. 341–361

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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 monetarycalendar@yahoo.com
  For more information, visit http://www.afsc.net/economiccrisis.html

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR June 18-24

JUNE 19

1843 – DEATH OF LORD ACTON, ENGLISH HISTORIAN, POLITICIAN, AND WRITER
“The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later, is the people versus the banks.”

JUNE 21

1940 — DEATH OF SMEDLEY BUTLER, MARINE CORP MAJOR GENERAL (MOST DECORATED MARINE IN US HISTORY AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH)
“I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism…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…. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912…” [A very timely quote given the just-ended “Marine Week” in Cleveland]

JUNE 24

1996 – LEWIS VS. UNITED STATES (AMENDED DECISION OF THE US COURT OF APPEALS, NINTH CIRCUIT)
“Federal reserve banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of a Federal Tort Claims Act, but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations in light of fact that direct supervision and control of each bank is exercised by board of directors, federal reserve banks…are locally controlled by their member banks, banks are listed neither as ‘wholly owned’ government corporations nor as ‘mixed ownership’ corporations; federal reserve banks receive no appropriated funds from Congress and the banks are empowered to sue and be sued in their own names. . . .”

JUNE (not certain of exact date)

1992- UPDATED PUBLICATION OF MODERN MONEY MECANICS BY THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF CHICAGO
“The actual process of money creation takes place in commercial banks. Banks can build up deposits by increasing loans and investments…This unique attribute of the banking business was discovered several centuries ago…At one time, bankers were merely middlemen. They made a profit by accepting gold and coins for safekeeping and lending them to borrowers. But they soon found that the receipts (bank notes or IOUs) they issued were being used as if they were a means of payment. These receipts were acceptable as if they were money since whoever held them could go to the banker and exchange them for metallic money…Then bankers discovered…that they could make loans merely by giving borrowers their promises to pay (bank notes). In this way banks began to create money…More notes (IOUs) could be issued than the gold and coin on hand because only a portion of the notes outstanding would be presented for payment at any one time…Demand deposits (checks) are the modern counterpart of bank notes. It was a small step from printing notes to making book entries to the credit of borrowers which the borrowers in turn, could ‘spend’ by writing checks.”

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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 monetarycalendar@yahoo.com  For more information, visit http://www.afsc.net/economiccrisis.html
 

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Expands Corporate Rights

From “Newly Leaked TPP Investment Chapter Contains Special Rights for Corporations”
http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/blog/2012/06/13/newly-leaked-tpp-investment-chapter-contains-special-rights-for-corporations/

The most important paragraph is:
“The new texts reveal that TPP negotiators are considering a dispute resolution process that would grant transnational corporations special authority to challenge countries’ laws, regulations and court decisions in international tribunals that circumvent domestic judicial systems.”

This is entirely consistent and predicable with how corporations have responded in the face of people flexing their democratic/self-governance muscles over the last several centuries. Corpses escape democratic control in three distinct but related ways. They seek to shift decision-making from:
1. A lower level of government to a higher one (local to state, state to federal, federal to international) — which are further removed from the public.
2. The legislative level to the courts – especially appointed ones – which are easier to influence or capture.
3. The legislative level to regulatory agencies (which are often stacked with corporate appointees, serve as shields between the public and corporations and can always be appealed to courts – see point 2 – in the oft-chance that decisions are made in the public interest.

The TPP is simply the latest chapter to what began with the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, dubbed by corporate anthropologist Jane Ann Morris as “Baby NAFTA” (see her book Gaveling Down the Rabble) which shifted trade powers from the states to the federal government over 200 years ago. The U.S. Constitutional Convention was in some striking ways similar to the current TPP in terms of meeting/deliberating in secret (including not making the minutes public for decades) and is usurping existing and established laws and rules (i.e. the Constitutional Convention was intended originally to amend, not replace, the Articles of Confederation). The TPP, however, is worse since corporations can directly challenge laws, rules and court decisions without having to use government as a surrogate. It’s expanding what the U.S. Constitution never intended — corporate rights.

Maybe this will give rise to a global Move to Amend campaign.

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR June 11 – 17

JUNE 15

1836 – CHARTER (LICENSE) FOR SECOND NATIONAL BANK OF THE UNITED STATES REPEALED
This was the third quasi national bank of the US — following the Bank of North America (1781-1785) and Bank of the United States (1791-1811). While called a “national” bank, it was not public but actually a commercial/corporate bank with the power to issue money directly. Early on, it issued a huge amount of money (more than 20 times its reserves) as loans that led to financial speculation and large corporate profits. A year later, it stopped issuing loans, resulting in a severe contraction of the money supply. This led to massive bankruptcies and the Panic of 1819. When President Andrew Jackson threatened to repeal its charter, the Bank’s leaders used its power to restrict money circulation to cause another depression. Bank President Nicolas Biddle wrote, “Nothing but widespread suffering will produce any effect on Congress…Our only safety is in pursuing a steady course of firm restriction – and I have no doubt that such a course will ultimately lead to restoration of the currency and the recharter of the Bank.”
President Andrew Jackson said this about the bank, “The immense capital and peculiar privileges bestowed upon it 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 general contraction of the circulating medium, according to its own will.”
JUNE 16
1929 – DEATH OF VERNON PARRINGTON, HISTORIAN
“The only safe and rational currency is a national currency based on the national credit sponsored by the state, flexible and controlled in the interests of the people as a whole.”
1933 – PASSAGE OF GLASS-STEAGALL ACT
Actual title was Banking Act of 1933. Considered one of the most important post Depression laws, the legislation created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which protected bank deposits. It also instituted several bank reforms to curb speculation that caused the Depression. One important provision was to create a firewall between Main Street depository banks and Wall Street investment banks. The Act was repealed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999
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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
monetarycalendar@yahoo.com  For more information, visit http://www.afsc.net/economiccrisis.html 

Ending Corporate Personhood and Money as Speech

The ongoing U.S. crises in jobs, health care, foreclosures, finance, foreign policy, debt, energy and the environment are connected to, if not rooted in, the crisis in democracy. There’s a widening disconnect on issue after issue between what the majority of the public desires and the policies we have.

The growing democracy crisis isn’t at its core about who’s been elected or unelected or what laws have been enacted or not enacted. It’s about the undemocratic nature of what’s considered constitutional – the very ground rules of our political and economic system.

“Our country is broken because the system is fixed,” read a sign last fall at the Occupy site in Washington, DC. This sums up succinctly our democracy crisis.

The overarching set of rules or guideposts of our nation, our constitution and numerous U.S. Supreme Court decisions cast for over a century, have created a profoundly rigged system favoring corporations and the super wealthy at the expense of the vast majority of We the People.

Among the constitutional doctrines anchoring the ever growing power and authority of corporations and the super wealthy are the edicts that “corporations are people” and “money equals speech.” Corporations first acquired corporate rights as “persons” under the 14th Amendment in the 1886 Santa Clara vs. Southern Pacific RR Supreme Court decision while money was protected as free speech under the First Amendment in the 1976 Buckley vs. Valeo decision.

Despite all the valiant education, advocacy and organizing human persons of all races, creeds, genders, incomes and ages to elect specific people and pass specific laws; all the citizen initiatives and referenda to create or repeal statutes; all the strikes and boycotts; all the marches and rallies to stop wars and occupations; and all the social movements to guarantee inalienable rights for women, people of color, workers and young people — the power and authority of corporations and the super wealthy have arguably never been greater in our nation’s history, if not world history, than today. This is due to the widening constitutional shields of corporate personhood and money as speech. Unless and until these doctrines are reversed, it will be extremely difficult, to say the least, to achieve any of the real justice and peace most people aspire to enjoy.

Corporations were never intended to possess inalienable constitutional rights. The Bill of Rights and the rest of the constitution were meant to apply solely to human beings. Corporations were originally creations of government via charters issued for the most part by state legislatures for a limited time period to produce specified goods and/or services. Corporations are not people. They are human-created legal entities separate from the individuals who work or invest in them. They aren’t associations of people or products of private contracts. Only governments make incorporation possible. Since they are human created, humans can, should and once did rigidly define their terms – to ensure that they were and are our servants and not our masters.

The 2010 Citizens United vs. FEC Supreme Court decision expanded never-intended inalienable constitutional rights, specifically free speech rights, to corporations. The decision allows corporations to shift unlimited funds from their treasuries to political “independent” groups supporting or opposing political candidates. “Independent” is supposed to mean the groups are not coordinated by any political candidate or campaign. The decision also applied to unions.

Citizens United gave rise, in part, to “Super PACs,” groups funded by corporations, unions and wealthy individuals, which were responsible for a 400% increase in spending in the 2010 mid-term elections from 2006. Most of the spending was directed to attack ads. Such spending was defended as free speech and expanding democracy. Did the 400% rise in political spending in 2010 yield a 400% increase in our democracy?

The 2012 election season has seen an increase in the number and size of Super PACs that are destined to dwarf by year’s end 2010 spending. Incredibly wealthy individuals and corporations fund the largest Super PACs. Labor unions are limited in funding these political entities since their treasuries are much smaller than those of corporations and the super wealthy. Super PAC funding of what has largely turned into hate speech attack ads drowns out the political voices of people or groups without money. It limits what problems are identified, issues discussed, and solutions considered – all of which are tilted to the perspectives of corporations and the super wealthy.

Citizen United expanded the political power of corporations to influence elections and public policies beyond corporate Political Action Committees and direct corporate lobbying that predate the decision by decades.

And since money equals speech, those who have the most money possess the most speech. Political “donations” or “contributions” from the super wealthy are actually more akin to “investments.” Even a cursory examination of laws and regulations in almost every public policy arena reveals the buying, renting, leasing or retaining of public officials by money from the wealthiest 1% have yielded impressive returns.

Labor unions, African-American and Latino groups and other communities of color, women’s organizations and other sectors of the population representing the 99% can’t politically compete in such a rigged system. Corpocracy and plutocracy have replaced whatever amount of democracy we ever possessed.

Widespread public outrage following Citizens United has led to various Congressional initiatives and proposals to amend the constitution. The most comprehensive approach has been proposed by the Move to Amend coalition calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish all inalienable constitutional rights for corporations and an end to money being equated with free speech.

Working on elections and working to change laws are important tasks for those concerned for justice and peace. But they aren’t enough. We must also work to fundamentally amend the U.S. constitution to ensure that the most basic ground rules are not rigged against authentic self-governance.