2008 – NEW YORK FEDERAL RESERVE BANK ANNOUNCEMENT IT WILL GIVE CASH TO J.P. MORGAN CORPORATION TO ACQUIRE BEAR STEARNS
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York announces that it will provide term financing to facilitate JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s acquisition of The Bear Stearns Companies Inc. J.P Morgan received $29 billion from the Fed. However, the Fed never provided term financing of this amount to help small businesses or homeowners who were victimized by the speculative financial ventures of Bear Stearns which led to its implosion, triggering the Great Recession.
1894 – COXEY’S ARMY BEGINS MARCH
Jacob Coxey, a businessman from Massillon, Ohio organized a 500-strong “Coxey’s Army” march from Massillon (beginning on March 25, 1894) to Washington, D.C. (ending April 30) to promote federal intervention for job creation. The primary demand of this “petition in boots” was unique — the direct printing and issuance of $500 million by the Federal Treasury to employ 4 million people. Coxey’s Army proposed two bills. The first, a “Good Roads Bill”, would help farmers through $500 million issued by the federal government in legal tender notes, or greenbacks, to construct rural roads. The second, a noninterest-bearing bonds bill, would empower state and local governments to issue noninterest-bearing bonds to be used to borrow legal tender notes from the federal treasury. This money would be used to build urban libraries, schools, utility plants and marketplaces. Millions of jobs would have been created — debt-free.
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 ourt 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org