1751 – PASSAGE OF BRITISH CURRENCY ACT
The Act restricted New England colonies from creating paper money The colonies had issued paper fiat money known as “bills of credit” to help pay for the French and Indian Wars. The Act limited future issuance of bills of credit to certain circumstances (i.e. to pay public debts, such as taxes, but not private debts, such as to merchants)
1816 – DELEGATES CONVENE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION IN INDIANA
The Indiana Convention in 1816 and the Illinois Constitution in 1818 banned private banking corporations altogether. Voters in Wisconsin, plus four other states, rewrote existing constitutions requiring popular votes on every bank charter recommended by their legislatures as a result of corrupt banking practices associated with issuing bank notes. Only private banks that didn’t issue money (bank notes) operated in these states.
1932 – SPEECH BY LOUIS MCFADDEN (R- PA), CHAIRMAN OF THE US HOUSE BANKING AND CURRENCY COMMITTEE ON THE FLOOR OF CONGRESS
“The Federal Reserve (Banks) are one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever seen…What is needed here is a return to the Constitution of the United States. We need to have a complete divorce of Bank and State. The old struggle that was fought out here in Jackson’s day must be fought over again… The Federal Reserve Act should be repealed and the Federal Reserve Banks, having violated their charters, should be liquidated immediately. Faithless Government officers who have violated their oaths of office should be impeached and brought to trial. Unless this is done by us, I predict that the American people, outraged, robbed, pillaged, insulted, and betrayed as they are in their own land, will rise in their wrath and send a President here who will sweep the money changers out of the temple.”
2008 – QUOTE BY FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIR BEN BERNANKE
“The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so.” Four months later, the financial industry collapses and the Congress passes a $700 billion bailout bill. The nation is mired in a “Great Recession;” for many an outright Depression. The economy today remains stagnant.
1836 – CHARTER (LICENSE) FOR SECOND NATIONAL BANK OF THE UNITED STATES REPEALED
This was the third quasi national bank of the former British colonies — following the Bank of North America (1781-1785, chartered by the Continental Congress) and Bank of the United States (1791-1811, chartered by the US Congress). 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.”
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