MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR July 28 – August 3

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JULY 28

1919 – BANK OF NORTH DAKOTA FOUNDED
The Bank of North Dakota is the only state-owned bank in the US. Its primary deposit base is the State of North Dakota. All state funds and funds of state institutions are deposited with the Bank, as required by law. Other deposits are accepted from any source, private citizens to the U.S. government. No tax dollars are used to pay interest to bond holders since the state has no debt.

JULY 30

1718 – DEATH OF WILLIAM PENN, QUAKER WHO ESTABLISHED THE PROVINCE OF PENNSYLVANIA, THE FUTURE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
The wide-spread reputation for freedom and religious tolerance of the Pennsylvania British colony under Penn extended beyond Penn’s life to include monetary freedom. The legislature in 1723 passed an act authorizing the issuance of “bills of credit,” documents similar to banknotes issued by the government which was circulated as money. They were issued in response to the fiscal crises of Pennsylvania – crises endemic throughout the colonies due to a shortage of British pounds. Colonial currencies helped facilitate economic exchanges.

1863 – BIRTH OF HENRY FORD, INVENTOR AND INDUSTRIALIST
“It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

JULY 31

1881 – BIRTH OF SMEDLEY BUTLER, US MARINE MAJOR GENERAL (TWICE DECORATED)
“I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. 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 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested…

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.”

1912 – BIRTH OF MILTON FRIEDMAN, ECONOMIST
“If you kill the Fed [Federal Reserve] and don’t kill fractional reserve lending, you’ve done nothing.” Fractional reserve lending is the bank practice of holding a fraction of money in reserves compared to the amount loaned.

JULY [Not certain of date]

1939 – A PROGRAM FOR MONETARY REFORM RELEASED

A group of prominent economists issue a plan for US monetary reform. One of the co-authors of the plan, “A Program for Monetary Reform,” was University of Chicago professor and Quaker Paul H. Douglas (later to become U.S. Senator). 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 a monetary system 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 10:1. 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.

AUGUST 2

1100 – BEGINNING OF THE REIGN OF KING HENRY I OF ENGLAND
About 1100 AD, the King ordered the creation of a unique form of money. Made of wood, the currency was called “Tally Sticks.” They were polished sticks of wood declared by the Sovereign King to be good for the payment of taxes. The sticks were used as money by England for 726 years – included the period of the British Empire. It may be no coincidence that shortly after the Bank of England (a private entity) was established in 1694, it attacked the Tally Stick system. Nevertheless, the Sticks were accepted as money for another 150 years, until 1854.

AUGUST 3

1871 – BIRTH OF VERNON PARRINGTON, AMERICAN 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.”

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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

National Press Discovers “Corporate Personhood”

This from NPR this morning.

When Did Companies Become People? Excavating The Legal Evolution

http://www.npr.org/2014/07/28/335288388/when-did-companies-become-people-excavating-the-legal-evolution

A pretty tepid piece but it does at least begin to unearth the long-buried issue of corporate “personhood” — as well as raise the “money as speech” question. Only took 4 years following Citizens United for the national media to ‘discover’ the issue.

Notice the picture.

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Where have I seen that before??

Actually, it dates from the Move to Amend/Backbone Campaign sponsored “March of the Monahan Brothers” who walked across the US a few years ago to lift up the need to end corporate personhood and money as speech.

Working for Structural Change

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There are currently many conflicts, tragedies and issues that warrant attention and response. There are conflicts in Iraq, Israel and Gaza, Iran, Syria, Ukraine, several African nations, and shootings in our own neighborhoods. There are severe economic problems abroad and domestically, serious social issues on our borders, and any number of urgent environmental catastrophires everywhere.

Most of these crises genuinely deserve our reaction and response. We cannot be quiet, passive, disinterested or uninvolved.

There is, however, sometimes a tendency among the socially concerned to respond and react to virtually every problem — to be hyper reactive and overly responsive.

I can’t emphasize enough that this is not a call to not respond and react. Sorry for the double negative.

It’s rather an invitation to be mindful of our actions – for our own personal physical and mental well being as well as the cause of fundamental social change for justice and peace.

To react and respond means we cannot be proactive and initiating. We are operating under someone else’s agenda. It is they who are steering our thinking and actions. They are defining our reality.

Worse, it means we are not able in those moments to promote or build, or create or nurture. By being on the defensive, we are not able to assertively address and work on behalf of systemic, institutional or structural causes of many of the immediate crises we are responding or reacting to.

Of course, immediate crises can be opportunities, teachable moments in fact, to show links between immediate problems and to more core causes.  They can also be places and spaces to tap anger, disgust and/or compassion to encourage mobilization at a deeper level.

While these possibilities can happen, more often that not they don’t occur if the immediate atrocity, problem, harm, and hurt is right in front of us and needs to be addressed.  If a house is on fire, there is no time to ponder how the fire started, whether by accident or intention.

From a social change perspective, the problem is there are fires everywhere. They are becoming more prevalent in more places. And many more of them seem to be sparked, or at least inflamed, by intent than by accident.

This is especially troubling if there is a belief, if not reality, that the arsonists are starting or flaming fires to distract, deceive or distort — which:
–    Keeps us separated by responding and reacting to every individual problem,
–    Prevents us from examining connections between problems,
–    Delays advocating for fundamental public policy or constitutional changes and,
–    Inhibits creating on the ground, inclusive, alternatives where we are.

There is no simple answer, no exact science. Social change is as much based on feel and assessing the moment than following a pre-determined script or five-year plan. Refusing to give up one’s seat on a bus based on one’s race can be a spark to a full fledged social movement that leads to systematic change.

Social change agents must wisely think and act – especially those who are not personally in the middle of a crisis where the only appropriate action is direct response and reaction. Those of us privileged or lucky enough not to be engulfed in crisis have a unique responsibility. To the degree we can authentically advocate for real change while protesting wrongs, then by all means we should.  Nevertheless, we must understand and respect the “rhythm” and stages of social movements.

When those we work with are ready to focus on more structural issues, diverting energy toward an immediate crisis that does not aid in the understanding or contribute toward advocating or creating alternatives is a step backwards.

Once again, this is not a call for inaction to immediate crises or “fires.” It is, instead, a respectful invitation to do strategic thinking. We simply can’t squander limited time, energy and resources. The fundamental top-down systems of our world – political, economic and social – are all in various stages of disintegration. The natural world is also collapsing.

The many crises we face are a symptom of these deteriorating systems. There will be many more crises to come. They will happen more rapidly on top of each other. If all we do in response is respond to immediate problems, then we miss the tremendous opportunities that will be inevitable to be change agents in shaping a more just, peaceful and sustainable reality. We will squander the opportunity – leaving a power vacuum open to others – including some of the very same elites responsible for our current problems who will redefine, remold and recast themselves which the public should blindly follow.

It’s up to us to keep our eye on the prize – fundamental justice and fundamental peace. It’s up to us to be mindful that we must balance the need to put out fires with actively preventing them.

Simply responding and reacting should not impede our responsibility to be fundamental change agents

AFSC Audio Podcast — Friday, July 25, 2014

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Click here to listen:  http://afsc.org/audio/neo-afsc-july-25-2014-podcast

We summarize last week’s activities; announce upcoming events for next week; and comment on the Lakewood Move to Amend City Council resolution and how austerity measures in Detroit following their bankruptcy may be a template of what’s to come in Cleveland. In light of the many current global and local crises demanding immediate attention, we also reflect on the importance of working for fundamental structural change.

Fund Crumbling Infrastructure by Democratizing Money Creation

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Our nation’s infrastructure is crumbling. It’s estimated that more than $2 trillion is needed to repair the decaying roads, bridges, sewers and other basic physical assets across the nation.

Money will soon run out of the highway trust fund to repair roads. Congress needs to decide what to do. Ideas are many, but fall into 3 categories: go further into debt, increase taxes or shift existing funds (i.e. rob Peter to pay Paul).

There is a 4th option — to create debt-free and inflation-free US money, as proposed by the National Emergency Employment Defense (NEED) Act — HR 2990 in the last Congress.

The US could simply create US notes equal to what’s needed to pay for engineering, materials, labor, etc. This is not the same as the misnamed Federal Reserve (more of a private than public entity) creating money out-of-thin-air through their Quantitative Easing nonsense that has mostly helped Wall Street and fueled ever more speculative bubbles.

US money, similar to what action President Lincoln took in creating federal “Greenbacks,” has no attached interest payments. Several prominent economists, including IMF’s Michael Kumhof, have said this type of public money creation does not increase inflation when such funds are used for needed functions.

Of course, bankers hate the idea. One of the major sources of profits by banking corporations is interest from loans. Banking corporations don’t want anything to impede the license they’re been given to create money. When the US borrows, it in essence borrows money that it could have created. The difference is the US has to pay back the loan plus interest.

No wonder HR 2990 didn’t get very far in the last Congress. Banking corporations got their monies worth via lobbying and political campaign investment thanks to their never-intended First Amendment constitutional free speech “rights” to prevent public creation of public money. Even the idea of democratic public money creation must be suppressed.

Canadian economist William Hixson said:

“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.”

Seven million jobs would be created under the NEED Act. Over $2 trillion would be injected into the economy.

We should all ask US Senator Sherrod Brown (who’s on the Senate Banking Committee) to introduce the NEED Act. This would, at least, create a vehicle for mass education — necessary to build awareness and, hopefully, a movement for eventual passage.

More info on the NEED Act is at http://www.monetary.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/HR-2990.pdf

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR July 21 – 27

Greenback.
JULY 21

1788 – SPEECH AT THE PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE CONVENTION OF NORTH CAROLINA (ON WHETHER TO RATIFY THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES)
“So low and hopeless are the finances of the United States, that, the year before last Congress was obliged to borrow money even, to pay the interest of the principal which we had borrowed before. This wretched resource of turning interest into principal, is the most humiliating and disgraceful measure that a nation could take, and approximates with rapidity to absolute ruin.”

1899 – BIRTH OF ERNEST HEMINGWAY, AUTHOR
“How did you go bankrupt?”
“Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”
From The Sun Also Rises
[The same may be true of our nation today.]

2011 – REPORT BY US SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS ON AUDIT OF THE US FEDERAL RESERVE
“The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. An amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders to the Wall Street reform law passed one year ago this week directed the Government Accountability Office to conduct the study. “As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world,” said Sanders. ‘This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.’ “  http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/the-fed-audit

JULY 22

1950 – DEATH OF WILLIAM LYON MACKENZIE KING, 10TH PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA, 1935-48.
“Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes the nations’ laws. Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation. Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of parliament and of democracy is idle and futile…. The Liberal Party believes that credit is a public matter, not of interest to bankers only, but of direct concern to every citizen. The Liberal Party declares itself in favour of the immediate establishment of a duly constituted national bank for the control of the issue of money in terms of public needs. The flow of money must be in relation with the domestic, social, and industrial needs of the Canadian people…If my party is returned to power, we shall make good our monetary policy in the greatest battle between the money power and the people Canada has ever seen.” Mackenzie King won re-election. The private Bank of Canada, which had been a private corporation, was converted to a “Crown Corporation,” belonging to the people of Canada.

2012  – PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN BLOOMBERGVIEW BY NEIL BAROVSKY, FORMER TROUBLED ASSETS RELIEF PROGRAM (TARP) INSPECTOR GENERAL
“Americans should lose faith in their government. They should deplore the captured politicians and regulators who distributed tax dollars to the banks without insisting that they be accountable. The American people should be revolted by a financial system that rewards failure and protects those who drove it to the point of collapse and will undoubtedly do so again.”
[The same captured politicians by the banking corporations prevents any serious monetary reform – and will no doubt continue until banking corporations and, in fact, all corporations no longer possess the inalienable first amendment constitutional “right to free speech” to lobby and donate/invest in elections]

JULY 24

1862 – DEATH OF MARTIN VAN BUREN, 8TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
“It can only be when the agriculturalists abandon the implements and the field of their labor and become, with those who now assist them, shopkeepers, manufacturers, carriers, and traders, that the Republic will be brought in danger of the influences of the MONEY POWER”

2012 – COMMENTS BY NEIL BAROFKSY, FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL OF THE TROUBLED ASSETS RELIEF PROGRAM ( TARP)
Neil Barofksy says on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that the Treasury Department’s housing policies were “Foaming The Runway For The Banks.” More TARP money went to help American Express than all the struggling homeowners.

JULY 25

1876 – BIRTH OF CONGRESSMAN LOUIS T. MCFADDEN (R-PA), CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE BANKING AND CURRENCY COMMITTEE
“We have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known.  I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks.  Some people think the Federal Reserve Banks are U.S. government institutions.  They are private credit monopolies; domestic swindlers, rich and predatory money lenders which prey upon the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers…The truth is the Federal Reserve Board has usurped the Government of the United States by the arrogant credit monopoly which operates the Federal Reserve Board.”

JULY 26

1925 – DEATH OF WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SECRETARY OF STATE
“We say in our platform that we believe that the right to coin money and issue money is a function of government…Those who are opposed to the proposition tell us that the issue of paper money is a function of the bank and that the government ought to go out of the banking business.  I stand with Jefferson…and tell them, as he did, that the issue of money is a function of the government and that the banks should go out of the governing business…When we have restored the money of the Constitution, all other necessary reforms will be possible, and … until that is done, there is no reform that can be accomplished.”

JULY 27

1694 – BANK OF ENGLAND FOUNDED
A private central bank, England began to borrow all of its money from corporate banks rather than simply creating it debt-free, as it had for hundreds of years.  “The result…is a kind of national financial servitude by an economy almost entirely indentured to private financial interests, a system prefigured in the Roman Republic and, in modern times, first established in Britain with the founding of the Bank of England in 1694…The idea was to subscribe a private bank with capital, and then obtain a monopoly for that bank from the government for the issuance of government debt, allowing for usurious rates; such debt was ultimately issued as bills of credit on that bank and circulated as money.”

2012 – NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LETTER CARRIERS ADOPS A RESOLUTION AT THEIR NATIONAL CONVENTION TO INVESTIGATE ESTABLISHING A POSTAL BANKING SYSTEM
The resolution noted that expanding postal services and developing new sources of revenue are important to the effort to save the public Post Office and preserve living-wage jobs; that many countries have a successful history of postal banking, including Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and the United States itself; and that postal banks could serve the 9 million people who don’t have bank accounts and the 21 million who use usurious check cashers, giving low-income people access to a safe banking system.  “A USPS bank would offer a ‘public option’ for banking,” concluded the resolution, “providing basic checking and savings – and no complex financial wheeling and dealing.”
At one time, the Postal Savings System offered savings accounts to depositors, but no loans. When banks failed after the Great Depression, many people shifted their remaining funds. The Postal Savings System held upwards of 20% of the nation’s savings in the mid 1940’s. Commercial/corporate banks opposed the efficient system (post offices served as bank branches) and lobbied for their limitation and finally elimination, which occurred in 1967.

———————–

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