1874 – GREENBACK PARTY FOUNDED
The Greenback Party was founded on this day at a convention in Indianapolis. Many of its members were farmers hurt by the financial Panic of 1873 (also known as the “Crime of ‘73”). The party supported “Greenback” paper money (U.S. notes) issued and spent into circulation by the Lincoln administration. They opposed all money systems backed by any precious metal, believing that those who owned gold or silver (banks and corporations) would possess the power to define the value of products and labor. Government control of the US money system would also ensure sufficient quantity of money was in circulation to help small businesses and farmers. Twenty-one independent congressmen, mostly Greenbackers, were elected in 1878.
2008 – QUANTITATIVE EASING (QE) PROGRAM ANNOUNCED BY THE US FEDERAL RESERVE
The Fed announced that on December 1 it would create money and use it to purchase $500 billion in toxic mortgage backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and an additional $100 billion of debt from both entities. This phase of QE (called QE1) extended until March 2010. Two additional rounds, QE2 and QE3, followed it. A total of $4.4 trillion from the Fed was issued. It went disproportionately to financial corporations (Wall Street), not “Main Street” (for small businesses) or to “Side Streets” (to bail out homeowners facing foreclosures). QE money was also spent to purchase US Treasury bonds (debt) following the decline of purchases by other nations as a means to stimulate the economy. At its peak, $85 billion per month in Treasury debt and mortgage backed securities was purchased. Many within the financial industry have since admitted that QE contributed to the rising gap between rich and poor and the rise and size of too-big-to-fail banking corporations.
1820 – DEATH OF WILLIAM RICHARDSON DAVIS, GOVERNOR OF N. CAROLINA AND DELEGATE TO THE 1787 US CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
“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: Yet it is the inevitable and certain consequence of such a system as the existing Confederation.”
1835 – BIRTH OF MARK TWAIN “Beautiful credit! The foundation of modern society. Who shall say that this is not the golden age of mutual trust, of unlimited reliance upon human promises? That is a peculiar condition of society which enables a whole nation to instantly recognize point and meaning in the familiar newspaper anecdote, which puts into the mouth of the speculator in lands and mines this remark: — ‘I wasn’t worth a cent two years ago, and now I owe two million dollars.’ “ Classic Twain!
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, Deb Jose 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