MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR December 22-28

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DECEMBER 22

1864 –IRON CITY BANK OF PITTSBURGH IS RECHARTED TO BECOME IRON CITY NATIONAL BANK
The bank was recharted under the new 1864 federal banking law.

Corporations possess no inherent inalienable “right” to exist in the US. They exist because the public via government (state and federal) grants “charters” or licenses to exist under terms established by the government. At one time, charters were democratic tools that rigidly defined the extent of their actions, issued for a limited duration.

Banks were, for obvious reasons, THE most rigidly defined and closely controlled type of corporation with precise limitations placed on capital, interest rates, residency requirements for directors and transparency of their financial books. And, of course, banking corporations, like all corporations, were prohibited from involvement in political or electoral matters as a means to protect the democratic “body politic.”

When banking corporations violated the terms of their charters and acting “ultra vires” (beyond their authority) the public response was routinely to dissolve their charter and either turn over the company to new owners with a new charter or distribute the banks’ assets to those who were victims of the banks’ actions.

Charters remain democratic tools. Corporations remain creations of the state and federal government. However, our history books nowhere contain this example of this expression of self-governance and, thus, our imaginations of how to control corporate actions are limited to corporate fines and legal actions against executives. Bank fines and even imprisonment of bank officials were and still are no substitute responses to profoundly unlawful banking practices compared to what was at one time a common strategy by our forebears: dissolving corporate charters.

DECEMBER 23

1913 – FEDERAL RESERVE ACT PASSES CONGRESS – CREATING FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
The Act created a largely corporate controlled national banking and currency system, passed in the House by 298-60 and in the Senate by 43-25 and signed by President Wilson on this day. It was a major coup banking corporations through the establishment of a private central bank authorized to “monetize” government debt (i.e. to print their own money and exchange it for government securities or I.O.U.’s). The central banking system was composed of 12 regional private/corporate banks owned by participating commercial banks. All national banks were required to join the system. Banking corporations now controlled the issuance and circulation of our national currency. By controlling our national money faucet, they could create inflation and deflation. This corporate monopolization of our currency allowed for public regulation, but not control. It was now banking corporations, not the US government, that controlled the national currency. The Constitutional power for public creation of our power was handed over to private banking corporations. It’s the ultimate form of “privatization”  – more accurately “corporatization” – of what should be a public function or service.

DECEMBER 24

1294 – PAPACY OF POPE BONIFACE VIII BEGINS
Benedetto Gaetani became Pope of the Catholic Church on Christmas Eve, 1294. He instituted the first Christian “Jubilee” in 1300. Jubilee has both Jewish and Christian roots. According to Wikipedia, “The concept of the Jubilee is a special year of remission of sins and universal pardon. In the Biblical Book of Leviticus, a Jubilee year is mentioned to occur every fifty years, in which slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.” It was also common for land to be returned.  Pope Boniface VIII conditioned the forgiving of sins and debt on personal confessions and pilgrimages to sacred sites (i.e. basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul in Rome) at least once a day for a specified time.

DECEMBER 25

2014 YEARS AGO – CLAIMED BIRTH DATE OF JESUS
In his book, Money and its True Function, author FR Burch said, “As long as Christ confined his teachings to the realm of morality and righteousness, He was undisturbed; it was not till He assailed the established economic system and ‘cast out’ the profiteers and ‘overthrew the tables of the money changers,’ that He was doomed. The following day He was questioned, betrayed on the second tried on the third and on the fourth crucified.”

1833 – BIRTH OF MARK “BRICK” POMEROY, NEWSPAPER PUBLISHER, CURRENCY REFORMER AND ORGANIZER OF “GREENBACK CLUBS”
At the national Greenback Party convention in 1876, Pomeroy was named chairman of a committee to coordinate the activities of local Greenback clubs across the country. The clubs served as forums for monetary education and mobilization on behalf of the Greenback Party. During his leadership, Pomeroy claimed almost 6000 clubs had been chartered: the most in Missouri, followed by Illinois. Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Texas and New York.

1983 – DEATH OF ROBERT H. HEMPHILL, CREDIT MANAGER, ATLANTA FEDERAL RESERVE BANK
“This is a staggering thought. We are completely dependent on the Commercial Banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the Banks create ample synthetic money, we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. ”

2013 – “BLOOMBERG VIEW” ARTICLE ON BART CHILTON, OUTSPOKEN FORMER MEMBER OF THE COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION
“Chilton leaves behind a sobering message: As we long suspected, Wall Street continues to use every trick in its playbook to do whatever it can to eviscerate numerous post-financial-crisis rules. The arsenal includes high-powered lobbyists who outnumber lawmakers 10-to-1; $1,000-an-hour letter-writing lawyers who gain strength from negotiating over arcana; and the occasional hoodwinking of a president whose knowledge of the ways of finance are close to nil.

In a recent interview, Chilton said that, despite years of hard work by financial regulators to put the 2010 Dodd-Frank law into force (witness the 882 pages required to explain a 71-page Volcker Rule), their efforts will be futile in the face of Wall Street’s money and power. ‘The lesson for me is: The financial sector is so powerful that they will roll things back over time,’ Chilton says. ‘The Wall Street firms have tremendous influence, and they can impact policy to a greater degree than any one regulator or a small group of regulators can.’

Bart’s views were confirmed in a most spectacular fashion on December 16 when President Obama signed the annual budget bill containing a “rider” permitting banking corporations to shift risky derivatives under financial protection of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) if and/or when they implode.

DECEMBER 28

1856 – BIRTH OF WOODROW WILSON, 28TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNTIED STATES
“A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men who, even if their action be honest and intended for the public interest, are necessarily concentrated upon the great undertakings in which their own money is involved and who necessarily, by very reason of their own limitations, chill and check and destroy genuine economic freedom.” These misgivings, however, were expressed after he signed the Federal Reserve Act, creating the largely private U.S. Federal Reserve System.

1947 – BIRTH OF SPENCER BACHUS, CONGRESSPERSON, ALABAMA, REPUBLICAN CHAIR OF THE HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE
“In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.”

2013 — DEATH OF MARGRIT KENNEDY, AUTHOR OF OCCUPY MONEY
“At present, we’re stuck in the near vertical part of the exponential growth curve of money assets and debt. In nature the organism harboring this diseased growth would be on the verge of death. Can we even grasp that we’ve lost control — that we don’t rule this system, but it rules us? We need a transition process in which the creative power of money issuance is transferred to new institution that will use this power to benefit society, thereby ending the continuation of our compulsive, boundless expansion of money and debt. Only via a transition of this sort can we initiate a peaceful, evolutionary process that will lead us out of the crisis.”

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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, 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 monetarycalendar@yahoo.com

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