A new year brings many new postings. Our 2015 goal is to fill in open dates so that by 2016 the Calendar can be sent daily.
1066 – DEATH OF KING EDWARD THE CONFESSOR Calling usury (interest) the root of evil, the English King declared all those who charged usury outlaws and banished them from the country.
2014 – JANET YELLEN CONFIRMED AS FIRST WOMAN TO LEAD THE FEDERAL RESERVE
The U.S. Senate confirmed Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve, the private central bank of the U.S. The vote was 56-26. She replaced Ben Bernanke.
1782 – BANK OF NORTH AMERICA OPENS
This was the first private commercial bank of the United States. At that time, the nation’s constitution was the Articles of Confederation. Article 9 of the Articles gave Congress the power to “emit bills of credit” — to create debt-free money. By a single vote, Congress voted to transfer their authority to issue money to the Bank of North America when it approved its charter. Thus, the Bank served as a quasi central bank (which created money as loans, called “debt money”). Why did Congress willingly give up their money power? The public argument was that the business of finance could not be competently conduced by a public body (Congress) — only by a small number of private financiers. The first head of the Bank was Robert Morris, the richest merchant in America.
1868 – SPEECH OF CONGRESSMAN SAMUEL FENTON (INDEPENDENT REPUBLICAN) OF OHIO ON FLOOR OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
“Our Constitution gives to Congress the exclusive power to coin money and regulate the value thereof… These are attributes of sovereignty and belong exclusively to the representatives of the whole people…The value of money has no relation to or dependence upon the material of which it is made. If it has the properties or powers of representing, measuring, and exchanging value, it is money; and these properties or powers are not inherent in any substance, but are conferred upon any chosen material by the sovereign power…. The Greenback, as it has been denominated, was an invaluable expedient, backing our boys in blue and covering their backs at the same time. It served our purpose well and will serve us still if permitted. It helped us through one danger and will bear us triumphantly through another unless the cupidity of bankers, bondholders and shoddy contractors shall triumph over the industrial and tax-paying classes of our people…The first step in the right direction will be to pass a law to call in and cancel the entire bank circulation and simultaneously issue an equal quantity of Treasury certificates or legal tenders.”
1786 – BIRTH OF NICHOLAS BIDDLE, PRESIDENT OF SECOND NATIONAL BANK
Biddle threatened to cause a depression if President Andrew Jackson did not re-charter the bank. The privately owned Second Bank was chartered in 1816. President Jackson did not sign the bill to renew the charter. “This worthy President thinks that … he is to have his way with the Bank. He is mistaken…[opposition] can only be broken by the actual conviction of exiting distress in the community… Our only safety is in pursuing a steady course of firm restriction [of the money supply] – and I have no doubt that such a course will ultimately lead to restoration of the currency and the re-charter of the Bank.” The result of the contraction of the money supply was a financial panic followed by a deep depression in 1837. (Edward Kaplan, The Bank of the United States and the American Economy)
1835 – PRESIDENT JACKSON PAYS OFF THE LAST INSTALLMENT OF THE NATIONAL DEBT
He was the only President ever to do so – following his decision (which was ultimately upheld by Congress) not to renew the charter of the private Second Bank of the United States.
2009 – TREASURY DEPARTMENT CPP TRANSACTION REPORT
The U.S. Treasury Department purchases a total of $4.8 billion in preferred stock from 43 U.S. banks under the Capital Purchase Program — one of several bank bailout programs of the US government.
1843 – BIRTH OF LORD ACTON, ENGLISH HISTORIAN, POLITICIAN, AND WRITER
“The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later, is the people versus the banks.“
2008 – QUOTES BY BEN BERNANKE, CHAIR OF THE US FEDERAL RESERVE (THE PRIVATE CENTRAL BANK OF THE US), ON THE US ECONOMY
(January 10, 2008) “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”
(January 18, 2008) “[The U.S. economy] has a strong labor force, excellent productivity and technology, and a deep and liquid financial market that is in the process of repairing itself.”
The Great Recession was dated as beginning in December 2007. An estimated 8.7 million jobs were lost from February 2008 – February 2010, according to the US Labor Department. GDP contracted by 5.1% during the same period, making the Great Recession the worst since the Great Depression. Unemployment rose from 4.7% in November 2007 to peak at 10% in October of 2009.
1757 – BIRTH OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, FIRST SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES
Hamilton was a major proponent of First Bank of the United States. The bank’s name gave the impression that the bank was public when it was actually privately owned. The private bank created the nation’s money as government loans – at interest – and to private individuals. Eighty percent of the stock was privately held. Hamilton considered public debt “a public blessing” because it would tie the wealthy (who would own the government bonds) of the country to the government, and they would in turn provide political support for higher taxes to pay off the government bonds.
1893 – DEATH OF BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, US GENERAL, US REPRESENTATIVE (MASSACHUSETTS) AND GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS
“The government shall issue an amount equal to its taxes…which shall be lawful money and legal tender for all debts, public and private, which by law are not made payable in coin.”
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