2007 – DEATH OF H.L. BIRUM, FINANCIAL COMMENTATOR
“The Federal Reserve Bank is nothing but a banking fraud and an unlawful crime against civilization. Why? Because they ‘create’ the money made out of nothing, and our Uncle Sap Government issues their ‘Federal Reserve Notes’ and stamps our Government approval with NO obligation whatever from these Federal Reserve Banks, Individual Banks or National Banks, etc.”
1738 – BIRTH OF ROBERT YATES, POLITICIAN AND JUDGE
“I can scarcely contemplate a greater calamity that could befall this country, than be loaded with a debt exceeding their ability ever to discharge. If this be a just remark, it is unwise and improvident to vest in the general government a power to borrow at discretion, without any limitation or restriction.” — Brutus pseudonym, probably Robert Yates (1738-1801)
2009 – WILLIAM DUDLEY BECOMES 10TH PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE NEW YORK FEDERAL RESERVE BANK
“We don’t understand fully how large-scale asset purchase programs work to ease financial market conditions.”
That’s comforting Mr. Dudley. The head of THE most powerful of the regional reserve banks in the USA admits he doesn’t know the full financial impact of injecting trillions of dollars created by the Fed into the economy. Well, the evidence is in. Wall Street banks made out like bandits, while main street businesses and side street homeowners suffered.
2010 — DEATH OF HOWARD ZINN, HISTORIAN
“The challenge remains. On the other side are formidable forces: money, political power, the major media. On our side are the people of the world and a power greater than money or weapons: the truth. Truth has a power of its own. Art has a power of its own. That age-old lesson – that everything we do matters – is the meaning of the people’s struggle here in the United States and everywhere. A poem can inspire a movement. A pamphlet can spark a revolution. Civil disobedience can arouse people and provoke us to think. When we organize with one another, when we get involved, when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress. We live in a beautiful country. But people who have no respect for human life, freedom or justice have taken it over. It is now up to all of us to take it back.”
2013 – THE CHICAGO PLAN REVISITED, LIVE WEBCAST OF A THE DEBATE INVOLVING MICHAEL KUMHOF OF THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
“At the height of the Great Depression a number of leading U.S. economists advanced a proposal for monetary reform that became known as the Chicago Plan. It envisaged the separation of the monetary and credit functions of the banking system, by requiring 100% reserve backing for deposits. Irving Fisher (1936) claimed the following advantages for this plan: (1) Much better control of a major source of business cycle fluctuations, sudden increases and contractions of bank credit and of the supply of bank-created money. (2) Complete elimination of bank runs. (3) Dramatic reduction of the (net) public debt. (4) Dramatic reduction of private debt, as money creation no longer requires simultaneous debt creation. We study these claims by embedding a comprehensive and carefully calibrated model of the banking system in a DSGE model of the U.S. economy. We find support for all four of Fisher’s claims. Furthermore, output gains approach 10 percent, and steady state inflation can drop to zero without posing problems for the conduct of monetary policy.” – “The Chicago Plan Revisited,” IMF Working Paper Research Department, Prepared by Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof
1737 — BIRTH OF TOM PAINE, US REVOLUTIONARY
Commenting on the value of colonial-issued money, the “Continental”…
“Every stone in the Bridge that has carried us over seems to have a claim upon our esteem. But this was a corner stone, and its usefulness cannot be forgotten.”
1956 — DEATH OF H.L. MENCKEN, US JOURNALIST
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace in a continual state of alarm (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing them with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
1835 — ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT AGAINST US PRESIDENT ANDREW JACKSON
In 1832, Jackson called on Congress not to renew the charter of the Second National Bank of the United States. He vetoed a bill to renew the bank’s charter, saying the bank was guilty of fraud, corruption and controlling the money supply (expanding and contracting the supply of money to economically and politically benefit the bank). He stated, “beyond question…this great and powerful institution had been actively engaged in attempting to influence the elections of the public officers by means of its money.” Jackson ordered the US government to move its money out of the Second Bank. In response, the bank called in all its loans and ceased issuing new loans. An economic panic followed. In 1835, Richard Lawrence fired two guns at Jackson but both misfired. He claimed his assassination attempt was because, in part, “money would be more plenty.”
1882 — BIRTH OF PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
Roosevelt missed a chance to fundamentally improve our economy, if not democracy, during the Great Depression when he chose to go into debt to pay for his many “New Deal” programs. A group of prominent economists from across the nation had urged him in what was known as “The Chicago Plan” to pay for his programs by issuing debt-free money, based on the previously issued Greenbacks during the Lincoln Administration. Instead, FDR added to the government debt, which enriched bankers and all others who purchased U.S. Treasuries.
1934 – PASSAGE OF GOLD RESERVE ACT
The US government ended minting and circulation gold coins. The bill required all holders of gold coins and certificates to surrender them to the US Treasury – at the price of $20.67 per ounce. Collectors and a few others were exempted. Federal Reserve Notes were no longer convertible (or backed) by gold coins.
1948 – ASSASSINATION OF MOHANDAS GANDHI
‘Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” One of his “7 Deadly Sins” was “wealth without work.” He also said “[a] small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”
1609 – FIRST CENTRAL BANK IN WORLD ESTABLISHED
The first central bank in history, which was publicly owned, was established in Amsterdam.
1934 – PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT INCREASES VALUE OF GOLD
A day after the Gold Reserve Act is passed; President Roosevelt issued an executive proclamation, which resulted in the value of gold increasing to $35 per ounce. This would yield a windfall profit for the US government and those who retained possession of gold.
1913 – NATIONAL CITIZENS LEAGUE FOR THE PROMOTION OF A SOUND BANKING SYSTEM SENDS LETTER TO MEMBERS
Backed by bankers and other businesspersons, the League was established to promote a national private central bank. Their letter to their members on this date stated:
“Congress is wavering over the question of banking reform. The Democratic leaders are undecided whether to bring in a currency bill at the special session in the Spring or defer action until the regular session next December …
President-elect Wilson has been quoted as holding the view that public sentiment as to banking reform has not yet crystallized.
Write to Mr. Wilson if you know him. If you don’t know him, it is a good way to get acquainted.
The National Citizens’ League has 10,000 members and a million friends. If every member of the League and every friend of banking reform does his duty, Congress will have substantive evidence that the business world is not indifferent…”
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