1744 – BIRTH OF MAYER AMSCHEL ROTHCHILD, FOUNDER OF THE BANKING DYNASTY
Purported quote: “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws. ”
1809 – BIRTH OF ELBRIDGE SPAULDING, US LAWYER, BANKER AND POLITICIAN
“Why then should we go into Wall Street…begging for money? Their [private bank] money is not as secure as Government money…I am unwilling that this government should be left in the hands of any class of men, bankers or moneylenders, however respectable or patriotic they may be.
The Government is much stronger than any of them. All the gold they possess would not carry on the Government for ninety days. They issue promises to pay, which, if Congress does its duty, are not half as secure as United States Treasury notes based on adequate taxation upon all the property of the country.”
1791 – CREATION OF THE FIRST BANK OF THE UNITED STATES
The federal government issued a 20-year charter (very unusual at the time since most corporate charters, or licenses, were issued by states) to create the first national private bank. The bank’s paper money was accepted for taxes. Eighty percent of its shares were privately owned, among these 75% were foreign owned (mostly by the English and Dutch). The bank was modeled on the Bank of England. It’s main proponent, Alexander Hamilton, argued in support: “Suppose that the necessity existed…for obtaining a loan; that a number of individuals came forward and said, we are willing to accommodate the government with this money (which we have or can raise) but in order to do this it is indispensable that we should be incorporated as a bank…and we are obliged on that account to make it a consideration or condition of the loan.” In other words, Hamilton was saying the private/corporate bank would be more than happy to give the government loans if the government grants the private/corporate bank the power to create money! Jefferson, Madison and others opposed it. Jefferson said, “This institution (the Bank of England) is one of the most deadly hostility against the principles of our Constitution…suppose an emergency should occur…an institution like this…in a critical moment might overthrow the government.” The bank had an enormous impact on the economy early on. Within 2 months of its creation, it flooded the market with loans and banknotes and then suddenly called in many of its loans. The result was the first US securities market crash — what became known as the “Panic of 1792” – the first of many panics, recessions and depressions due to the private/corporate control of our money system.
1862 – LEGAL TENDER ACT PASSED
A bill authorizing the issuance of $150 million non interest-bearing United States notes (commonly referred to as Greenbacks). Congress would later grant $300 million more in US notes. This was interest free US money. The administration of Republican President Abraham Lincoln wanted to avoid the nation going into debt borrowing money from private/corporate bankers to pay for the Civil War. Greenbacks were not bonds or notes or any other promises to pay “money” at some future time. They were money. Since they were not borrowed, they didn’t add to the national debt. What later made them inflationary was they were used to pay for war – which didn’t produce or add anything productive to the economy to offset the added money supply. The bill contained an “Exception Clause”, which stated that Greenbacks could not be used to pay the interest on the national debt, or to pay taxes, excises or import duties.
1863 – NATIONAL BANKING ACT PASSED
It provided for the national chartering of banks by the federal government. This replaced state charters – many of which contained much more rigid and democratic provisions. The Act in numerous ways standardized banking across the country. The act established National Banking Associations, the office of the Comptroller of the Currency and a system of national chartered banks with control over all of them coming from Washington. The new banks were given virtually tax-free status. In doing so, it entrenched what some have called “structural fraud” of the banking system – creating money out of thin air and charting interest on it.
1913 – CONCLUSION OF PUJO COMMITTEE HEARINGS IN CONGRESS
A committee of Congress, headed by House Banking and Currency Committee Chair Arsene Pujo, investigated the Wall Street banking “Money Trust” from 1912-1913. The Committee’s report identified a financial network of Wall Street bankers connected by 341 interlocking directorships held in 112 corporations valued at more than $22 billion connected to the Morgan and Rockefeller empires, which exerted identifiable control over the US monetary system and economy.
Paradoxically, the report resulted in the push for a Federal Reserve Act, which, of course, legitimized and shielded control of the money system and economy by the financial elites.
1844 – DEATH 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. (Edward Kaplan, The Bank of the United States and the American Economy)
1867 – BIRTH OF IRVING FISHER, MATHEMATICAL ECONOMIST
“If two parties instead of being a bank and an individual, were an individual and an individual, they could not inflate the circulating medium by loan transaction; for the simple reason that the lender could not lend what he didn’t have as banks can do … Only commercial banks and trust companies can lend money that they manufacture by lending it.” 100% Money (1935)
1856 – BIRTH OF WOODROW WILSON, 28th PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED 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.” (1911)
1781 – RATIFICATION OF ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION, THE FIRST US CONSTITUTION
“The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union” of the thirteen States was ratified and in force on this date. The Articles was the first Constitution of the United States, preceding our current constitution by several years. The Articles granted the Federal Government the authority to issue money and determine its value if nine states agreed.
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, email firstname.lastname@example.org