MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR October 12 – 18

lincolngback

OCTOBER 12

1977 – PASSAGE OF THE COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT ACT
Advocated by a movement of neighborhood activists across the nation, Congress passed the Act that outlawed “redlining” or ”blackballing,” the common practice by banking corporations to discriminate by race and income in loans to individuals and small businesses.

OCTOBER 13

1879 – DEATH OF HENRY CAREY, CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Carey was the major proponent in the Lincoln Administration of issuing debt-free US money, Greenbacks. In referencing the US economy under the Greenback system, he said, …”for the first time, too, in the history of the world, there has been presented a community in which nearly all business was done for cash, and in which debt has scarcely an existence…there has been a large and general diminution of the rate of interest…traders have therefore become more independent of the capitalist, while the country at large has become more independent of the ‘wealthy capitalists’ of Europe.”

OCTOBER 14

1644 – BIRTH OF WILLIAM PENN, EARLY QUAKER, FOUNDER OF THE PROVINCE OF PENNSYLVANIA – THE ENGLISH NORTH AMERICAN COLONY (FUTURE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA)
Penn’s colony becomes one of the first to issue its own currency in 1723 as a means to become more economically independent from the British crown. The money backed by peoples’ land assets, not by gold or silver. Benjamin Franklin, who in 1731 secured the contract to print Pennsylvania’s money, noted that after the colonial legislature first issued paper money, economic conditions in the colony improved – as measured by internal trade, employment, new construction and number of inhabitants.

2008 – US TAXPAYERS BAILS OUT NINE US BANKS
US injects $250 billion of $700 billion available in public money from the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act into the US banking system. The US takes an equity position in banks that choose to participate in the program in exchange for certain restrictions such as executive compensation. Nine banks agreed to participate in the program: 1) Bank of America, 2) JPMorgan Chase, 3) Wells Fargo, 4) Citigroup, 5) Merrill Lynch, 6) Goldman Sachs, 7) Morgan Stanley, 8) Bank of New York Mellon and 9) State Street.

OCTOBER 15

1908 – BIRTH OF JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH, U.S. ECONOMIST
Two quotes. “The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise or evade truth, not to reveal it.” “The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.”

1913 – ADDRESS OF NELSON ALDRICH (FORMER SENATOR OF RHODE ISLAND AND CHAIR OF THE NATIONAL MONETARY COMMISSION) BEFORE THE ACADEMY OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
In commenting on the proposed bill that would become the Federal Reserve Act passed later in the year, Aldrich said, “If the attempt is successful it will be the first and most important step toward changing our form of government from a democracy to an autocracy. No imperial government in Europe would venture to suggest, much less enact, legislation of this kind.”

1982 – U.S. CONGRESS PASSES GARN – ST. GERMAIN DEPOSITORY INSTITUTIONS ACT
The act deregulated savings and loan associations and allowed banks to provide adjustable rate mortgage loans. Many believe it contributed to the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s.

OCTOBER 16

1962 – BIRTH OF MICHAEL KUMHOF, GERMAN ECONOMIST AND CO-AUTHOR OF “THE CHICAGO PLAN REVISITED,”
From the paper:
“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.”

OCTOBER 17

1785 – FIRST GATHERING OF DELEGATES OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
Private bank notes are barred from circulation following the passage of a law passed by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It was unlawful “for any person to offer in payment a private bank bill or note for money.”

2014 – TALK BY YVES MERSCH, MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK AT CORPORATE CREDIT CONFERENCE ON MONETARY POLICY AND ECONOMIC INEQUALITY
“More generally, inequality is of interest to central banking discussions because monetary policy itself has distributional consequences which in turn influence the monetary transmission mechanism…For example, by boosting – first – aggregate demand and – second – employment, monetary easing could reduce economic disparities; at the same time, if low interest rates boost the prices of financial assets while punishing savings deposits, they could lead to widening inequality.
Note: US monetary policy has produced the later – which has contributed to the substantial widening of inequality.

OCTOBER 18

1790 – BIRTH OF EDWARD KELLOGG, BUSINESSMAN AND ECONOMIST. HIS IDEAS INFLUENCED THE POLICIES OF THE POPULIST AND GREENBACK PARTIES
“Legal value belongs to anything which represents actual value, or capital. Its existence depends upon actual value. The worth of things of legal value depends upon their capability to be exchanged for things of actual value.” Since money is our monetary system is created as debt, the “legal value” of money includes both the principal debt and interest — which exceeds the “actual value” of a nation’s real wealth or claims on collateral at any point in time. The only means to close this gap and cover interest payments is to create additional collateral (goods and services) via economic growth. Of course, this additional debt-based money used to pay the previous interest has its own interest. Thus the downward debt cycle never ends until it collapses.”

1931 – DEATH OF THOMAS EDISON, U.S. INVENTOR
This is one of the best statements ever on the ease and legitimacy of the government creating its own money.
“If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good makes the bill good… If the Government issues bonds, the brokers will sell them. The bonds will be negotiable; they will be considered as gilt edged paper. Why? Because the government is behind them, but who is behind the Government? The people. Therefore it is the people who constitute the basis of Government credit. Why then cannot the people have the benefit of their own gilt-edged credit by receiving non-interest bearing currency… instead of the bankers receiving the benefit of the people’s credit in interest-bearing bonds?”

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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/uns

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