1987 – U.S. STOCK MARKET CRASH
Known as Black Monday, stock markets around the world crashed. The Dow Jones average dropped by 508 points. It was the largest one-day percentage decline in Dow Jones history.
2004 – QUOTE BY ALAN GREENSPAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE
His comments on subprime lending…
“Improvements in lending practices driven by information technology have enabled lenders to reach out to households with previously unrecognized borrowing capacities.”
Lenders began lending to those who they knew would be unable to pay back mortgages. They engaged in riskier and riskier loans. The entire system eventually collapsed. US taxpayers bailed these lending financial corporations out. Homeowners who were duped into signing contracts with hidden fees and adjustable rate mortgage loans received little federal assistance.
2005 – QUOTE OF BEN BERNANKE, CHAIRMAN OF THE US FEDERAL RESERVE
“House prices have risen by nearly 25% over the past two years. Although speculative activity has increased in some areas, at a national level these price increases largely reflect strong economic fundamentals.”
Less than 3 years later, the housing market collapsed.
1808 – BIRTH OF SAMUEL FRANCES SMITH, MINISTER, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR
Smith was also a songwriter. He is best known for writing the lyrics to “My Country Tis of Thee,” which he entitled “America.” Using the same tune, Greenbackers (those who advocated issuing and circulating debt-free US public money) in the 1880’s came up with their own rendition:
Thou, Greenback, ‘tis of thee,
Fair money of the free,
Of thee we sing.
And through all coming time
Great bards in every clime
Will sing with joyful rhyme,
Gold is not king.
Then smash old Shylock’s bonds,
With all his gold coupons,
The banks and rings.
Monopolies must fail,
Rich paupers work in jail,
The ring will then prevail,
Not money kings.
2014 – RELEASE OF THE VIDEO, “THE MONEY FIX: A DOCUMENTARY FOR MONETARY REFORM”
The video provides a good analysis of the problem. Its major solution, however, is limited to organizing community currencies – not addressing macro real monetary reform (e.g. changing laws).
2008 – TESTIMONY OF ALAN GREENSPAN, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN, BEFORE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM (NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE)
Question to Greenspan: “Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?”
Mr. Greenspan conceded: “Yes, I’ve found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I’ve been very distressed by that fact.” “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief.”
2009 – PUBLICATION OF ARTICLE, “PRICELESS: HOW THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOUGHT THE ECONOMICS PROFESSION” PUBLISHED BY RYAN GRIM
“The Federal Reserve, through its extensive network of consultants, visiting scholars, alumni and staff economists, so thoroughly dominates the field of economics that real criticism of the central bank has become a career liability for members of the profession, an investigation by the Huffington Post has found. This dominance helps explain how, even after the Fed failed to foresee the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression, the central bank has largely escaped criticism from academic economists. In the Fed’s thrall, the economists missed it, too.
‘The Fed has a lock on the economics world,’ says Joshua Rosner, a Wall Street analyst who correctly called the meltdown. ‘There is no room for other views, which I guess is why economists got it so wrong.’”
2008 – PNC FINANCIAL SERVICES CORPORATION PURCHASES NATIONAL CITY CORPORATION
Using bank bailout funds under the federal TARP program, PNC, headquartered in Pittsburgh, purchases National City Corporation, a major Cleveland based bank. The transaction created the 5th largest U.S. banking corporation. TARP funds were intended to assist struggling banks. The funds ended up in many cases, like PNC, enlarging “too-big-to-fail” banking corporations.
2010 – SPEECH BY SIR MERVYN KING, FORMER GOVERNOR OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND
“Of all the many ways of organising banking, the worst is the one we have today.
“Change is, I believe, inevitable. The question is only whether we can think our way through to a better outcome before the next generation is damaged by a future and bigger crisis. This crisis has already left a legacy of debt to the next generation. We must not leave them the legacy of a fragile banking system too.”
From speech, “Banking: From Bagehot to Basel, and Back Again” To read a summary and analysis of the talk, go to http://positivemoney.org/2010/10/mervyn-king-of-all-the-many-ways-of-organising-banking-the-worst-is-the-one-we-have-today
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