1883 – BIRTH OF JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES, ECONOMIST
Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some…As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.
Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.
2013 – STATEMENT BY POPE FRANCIS
“Man is not in charge today, money is in charge, money rules. God our Father did not give the task of caring for the earth to money, but to us, to men and women: we have this task! Instead, men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the “culture of waste.”
1934 – CHICAGO PLAN INTRODUCED IN THE US CONGRESS
The “Chicago Plan” was a proposal developed by several prominent economists directed at President Roosevelt to end the Great Depression. One hundred and fifty academic economists signed the Plan; another 40 approved it with reservations. Main features: 1. Only the government would create money. 2. The Plan separated the loan-making function, which can belong in private banks, from the money-creation function, which belongs in government. 3. The proposal recognized the distinction between money and credit. Senator Bronson Cutting (R, NM) introduced The Plan in Congress (S. 3744). In several respects, it was the precursor to the National Emergency Employment Act (HR 6550) introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich in 2010, and reintroduced as HR 2990 in 2011.
2013 – PUBLISHED ARTICLE, “THE WAY MONEY IS CREATED IS AT THE ROOT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC CRISIS” BY BRUCE NIXON
“Do you know how our money is created? Most people don’t…
97% of our money is created by commercial banks when they make loans, i.e. interest bearing debt…Only 3% is created in the form of notes and coins. Thus the profits of creating money go to the commercial banks rather than the public coffers…
The current way of creating money gives the big banks enormous power…It means that the commercial banks, not our government, control one of the key levers of our economy. So it is one of the ways we let big banks subvert democracy…
The way money is created is at the root of the environmental and economic crisis.
Firstly, it drives unsustainable growth and consumption. Corporations must produce and sell more to pay interest and repay loans. Easy credit encourages more and more unsustainable consumption.
Secondly, this way of creating money increases the cost of everything and fuels the nation’s escalating debt…
We are encouraged to worship great god growth (GDP) rather than the creation of wellbeing.
Meanwhile millions of people suffer unemployment and needless austerity through so-called “Neo-Liberal” policies, which have never worked…
It does not have to be this way…
There is a growing realization that fresh ideas are needed if these crises are to be avoided…
Under proposed monetary reforms, commercial banks would be prohibited from creating money. That would be the sole responsibility of national reserve banks: to provide the money supply required for national objectives, decided by democratically elected government. Meanwhile, commercial banks would continue to fulfill their proper role of providing both the traditional bank services that individuals and businesses require and investment services…
Ordinary people, so-called, know that something is wrong; it’s up to us to inform ourselves and demand radical reform. Otherwise governments will continue with fixes that won’t work rather than the radical change that is needed.”
1809 – DEATH OF THOMAS PAINE, COLONIAL 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.”
1845 – DEATH OF ANDREW JACKSON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
“The bold effort the present (central) bank had made to control the government … are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people, should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it.”
“If Congress has the right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given to be used by themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations.”
2014 – PUBLICATION OF REPORT “WHO PAYS FOR BANK REGULATION” BY GOLDMAN SACHS CORPORATION
“In the wake of the financial crisis, a wide range of new and revised rules, regulations and practices have been imposed on the US banking industry. While many of these steps are designed to strengthen the safety and soundness of the banking system, they also act as a tax on banks: by changing relative prices, regulation makes some activities more expensive and others cheaper…While there is some added subtlety to the results of our analysis, we find in general that low-income consumers and small businesses – which generally have fewer or less effective alternatives to bank credit – have paid the largest price for increased bank regulation.”
How thoughtful of Goldman Sachs corporate leadership to be concerned about the plight of low-income consumers and small businesses in banking reform. One wonders if the corporation, which Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi called the “great vampire squid” for its ability to suck money instead of blood, had similar sympathies when it received $12.9 billion in bailout money related to AIG, or an additional $10 billion in federal TARP bailout funds (which shortly afterwards in the later case they decided to pay 953 employees bonuses of at least $1 million) — all of which served to increase its own economic solvency and political power. Goldman Sachs’ political power is demonstrated by its $4.7 million in political contributions/investments and $3.4 million in lobbying during the 2014 election cycle — funds used to water down or gut existing financial regulations. It’s this political influence, and the influence of other financial corporations, that also makes it nearly impossible to promote real monetary reform in Congress.
The corporation has total assets of $915 billion. It’s total exposure to derivatives, many of them tied to low interest rates, stands at $54.5 trillion.
1751 – PASSAGE OF BRITISH CURRENCY ACT
The Act restricted New England colonies from creating paper money The colonies had issued paper fiat money known as “bills of credit” to help pay for the French and Indian Wars. The Act limited future issuance of bills of credit to certain circumstances (i.e. to pay public debts, such as taxes, but not private debts, such as to merchants)
1932 – SPEECH BY LOUIS MCFADDEN (R- PA), CHAIRMAN OF THE US HOUSE BANKING AND CURRENCY COMMITTEE ON THE FLOOR OF CONGRESS
“The Federal Reserve (Banks) are one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever seen…What is needed here is a return to the Constitution of the United States. We need to have a complete divorce of Bank and State. The old struggle that was fought out here in Jackson’s day must be fought over again… The Federal Reserve Act should be repealed and the Federal Reserve Banks, having violated their charters, should be liquidated immediately. Faithless Government officers who have violated their oaths of office should be impeached and brought to trial. Unless this is done by us, I predict that the American people, outraged, robbed, pillaged, insulted, and betrayed as they are in their own land, will rise in their wrath and send a President here who will sweep the money changers out of the temple.”
2008 – QUOTE BY FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIR BEN BERNANKE
“The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so.” Four months later, the financial industry collapses and Congress passes a $700 billion bailout bill. The nation is mired in a “Great Recession;” for many an outright Depression. The economy remains stagnant today.
2009 – POSTING ON “TAKE DOWN THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND” BLOG ENTITLED, “REFORM IS NECESSARY”
“The International Monetary Fund is a ploy for Western democracies to spread their influence and control over developing nations. Claiming to be philanthropic and economically supportive by providing loans, the IMF simply doles out Western currency in the form of loans with high interest rates to developing nations who could never possibly pay them back. This creates an unfair economic dependency of developing nations on Western countries.”
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