MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR October 23-29

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OCTOBER 23

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.’”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/07/priceless-how-the-federal_n_278805.html

OCTOBER 24

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.

OCTOBER 25

2010 – SPEECH BY SIR MERVYN KING, FORMER GOVERNOR OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND
“Of all the many ways of organizing 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/

OCTOBER 26

899 – REIGN OF KING ALFRED OF ENGLAND ENDS
Alfred the Great implemented a law that moneylenders who accepted usury would forfeit all their possessions to the King

OCTOBER 27

1945 – BIRTH OF LULA DE SILVA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL (2003-2010)
“The Third World War has already started. The war is tearing down Brazil, Latin America, and practically all the Third World. Instead of soldiers dying, there are children. It is a war over the Third World debt, one which has as its main weapon, interest, a weapon more deadly than the atom bomb, more shattering than a laser beam.”

OCTOBER 28

1704 – DEATH OF JOHN LOCKE, ENGLISH PHILOSOPHER
“Observe well these rules: It is a very common mistake to say that money is a commodity…Bullion is valued by its weight…money is valued by its stamp.”

OCTOBER 29

1897 – DEATH OF HENRY GEORGE, AUTHOR OF “POVERTY AND PROGRESS,” POLITICIAN AND ECONOMIST
“On the other hand it is the business of government to issue money. This is why the issuance of this money should be made a government function become still stronger. The evils entailed by wildcat banking in the United States are too well remembered to need reference. The loss and inconvenience, the swindling and corruption that flowed from the assumption by each State of the Union of the power to license banks of issue ended with the war, and no one would now go back to them. Yet instead of doing what every public consideration impels us to, and assuming wholly and fully as the exclusive function of the General Government the power to issue money, the private interests of bankers have, up to this, compelled us to the use of a hybrid currency, of which a large part, though guaranteed by the General Government, is issued and made profitable to corporations. The legitimate business of banking – the safekeeping and loaning of money, and the making and exchange of credits, is properly left to individuals and associations; but by leaving to them, even in part and under restrictions and guarantees, the issuance of money, the people of the United States suffer an annual loss of millions of dollars, and sensible increase the influences which exert a corrupting effect upon their government.”

1929 – US STOCK MARKET CRASH
Known as “Black Tuesday,” October 29 was the worst day in stock market history. Since everyone was selling and no one was buying, stock prices collapsed. The crash was due to policies of the Federal Reserve, which had made money cheap to borrow. Too much money was concentrated in too few hands. Cheap money resulted in wild speculation (booms or bubbles) in financial instruments, the stock market and office buildings rather than useful and necessary goods and services. Speculation was rampant. Understanding what was happening, but not admitting it to the public, the Fed significantly contracted the US money supply by raising interest rates to borrow money. Not enough money was available to meet economic needs. The speculative bubbles burst; triggering what became the Great Depression.

2014 – FEDERAL RESERVE ENDS ITS QUANTITATIVE EASING PROGRAM
Quantitative Easing (QE) was the Fed program, which created and injected roughly $4 trillion into the economy to assist in its recovery. Much of the money went to banks — to invest in further speculations — not to assist non-wealthy consumers. Funds also ended up in the stock market — artificially inflated prices. The Fed ended the program by citing the economy’s “underlying strength, ” which still has not fully recovered from the Great Recession more than 7 years after its supposed ending.

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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/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, email monetarycalendar@yahoo.com

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