1977 – DEATH OF MARRINER S. ECCLES, FORMER CHAIRMAN AND GOVERNOR OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
“That is what our money system is. If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn’t be any money. ”
2013 – STATEMENT BY ROBERT FRANK, CNBC REPORTER AND EDITOR, “QE: THE GREATEST SUBSITY TO THE RICH EVER”
“The largesse of the Federal Reserve over the past five years has amounted to one of the largest ever subsidies to the American wealthy – fueling record fortunes, record numbers of new millionaires and billionaires, and an unprecedented shopping spree for everything from Ferraris to Francis Bacon paintings. The prices of the assets owned by the wealthy, and the things they buy, have gone parabolic, bearing little relationship to the weak, broader economy.
More millionaires have been created over the past five years than during the entire eight years of the Bush administration. According to Spectrem Group, there were 2.3 million new millionaires created between 2008 and 2012. This year, the number will likely grow by at least 200,000, which would bring the millionaire population past its previous record in 2007.
[…] According to Wealth-X, the top 10 billionaires in America saw their fortunes grow by a combined $101.8 billion this year. […] Fed policy has fueled a surge in the value of financial assets. Since the wealthiest 5% of Americans own 60% of financial assets, and the top 10% own 80% of the stocks, those gains in financial assets have gone disproportionately to a small group at the top.”
1753 – BIRTH OF JOHN TAYLOR OF CAROLINE, US SENATOR FROM VIRGINIA
“If no new banks should be created after 1808, nor the acquisition of the old increased, the five millions annually collected by the existing banks, at compound interest carry from the public to the corporations, in twenty years, above one hundred and eighty-four millions of dollars. Here is already a vase current of money and power running one way.”
1666 – FREE COINAGE LAW PASSED, ENGLAND
Charles II placed control of the nation’s money supply in private (bankers) hands following passage of this act. Up until that time, the Sovereign (King, Queen, etc.) had exclusive power over the issuance of money creation.
2012 – END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR
The Mayans did not believe the end of their 5125-year calendar marked the end of the world, but rather the end of an old order. In its place would be people with a higher degree of awareness and consciousness.
Part of any such awareness and consciousness will surely include enlightenment and eventual replacement of unsustainable national monetary schemes of privatized/corporatized money creation with ones that are public and serves the interest of all, not simply the super wealthy or financial interests.
2014 – WINTER SOLSTICE
The darkest day of the year. For the next 6 months, the days (light) become longer.
This is a fine time to dedicate oneself to shedding greater light on monetary policy. A truly dark and invisible issue, monetary policy as this calendar has tried to demonstrate this entire year is essential to understanding and promoting justice, peace and democracy.
We’ve allowed private (corporate) interests to usurp our power to issue our own money to meet our needs and serve the common good. We’ve ignored monetary policy — believing it too complicated to understand, not connected to the issues we care about, and/or promoted by wild and unstable individuals. We focus, thus, instead on budget policies or tax policies as our only available public tools. We’ve also ignored history — those people and groups in our nation and around the world in the past and present who’ve seen the light, become aware and tried to act against the Money Power (which today are banking corporations and central banks, and those they influence in government, academia and the media) to (re)assert real authority over creating and circulating money.
Money is the ultimate paradox — so involved in almost every aspect of our lives yet virtually completely unknown on how and for whom it’s created and circulated.
It’s time to shed light on money.
1864 –IRON CITY BANK OF PITTSBURGH IS RECHARTED TO BECOME IRON CITY NATIONAL BANK
The bank was recharted under the new 1864 federal banking law.
Corporations possess no inherent inalienable “right” to exist in the US. They exist because the public via government (state and federal) grants “charters” or licenses to exist under terms established by the government. At one time, charters were democratic tools that rigidly defined the extent of their actions, issued for a limited duration.
Banks were, for obvious reasons, THE most rigidly defined and closely controlled type of corporation with precise limitations placed on capital, interest rates, and residency requirements for directors and transparency of their financial books. And, of course, banking corporations, like all corporations, were prohibited from involvement in political or electoral matters as a means to protect the democratic “body politic.”
When banking corporations violated the terms of their charters and acting “ultra vires” (beyond their authority) the public response was routinely to dissolve their charter and either turn over the company to new owners with a new charter or distribute the banks’ assets to those who were victims of the banks’ actions.
Charters remain democratic tools. Corporations remain creations of the state and federal government. However, our history books nowhere contain this example of this expression of self-governance and, thus, our imaginations of how to control corporate actions are limited to corporate fines and legal actions against executives. Bank fines and even imprisonment of bank officials were and still are no substitute responses to profoundly unlawful banking practices compared to what was at one time a common strategy by our forebears: dissolving corporate charters.
1913 – FEDERAL RESERVE ACT PASSES CONGRESS – CREATING FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
The Act created a largely corporate controlled national banking and currency system, passed in the House by 298-60 and in the Senate by 43-25 and signed by President Wilson on this day. It was a major coup banking corporations through the establishment of a private central bank authorized to “monetize” government debt (i.e. to print their own money and exchange it for government securities or I.O.U.’s). The central banking system was composed of 12 regional private/corporate banks owned by participating commercial banks. All national banks were required to join the system. Banking corporations now controlled the issuance and circulation of our national currency. By controlling our national money faucet, they could create inflation and deflation. This corporate monopolization of our currency allowed for public regulation, but not control. It was now banking corporations, not the US government, that controlled the national currency. The Constitutional power for public creation of our power was handed over to private banking corporations. It’s the ultimate form of “privatization” – more accurately “corporatization” – of what should be a public function or service.
1294 – PAPACY OF POPE BONIFACE VIII BEGINS
Benedetto Gaetani became Pope of the Catholic Church on Christmas Eve, 1294. He instituted the first Christian “Jubilee” in 1300. Jubilee has both Jewish and Christian roots. According to Wikipedia, “The concept of the Jubilee is a special year of remission of sins and universal pardon. In the Biblical Book of Leviticus, a Jubilee year is mentioned to occur every fifty years, in which slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.” It was also common for land to be returned. Pope Boniface VIII conditioned the forgiving of sins and debt on personal confessions and pilgrimages to sacred sites (i.e. basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul in Rome) at least once a day for a specified time.
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
To see the calendar year-to-date, go to https://monetarycalendar.wordpress.com/