1789 – US GOVERNMENT UNDER NEW CONSTITUTION BEGINS OPERATION
The Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation as the overarching legal document of the nation. The new Constitution provides the federal legislature the sole power “[t]o coin money [and] regulate the value thereof.” (Article 1, Sec 8). The Government subsequently abdicated its responsibility when it gave the Federal Reserve and private banks the power to create money literally out of thin air…as debt.
1837 – FAREWELL ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT ANDREW JACKSON
Jackson was most responsible for not renewing the charter of the misnamed Second Bank of the United States, a private institution. In his farewell address when leaving office (Presidents used to be sworn in during the beginning of March for decades, now it’s mid January), he stated, “The immense capital and peculiar privileges bestowed upon it [(Second National Bank of the United States] enabled it to exercise despotic sway over the other banks in every part of the country. From its superior strength it could seriously injure, if not destroy, the business of any one of them that might incur its resentment; and it openly claimed for itself the power of regulating the currency throughout the United States. In other words, it asserted (and it undoubtedly possessed) the power to make money plenty or scarce at its pleasure, at any time and in any quarter of the Union, by controlling the issues of other banks and permitting an expansion or compelling a federal contraction of the circulating medium, according to its own will.” This is something to keep in mind during this period when Democrats at the local level hold their “Jackson” or “Jefferson-Jackson” annual events.
1997 – SPEECH BY EARL OF CAITHNESS IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS, UK
“[I]t is also a good time to stand back, to reassess whether our economy is soundly based. I would contest that it is not, not for the reason to which the noble Lord, Lord Eatwell, alluded, which is that it is the Government’s fault, but our whole monetary system is utterly dishonest, as it is debt-based. ‘Dishonest’ is a strong word, but a system which by its very actions causes the value of money to decrease is dishonest and has within it its own seeds of destruction…Governments…have abdicated their responsibility for producing new money and controlling the money supply so that now they are marginalized…The next government must grasp the nettle, accept their responsibility for controlling the money supply and change from our debt-based monetary system. My Lords, will they? If they do not, our monetary system will break us and the sorry legacy we are already leaving our children will be a disaster.”
1933 — FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT ISSUES EXECUTIVE PROCLAMATION 2039 DECLARING A BANK “HOLIDAY”
The “holiday” meant that all banks would be closed from March 6-10 to prevent further runs by depositors. Bank failures were a result of earlier speculative investments and banks loaning out more money than they actually possessed (called “fractional reserve banking”). When too many people came to a bank at the same time wanting their deposits, the banks collapsed since they lacked sufficient assets. The bank “holiday” was meant to restore confidence in the banking system.
1926 – BIRTH OF ALAN GREENSPAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE US FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
“I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you’ve probably misunderstood what I’ve said.”
“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,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
2013 – TESTIMONY OF US ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER BEFORE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE ON PROSECUTING LARGE BANKS
“I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.” This from the chief law enforcement officer of a justice system that has practically abolished the constitutional right to trial for poorer defendants charged with certain crimes. It is not too much to say that Wall Street has virtually, if not actually, captured the federal government.
322 BC – DEATH OF ARISTOTLE
“Money exists not by nature but by law” (Ethics, 1133)
Aristotle understood that no natural substance qualifies as money. Rather, it’s governments that determine the definition of money.
1976 – DEATH OF WRIGHT PATMAN, DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN FROM TEXAS, CHAIRMAN OF US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON BANKING & CURRENCY (1965-75)
“When our Federal Government, that has the exclusive power to create money, creates that money and then goes into the open market and borrows it and pays interest for the use of its own money, it occurs to me that that is going too far. I have never yet had anyone who could, through the use of logic and reason, justify the Federal Government borrowing the use of its own money… I am saying to you in all sincerity and with all the earnestness that I possess, it is absolutely wrong for the Government to issue interest-bearing obligations. It is not only wrong; it is extravagant. It is not only extravagant, it is wasteful. It is absolutely unnecessary.
“Now, I believe the system should be changed. The Constitution of the United States does not give the banks the power to create money. The Constitution says that Congress shall have the power to create money, but now, under our system, we will sell bonds to commercial banks and obtain credit from those banks.
“I believe the time will come when people will demand that this be changed. I believe the time will come in this country when they will actually blame you and me and everyone else connected with this Congress for sitting idly by and permitting such an idiotic system to continue. I make that statement after years of study.
“We have what is known as the Federal Reserve Bank System. That system is not owned by the Government. Many people think that it is, because it says `Federal Reserve’. It belongs to the private banks, private corporations. So we have farmed out to the Federal Reserve Banking System that is owned exclusively, wholly, 100 percent, by the private banks — we have farmed out to them the privilege of issuing the Government’s money. If we were to take this privilege back from them, we could save the amount of money that I have indicated in enormous interest charges.”
1702 – DEATH OF WILLIAM III, KING OF ENGLAND
He agreed in 1694 to give up his sovereign power as King to print or coin his nation’s own money to a new corporation, the Bank of England (It was a weakened monarchy).
1933 – CONGRESS PASSES EMERGENCY BANKING ACT
Among its provisions, the Act gave the President the ability to declare a national emergency and have absolute control over the national finances and foreign exchange of the United States. It also allowed for closing insolvent banks. The Act empowered the President during time of war or other emergency to regulate or prohibit the exporting, hoarding, melting or earmarking of gold and silver coin and bullion. All US residents were compelled to pay or deliver all gold (be it coins, bullion or certificates) to the Secretary of the Treasury. They were paid the market value for their gold in dollars. Shortly afterwards, the government significantly raised the price of gold, which in effect, reduced the value of the dollar.
1933 – LAST DAY OF “BANK HOLIDAY” DECLARED BY PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT
The “holiday” meant that all banks would be closed from March 6-10 to prevent further runs by depositors. Bank failures were a result of earlier speculative investments and banks loaning out more money than they actually possessed (called “fractional reserve banking”). When too many people came to a bank at the same time wanting their deposits, the banks collapsed since they lacked sufficient assets. The bank “holiday” was meant to restore confidence in the banking system. At the conclusion of the “holiday,” 5% of all banks were unfit to continue business, many others only were permitted to accept deposits, while others permitted only a certain percentage of deposits to be withdrawn. Slightly more than 50% of all banks reopened with no withdraw restrictions.
2000 – EVE OF DOTCOM BUBBLE CRASH
The combined values of stocks on the NASDAQ was at $6.71 trillion on March 10. The market began crashing the next day. By March 30, the NASDAQ was valued at $6.02 trillion. It dropped to $5.78 trillion by April 6. Nearly a trillion dollars worth of stock value had evaporated in less than a month. What goes boom eventually goes bust in an economy with private control of the money system.
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 the original 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. It is currently updated by Greg Coleridge. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, email email@example.com
To see the calendar year-to-date, go to https://monetarycalendar.wordpress.com/
A second historical calendar, the REAL Democracy History Calendar, in many ways complements this calendar. For information, go to https://realdemocracyhistorycalendar.wordpress.com/about/