1998 – TALK BY MICHAEL CHOSSUDOVSKY, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS
“Monetary policy is in the hands of private creditors who have the ability to freeze state budgets, paralyze the payments process, thwart the regular disbursement of wages to millions of workers and precipitate the collapse of production and social programs.”
1976 – DEATH OF PAUL DOUGLAS, ECONOMIST, US SENATOR, QUAKER
A prominent University of Chicago economist, Douglas was one of several economists who developed A Program for Monetary Reform in 1939. It was sent to President Roosevelt as a proposal to end the Great Depression. More than 230 economists from 150 universities approved it without reservations while an additional 40 supported it with some reservations.
In assessing the problem of the day, the PMR states, “If the purpose of money and credit were to discourage the exchange of goods and services, to destroy periodically the wealth produced, to frustrate and trip those who work and save, our present monetary system would seem a most effective instrument to that end.” It also stated monetary systems based on a gold standard “has had…disastrous results all over the world.”
The PMR called for government creation and maintenance in the quantity of money. “Our own monetary policy should…be directed toward avoiding inflation as well as deflation, and in attaining and maintaining as nearly as possible, full production and employment.” The plan also called for eliminating fractional reserve lending – the process of banks loaning multiple the times the amount of money in their possession. Back in the 1930’s the reserved requirement was 5:1. Today it’s 9:1. Some of the major banks involved in the economic collapse of 2007 had ignored this law and were loaning out 50 times their reserves. The PMR called for a 100% reserve requirement – banks could only lend the amount of money they possessed.
The document goes on, “In early times the creation of money was the sole privilege of the kings or other sovereigns – namely the sovereign people, acting through their Government. This principle is firmly anchored in our Constitution and it is a perversion to transfer the privilege to private parties to use in their own real or presumed interest. The founders of the Republic did not expect the banks to create the money they lend.
Their plan to reduce the national debt was simply to have the government purchase government bonds with new US debt-free money.
The PMR was the outgrowth of an earlier similar proposal from many of the same economists, The Chicago Plan, which was introduced as federal legislation in 1934, as a means to end the Great Depression The Chicago Plan called for the issuance of debt-free U.S. money and the end of banks lending less that their assets as means to reduce public and private debt, eliminate bank runs, and gain control over money creation.
[NOTE: An economic/mathematical analysis of The Chicago Plan, “The Chicago Plan Revisited,” is a working paper published by two International Monetary Fund economists, Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhoff. It affirms virtually every assertion by its advocates in the 1930’s. The paper is at
1913 – STATEMENT OF T. CUSHING DANIEL, US LEADING MONETARY SCHOLAR BEFORE SENATE BANKING AND CURRENCY COMMITTEE
“[I]t should be born in mind that the value of the American dollar does not depend upon bankers or gold, but upon the National wealth of the United States created by the people.”
1939 – DEATH OF ALFRED OWEN CROZIER, PROMINENT OHIO ATTORNEY AND AUTHOR
Crozier wrote widely against the power and influence held by Wall Street Bankers. Crozier wrote eight books, including The Magnet and U.S. Money vs. Corporation Currency, which warned the country of the replacement of the country’s currency by notes printed by private banking corporations. A wonderful display of political cartoons from his book, U.S. Money vs. Corporations Currency is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4qQ59w4ML4
1942 – STATEMENT OF REVERENT WILLIAM TEMPLE, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, CALLING FOR THE NATIONALIZATION OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND
“The private issue of new credit should be regarded in the modern world in just the same way in which the private minting of money was regarded in earlier times. The banks should be limited in their lending power to the amount deposited by their clients, while the issue of newer credit should be the function of public authority. This is not in any way to censure the banks or bankers…But the system has become anomalous, and, so often happens when anomaly has persisted through a long period of time, the result is to make into the master what ought to be the servant.”
Temple’s advocacy for banks being “limited in their lending power to the amount deposited by their clients” was for the ending of “fractional reserve banking” – the common practice of financial institutions providing loans in amounts many times in excess of the actual amount held by them. This feature is one of the major components of HR 2990, The National Emergency Employment Defense Act.
2014 – ARTICLE, “‘NATIONALIZE THE FED,’ SAYS MONETARY EXPERT'” BY KEITH JOHNSON
“Few would deny that predatory bankers have been feeding off the blood and treasure of the American people for far too long. So what’s being done about it? Though many have stepped forward proposing ways to break free from this century-old system of debt slavery, perhaps no one has worked harder or come closer to an infallible escape plan than Stephen Zarlenga of the American Monetary Institute (AMI). “Congress already had the solution hand delivered to them a few years ago,” he replied. “Our work now is getting them to put it into action…
“According to Zarlenga, the solution he has helped champion can be found in the text of the National Emergency Employment Defense Act (NEED), a bill that was introduced by former Representative Dennis John Kucinich (D-Ohio) in 2011.
“’All the components for monetary reform can be found in that bill,’ Zarlenga said. ‘It essentially accomplishes three things: nationalizes the Federal Reserve, prohibits banks from deciding what we use for money and returns that power to Congress, which creates new U.S. money and spends it into circulation for the common good: infrastructure, health care and education.'”
2008 – BANK BAILOUT BILL ANNOUNCED, FAILS NEXT DAY
The financial industry imploded in 2007 and 2008. The causes were primarily banking corporations engaging in incredibly risky loans (i.e. subprime mortgages) and too much leverage (loaning out many more times than actual assets – in some cases 30 times – called “fractional reserve” lending).
The response was a call to bail out the largest financial corporations that had the greatest amount of toxic assets (called “zombie” banks). U.S. Senate and House leaders, along with Treasury Secretary Paulson, announced a tentative deal on this day to bail out banking corporations by allowing the government to purchase up to $700 billion toxic mortgage backed securities in an effort to stabilize the banks and the financial markets. The 3-page proposal outraged the public who rightly thought it was a blank check bailout. Calls to Congress numbered more than 10:1 against the bill. Congress voted the bill down the next day.
1897 – BIRTH OF GRAHAM TOWERS, GOVERNOR OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF CANADA, 1934-1955
In testimony in 1939 before a Standing Committee on Banking and Commerce of the Canadian Parliament when asked whether banks create money, he stated: “That is right. That is what they are for… That is the Banking business; just in the same way that a steel plant makes steel…The manufacturing process consists of making a pen-and-ink or typewriter entry on a card in a book. That is all…Each and every time a bank makes a loan (or purchases securities), new bank credit is created — new deposits — brand new money…As loans are debts, then under the present system all money is debt.”
1993 – LOBBY DAY ON MONETARY REFORM
Over 1000 people traveled to Washington D.C. and hand delivered petitions to the U.S. Congress calling for monetary reform. One of the authors of the measure was Byron Dale. Concerning debt, he stated: “Nobody can borrow themselves out of debt no more than you can drink yourself sober.”
1994 – CONGRESS PASSES RIEGLE ACT
The Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act [IBBEA] amended the laws governing federally chartered banks. A provision of the Act officially ended the issuance of Greenbacks (US debt free currency first issued during the Civil War). “The [Treasury] Secretary shall not be required to reissue United State currency notes upon redemption.”
2008 – U.S. STOCK MARKET CRASH
The Dow Jones plummeted by 778 points, its largest one-day drop in the history of the New York Stock Exchange. The short-term cause of the crash was the congressional vote against the black check bank bailout. More fundamentally, it was result of the bursting of a massive housing “bubble” caused by financial institutions engaged in highly risky mortgages and other bizarre risky investments and fractional reserve lending. The elimination on controls of the financial industry a decade earlier opened the door, but was not the root cause, of the crash that has come to be known as the Great Recession. The root cause of the 2008 crash, similar to all other bursts of financial bubbles before it, was the ability of banks to issue money out of thin air as debt (loans) many times in excess of their assets. The smaller the asset base, the greater the risk that banks will go bankrupt when their loans cannot be repaid or other investments go bad.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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/