Happy New Year!
Sad to say but it looks like 2019 will be the year that a significant economic recession takes root. It could very well be long and deep — affecting nearly every person in this country and tens of millions of people (if not more) in other nations — especially those who live in the “developing world.” Perpetual growth on a finite planet, massive tax cuts to the rich which widens inequality and the Federal Reserve handing over cheap money to corporate American to buy back its own stock to jack up its prices and values are simply unsustainable. The financial chickens will come home to roost.
In such an environment, you can expect many economic, financial and monetary quacks, scammers and pundits (many simply mouthpieces of the 1%, banksters and power elites) to loudly assert to “stay the course,” “kick the can down the road awhile longer” and “do more of the same, just more of it.”
Its times like these that becoming monetarily literate is just not an option, but mandatory. How our money is created, who creates it, for what purposes is it distributed, and how we can avoid financial debt and ruin by no ending the practice of banks creating money out of thin air as debt are not simply theoretical questions, but have profound democratic, political, economic, social and ecological implications that affects our everyday lives…and what’s left of our ecosystem. If you have several resolutions for 2019, please consider adding “becoming monetary literate” to it.
That’s what this calendar is all about. I’ve added many new entries collected over the last year (including one found just this morning for today!) and retained those that I believe shed clear light on how we can and must “democratize money creation and distribution” as a means to save ourselves, our communities and a livable earth.
If you appreciate reading this Calendar, its goals and the bit of effort to develop and update it, please consider making one or both of the following contributions:
• Financial: Checks and money orders can be made out to “Create Real Democracy” and sent to 3016 Somerton Road, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118. Contributions are tax deductible.
• Time: Forward the calendar to others you know that might be interested – and encouraging them to sign up. It’s free!
2016 – POSTED ARTICLE, “MONEY CREATION AND INEQUALITY – AN UNDEREXPOSED TOPIC FOR MONETARY REFORMERS”
“Even though the current money systems effect on rising inequality is neglected in public debate so far, it can hardly be questioned that banks power to create deposit money has a huge impact on the distribution of power and wealth and amplifies inequality through various direct and indirect mechanisms. In comparison, a sovereign money reform could mend many of these negative distributive effects and would provide the chance to redistribute much more fairly.”
2016 – PUBLISHED ARTICLE, “IS THE WHOLE THEORY OF SECULAR STAGNATION A HOAX?”
“Money and debt contracts are social conventions. They can be torn up, or reinvented. When we go into the next global downturn – perhaps in 2017 – we may have to resort to an entirely different form of QE. The next step is to print money to fund state spending directly, and probably behind capital constraints in a less “globalized” world.”
[Note: Actually, an entirely different option is available not when the next global economic downturn occurs — perhaps in 2018. Instead of borrowing money created by central banks in the form of “Quantitative Easing” (QE), nation-states can create their own debt-free money. In the US, that’s authorized by Article I, Sec 8 of the U.S. Constitution.]
1782 – BANK OF NORTH AMERICA OPENS
This was the first private commercial bank of the United States. At that time, the nation’s constitution was the Articles of Confederation. Article 9 of the Articles gave Congress the power to “emit bills of credit” — to create debt-free money. By a single vote, Congress voted to transfer their authority to issue money to the Bank of North America when it approved its charter. Thus, the Bank served as a quasi central bank (which created money as loans, called “debt money”). Why did Congress willingly give up their money power? The public argument was that the business of finance could not be competently conduced by a public body (Congress) — only by a small number of private financiers. The first head of the Bank was Robert Morris, the richest merchant in America.
1868 – SPEECH OF CONGRESSMAN SAMUEL FENTON CARY (INDEPENDENT REPUBLICAN) OF OHIO ON FLOOR OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
“Our Constitution gives to Congress the exclusive power to coin money and regulate the value thereof… These are attributes of sovereignty and belong exclusively to the representatives of the whole people…The value of money has no relation to or dependence upon the material of which it is made. If it has the properties or powers of representing, measuring, and exchanging value, it is money; and these properties or powers are not inherent in any substance, but are conferred upon any chosen material by the sovereign power…. The Greenback, as it has been denominated, was an invaluable expedient, backing our boys in blue and covering their backs at the same time. It served our purpose well and will serve us still if permitted. It helped us through one danger and will bear us triumphantly through another unless the cupidity of bankers, bondholders and shoddy contractors shall triumph over the industrial and tax-paying classes of our people…The first step in the right direction will be to pass a law to call in and cancel the entire bank circulation and simultaneously issue an equal quantity of Treasury certificates or legal tenders.”
1786 – BIRTH OF NICHOLAS BIDDLE, PRESIDENT OF SECOND NATIONAL BANK
Biddle threatened to cause a depression if President Andrew Jackson did not re-charter the bank. The privately owned Second Bank was chartered in 1816. President Jackson did not sign the bill to renew the charter. “This worthy President thinks that … he is to have his way with the Bank. He is mistaken…[opposition] can only be broken by the actual conviction of exiting distress in the community… Our only safety is in pursuing a steady course of firm restriction [of the money supply] – and I have no doubt that such a course will ultimately lead to restoration of the currency and the re-charter of the Bank.” The result of the contraction of the money supply was a financial panic followed by a deep depression in 1837. (Edward Kaplan, The Bank of the United States and the American Economy)
1835 – PRESIDENT JACKSON PAYS OFF THE LAST INSTALLMENT OF THE NATIONAL DEBT
He was one of the only Presidents ever to do so (with Congressional support) – following his decision, which was ultimately upheld by Congress, not to renew the charter of the private Second Bank of the United States.
2009 – TREASURY DEPARTMENT CPP TRANSACTION REPORT
The U.S. Treasury Department purchases a total of $4.8 billion in preferred stock from 43 U.S. banks under the Capital Purchase Program — one of several bank bailout programs of the US government.
1843 – BIRTH OF LORD ACTON, ENGLISH HISTORIAN, POLITICIAN, AND WRITER
“The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.“
1933 – BIRTH OF ROBERT POTEAT, RESEARCHER, AMERICAN MONETARY INSTITUTE
“Legislation has been introduced to relieve the nation of the abusive bank credit/debt system. It is the National Emergency Employment Defense Act, NEED Act. This Act will end the power of banks to create credit out of nothing by making bookkeeping entries. It will the restore the money power to Congress as provided by the United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8. Without the power to create credit banks will not have the power to create bubbles and recessions. Congress will create the money debt and interest free for human services and infrastructure.
“Congress will have the means to not only end the exponential growth of national debt; but, also, pay off the national debt as it comes due. Congress will have the means to fund needed human life supporting programs and infrastructure without borrowing money.”
2008 – QUOTES BY BEN BERNANKE, FORMER CHAIR OF THE US FEDERAL RESERVE (THE PRIVATE CENTRAL BANK OF THE US), ON THE US ECONOMY
(January 10, 2008) “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”
(January 18, 2008) “[The U.S. economy] has a strong labor force, excellent productivity and technology, and a deep and liquid financial market that is in the process of repairing itself.”
The Great Recession was dated as beginning in December 2007. An estimated 8.7 million jobs were lost from February 2008 – February 2010, according to the US Labor Department. GDP contracted by 5.1% during the same period, making the Great Recession the worst since the Great Depression. Unemployment rose from 4.7% in November 2007 to peak at 10% in October of 2009.
1757 – BIRTH OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, FIRST SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES
Hamilton was a major proponent of First Bank of the United States. The bank’s name gave the impression that the bank was public when it was actually privately owned. The private bank created the nation’s money as government loans – at interest – and to private individuals. Eighty percent of the stock was privately held. Hamilton considered public debt “a public blessing” because it would tie the wealthy (who would own the government bonds) of the country to the government, and they would in turn provide political support for higher taxes to pay off the government bonds.
1893 – DEATH OF BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, US GENERAL, US REPRESENTATIVE (MASSACHUSETTS) AND GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS
“The government shall issue an amount equal to its taxes…which shall be lawful money and legal tender for all debts, public and private, which by law are not made payable in coin.”
1936 – DEATH OF JOHN HYLAN, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY, 1918-1925
“The real menace of our republic is this invisible government, which, like a giant octopus, sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation. Like the octopus of real life, it operates under cover of a self created screen….At the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both political parties.”
2006 – “MONETARY MYOPIA” ARTICLE IN ECONOMIST MAGAZINE ON ALAN GREENSPAN ON HIS RETIREMENT AS HEAD OF THE US FEDERAL RESERVE
‘”In December Mr. Greenspan was made a Freeman of the City of London. One of the traditional perks of this honor is that he can be drunk and disorderly without fear of arrest. The snag is that his policies have also encouraged drunk and disorderly asset markets and intoxicated consumers. When the party ends, Mr. Greenspan will not be there to clean up the mess. But end it surely will.”
And it surely has.
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/