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.”
1735 – BIRTH OF JOHN ADAMS, 2nd PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword, the other is by debt.”
“All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from the defects of the Constitution or confederation, not from the want of honor or virtues, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nation, of coin, credit and circulation.”
1840 – BIRTH OF WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER, PROFESSOR, YALE UNIVERSITY AND MONETARY THEORIST
“For as the currency question is of first importance and we cannot solve it or escape it by ignoring it. We have got to face it and the best way to begin is not by wrangling about speculative opinions as to untried schemes but to go back to history and try to get hold of some firmly established principles.”
1874 – PUBLICATION OF OCTOBER ISSUE OF INDUSTRIAL AGE MAGAZINE
“The religious press has almost without exception been the allies of the bondholders and bankers in their endless schemes to fleece the public, and the mouthpiece of the monopolists and the defender of the soulless corporations that fill their pockets by robbing the toiling people.”
1972 – DEATH OF EZRA POUND, US POET AND CRITIC
Some of his poetry deals with the destructive moral and social effects of usury.
“The usurers act through fraud, falsification, superstitions, habits and, when these methods do not function, they let loose a war. Everything hinges on monopoly, and the particular monopolies hinge around the great illusionistic monetary monopoly.”
2016 – “HOW ECONOMIC GOBBLEDYGOOK DIVIDES US,” PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE
“When you’ve just invented something,” a banker once told me, “you need a name that’s not obvious, because the longer it’s a proprietary technique, the more money you make…
“It would be a disaster for democracy if this divide were to become permanently entrenched. Democracy depends on an informed electorate; it depends on argument, and that in turn depends on having enough in common to be able to argue. Bankers and the financial elite can’t just talk to each other as if nothing has changed; as if the little people are just going to accept that they can’t follow the big words, so the rich should just keep running things in their own interest. The experts need to set terms for the debate that everyone can understand. So yes, when it comes to economics, language matters.”
1832 – RE-ELECTION OF ANDREW JACKSON, 7TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
This was the first presidential election focused on the issue of money creation. Jackson was opposed to re-chartering the private Second National Bank of the United States (misnamed to give the impression it was public by calling it “National” in much the same way the current largely private Federal Reserve System is misnamed). A few Jackson quotes:
“The bold effort the present (central) bank had made to control the government … are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it.” “If Congress has the right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given to be used by themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations.” “I have no hesitation to say if they can re-charter the bank, with this hydra of corruption, they will rule the nation and its charter will be perpetual and its corrupting influence destroy the liberty of our country.”
1831 – BIRTH OF IGNATIUS DONNELLY, U.S. CONGRESSMAN, POPULIST AND GREENBACK LEADER
“The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled; public opinion silenced; business prostrated; our homes covered with mortgages; labor impoverished; and the land concentrated in the hands of the capitalists…The fruits of toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind; and the possessors of these, in turn, despise the republic and endanger liberty. From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed the two great classes — tramps and millionaires.”
Arguably, conditions have actually further deteriorated economically and politically since Donnelly wrote this in the late 1800’s.
1940 – DEATH OF CHARLES MACUNE, HEAD OF SOUTHERN FARMERS’ ALLIANCE AND ORIGINATOR OF THE POPULIST “SUB-TREASURY PLAN”
The “Sub-Treasury Plan,” developed by the southern Populist Macune, was an ingenious proposal to circumvent banking corporations, merchants and landlords by farmers to avoid debt at high interest, which often resulted in the loss of their farms. The proposal called for farmers to store their harvest in federal warehouses when prices for their commodities were low. Farmers would leverage those commodities for loans (up to 80% of the market value in federal notes) to support themselves until prices rose. The proposal was especially useful to southern farmers with non-perishable crops (i.e. cotton). The farmer had one year to sell the crop and then pay back the note and 1% interest.
1948 – BIRTH OF EARL OF CAITHNESS (MALCOLM IAN SINCLAIR), MEMBER OF THE UK HOUSE OF LORDS
“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.” (March 1997)
1650 – BIRTH OF WILLIAM III, KING OF ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND IRELAND (1689-1702)
A weakened monarchy due, in part, to the economic aftereffects of war, William III agreed to give up his sovereign money power to a new corporation, the Bank of England, which was chartered in 1694. Wars have resulted throughout history in debt and dependency on lenders, which in modern times are banking corporations.
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/