1933 -- FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT ISSUES EXECUTIVE PROCLAMATION 2039 DECLARING A BANK “HOLIDAY”
The “holiday” meant that all banks would be closed from March 6-9 to prevent further runs by depositors. Bank failures were a result in 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." In a speech to the Economic Club of New York, 1988
“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. NYT, 10/23/2008
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 authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to order any individual or organization in the United States to deliver any gold that they possess or have custody of to the Treasury in return for paper currency. It also allowed for closing insolvent banks.
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.”
- Congressional Record, 1941
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 and Greg Coleridge helped in its development.
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