Tuesday, January 1, 2013

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR, January 1-6


JANUARY 1

1817 - SECOND NATIONAL BANK OF THE US OPENS
This was the second quasi national bank of the US — following the Bank of the United States (1791-1811). While called a “national” bank, it was not public but actually a commercial/corporate bank with the power to issue money directly (just like its two predecessors). It issued initially 20 times more money as loans than it had in reserve. This led to financial speculation and large corporate profits. A year later, it stopped issuing loans, resulting in a severe contraction of the money supply — which led to massive bankruptcies and the Panic of 1819. President Andrew Jackson believed the bank was a threat to the nation. He vetoed a bill in 1832 renewing the bank’s charter (license).

1879 – DATE TO REDEEM GREENBACKS FOR GOLD
Forces in opposition to public money passed the Resumption Act in 1875. It established January 1, 1879 as the date anyone could redeem federal Greenbacks for gold. Greenbacks were debt free money created by the Lincoln administration in his effort to avoid borrowing money from banks and having to pay interest. Why not simply create the money as stipulated in the Constitution (Art 1, Sec 8 giving the government the authority to coin money)? Bankers hoped most Greenbacks would be turned in – so that they could once more exclusively control the issuance and circulation of paper money – at enormous profit. Doomsayers predicted as Greenbacks were redeemed for gold, the nation would go bankrupt. Neither occurred. Only $135,000 in Greenbacks were exchanged for gold – nationwide. Meanwhile, $400,000 gold was exchanged for Greenbacks! The New York Daily Tribune called the day, “the grandest page in the history of the United States.” (Jason Goodwin, Greenbacks)

1911 - US POSTAL SAVINGS SYSTEM OPENS
The Postal Savings System offered savings accounts to depositors, but no loans. When banks failed after the Great Depression, many people shifted their remaining funds. With post officers serving as bank branches, the Postal Savings System held upwards of 20% of the nation’s savings in the mid 1940’s. Commercial/corporate banks lobbied against their expansion and for their elimination — which occurred in 1967.

1999 – EURO INTRODUCED
The Euro replaced the national currencies of the majority of European Union nations. It was first introduced as an accounting currency (e.g. travelers cheques, electronic transfers). Coins and paper notes began circulating euros three years later. The flow of euros is controlled by the European Central Bank, similar to the flow of dollars controlled by the Federal Reserve Bank in the U.S. In both cases, however, the “central” banks are largely private entities. The euro came under harsh criticism in 2012 as many people in many nations began to understand that the loss of national currencies equated to a loss of national sovereignty, despite the face that national currencies were issued by the private national banks of individual nations. The relative public influence over a nation’s money supply is still greater having its own currency vs a continent-wide currency controlled by a private continent-wide central bank.

JANUARY 2

1909 – BIRTH OF BARRY GOLDWATER, FORMER REPUBLICAN SENATOR FROM ARIZONA
"The Trilateralist Commission is international…(and)…is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the U.S. The Trilateralist Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power-political, monetary, intellectual and ecclesiastical."
(Barry Goldwater, With No Apologies)

JANUARY 3

1977 - DEATH OF CARROLL QUIGLEY, PROFESSOR AND HISTORIAN
“The influence of financial capitalism and of the international bankers who created it was exercised both on business and on governments, but could have done neither if it had not been able to persuade both these to accept two 'axioms' of its own ideology...by basing the value of money on gold and by allowing bankers to control the supply of money. To do this it was necessary to conceal, or even mislead, both governments and people about the nature of money and its methods of operation.” (from his book, Tragedy and Hope)

JANUARY 5

1066 – DEATH OF KING EDWARD THE CONFESSOR
Calling usury (interest) the root of evil, the English King declared all those who charged usury outlaws and banished them from the country.

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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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