Saturday, October 22, 2022

Free vs Regulated Banking: The Panic of 1893 Puts One Banker Conspiracy Theory to Rest

Click here to read the original Cautious Optimism Facebook post with comments

3 MIN READ - A brief critique of a single banking conspiracy theory from the Cautious Optimism Correspondent for Economic Affairs and Other Egghead Stuff.

President Benjamin Harrison: Authorized the issuance of paper
U.S. "Treasury Notes," died of natural causes in retirement

Two days ago the Economics Correspondent posted the story of the U.S. Panic of 1893, possibly the worst banking crisis in American history after the Great Depression.

Original article at:

The sordid details involve the remonetization of silver at an absurdly overvalued rate against the then gold dollar, authorized by Congress and signed by President Benjamin Harrison in 1890.

But the Panic of 1893’s story also lampoons one of what are many, many conspiracy theories floating around the subject of money and banking in general of which the Economics Correspondent has heard more than his share.

Although a tiny handful of such conspiracy theories are occasionally rooted in truth—such as the famous Jekyll Island, Georgia duck hunting trip story of 1910—most are not.

One of the less legitimate conspiracy stories claims to uncover the assassinations of American presidents by evil, shadowy bankers who demand the exclusive right to print the nation’s money and back it up with political violence.

A linchpin piece of the theory’s evidence is the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, the only two presidents to authorize the federal government to print its own paper money instead of relying on private commercial banks or the privately owned, but state-privileged, Federal Reserve System.

A kernel of truth in the “evidence” is that Abraham Lincoln did authorize the printing of substantial quantities of government “greenback” notes during the Civil War, something the Economics Correspondent wrote about in a recent entry on the Civil War-era National Banking System.

John F. Kennedy also authorized a limited quantity of “silver certificate” Treasury notes to facilitate the eventual transition to a purely Federal Reserve currency regime. 

Both paid for crossing the bankster star chamber with their lives, or so the story goes.

But aside from the fact that private, decentralized, deregulated banks have historically done a much better job of producing money than governments, one huge problem already exists in the story of the Panic of 1893: namely that President Benjamin Harrison signed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 authorizing the Treasury to print vast quantities of notes to serve as circulating money.

For this supposed disobedience Harrison was not assassinated nor was there any attempt on his life.

Other presidents have also authorized the printing of federal paper currency: Chester Arthur and Franklin Roosevelt.

Furthermore, so-called “silver certificates” go back to the Bland-Allison Act of 1878, and such federal government paper currency was repeatedly issued under the presidencies of Rutherford B. Hayes, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

For numismatists and currency enthusiasts see links below article for images of federal note issuances from 1878, the 1890 Sherman Silver Purchase Act, 1899, 1908, 1923, 1928, 1934, and 1953.

So of the ten presidents outside Lincoln and Kennedy who authorized or oversaw the federal printing of public money, only one was assassinated (McKinley) and amateurish failed attempts were made on the lives of two (Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt). 

That means seven of ten were wholly “allowed” to finish their terms and their natural lives with one dying in office (FDR)—a record hardly consistent with an all-powerful conspiracy of globalist bankers pulling the planet’s strings of political power and eliminating any president who impeded on their currency monopoly.

The Economics Correspondent's verdict: international bankster cartel acquitted.

Links to images of 1878, 1890 Sherman Silver Purchase Act, 1899, 1908, 1923, 1928, 1934, and 1953 U.S. Treasury silver certificate banknotes. See main article for context:


1890 Sherman Silver Purchase Act "Treasury notes"







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