GOLD COIN HAS CEASED TO CIRCULATE AS MONEY.
The fact is that gold coin has ceased to circulate in the rest of the world and has practically ceased to circulate in the United States.
We have practically ceased the coinage of gold ; one mint has already been permanently closed, and we are now using more in the arts than we are coining, and we have already decoined more than one-fourth of our normal volume of gold.
In addition the Allies of Europe are piling up billions of obligations here, payable in that rapidly vanishing American gold dollar. The men who control the obligations, also control the gold coin, and the gold bullion, which they will not have coined. The bankers can use it as money, but you cannot.
Even if you could get the foreign gold coin, it would not pay your obligations here. Neither would our own gold dust, gold nuggets, or refined gold bullion.
The rapidity with which gold is being concentrated in the vaults of the Federal Reserve Banks, which means the House of Morgan, and especially in New York, is astounding. Let me quote from the Treasury statement of December 31st, 1915 :
The total reserves of the banks show an increase of about 102.9 million dollars, while their aggregate gold reserves show an even larger increase of 115.9 millions. The gold reserves of the system include besides the gold reserves of the banks also the amounts of gold turned over by the banks to the federal reserve agents to reduce the banks liabilities upon outstanding reserve notes.
The amounts of gold held by the agents increased from 12.3 millions at the end of 1914 to 70.6 about the middle of 1915 and to 197.4 millions at the close of the year. The increase for the year in the total
|When Shylock Gets Ready ?||81|
Nothing could be plainer than the trend towards New York.
When Shylock gets ready to demand the pound of flesh according to the contract, there will be less than one dollar in gold coin outside Shylocks vaults to pay $1,000 of gold coin obligations. Once secured and paid in it will remain in their vaults until brought out by a premium.
There will be just one thing for the debtors to do : pay the premium for gold coin demanded, or give up their property secured in liquidation. You think they cannot do that. They did during the Civil War, and ran it up to 278. Oh ! that was a long time ago ; they could not do it now in a time of peace !
How short our memories are. They did it in 1907, in a more exaggerated form, in that they demanded a premium to pay their own obligations to interior banks. My authority is the present Comptroller of the Currency in his last annual report, page 51 :
"And that the member banks will not again be met by conditions which forced them to pay a premium for currency in order to transact current business, as was the case in 1907, when correspondent banks refused to ship currency at all, or, if they did, demanded a large premium on the transaction.
Even during the year 1914 we find in the first annual report of the Federal Reserve Board, page 12, the
|82||Gold Ceases to Circulate|
Not quite nine years ago, under the presidency of that strong denunciator of the malefactors of great wealth, Theodore Roosevelt, who, not only permitted, but approved of that gross violation of law. He had to. Morgan was a little BOSS then ; but the House of Morgan is SOVEREIGN now.
Some states like South Dakota think they have met the situation by enacting that such obligations can be paid in lawful money. But the wonderful efficiency of Warburg seems to have guarded against every possible contingency, except perhaps ; an uprising of the people.
We have three kinds of lawful money: gold coin, standard silver dollars, except where otherwise stipulated in the contract, and United States notes (greenbacks). The bullion certificates and the silver dollars are being gradually withdrawn. The law of 1911 and the Federal Reserve law have provided for the elimination of gold coin. The gold certificates will serve as lawful money for the money power, but not for the people.
In dealing with the legal tender greenbacks I quoted what I heard Mr. Reynolds say, and the advice he gave to the bankers of the whole country by having it printed and distributed for their benefit.
The National Bankers Association have assumed the moral courage and have unanimously decreed that the greenback must go.
The bill will be in the interest of economy, to save another billion dollars of waste, and I expect to see it enacted. This administration, like the two preceeding ones, have conceded everything money monopoly have asked, and they will concede this. It may or may not be put over until after the general election, to save embarrassment to candidates.
It is a small concession compared with the Federal Reserve law, and a very necessary part of the plan for
|The Greenbacks Must Go||83|
That will leave the standard silver dollars. I see the usual approach in the official reports of the Treasury Department to retire them. The expense of recoining uncurrent worn silver coins. Instead of the holder suffering the loss, the government does. Then there is another report showing the face value and the bullion value, etc. Of course they will demand an honest dollar and all that. Then there is a statement of the storage space necessary, to store our silver dollars. If you are interested to know, it requires 1,250 cubic feet. The bankers credit for same amount does not require a single cubic foot.
Yes, the standard silver dollars will go. It will be all the same whether a Wilson, a Root, a Taft, a Hughes, or a Roosevelt will be elected president. Both old parties are committed to the program.
What will the harvest be if we continue to trust these men with such vast power ?
We read daily of the terrible loss of life and the worse suffering for years of the maimed. The daily slaughter of the innocent non-combatants, the starving millions of the ravaged territory ; the worst the world has ever known. But, should the conspirators within our own country succeed, the suffering in these United States will be greater than that caused by all the ravages of war, because more prolonged.
The head of the House of Morgan becomes the financial agent of the Allies of Europe. He secures for them a loan of billions, on doubtful security, or as Mr. Reynolds, one of the arch conspirators, would say, without any security whatever back of it; just the promise to pay by the several countries borrowing, and at a rate of interest one-half the rate our average farmer has to pay, with the best security in the world back of him.
In addition he becomes purchasing agent for them on a commission.
Not content with that ; and here I wish I could reach every business man in the nation, to warn them
|84||Gold Ceases to Circulate|
The war contracts have been enormously profitable. Theres a reason. If a man has a plant, and wants a contract, there is nothing doing, until an agent of the king comes around, and if he secures a controlling interest in the firm, a fat contract follows.
Still unsatisfied, they want to prolong the era of profit making, by embroiling us in one or two foreign wars. That is what the greed of man will do and dare for gain, and more gain.
That is the private business standard of the group; now we turn to the public service side.
PUBLIC SERVICE A PUBLIC TRUST.
I maintain that any man, or group of men, who secures a charter from the public to operate, or administer a public utility, thereby becomes a public servant, and as such is subject to public control, and entitled only to a reasonable compensation for labor and investment, over and above expense of administration. All over that belongs to the public, and if appropriated to private use is in violation of a public trust.
That rule applies to all public service corporations alike.
I am not going into the thousands of exploitations that have been shown up in the press. I will simply refer to two of the best as types and with which you are familiar. The one deals with the tax on transportation which so vitally affects every industry in the nation ; and the other with the tax, or interest, on our medium of exchange, which controls every industry in the nation, transportation and all.
One of the best of the type was known as the great empire builder of the west. He was the manager for many years of a great public highway ; a public service corporation. A most successful manager. With nothing to invest but his ability, he has divided billions of profits among himself and associates.
As a sample, a few years ago the press reported, as one of the many juicy melons cut by him, a dividend present to the stockholders of $400,000,000. That, and many other dividends, in equity and justice belonged to the producers in this great zone of plenty, and never should have been taken from them in excess freight rates. Having taken it, he did not render a just account of his stewardship.
There must be an accounting some day.
He was one of the leaders in the small group, the inner circle of the men who control; and who are
|86||Public Service a Public Trust|
Another became known through the Pujo investigating committee of Congress. Mr. Baker, president of the City National Bank of New York, testified that his bank, during the preceding five years, had made an average profit of 285 per cent per annum.
When asked if he did not think that a dangerous power to place in the hands of a few men, he replied that it would be in the hands of bad men. The inference was that unlimited power might safely be entrusted to such well known good men as Morgan, Hill, Rockefeller, Baker and associates, who never took more than they could.
These men have hypnotized themselves into believing that they are public benefactors ; that the development of the nation is safer in their hands than with the general public. What a pity that their splendid genius, energy and ability had not been directed aright for public service !
What a shame that you and I have placed this great temptation in their path, which has proved too strong for them to resist.
These men who profess to revere the constitution, handed down by the fathers, as too sacred to be amended, have not hesitated to appropriate for their own private use and personal gain the most vital section of that sacred document. See Art. I, Sec. 8, No. 30.
They have the power now ; the only question is, as to what extent they will use it. There is great danger in the propaganda for preparedness against a wholly improbable danger from abroad, being made the paramount issue in the ensuing campaign, and sidetracking you from the vital issue, the real danger from within our own borders.
It is a real and immediate danger, and the pity of it is, that it will be the great unorganized and unprotected industry of agriculture that must in the nature
I do not claim that the government officials who recommended the changes in their reports did so with any ulterior motives. Shrewd, efficient, plausible men like Paul Warburg and Geo. M. Reynolds could point out to them the advantages in saving, or efficiency, in such a convincing manner as to make them think that they were doing a real public service.
I have heard Mr. Reynolds talk to the bankers, and I KNOW the effect it had on them. Imminent bankruptcy must have been their nightmare, until the Aldrich plan was enacted into law ; and what a powerful influence those bankers exerted in a quiet way in every village, town and city in the nation, for I have reason to believe that Mr. Reynolds address was sent to every banker in the nation. It was a wonderfully effective campaign. Very soon after the meeting my opinion of the address was published in one of our daily papers, and so far as I know, it was all that was given to the public.
I do not charge that all of our representatives in Congress understood the import of the several changes required for the substitution of bankers credit for government money.
We have not been electing our representatives and United States senators because of their knowledge of political economy, or the needs of legislation to safeguard the free exchange of labor and labor products.
With few exceptions, our national legislators are selected by the political machines of the two dominant political parties, as a reward for past party service, and an assurance that they will play the game"; and, you the voluntary slave of your party, elect them.
The party machine selects, and you elect.
Now frankly, to whom do the Representatives and United States Senators owe their allegiance ? Not to you ; you had nothing to do with the selection ; you
|88||Public Service a Public Trust|
I have heard men boasting of their party loyalty say that they would vote for a yellow dog, if nominated by their party"; my usual answer was, if you think a yellow dog can properly represent your principles, you are doing just right in voting for him.
To whom does the party machine owe its allegiance ? Not to you ; they own you ; but to the men or interests who furnish the campaign funds. They had you secure ; they must have campaign funds to influence the floating voters, and pay party workers. The interests desiring legislation are wholly non-partisan, and never contribute a dollar until they have an understanding with the political machine.
Party loyalty is the bane of American politics. You tell me in advance of an election, what interests are financing the campaign of an individual, or a political party, and I will tell you what their record will be if successful at the polls.
After all, the responsibility rests with the individual voter.
I claim that the reasons given for every amendment or change in our monetary laws were deceptive, and the reverse of what the people were made to believe was intended.
The same will be found true of all monopoly desired laws. I have already touched on a few of those, so will not repeat, but it is safe to take that as a guide for the future.
The most effective weapon has always been a panic, or a near panic.
There is nothing a political party in power dreads so much as hard times, industrial disturbances, business depression, idle men, free soup houses, etc. It reflects upon their administraiton. I do not claim that President Roosevelt was responsible for the bankers panic of 1907. I do claim, that when the panic was on, he became panic-stricken, and thereby an accomplice of the House of Morgan in all of their designs
|House of Morgan Supreme||89|
Had he had the moral courage to have seen that the national bank law was enforced, there would have been no panic.
I also claim that the House of Morgan still retains the strangle-hold on him they secured in 1907. This was demonstrated clearly by that midnight visit to Sagamore Hill by Geo. W. Perkins, when he induced Colonel Roosevelt to throw his hat in the ring to prevent the nomination and election of Senator LaFollette for president.
That his campaign was financed by money monopoly through the medium of Geo. W. Perkins to whom he continues to give allegiance, and that if elected then, or in the future, he would be in honor bound to carry out the policies of the men and interests who financed his campaign. I am not going to accuse him of cowardice. Of physical courage he has plenty. But in my opinion his ambition and love of power predominate. When Perkins took him up into the mountain, he did not have the moral courage to say Get thee behind me, Satan.
His successor, President Taft, was selected to carry out the Roosevelt policies, not the openly avowed policies, which some one sarcastically said President Taft was carrying out on a stretcher, but the secret ones of money monopoly, which was carried out to the letter.
It required no coercion. By nature, environment, and instinct, in my judgment, he was theirs, without a struggle.
Better things were hoped for from President Wilson, even if not expected. But the record up to date demonstrates conclusively that his administration will go into history as the most disappointing to the people, and the most satisfactory to private monopoly, of any in the history of our country.
In the Federal Reserve law it has given them more than was asked of Roosevelt or Taft, and all that was needed to clothe them with full constitutional and
|90||Public Service a Public Trust|
President Wilson got the title and preamble ; the House of Morgan got the substancethe kernel. They are now in supreme control.
Their plans and methods have been cruelly efficient and efficiently developed by the master minds of Warburg and Reynolds. I am simply giving you the facts as I have gathered them, the object aimed at, as I see it, and the power the House of Morgan now possesses. Too great a power to be conferred on any group of men, even of the best men living today.
It is not right that we should place such temptation in their way.
Can you trust them to use that power in the interest of the whole people in view of their past record ? That is up to you ; YOU.
I do not claim, and will not, that all of the representatives and senators who voted for these measures understood what they were voting for. I am sure that many of them did not. They accepted the assurance of their party leadersthe machinethat they were all right.
If they were innocent when they voted for those laws, and now do not approve of them, it is their duty to vote to repeal them before it is altogether too late. Unless they do, we should hold them to strict accountability.
THE GREAT CONSPIRACY AS DEVELOPED.
The conspiracy is not new. It is as old as avarice. It fastened its fangs upon our republic at its birth, and had so abused its power that it required a great national campaign under the leadership of Andrew Jackson to deprive them of that control.
Always alert, regardless of the effect on humanity, they took advantage of the necessities of the government during our Civil War to once more secure partial control, and have persistently followed it up ever since.
Wholly non-partisan politically, they are strongly partisan as a business organization. In Republican states they are Republican ; in Democratic states Democrats ; everywhere for the National Bankers Association.
What they cannot secure by open argument, they can and do by impairing confidence, and cultivating the fear of a panic. There is nothing a political party in power dreads so much as a panic. Hard times means defeat, and money monopoly utilizes that nervous condition to accomplish their immediate design, and never hesitates to precipitate the panic, or semi-panic, if necessary to attain their object.
For many years their aim was to secure a monopoly of, or at least a control of, the money of the country. Of course, to do so it would help if they could limit the volume. The smaller the volume, the easier to control.
We were then on a bi-metallic basis. From 1850 to 1870 the worlds annual production of gold had been decreasing gradually, and that of silver increasing rapidly, having more than doubled during that period. They feared that the rapid increase in silver production would make it impossible for them to control, and their fear was well founded, because in the next twenty years silver had again more than doubled, while the production of gold was still decreasing.
|92||The Great Conspiracy|
We were large producers of silver. The double standard was satisfactory. There was no demand for a change, except from the comparatively earnest few government money advocatesgreenbaekerswho saw very clearly what the inevitable result must be of any financial system based on any commodity, uncertain in quantity, and depending wholly upon the chance of discovery, as a medium of exchange of the certain and rapidly increasing products of labor.
But as usual, the bankers were equal to the emergency and by adopting the most absurd possible theory, the danger of inflation, succeeded.
Every effort possible made to inflate production, all of which spelled prosperity, which must be accompanied with a decreased medium of exchange. They were apt disciples of Barnum, the people like to be fooled. The first thing was to impair confidence. When that was accomplished, by fear of a panic, etc., then the remedy was offered.
To restore confidence and prevent panics in the future silver must be demonetized. They did not succeed wholly, but did so practically, through the Republican party, and we no longer coin the silver dollar. Minor silver coins are not a full legal tender.
It is strange that the people do not catch on to this ever fruitful farce, or the quack doctors financial prescriptions, which always fail.
The next important move in their plan was to get Congress to declare for the single gold standard. Confidence was being impaired by a doubt, etc. There was the danger of a panic unless this was done, etc.
The same old farce, but it succeeded under a Democratic administration by means of a panic pressure and an endless chain.
|Gold Monopoly Accomplished||93|
Since 1870 the worlds annual production of gold has increased rapidly, and is now about five times as much as it was then.
This increase, with future prospects, has been interfering with their plans. To ask for the demonetization of gold, as I predicted twenty-four years ago, would under such circumstances, expose them to ridicule, and thwart their plans in a very important particular.
Counting on securing a monopoly of gold, and using their power as creditors, a little over twenty years ago, they began demanding, in so far as they could influence, that all obligations should be made payable in gold. This was especially true of farm mortgages and obligations.
But to be sure that Congress might not later interfere with their plans by authorizing less gold for the dollar, as has been done by many governments in the past, including our own, they made the obligation read payable in gold coin of the present standard, weight and fineness. The reason for this will be shown later, and for wickedness has never been equaled.
The next thing was to secure a monopoly of gold and lawful money.
The more of this gold or lawful money that could be destroyed as money, or withdrawn from circulation, legally, the easier to corner the remainder.
The substitution of gold and silver certificates which are not a legal tender, for gold coin ind silver dollars would help, and this was accomplished.
The retirement of the greenbacks was another step. The substitution of bank currency for lawful money another.
I doubt if even ten years ago they had dreamed of being able to usurp by legislation the sovereign constitutional power of issuing money from Congress for their own private use and profit ; or to demonetize as much gold as suited their purpose, by decoinage ; or the still more revolutionary scheme of changing our financial system from one of government money to unlimited bankers credit : a perfect monopoly of money
|94||The Great Conspiracy|
Incredible as it may appear, all this has been accomplished within the past ten years, except the retirement of the greenbacks, by an overwhelming majority of the peoples (?) representatives in Congress, and hailed as a crowning achievement by our President.
It is to this ten year poriod, covering in part two Republican administrations and one Democratic, that I will in the main limit myself. This is yet current history that will be familiar to the present voting generation.
It is twenty-eight years now since I first realized the power of interest to accumulate over labor to produce and accumulate. I stated then that it was only a question of time when the men who received the interest would control.
I pointed it out clearly in my text book for the National Farmers Alliance and Industrial Union, published in 1893, and I have watched the development closely ever since. Now that the conspirators are in power, and making such rapid progress towards the completion of their inhuman plans, I once more give the alarm in hopes that you will aid me in exposing the conspiracy, that we may prevent the dreadful results that must inevitably follow. There is no time to be lost.
In the Federal Reserve Bank law, and other laws, enacted during the past ten years the House of Morgan has secured the laws giving them the power to control. Are you willing to leave that power in their hands ?
THE HOUSE OF MORGAN CROWNED SOVEREIGN
Are the men in control to be trusted to administer our greatest public utility, our medium of exchange, in the interest of the people ?
Our best guide for the future is the past, and for this purpose it is not necessary to go back very far ; just a few years.
Theodore Roosevelt as Governor of New York had proven to be something of an enigma. At every opportunity he declaimed against predatory wealth, malefactors of great wealth, etc., and at the same time could be depended on to serve the system on demand. At that time ODell was boss, and Harriman was the financial spoke in the New York state wheel.
To enable the system to raid the savings banks of the state a law was enacted authorizing the savings banks to invest in securities of certain railroads, of which the Chicago & Alton was not one.
In 1898 Harriman and associates secured control of the C. & A. which up to that time had been conservatively managed. In seven years they had increased the bonded indebtedness from $33,000,000 to $114,000,000, $62,000,000 of which was water. It was a national scandal, the worst perpetrated, so far as exposed, up to that time. The bonds could not be floated.
In the 1906 investigation, when Harriman was asked if at that time he was not under obligations to ODell, he answered that ODell was under obligations to him, etc. The exposure prevented Harriman from selling the C. & A. bonds, so in his hour of distress he concluded to cash a political coupon, and turned to Boss ODell and the New Tork legislature, and had a bill introduced which was passed February 26th, 1900, for the specific purpose of authorizing the New York savings banks to invest in the Chicago & Alton
|96||Morgan Crowned Sovereign|
President Roosevelt and Harriman remained unusually close friends during his first term, and Harriman, at Roosevelts request, raised a very large fund for the campaign of 1904.
For some reason President Roosevelt changed his allegiance to the Morgan group before the 1908 campaign.
It is not necessary at this time to go into that further, unless Mr. Roosevelt should again be a candidate for President. The correspondence was published in 1907 and we will close that episode by reprinting a plea of the New York Sun, an ultra-capitalist and administration organ :
We ask Mr. Harriman to refrain from pursuing further the solution of the direct issue of veracity with the President of the United States which the President has raised. We are contemplating only the scandal, the spectacular indecency, the hideous immorality, in the broadest sense of the word, of continuing a contest, which, even if it could be brought to a triumphant conclusion by Harriman and his partisans, WOULD RESULT IN EXHIBITING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN A LIGHT FIT TO BRING SHAME TO THE CHEEKS AND SORROW TO THE HEART OF EVERY HONEST CITIZEN OF THE REPUBLIC.
The Bankers Panic of 1907.
The panic of 1907 came like a clap of thunder out of a clear sky.
The people were wholly unprepared. Even the bankers of the nation, outside a small group in New York city, seemed to have had no hint of it.
There had been two groups of financiers contending for supremacy in the control of our financial and transportation systems ; the one under the leadership of the Morgan-Hill group, and the other under the leadership of the Rockefeller-Harriman group. There
|The Bankers Panic||97|
It may never be known just what the real object was ; we can only judge by the result. In criminal cases, where there is no direct proof, suspicions rest upon those who might be the beneficiaries. In this case it was the general verdict, and so recorded, that it was a Bankers Panic.
There had been a good deal of complaint of President Roosevelt. He had been playing too much for public support to secure a third term. He had a habit of declaiming against predatory wealth and against the malefactors of great wealth, etc., which was very annoying to them. He would raise the lid of some oppression or extortion and threaten to prosecute, but just as soon as he was advised that he was hurting the party, he would smash down the lid, and sit on it, and that was the last of that proposition. He would then promise that he would no longer run amuck. This was repeated so often that there might also have been a desire to force the President out in the open, and perhaps cause his defeat for renomination. But whatever the aim or object, I look upon it as the most important epoch for evil in our history as a nation. The opening of a campaign for the speedy substitution of bankers credit for government money ; of private control, by the worst element of the nation ; of the commerce and industry of the nation, and even of popular government ; and successful beyond belief.
In a speech in the United States Senate in March, 1908, Senator LaFollette, in speaking of the period just preceding the panic, that is, 1905-6, said :
The fight waxed hot and reckless, and the country was startled with the revelations. The scandal spread. It involved the Equitable Life, the Mutual Life, the New York Life, the banks of the Morgan group, and banks of the Standard Oil group. Morgan and his associates made furious efforts to suppress investigation, but the public demand forced it upon Governor Higgins, and the Armstrong committee began its work. It disclosed the relations existing between insurance companies and banks and railroads and in-
|98||Morgan Crowned Sovereign|
March 4th, 1907, a successful raid was made on the United States treasury by authorizing the federal government to deposit its funds with the national banks free of interest, but the smash in stocks continued.
However, it did not affect the country as a whole ; that is, those who hept out of Wall Street. The year for legitimate business was one of our most prosperous. We had good crops and good prices ; the farm values for the year had increased nearly $500,000,000; bank deposits increased nearly $900,000,000; the net railroad earnings had increased over 1906 by $260,000,000. According to LaFollette :
There were no commercial reasons for the panic. There were speculative, legislative, and political reasons why a panic might serve special interests. There were business scores to settle. There was legislation to be blocked and a currency measure suited to the system to be secured.
The central bank had been broached, but fathered by Aldrich it did not meet with favor, so the old tactics must be resorted toimpair confidence, promote signs of a panic to scare the public, and coerce Congress and the President into compliance with their demands.
It was an inopportune time for a President seeking re-election, or a party in power to commit itself openly, but the time had come for a trial of strength.
For some reason the President had transferred his allegiance from the Standard Oid-Harriman group to the Morgan-Hill group. It was also claimed that the Morgan group hoped to catch the Standard Oil group short, because of a large flotation of short time notes in France, by discrediting same and instigating a demand for payment. Then again, both big groups were after a smaller ambitious group just then be
In October the trap was sprung by the bandits in a cold-blooded manner, for which those responsible should have been made to pay the severest penalty.
As a result, the Morgan interests gathered in the Morse shipping interests, which were competing with the New Haven railroad, and the Standard Oil gathered in the Heinze interests.
The Morgan group caught the one great and threatening competitor of the Steel Trust, the Tennessee Coal and Iron Co., and the Standard Oil the greatest competitor of their General Electric Co.
Surely that was enough to satisfy the greed of a gourmand, but no, they wanted to demonstrate their power in a way that would insure such legislation as they desired to complete their plans. They wanted to discipline Congress, and bring the President to his knees ; he had been talking too much ; it annoyed them. He must be made to do more, and talk less. This could be done most effectively through the people of the whole nation by an object lesson. And we had the object lesson !
In violation of the national bank laws the New York banks refused to honor the drafts of the interior banks, and they in turn were forced to violate the banking laws and refuse to honor checks of their depositors, and without an hours warning there was no money in the interior to pay for our grain, and other farm products. The reason given was that the eastern correspondents had wired the local banks that they could not honor drafts, because the New York banks had ceased to honor their drafts. Everything locked up in New York.
Never was the power of the New York banks to paralyze commerce and industry the nation over so quickly and thoroughly demonstrated as on that fateful October morning in 1907. I speak from personal experience as to the effect on the farmers of the nation.
|100||Morgan Crowned Sovereign|
The price was cut more than in two. Most of us had to make the sacrifice to meet our obligations, and avoid foreclosures of mortgages.
Those who could afford to, held back, but it did no good, because prices did not recover for that years crop.
The trust-protected industries suffered temporary embarrassment only. There vas no reduction of prices, because no forced sales.
What did the government do to help agriculture in this great crisis ? Nothing. The sympathy of the President and the Secretary of the Treasury was wholly with the pirates of Wall Street who had planned the coup, and were making their millions and billions of dollars out of it.
Had we had a separate Federal Investment Banking system, such as I am advocating, the farmers would have passed through that panic without a loss. In fact there would not have been any panic at all.
For the closing scenes of that campaign for increased personal power on the part of the men to whom had been given almost unlimited special privileges as public servants, and their manner of using those favors I cannot do better than quote again from Senator LaFollettes address :
The Closing Scene.
The floor of the stock exchange was chosen for the closing act, October 24th the time. The men who had created the money stringency, who had absorbed
|The Closing Scene||101|
For the first time since the panic began, 11:30 A.M. arrived with everybody on the floor of the stock exchange wildly seeking money at any price. Interest rates which had for several days ranged from 20 to 50 per cent, began to climb higher. Settlement must be made before 3 oclock. Money must be forthcoming, or the close of the business day would see Wall Street a mass of ruins and banks and trust companies on the brink of collapse.
The Terrible Climax.
How perfect the stage setting. How real it all seemed. But back of the scenes Morgan and Stillman were in conference. They had made their representations at Washington. They knew when the next installment of aid would reach New York. They knew just how much it would be. They awaited its arrival and deposit. Thereupon they pooled an equal amount. But they held it. They waited. Interest rates soared. Wall Street was briven to a frenzy. Two oclock came, and interest ran to 150 per cent. The smashing of the market became terrific. Still they waited. Union Pacific declined 10½ points in ten sales. North-
|102||Morgan Crowned Sovereign|
Oh, uncrowned King !
None but himself can be his parallel.
Even the dullest person standing by
Who fastened still on him a wondering eye
He seemed the master spirit of the land.
And so ended the panic.
Senator Nelson said, in part : In the state of Minnesota, prior to the tie-up in New York, we had been moving all our crops with western money. It was not until the panic started in New York, and until the banks of New York, Chicago, and other reserve centers tied up over $30,000,000 of the funds of our Minnesota national banks that our local banks were forced to follow suit. The only way the bankers stopped the panic was by breaking the law, suspending payments, holding up the entire country. That is the modern way of stopping a panic, and it is an easy way. People submit to it. If the First National Bank of Alexandria, my own town, had suspended during that panic, and refused to pay, as it did not do, the Comptroller of the Currency would have been swift to have put it in the hands of a receiver and wound it up.
Why did the Comptroller of the Currency fail to comply with the law and put these big New York banks in the hands of receivers to be wound up, as has always been the custom ? There was a reason.
What was President Roosevelt doing to stop this inhuman, ungodly, riot of mammon ? Or what was he doing to help, directly, or indirectly ?
The New York banks had secured from outside banks, and held in their vaults, $410,000,000, subject
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With one accord they violated the law, and defied the officials sworn to see that the laws were enforced. They had secured deposits, taxed from the people, free of interest, from the federal treasury of $400,000,000, none of which was called for by the Treasurer to help the interior banks in distress.
They called on the administration for more help and Secretary Cortelyou responded with $100,000,000 more, which emptied the treasury ; still the demand was for more, and $50,000,000 Panama canal bonds were sold and the proceeds went into the Morgan hopper. These bonds were not offered to the general public, but sold to the Morgan syndicate, 75 per cent of the purchase price remaining on deposit in their vaults, and the remaining 25 per cent quickly returned by deposits. The Panama canal was not in need of the money, and it was not raised for its use ; but what was that as between master and servant ? It looked like a misappropriation. Was it ?
The northwestern bankers were in distress and were clamoring for a share of the public funds but a deaf ear was turned to them. Senator Nelson and other Representatives called on the federal officials and remonstrated, and urged that any further money be sent to the western bankers direct, but without avail ; and Morgan insisted on more money.
Seventy-five millions in certificates of indebtedness were offered to the public at 3 per cent and $15,436,500 sold and went to Morgan & Co. They had drained the federal treasury and the public to the limit. They had confiscated $410,000,000 of their creditors money, and appropriated $642,000,000 of the peoples money, by collusion or coercion, to the utter demoralization of and sacrifice of the nations business. There was no protest by the Comptroller of the Currency, and no receivers appointed, as would have been the case with an interior bank.
It is fair to assume that the New York bankers had an understanding with the Comptroller in ad-
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Someone in the United States Senate kindly said that : They held a dagger at the throat of the President, compelling him to issue more interest-bearing bonds for their special benefit.
The President might writhe in pain, or gnash his teeth in agony, in dread of the pending election, but they had made him ; he was in their power, and they knew no such thing as mercy. It was then we needed an Andrew Jackson in the executive chair.
The Sherman Anti-Trust Law Also Violated.
The violation of one of our vital laws was not enough to satisfy the greed of these malefactors of great wealth. There was a new competitor of the Morgan steel interest growing up in the south, a very valuable and promising property, which had been valued at over $1,000,000,000. They got the men who controlled the company in their toils, but it would be a violation of the Sherman anti-trust law to take it over, as giving them a monopoly of the steel industry. Messrs. Gary and Frick were sent to see the President to get his consent and promise that they would not be prosecuted if they did absorb it. There was no dagger needed this time. He agreed promptly, but a pirate never takes chances. They insisted that he so instruct the Attorney General, and he did so.
For years these men had been trying to secure the repeal, or the amendment, of this law, and failed. This grave neglect of duty on the part of the President and Attorney General created such a scandal that a Senate committee was appointed to investigate. The committee consisted of Senators Kittredge, Overman, Rayner, Culbertson, Bacon, Nelson and Foraker. The report was unanimous that the President had no authority to promise immunity from prosecution (report 1110, 60th Congress.)
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The committee also say of the Presidents letter to the Attorney General of date November 4th :
We think it was, in effect, a direction to the Attorney General not to interfere but to permit the proposed purchase and absorption to be consummated. * * * Moreover the letter to the Attorney General shows that the legality of the merger was discussed and that the President gave the representatives of the Steel Corporation who visited him to understand that the action proposed could be taken if desired. It was not until this understanding was telephoned from Washington to New York city by one of the representatives of the Steel Corporation to another representative there that the purchase and absorption was made. In our opinion the President permitted and sanctioned the acquisition and merger.
In his message to the Senate of date January 6th, 1909, President Roosevelt said : As to the transaction in question I was personally cognizant of and responsible for its every detail.
From the testimony, one George W. Perkins of the Steel Trust seems to have been the active representative of the Steel Trust.
That may account for his permanent hold on the ex-President.
The profit on that one transaction to the House of Morgan was estimated at $955,000,000 on the purchase alone. What it means indirectly is hard to estimate. I have gone into this rather fully to show the character, or lack of character, of a few of the men to whom we are expected to trust our future destiny as a people and a nation.
To cap the climax, when they had secured all they thought they could grab at that time, and when interest had soared up to 150 per cent, the sham battle between the two houses of Morgan and Standard Oil ceased, and Morgan and Stillman had divided the last $25,000,000 received from the government equally between them, the panic was called off, and they were acclaimed patriots for having saved the nation,
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The panic had accomplished much more than the conspirators had ever dreamed of. The House of Morgan was now in supreme authority in the United States. The rule of reason had been written in our court decisions ; our most strenuous fighting President had been degraded and Congress scared into abject obedience ; our vital laws ignored with impunity ; and our prosecuting officials paralyzed. Senator Nelson said truly, Holding up the entire country in the most lawless method I have ever known.
We read in ancient history that when the Roman emperors captured a distinguished chief, prince, king, or emperor, they exhibited their captive tied to their chariots in triumphant march through the streets of Rome.
The House of Morgan has improved on that. They had the captive chief, the President of the United States, ride in the chariot of state, and proclaim that the conspirators, the authors and promoters of the panic of 1907, the worst we had ever had, were benevolent, patriotic benefactors, for stopping their own panic.
It had been said that J.P. Morgan, Sr., was our uncrowned king ; not quite so. President Roosevelt in that proclamation, crowned him sovereign, with right of succession.
Private monopoly has neither sympathy nor mercy for a political party or politician in distress, and no gratitude for past favors.
The public man who puts himself in their power, is never again a free man. He must either play the game or retire from public life.
The distress of a political party or prominent public man is their opportunity.
MORGAN CABINET CHANGES TACTICS
With a new administration whose members had for many years opposed anything bearing the brand of Aldrich, any effort to enact the Aldrich plan, known as the Reserve Association of America, would have been very embarrassing. Many prominent Democrats had exposed and denounced it in strong terms. That they then understood what the House of Morgan aimed at is evident. In the issue of The Commoner of date January 14, 1910, The Great Commoner, under the caption, And Now He Wants The Central Bank, after enumerating the many financial institutions and industries controlled by this one House, said :
With a total of more than ten billion dollars in resources in the above companies, Morgan, it is claimed in financial circles, can do about as he pleases with the finances of the country, no matter what monetary legislation is enacted by Congress and there is a feeling of wonderment in Wall Street today as to where the aged financier is going to get off. It is known that his recent activity in assuming control of the big banks, trust and insurance companies is all part of one general plan that was decided on by Morgan and his advisors following the panic of 1907.
Closer control of banks and stricter restrictions for their management were the suggestions Morgan made when he was asked at that time what remedy there was for the panic and, judging from recent developments, he has set out to secure the closer control at any rate.
And now he wants the American people to give him the central bank.
Will they do it ?
[Note.Yes, inside of four years and with Mr. Bryans help.]
Gov. Folk, of Missouri, another Democratic presidential candidate, was present at the Chicago Aldrich meeting and said of the Aldrich plan, in part :
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In my opinion the Aldrich plan is radically wrong in that it would bestow upon private interests through the medium of the proposed National Reserve Association, the control of the government of the country. The National Reserve Association suggested is nothing more than a central bank with a capital of $300,000,000 and places in the hands of the interested financial interests the entire management of the money matters of the nation.
The memory of the central bank which Andrew Jackson fought, its corruption of members of Congress and attempted control of the government itself, will effectually prevent this experiment being tried again in this country.
The people will never consent to the delegation of such authority to private parties ; and the result will be that the relief hoped for cannot be obtained. The command of the money supply is a governmental function and cannot be given to special interests with any reasonable hope of the authority being administered for all the people. The effect of the National Reserve Association would be to build up a money monopoly that could through its power practically subject all industries to its selfish ends.
These two distinguished, representative Democrats outlined correctly just what the Aldrich plan was intended to accomplish, and what the inevitable result would be. So the Democratic party had ample warning, and so had the House of Morgan, and neither gentleman could be nominated by the Democratic party for President.
Senator Aldrich promptly accepted the challenge of Governor Folk, and in language so plain that it could not be misunderstood, said, in part, as follows :
In almost every generation we have had men who wanted to put the currency issue of the country into the hands of the government, but I cant recall anything quite so radical as this plan of putting the entire banking industry of the country into the hands of the government. We have had the Greenback craze
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So I expect that our present proposal will meet with the opposition of men who want to put into the hands of the government the power to issue notes and control the banking of the country.
Ready for the Fight.
I am glad the contest is coming on that issue. Our predecessors all through the ages have fought that fight, and, if we must have it, we are ready. If, even though only for political reasons, we are to have that issue, whether the government is to control the note issue and the banking of the country, let it come.
The issue could not have been more clearly defined than it, was by Governor Folk : Money is a government function, to be administered for all the people.
Senator Aldrich replies : In almost every generation we have had men who wanted to put the currency issue of the country in the hands of the government. He calls it a pericdical craze. Just think of that from the acknowledged leading statesman of the Republican party for many years. An authority on financial legislation. Chairman of the big monetary committee, and author of the greatest financial bill ever prepared, etc.
Was he so grossly ignorant, or was he banking on the ignorance of the people ? Is it any wonder that the average Congressman is so ignorant on the money question. How could they help it, following such a leader.
Why did Governor Folk say that Money is a government function ?"
Not that money should be ; but is.
Because the very first article of our Constitution, Section 3, No. 30, says so. There has been no such agitation to put it there.
The exact reverse has been true, that the schemes have all been to deprive the government of that power, and the Aldrich bill itself, as was so plainly
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He says : I am glad the contest is coming on that issue. We are ready for that fight, and then to make it clear he restates it whether the government is to control the note issue and the banking of the country.
I have often wondered why Senator Aldrich abandoned his educational tour of the West after that first meeting at Chicago.
I think now that perhaps it was because he stated the object of his bill so frankly. On the issue as outlined such a revolutionary measure debated on its merits would have been overwhelmingly defeated. It was the first attempt to make a fight in the open. Their policy always had been to secure legislation by stealth, or misrepresentation, and Mr. Aldrich was recalled and his plan abandoned temporarily.
The Morgan Cabinet Had Learned a Lesson.
When it was known that the National Bankers Association favored the Alrdich plan, the average voter, and more especially the organized farmers, were against it, and the Aldrich plan was not presented to Congress. In fact, as already shown, the issue was apparently shifted to Rural Credits.
The Democratic party proved to be just as willing to serve the House of Morgan as were the Republicans ; if it could only be nicely covered up. We will again give Mr. Reynolds credit for the plan, as he seemed to have charge of the Washington lobby, and it was very simple indeed. The Aldrich plan was to be rewritten with all the fundamentals retained, a few additions apparently in favor of the public, added, and the name changed to the Federal Reserve Bank law, and be known as the Owen-Glass bill. The National Bankers Association was to come out in strong apposition to it. They played the part well ; even going so far as to threaten to surrender their charters rather than operate under the law. The sham battle was kept up and worked like a charm.
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A strong lobby was organized to fight the bill in Congress.
A National Citizens League was organized, and a weekly official organ, Monetary Reform, established to fight the bill.
That caught the unsophisticated public. What the national bankers so strongly opposed must surely be in the interest of the people, and the said people, without investigation, walked right into the trap, and supported the bill that was to free them from the power of money to oppress.
Ex-President Taft was discreetly silent, but his smile broadened.
It certainly was a nice thing for the editors, who for once could please both sides. Monetary Reform had declared repeatedly that the bill would not pass until amended to suit the national bankers, and Mr. Reynolds was so encouraged with the progress he was making and the yielding mood of Congress, that they decided to complete the bill as originally planned, incorporating the several points even Mr. Aldrich had refused to include ; several of those being very important.
A German Jew by the name of Paul M. Warburg was a member of the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., of New York, a born banker, if such there be, had been trained and educated with true German efficiency in his business.
Soon after associating himself with the American House, he began a study of our American system, and in a series of pamphlets outlined our deficiencies, and advocating the better system, which so attracted the attention of J.P. Morgan and associates that he was induced to become an American citizen, that he might be the better able to assist in making the change.
First in importance, perhaps, is that the Aldrich plan adhered to the use of money, or currency.
The Warburg-Reynolds plan was a complete change from money, or currency, to credit ; except, as Mr. Reynolds put it, what little money might be needed
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There is no limit to the amount of credit the national banks may loan and no gold reserve needed to back it up. But while they loan their credit only, the obligation will be made payable in gold coin of the present standard, weight and fineness.
The Aldrich plan provided for the gradual retirement of our national bank notes, but offered no special inducement for the retirement of the two per cent bonds with circulation privilege, and provided that the reserve association must issue its own notes as fast as the outstanding notes secured by such bonds so held shall be presented for redemption. The Federal Reserve law makes no such provision. The issue of Reserve Bank notes is left optional with the banks, and in practice they are not replacing them in full.
And in addition, to hasten retirement and direct contraction of the currency, the Federal Reserve law provides a handsome premium, in the offer to exchange three per cent bonds without the circulation privilege, for the two per cent bonds with the privilege.
The Aldrich plan provided for an annual tax on the reserve association notes of 3 per cent for the first $100,000,000, 4 per cent for the second, 5 per cent for the next $300,000,000, and 6 per cent for all over $500,000,000.
In 1914 we had over $1,000,000,000, and the annual tax under the Aldrich plan would have been over $52,000,000.
Under the Federal Reserve law there is neither tax nor interest.
Mr. Reynolds claimed (page 29) that : There is apparently no reason why such a tax should be imposed at all, as the government is not in need of the income to be derived from the charge.
Every change that was made was in the interest of the money trust.
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On page 16 Mr. Reynolds says :
And since any tax levied must ultimately be paid by the people, the currency commission of the American Bankers Association recommended to the National Monetary Commission the right to issue its notes in an amount necessary to take care of the reasonable requirements of business and that said notes be free from taxation.
The foregoing was very cunningly put. The inference intended to be conveyed was that as the people paid the tax, if the notes were issued to the Federal Reserve banks free, it would benefit the people to that extent.
Result : the notes are issued free of tax to the banks, and the people pay the tax just the same. Just another illustration of a public servant betraying a trust.
Mr. Warburg testified in his examination, before confirmation, that he was the author of the Aldrich bill, and practically so of the Federal Reserve law ; that the Federal Reserve Board had authority to make any changes necessary to comply with the Aldrich plan. He did not, however, call attention to the many new advantages secured.
The Aldrich plan was as long a step towards a complete monopoly of our financial system as Senator Aldrich thought could be enacted at that time.
President Wilson was elated over the prospect of being able to assist in the enactment of such a law. In his address to Congress recommending the bill as an administration measure he said : The pending currency bill does the farmers a great service. It puts them on an equal footing with other business men and masters of enterprise as it should, and upon its passage they will find themselves quit of many of the difficulties which now hamper them in the field of credit.
In an address before our state Grain Dealers Association a few days before the passage of the bill, in commenting on it, I said : This will be most wel-
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Two years of the administration of the law has demonstrated clearly that I was correct. One of the worst blows ever given to our agricultural interests was inflicted during the autumn of 1915, as I have shown in page 39.
The Federal Reserve law was as complete a surrender to the House of Morgan, or, as President Wilson called it, the money trust, as Messrs. Warburg and Reynolds could think of.
President Wilson was enthusiastic over the enactment of the law.
Just a few brief extracts from his address on signing the law, for the purpose of pointing a moral :
Gentlemen, I need not tell you that I feel very deep gratification at being able to sign this bill, and I feel that I ought to express very heartily the admiration I have for the men who have made it possible for me to sign this bill.
Note.The three men most entitled to the credit for the plan, the drafting of the bill, and its enactment in the order named were Warburg, the plan ; Aldrich, for drafting, and Reynolds for the enactment.
It is a matter of real gratification to me in the case of this bill there should have been so considerable a number of republican votes cast for it.
Note.The surprise should have been that there were any republican votes cast against it, except real progressives. It was the Aldrich bill renamed and amended in the interest of the money trust. That is where the Democrats began the practice of appro-
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priating Republican policies. President Taft had campaigned for it two years, and urged it as paramount in his 1911 message to Congress.
For the bill itself, I feel that we can say that it is the first of a series of constructive measures by which the Democratic party will show that it knows how to serve the country.
Note.Then Andrew Jackson will have to be dropped as the Patron Saint of the Democratic party.
Then there came upon the heels of it [the tariff bill] this bill which furnishes the machinery for free and elastic and uncontrolled credits put at the disposal of the merchants and manufacturers of this country for the first time in fifty years.
Note.Here is where words fail me. Free credits"? Yes, to the bankers ; the whole constitutional powers of the government are delegated absolutely to them, free of interest or tax, to administer for private profit. Uncontrolled"? That surely was intended as a joke ; unless the President meant uncontrolled by the government.
I have been surprised at the sudden acceptance of this measure by public opinion everywhere. I say surprised, because it seems as if it had suddenly become obvious to men who had looked at it with toa critical an eye that it realh was meant in their interest. They have opened their eyes to see a thing which they had supposed to be hostile to be friendly and serviceable ; exactly what we intended it to be and what we shall intend all our legislation to be.
Note.The foregoing, of course, refers to the national bankers, and indicates that Mr. Reynolds had conducted a very efficient campaign. Of course they promptly, yes, suddenly, accepted what they had so carefully planned for, during three administrations. They were jubilant, because they had secured a far more complete monopoly than they had hoped for, quite so soon. The moral is plain : Politicians in
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power become party blind. Representative Henry, of Texas, sums it up neatly thus :
When framing the Federal Reserve act for the banking and commercial population, you bundled up the credit of the government, neatly tied a blue ribbon around it, and placed it in pawn for the benefit of the bankers and commercialists. You sat them down at a feast of Federal Reserve notes, prepared for them by the government, in return for their assets and commercial paper. You gave them government aid. Let us give the farmer the same aid. He is entitled to the same privilege at the government mint.