Wednesday, November 12, 2008


In honor of the forgotten words of dead people everywhere, today we begin yet another numbered series that may or may not appear on a regular basis:







(That's an echo.)

To cause high prices, all the Federal Reserve Board will do will be to lower the rediscount rate, producing an expansion of credit and a rising stock market; then when business men are adjusted to these conditions, it can check prosperity in mid career by arbitrarily raising the rate of interest.

It can cause the pendulum of a rising and falling market to swing gently back and forth by slight changes in the discount rate, or cause violent fluctuations by a greater rate variation and in either case it will possess inside information as to financial conditions and advance knowledge of the coming change, either up or down. This is the strangest, most dangerous advantage ever placed in the hands of a special privilege class by any Government that ever existed.

The system is private, conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits from the use of other people's money. They know in advance when to create panics to their advantage. They also know when to stop panic. Inflation and deflation work equally well for them when they control finance.

--from Banking and Currency and The Money Trust by Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. (Not the airplane guy. His father.)


JaneyV said...

So airplane guy's Dad has to have said that in the early part of the 20th Century... how come they haven't fixed it yet? Or am I missing something?

Ah… the bit about the making lots of money out of it...

pjd said...

I happened to get sucked into a PBS thing the other night about Alexander Hamilton. (I'm a sucker for any TV show involving muskets and men in powered wigs. I mean, really... was I going to watch the 49ers lose to the Cardinals? Please.)

What struck me about the show was that many of the disagreements between Hamilton and his contemporaries were echoed in the most recent election cycle. And some of the dirtiest tactics in campaigning were used in the earliest presidential elections. (They used to print newspaper articles claiming one candidate had died. Turned out pretty difficult to refute that in the 1780s.)

Another interesting thing was that the documentary made a pretty big deal out of Hamilton being the father of our economy, especially the part about banking and running our economy on credit. I just found it amusing given the current financial situation.

Maybe you could go back and find some good Hamilton quotes, but those wouldn't be from last century. They'd be from three centuries ago, I guess.

Robin S. said...

Published in 1913...before the crash of '29 - not the original crash, by the way - here or anywhere else. Anyone here familiar with how the Dutch economy was ruined, no kidding, by tulip bulb speculation in the, I think, 1700s? Took them permanently out of the powers-that-be status.

Anyway - The system is private, conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits from the use of other people's money. They know in advance when to create panics to their advantage. They also know when to stop panic.

Interesting that his son ended up a Nazi sympathizer. That's got to go together somehow - tulips - assholes who think they know everything, and Nazis. Right?

Sarah Laurenson said...

Gotta watch them tulips.

Very interesting stuff, BT. You are a wizard at coming up with great new numbered things.

blogless troll said...

I'm always skeptical when people start calling someone the father of something because it's never the whole story. Did they mention Robert Morris in the documentary? Washington actually appointed him first, but he politicked his protege into the job.

Our first two central banks were created to finance war debt. So...not much really ever changes I guess.

I'm sure this quote makes the conspiracy crowd salivate, but you don't need the sinister stuff to make a case against central banking. Even the smartest most benevolent Federal Reserve Board doesn't know what interest rates should be. That's why they always overshoot too high or too low. The task is even more daunting when the money is based on nothing but faith.

And yeah, those crazy Dutch and their tulip mania. What were they thinking? I mean c'mon. Tulips? They should've invested in something with real value like internet stocks with negative earnings or overpriced hous--oh wait. Never mind.

Scott from Oregon said...

I just like the idea that people are talking about money again.

ChrisEldin said...

I'll be back. This is too interesting, but have to pick up kids from school.

Robin S. said...

Yeah, BT. You've got a helluva good point with the internet stocl specs and the tulip specs. Made me grin!

Robin S. said...

...and houses. Don't even get me started.

How many of you know people with huge houses and hardly any furniture? If you live in the U S - I bet you do.