Quotes about banks

| October 9, 2010 | 2 Replies

Prominent thinkers and politicians have often had harsh words about banks and bankers. Here is a sampling:

-“Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.”
James A. Garfield

-“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802)

-“Thus, our national circulating medium is now at the mercy of loan transactions of banks, which lend, not money, but promises to supply money they do not possess.” Irving Fisher

-“Where would we be if we had I.O.U.’s scrip and certificates floating all around the country?” Instead he decided to “issue currency against the sound assets of the banks. [As opposed to issuing currency against gold.] The Federal Reserve Act lets us print all we’ll need. And it won’t frighten the people. It won’t look like stage money. It’ll be money that looks like real money.” [Emphasis added.] (Source: ‘Closed for the Holiday: The Bank Holiday of 1933′, p20 – Federal Reserve Bank of Boston) Treasury Secretary Woodin, 3/7/33

-“Banks have done more injury to the religion, morality, tranquility, prosperity, and even wealth of the nation than they can have done or ever will do good.”
John Adams

-“When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

-“With the exception only of the period of the gold standard, practically all governments of history have used their exclusive power to issue money to defraud and plunder the people.” Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992) Austrian Economist, Author and 1974 Nobel Prize-Winner for Economics

-“There can be no real individual freedom in the presence of economic insecurity.”
Chester Bowles (1901-1986)

-“You are a den of Vipers! I intend to rout you out, and by the Eternal God I will rout you out. If the people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning.”
Andrew Jackson

-“The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor.”
Helen Keller

-“I hate banks. They do nothing positive for anybody except take care of themselves. They’re first in with their fees and first out when there’s trouble.”
Earl Warren

-“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value —- zero.”
Voltaire (1694-1778)

-“If, however, a government refrains from regulations and allows matters to take their course, essential commodities soon attain a level of price out of the reach of all but the rich, the worthlessness of the money becomes apparent, and the fraud upon the public can be concealed no longer.”John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace,1920, page 240.

-“Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money and control credit, and with a flick of a pen they will create enough to buy it back.” Sir Josiah Stamp, former President, Bank of England

[Thanks to Mike Baker for some of these quotes]

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About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Brynn Jacobs says:

    It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.

    –Henry Ford

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