When I was a boy, setting traps to catch rabbits, skunks or possums to earn a few dollars, one thing I first learned was to not catch my own hands in the trap, thereby earning a bad bruise at the least, or a broken finger at the worst.
I am reminded of this little bit of country philosophy as I watch the big banks and speculators suffer the worst financial losses since, perhaps, the financial crash of 1929.
Latest to report losses of billions of dollars is Citigroup of New York. Something like 18 billion for the current fiscal year. That’s a sum beyond the wildest imagination of the ordinary American families who just hope to buy a home – or pay for the funeral of a member of the family without having to ‘sell the farm.’
Forgive me if I cannot offer the big city banks much sympathy. They have, in my opinion, been ripping off the American people since the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913. For the record, it was passed by a weak congress that did not understand its ramifications and ever since has had the power to create poverty or prosperity for the nation at its whim.
And it is not – repeat – NOT – a governmental function of the United States of America. Yet, it exercises the power of money, its creation and value over the citizens of this nation.
Three brothers named Warburg came to the United States from Germany and by all means well-hidden in dusty record books, lobbied for and got Congress to vote for what became the Federal Reserve System.
By and large thereafter, the nation’s economy became whatever the money trust wanted it to be. It is a sorry and tragic history of the economic damage and devastation that swept across the nation. Those stories were drummed into me as I saw my family suffer along with millions of other hardworking Americans. We suffered through three totally incompetent presidents until Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected and got the nation back to work, prepared the nation to go to war against three evil nations, and when he died, left a native Missourian, Harry Truman, to end the war.
If you will but read the history of the battle for control of the nation’s prosperity, you will discover as I and tens of thousands of others have discovered the sad truth. The nation’s people have virtually no control over our financial system. We are at the mercy of the Federal Reserve, a cartel of bankers.
What does it tell you to know that now the U.S. president can only serve a total of two four-year terms in office, but the appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve System can serve a total of 14 years as head man? Who do you think is most powerful, who has the greatest control over money and its creation?
Can you name the head of the fed at present? Do you know the names of the previous two fed heads? Try Paul Volker, appointed by Jimmy Carter, the man who gave us 20 percent interest rates, bankrupting thousands of U.S. farmers and business people.
Next in line was fed head Alan Greenspan. He was the speaker at one of Mid-America Dairyman’s annual meetings and was dull as a rusty ax as he bumbled his speech.
In his final years, he seemed to have learned a little something, though, for he held interest rates down. But now I wonder if it was only a trick to lure people into a trap. His successor, Ben S. Bernanke, subsequently lowered the boom with substantially higher rates of interest that have thrown the nation into a sick slump and panic.
During the low period of interest rates, business buzzed, millions of people had jobs and bought houses and had all the good things they wanted. But, true to form, the interest hikes found millions unable to make their payments and the economy went in the tank.
Remember my boyhood caution to not let my hand get caught in the trap? Well, thousands of business people have let themselves get caught in the trap of higher interest rates, and that includes the big banks that thought they were going to make killings in the marketplace. Instead, they are squirming, selling assets to people like the producers of oil. And guess what those people are doing? The are buying shares in various U.S. businesses, buying U.S. real estate.
When will we ever learn?
The Fed needs to be put on a short leash, or even better, to be made part of history. Our leaders are guilty of negligence at best, virtual treason at worst.
Of course, we the people are always given that well-worn old excuse that inflation means death of the nation. It did not take long for the new man to increase the rate of interest.
And then, guess what? Prosperity stopped, breaking tens of thousands of people who had bought new homes and settled back to enjoy the wonders of life in the USA.
Such is the promise of America today.
A wise man once said, “Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat their past.”
I am reminded of the words of Thomas Jefferson, probably the most intelligent among our founding fathers, “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and the corporations will grow up around them and they will find themselves deprived of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”


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