Murray Rothbard

The Federal Reserve Act of December 23, 1913, was part and parcel of the wave of Progressive legislation on local, state, and federal levels of government that began about 1900.  Progressivism was a bipartisan movement that, in the course of the first two decades of the 20th century, transformed the American economy and society from one of roughly laissez-faire to one of centralized statism.

Until the 1960s, historians had established the myth that Progressivism was a virtual uprising of workers and farmers who, guided by a new generation of altruistic experts and intellectuals, surmounted fierce big business opposition in order to curb, regulate, and control what had been a system of accelerating monopoly in the late nineteenth century.  A generation of research and scholarship, however, has now exploded that myth for all parts of the American polity, and it has become all too clear that the truth is the reverse of this well worn fable.

--  The Origins of the Federal Reserve pg. 1, 1999            More Important Figures

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Thomas Jefferson

And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Third President United States

-- Letter to John Taylor, Monticello, 28 May 1816. Ford 11:533.


The Money Trust was born in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve System. That was when the Congress of the United States, and President Woodrow Wilson, decided to give control of the United States’ money supply and credit to bankers and financiers on Wall Street. The Federal Reserve is owned by the big banks on Wall Street and has a coercive government monopoly to operate. Below is a revealing quote from Nelson Aldrich, of the “Aldrich Plan” in the picture above, one of the driving forces behind The Federal Reserve Act in Congress. 


Bertie Charles Forbes

Picture a party of the nation’s greatest bankers stealing out of New York on a private railroad car under the cover of darkness stealthily hieing hundreds of miles South, embarking on a mysterious launch, sneaking on to an island deserted by all but a few servants, living there a full week under such rigid secrecy that the names of not one of them was mentioned lest the servants learn the identity and disclose to the world this strangest, and most secret expedition in the history of American finance.

I am not romancing.  I am giving to the world, for the first time, the real story of how the famous Aldrich currency report, the foundation of our new currency, was written.

Bertie Charles Forbes  (1880-1954)

Financial journalist, author, founder Forbes Magazine

“Men Who Are Making America,” Leslie’s Weekly, October 19, 1916, p. 423 


The Aldrich currency report that is mentioned in the above quote was designed by Senator Aldrich and the men who accompanied him to Jekyll Island, Georgia.  It was the Aldrich currency report that formed the basis of the Federal Reserve Act.  The seven people who had a seat at the table when the Aldrich currency report was written were:

Senator Nelson W. Aldrich - U.S. Senator

Henry P. Davison - senior partner J.P. Morgan

Frank A. Vanderlip - president of National City Bank of New York

Charles D. Norton - president of J.P. Morgan’s First National Bank of New York

Benjamin Strong - of J.P. Morgan’s Bankers Trust Company

Abraham Piatt Andrew - Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury

Paul M. Warburg - partner in Kuhn, Loeb & Company

Years later Frank Vanderlip wrote about his trip to Jekyll Island with Senator Aldrich.


Frank A. Vanderlip

Once aboard the private car we began to observe the taboo that had been fixed on last names.  We addressed one another as “Ben,” “Paul,” “Nelson,” ”Abe” - it is Abraham Piat Andrew.  Davison and I adopted even deeper disguises, abandoning our first names.  On the theory that we were always right, he became Wilbur and I became Orville, after those two aviation pioneers, the Wright brothers.  Incidentally, for years afterward Davison and I continued the practice, in communications, and when we were together.

The servants and train crew may have known the identities of one or two of us, but they did not know all, and it was the names of all printed together that would have made our mysterious journey significant in Washington, in Wall Street, even in London.  Discovery, we knew, simply must not happen, or else all our time and effort would be wasted.  If it were to be exposed publicly that our particular group had got together and written a banking bill, that bill would have no chance whatever of passage by Congress.

Frank A. Vanderlip (1864-1937)


-- “From Farm Boy to Financier,” The Saturday Evening Post, pg. 70, Feb. 9, 1933


Paul M. Warburg

Though eighteen years have gone by, I do not feel free to give a description of this most interesting conference which Senator Aldrich pledged all participants to secrecy.

Paul Warburg(1886-1932)


-- The Federal Reserve System: Its Origin and Growth (New York: MacMillen, 1930), Vol. I, pg. 58


Charles A. Lindbergh Sr.

Why should Congress place a controlling agency [Federal Reserve System], employed for private gain, between the people and the Government of the United States?  That is what has been done by giving to the banks the exclusive privilege of the use of the Government credit.  Why is it proposed that the banker should take the merchants', the manufactures', and other notes, as well as the bonds of towns, villages, cities, States, and even the Nation's bonds, to the Government and get currency, and at the same time refuse the producers themselves, the makers of the notes and obligations, an equal privilege?  The absurdity of the Government giving away its own credit to corporations to exploit the people is incomprehensible.  The bankers are not to blame.  Congress is to blame for giving away the people's rights and bestowing them upon the banks.


It is true that Congress possesses the authority and has the power to strip the banks of their exclusive monopoly, but the most of us have not the courage, and therefore we have the absurdity of the Congress of the United States giving to special interests the Government credit - the credit of the people - thereby forcing the people to borrow at exorbitant rates of interest the very money that their own Government issues on their own credit.  The fiat of the Government is stamped upon the coins and the currency and then given to special interests and used as a means to pauperize the people.  If the exclusive privilege were not given to the banks, then they would become the people's natural agents, but with the exclusive monopoly they become the people's masters.

Charles August Lindbergh Sr.  (1859-1924)

Congressman from Minnesota 1907-1917

-- Speech to House of Representatives Sept. 11 1913

Congressional Record Vol. 50 Part 5 pg. 4746


Friedrich August von Hayek

Inflation is probably the most important single factor in that viscous circle wherein one kind of government action makes more and more government control necessary.  For this reason all those who wish to stop the drift toward increasing government control should concentrate their effort on monetary policy.


Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992)

Economist Nobel Prize 1974

-- The Constitution of Liberty, pg.338-339, 1960


John Maynard Keynes

Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth. Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become 'profiteers,' who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.

Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.


John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)


-- The Economic Consequences of the Peace, Chapter VI. pg. 235-236, 1919

Edward Mandell House

December 19, 1912  I talked with Paul Warburg over the telephone regarding the currency reform.  I told of my Washington trip and what I had done there to get it into working order.


March 27, 1913  Mr. J.P. Morgan, Jr., and Mr. Denny of his firm, came promptly at five.  McAdoo came about 10 minutes afterwards.  Morgan had a currency plan already formulated and printed.  We discussed it at some length.  I suggested he have it type written [so it would not seem too prearranged] and sent to us today.


January 21, 1914  After dinner we [Wilson and House] went to the president's study as usual and began work on the Federal Reserve Board appointments.

Edward Mandell House (1858-1938)

Senior Advisor to President Woodrow Wilson

-- Charles Seymour - The Intimate Papers of Colonel Edward House (New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1926 Vol. I)


Louis T. McFadden

Mr. Chairman, we have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known.  I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks.  The Federal Reserve Board, a government Board, has cheated the Government of the United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the national debt.  The depredations and iniquities of the Federal Reserve Board has cost this country enough money to pay the national debt several times over.  This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of the United States, have bankrupted itself, and has practically bankrupted our government.  It has done this through the defects of the law under which it operates, through the maladminisration of that law by the Federal Reserve Board, and through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.


Louis T. McFadden (1875-1936)

Chairman of the United States House Committee on Banking and Currency (1920-1931)

-- Speech in the House of Representatives 10 June 1932


Carrol Quigley

In addition to these pragmatic goals, the powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.  This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences.  The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.  Each central bank, in the hands of men like Montagu Norman of the Bank of England, Benjamin Strong of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Charles Rist of the Bank of France, and Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichbank, sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.

Carrol Quigley (1910-1977)

Historian Harvard University

-- Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, pg. 277, 1966

Charles A. Lindbergh Sr. was a Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives. He opposed the Federal Reserve Act because he believed giving the bankers and financiers control over the United States money supply and credit would lead to a situation where the bankers would be powerful enough to pauperize the people.

Ron Paul

The Founders of this Country, and a large majority of the American people up until the 1930s, disdained paper money, respected commodity paper, and disproved of a central bank's monopoly control of money creation and interest rates.  Ironically, it was the abuse of the gold standard, the Fed's credit creating habits of the 1920s, and its subsequent mischief in the 1930s, that not only gave us the Great Depression, but also prolonged it.  Yet sound money was blamed for all the suffering.  That's why people hardly objected when Roosevelt and his statist friends confiscated gold and radically debased the currency, ushering in the age of worldwide fiat currencies with which the international economy struggles today.


Ron Paul (1935- )

Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy

-- Speech in the House of Representatives 5 September 2003


Andrew Jackson

I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the Bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the Bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out and, by the Eternal,  I will rout you out.

Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)

7th President of the United States

-- From the original minutes of the Philadelphia committee of citizens sent to meet with President Jackson, February 1834, according to Stan V. Henkels, Andrew Jackson and the Bank of the United States, 1928


Nelson W. Aldrich

Before the passage of this Act [Federal Reserve Act], the New York Bankers could only dominate the reserves of New York.  Now we are able to dominate the bank reserves of the entire country.

Nelson W. Aldrich (1841-1915)

Senator from Rhode Island 1881-1911 and Chairman of the National Monetary Commission

-- Interview with The Independent magazine July 1914