Din John Jay Knox, A History of Banking in US, 1903, p. 313.
Primul paragraf rezumă, de fapt, întreaga istorie financiară a Statelor Unite şi a lumii, până în zilele noastre. Partea bună este că avem mult upside la povestea asta. Din ce în ce mai mult, pe măsură ce înaintăm pe calea ruperii complete de orice etalon sau ancoră, fie ea şi cea a străveziei monede de hârtie fiat. Hai liberarea monetară!
The creation of wealth by means of bank notes was the great heresy of the period between the years 1811 and 1861, as the creation of wealth by Government issues and fiat has been the chief financial heresy since that date.
The early State banks of the Eastern States were organized and managed generally on sound business principles. There was real wealth and a thriving commerce which rendered them a necessity. Having something of a monopoly, their profits were large. But their success was warped into the service of those whose ideas were less sound, and was cited as proof that all that was necessary under the primitive conditions existing in the newer settled States was a liberal issue of bank paper.
In the lack of individual moneyed capital, banks were started based on capital created by the State, by the issue of bonds, or upon land, which was abundant and cheap. To start a bank and issue notes, with little or no regard for their redemption in cash, was so easy a way of acquiring the property of others that even honest men became sharpers, and dishonest men invented every conceivable method of misleading the public with banking devices.
The legislatures sought to control this tendency, but were frequently led by crude ideas to make matters worse. Even the protective laws they did enact were hard to enforce. The idea that credit money, instead of being an instrument of wealth was in very truth wealth itself, had taken a strong hold of the minds of the public, and legislators could not get over the notion that by chartering banks, with capital created by the State, or permitting individuals to start banks on capital which was only capital by courtesy, they were increasing the wealth of the public by the exact amount of the bank notes issued.
The inevitable results followed, and the disasters of successive financial crises gradually taught the public something of the dangers of uncontrolled banking issues. The older States, having had much experience in their colonial existence, were the first to learn how to control the management of banking capital. Among so many States and Territories there were always some where the laws were loose and ineffective, and there was room in those for the bank expert to exercise his dangerous knowledge of the credulity of the public, and its desire of apparent gain.