All the Presidents Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power
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It would take several years of political-financial debate and more bailouts to sustain Penn Central. The final version was far more lenient than the one that Texas Democrat John William Wright Patman, chair of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, or even the Nixon administration had originally envisioned.
The revised act allowed big banks to retain nonbank units acquired before June It also gave the Fed greater regulatory authority over bank holding companies, including the power to determine what constituted one. Language was added to enable banks to be considered one-bank holding companies if they, or any of their subsidiaries, held any deposits or extended any commercial loans, thus broadening their scope.
In fact, his inner circle decided against making a splash about it. Plus, they realized that there was a prevailing attitude that the Nixon administration had favored the big banks, and though it had, this was not something they wanted to draw attention to. Wriston flooded the New York Fed with proposals for expansion. His biggest disappointment was the insurance underwriting rejection. The possibility of converting depositors for insurance business had been tantalizing. It would continue to be a hard-fought, ultimately successful battle. This was a gift for Wriston and David Rockefeller, because it meant their banks could expand within the state.
Each subsidiary could open branches through June , when the districts would be eliminated and banks could merge and branch freely. Several months later, First National City Bank was paying generous prices to purchase the tiniest upstate banks, from which it began extending loans to the riskiest companies and getting hosed in the process; a minor David vs. Goliath revenge of local banks against Wall Street muscle. By that time, the stock market had turned bearish, and foreign countries were increasingly demanding their paper dollars be converted into gold as they shifted funds out of dollar reserves.
Bankers, meanwhile, postured for a dollar devaluation, which would make their cost of funds cheaper and enable them to expand their lending businesses. They knew that the fastest way to further devalue the dollar was to sever it from gold, and they made their opinions clear to Nixon, taking care to blame the devaluation on external foreign speculation, not their own movement of capital and lending abroad.
The strategy worked. Foreign central banks had access to US gold through the Bretton Woods rules, and they exercised this access. Exchanging dollars for gold had the effect of decreasing the value of the US dollar relative to that gold. At p. Once the dollar was no longer backed by gold, questions surfaced as to what truly backed it besides the US military. That established a debt inflation policy, which took off after the dissolution of Bretton Woods. For the bankers, this made expansion much easier. When entire countries default on their debt, history tells us that public money will be called on to let private bank money off the hook.
With all the financial offices of the U. This means an IMF bailout takes those public funds, gives it to debtor countries so that it may be paid out to private banks that hold the loans. In we saw the ultimate effect of this scam - too big to fail. By threatening to bring down the entire economic system, the largest banks are able to extort unlimited funds from government. The Federal Reserve a part of the banking system, not a government agency is now holding huge amounts of bad bank assets, which it could sweep up from banks in exchange for government debt Treasury bills.
The United States goes into a record amount of debt and the big banks are still whole, still operating, still making money. As this book carefully documents, whereas once the banks needed the power of the Presidency to back their bailouts, they have now become so powerful that the President essentially stands aside while the alumni of Wall Street at the Treasury Department work with their former and future coworkers in the banks to come up with a bank rescue. Though I have read several accounts of the banking disaster of , this book uniquely builds up to that event with the history of similar, but simpler and easier to understand bailouts in the past.
The reader is educated along the way so that when is reached, all the pieces and characters are in place for the drama to be fully appreciated. After reading All the Presidents' Bankers, the outrage you have felt over what has happened to our economic system will be informed and all the greater for that. Being informed you will be able to speak out with understanding. If nothing else, you will be able to write your people in Congress with a demand for a break-up of the big banks supported by historical fact. The book is a dire warning.
We must break the banks up and increase regulations. The economic system has been gamed by the banks for the last time because there is nothing left in the public purse to provide another bailout. The next time will bring complete collapse. Capitalism is teetering. If you like what it has given you and you want it to continue in a stable form, you must get busy calling for change. View all 14 comments. Mar 02, C. Scott rated it liked it. This book would make a nice companion to C.
Wright Mills's The Power Elite.
All the Presidents' Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power - Truthdig
There are lots of fantastical ideas out there about the Illuminati or some other secret cabal running the world. The truth is that class interests run things openly and it's on the historical record. This sad truth is much less colorful but the proof is there if you care to look for it.
This book provides some of that proof - clarifying in great detail the rock solid links that exist between powerful bankers and American This book would make a nice companion to C. This book provides some of that proof - clarifying in great detail the rock solid links that exist between powerful bankers and American presidents over the last years. All the Presidents' Bankers is not a fun read. Nomi Prins gets very granular as she exposes how bankers manipulate the levers of power for their own advantage.
This book requires patience, but it is also rewarding if you're willing to put in the time. It was worth reading this book to help fill in some of my own gaps in knowledge about the context and timing of important events that don't get a lot of attention - like the Mexican financial crisis in the s or the end of the gold standard in the s for example.
This book really shines when going into detail about how the Federal Reserve was originally created, in secret - by bankers for bankers. If this sort of book is in your wheelhouse it deserves your attention. View all 7 comments. Mar 03, Tim rated it really liked it Recommends it for: voters.
An informative book about how the banking industry gained power in national and global politics as well as economics. While topic is very complex and could have been inaccessible to all but trained financiers and economics if written by an academic in those fields, the author writes for a lay audience using short, journalistic "chapters" that capture the essence of the issues chronologically.
While the bankers of years past, though clearly interested in profits, had a sense of social obligat An informative book about how the banking industry gained power in national and global politics as well as economics. While the bankers of years past, though clearly interested in profits, had a sense of social obligation and even sacrifice, bankers today are clearly portrayed as only concerned with profit and incredible power. The book ends on a scary and depressing note with only the most perfunctory warning about the need to break the bond between the presidency and banking which by the end was self-evident ; no suggestions of HOW to survive the tyranny of banking is given.
Feb 19, Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a hour blaze and I was talking about a novel I had written, a historical novel on the crash called Black Tuesday. And what had happened as one of the segments in that book was that six bankers had gotten together at the behest of the acting chairman of the Morgan bank, Sep 22, Carlos rated it really liked it Shelves: history-btr. A book that anyone wishing to understand how US economy works and the why behind the major economic challenges in this country needs to read.
Jul 05, Eric rated it really liked it. First, that not only do we not learn from history, we do it consistently and frequently. Second, that depressions, recessions and bail outs are almost always followed on the heels of deregulation. Time to invest in gold. Feb 26, Gordon Hilgers rated it it was amazing. After the economic downturn, when the so-called "free" market banking system collapsed of its own petard, thus foreclosing on 11 million homeowners in the U. We hear all sorts of nonsense as confirmation-bias-enslaved "economic experts" blame the Federal Reserve, or the "gubbermint" in general or other factors, all of which did have to play a part in the huge game, mainly because the Federal Reserve is exactly that, a reserve bank that provides reserve funding should the banking system run close to collapse.
What is one to do when confronted by tsunamis of over-charged bile? One reads about the American banking system and its long-standing relationship with the federal government, that's what. Nomi Prins' latest book is full of amazing, often unknown facts and almost arcane history about how "the market" relates to "the government" and how both depend upon one another.
Who would have known that J. Morgan and Nelson Rockefeller, two major American bankers, got so dog tired of the endless panics downturns the then "free" market was wreaking on the bankers and the polity that, by , a big one, they decided it was time for a reserve banking system? These men and other big players met at a Georgia leisure spot, hashed out their plans, wrote up the final document and presented it to the Wilson administration and Congress. All parties agreed and by , the Federal Reserve, a privately owned bank, was brought into being without saying Klatuu Nikto Barrata even once.
Prins then goes on to detail the facts and nothing but the facts surrounding the how's and why's operatives within The New Deal clamped-down on the banking system, something that resulted in almost 50 years of relative economic stability.
All The President's Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power
All this fascinates those curious about the inner workings of banking and finance in general. How I managed to stumble on this mess is a question I will be asking for years into the future. Since I am interested in politics, an interest in economics is a likely sidekick. The Bretton Woods agreement, the end of the Silver Certificate, the dawn of fiat banking, the arguments over fiat banking and the latest developments in terms of derivatives, credit default swaps and more are all covered in detail here.
This is not My Easy Reader territory, but for those interested in more than ideological conspiracy theories, this should be a go-to book that will put the mythology to rest once and for all. Feb 25, E rated it liked it Shelves: history , economics , politics , poli-sci.
Prins is no lover of bankers, and by the end of her book, it is easy to share her point of view. In a year by year, administration by administration approach that is at times painfully detailed, she describes the politics that have created symbiotic financial political arrangements of today.
Starting with the end of the 19th century, her work narrates the political machinations of banking firms to secure government underwriting for their speculation, of politicians anxious for popular support an Prins is no lover of bankers, and by the end of her book, it is easy to share her point of view. Starting with the end of the 19th century, her work narrates the political machinations of banking firms to secure government underwriting for their speculation, of politicians anxious for popular support and Wall Street donations, and the everybody else who is caught in the middle.
Quick to condemn the decisions of the financial elite as driven merely by a lust for power, her stance can be forgiven in part as decade after decade of destructive deals are forged for the benefit of an elite few. May 16, John Corder rated it it was amazing.
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This book is as substantial in content as it is in size - and not a page too long. A scholarly work, it takes the reader through the history of banking from the late s to the present day. It highlights the impact American banking has had and is still having on world affairs and traces the path taken for it to achieve such influence.
So far so good but there was an issue.