The Money Masters
Ben Still 1996
Produced twelve years before the 2008 economic collapse, The Money Masters provides a comprehensive outline of the role of the international banking cartel in hijacking America’s so-called “democratic” government. Referring to them as “moneychangers” (a New Testament reference), Still explores the key role international banksters have played in deliberately creating depressions and panics, instigating US wars, and assassinating presidents who sought to curtail their power.
Understanding how money is created in the US and other capitalist countries is essential in grasping this historical perspective. Contrary to popular misconception, the federal government doesn’t create or control the money supply – private banks do. Moreover the Federal Reserve isn’t a government agency. It’s actually a private corporation owned by its member banks. What’s more, the fractional reserve banking system allows these banks to loan and charge interest on money they don’t possess – that they essentially create out of thin air.
Most of the film is devoted to the 130 year battle between the world banking cartel and the American presidents who stood up to them: Jefferson, Madison, Andrew Jackson, Lincoln, McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, and Warren Harding. Jefferson and Madison both warned that allowing private banks to seize control of money creation would be the end of democratic rule in the US.
During the 19th century, the global banking cartel was dominated by key families, like the Rothschilds and Rockefellers. However during the 20th century, this power shifted to a corporate structure with control residing with CEOs and interlocking boards. Still stresses that global economic and political instability can no longer be blamed on specific families (i.e. the Rothschilds) – that the problem lies with the corporate banking system itself.
The solution he proposes is to end fractional reserve banking and the ability of private banks to create money – to follow Lincoln’s example by restoring the responsibility for money creation to federal and state governments.
As the 3 ½ hour film below covers nearly 1000 years of history, I have indexed the key historical events covered:
- 0-21 min – 1100 AD King Henry I creates the tally stick to counter the influence of private goldsmiths and moneychangers who are wreaking economic havoc by manipulating the supply of gold coins.
- 22-27 min – 17th century Queen Elizabeth I counters the power of private moneychangers by issuing coins directly from the royal treasury. In 1642, international moneychangers finance Oliver Cromwell, who leads a Civil War to overthrow the monarchy. Later they finance an invasion by the Dutch William of Orange to invade England and overthrow the House of Stuart. In 1694 Bank of England (the world’s first central bank) is formed and granted power to create money out of thin air.
- 28-36 min 18th century Amschel Moses Bower, Frankfurt moneychanger, changes his name to Rothschild and five of his sons assume control of the central banks of Germany, Austria, London, Italy and Paris. The Rothschild family plays major role in financing the Vanderbilt and Harrison railroad monopolies, Carnegie’s monopoly of the steel industry, and 80% of JP Morgan’s holdings. The Rothschild family proceeds to finance both sides of a continuous cycle of European wars. The British treasury incurs a 140 million pound debt to the Bank of England. George III is forced to raise revenue by taxing the American colonies.
- 37-38 min 1764 Under pressure from the Bank of England, George III passes currency act forbidding the use of colonial scrip (paper money) in the American colonies. Forced to use scarce gold and silver coins issued by the Bank of England, the colonies are plunged into deep depression with massive unemployment. Benjamin Franklin maintains this, not the tea tax, triggers the American Revolution.
- 39-44 min 1781 Over strong objections of Jefferson and Madison, charter is granted for the Bank of North America, a privately owned central bank which is allowed to create money out of thin air. Charter allowed to lapse in 1785, and power to issue money reverts to federal government.
- 45–51 min 1790 Alexander Hamilton pressures Congress to charter a second private bank, the Bank of the United States. The US Treasury, which provides all the funds, is a 20% shareholder. The Bank creates money out of thin air to loan funds to private shareholders to purchase the other 80%.
- 52-99 min 1811 Congress refuses to renew Bank of US charter, despite a threat by Nathan Mayer Rothschild that “ . . .the United States will find itself involved in a most disastrous war (War of 1812) if the bank’s charter is not renewed.”
- 1:00-1:01hr 1816 Devastated by war and war debt, Congress grants new charter for the (private) Bank of the United States, again funded mainly by the federal government. The US Treasury winds up with 20% share, with the Bank creating additional money to loan private shareholders (mostly foreign) sufficient funds to buy the other 80%.
- 1:02-1:10hr 1828 Andrew Jackson elected president on platform to end massive corruption and fraud at the Bank of the United Statesby shutting it down. Nearly assassinated after “powerful Europeans” hire gunman to kill him. The USremains free of central bank control for 77 years, with state chartered banks assuming responsibility for money creation.
- 1:11-1:18hr Civil War European financial powers pressure Southern states to secede by boycotting their cotton. Ending slavery was not the original cause of US Civil War, as Lincolnoriginally had no intention of abolishing it.
- 1:19-1:27hr 1862 To finance the Civil War, Lincoln issues $450 million in paper money (greenbacks) and is attacked by the London Times – which calls for the destruction of the US before it destroys the world’s monarchies. British troops mobilize in Canada and British navy mobilizes on Atlantic coast. The Rothschilds grant Napoleon III $3 million to seize Mexico. Russian czar stations battleships on West Coast and pledges to come to US defense if England and France enter Civil War (on behalf of the South). Lincoln agrees to allow national banks to temporarily issue currency through 1863 National Banking Act, though his government-issued greenbacks continue to circulate until 1994. German chancellor Otto von Bismarck predicts triumph for global banking cartel following Lincoln’s 1865 assassination. In 1934 Vancouver Mayor Gerry McGreer releases Secret Service records revealing John Wilkes Booth was hired by powerful banking interests.
- 1:28–1:30hr 1873 Banking interests pressure Congress to demonetize silver (which is far more plentiful than gold) and place all US money on gold standard. Deliberate contraction of the money supply leads to severe depression and unemployment (1/3 of US workforce unemployed in 1876). In 1877 riots calling for return of silver currency lead to 1878 Sherman Law, which allows limited number of silver coins to be minted.
- 1:37-1:38 hr 1881 President Garfield attacks the moneychangers and is assassinated.
- 1.38–1:47 hr 1891-1907 Determined to manipulate public opinion in favor of a new (private) central bank, the moneychangers deliberately shrink US money supply, causing 20 years of extreme economic instability. .
- 1:48-1:54 hr 1907 secret meeting of Rockefellers and other major banking families at Jekyll Island to draw up plans for new central bank called the Federal Reserve. President Taft (a Republican) refuses to support it, so moneychangers begin courting Woodrow Wilson (a Democrat)
- 1:54-1:57 hr 1913 Wilson defeats Taft with support from William Jennings Bryant and other currency reformers by promising he won’t support the new central bank. Wilson betrays his supporters and Federal Reserve Act passed during Christmas recess. The Act requires the federal government to borrow funding for operational expenses from the Federal Reserve. A federal income tax is adopted to ensure the government can make the interest payments.
- 2:13-2:17 hr 1905-1917 $20 million of Federal Reserve funds channeled to Bolsheviks via Chase Manhattan Bank (controlled by Rockefellers) after czar denies them access to Russian oil fields.
- 2:18- 2:29 hr 1929 Federal Reserve deliberately contracts money supply and crashes the stock market after all their members transfer their wealth from stocks to gold and cash. According to Milton Friedman, this contraction triggers Great Depression.
- 2:30-2:31hr 1931 Rep Louis McFadden warns that US banks are subsidizing the rise of Hitler, channeling over $30 billion in Federal Reserve funds via Chase Manhattan Bank.
- 2:32-2:44 hr 1933 Roosevelt prohibits US citizens from owning gold coins or bullion and forces them to turn all their gold to the federal government. All US Treasury gold becomes property of Federal Reserve and most of it is sold to European speculators.
- 2:45-2:50 hr 1945 a global central bank is formed through creation of IMF, World Bank, and International Bank of Settlements. All are run by private bankers, with intention of consolidating control of the global money supply.
- 2:51-2:58 hr 1989-1993 Economy of Japan and Mexico wiped out when Bank of International Settlements contracts the global money supply. Punitive IMF interest charges result in massive transfer of wealth from third world countries to World Bank. Continuing consolidation of central bank control with formation of NAFTA and WTO.
Still produced a sequel to the Money Masters in 2010 called The Secret of Oz in 2010. It focuses mainly on the rise of the Populist movement in the 1890s and the presidential campaigns of Populist Democrat William Jennings Bryant. Bryant ran on a platform of ending the power of private banks to issue money and returning to federally issued greenbacks and silver coinage. L Frank Baum, who wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, was a strong Bryant supporter. The book is loaded with symbols related to monetary reform (for example, the silver slippers, Emerald City, and the yellow brick road).
photo credit: Cea. via photopin cc