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Friday the 13th Could Have Been Known as “Kill Your Banker Day”​

The History of Money: Installment 1 – The Templars​

This article was originally crafted by my father for his readers in September of 2003, but its content is possibly more relevant than ever before. This is one of the original tales of powerful bankers, leaders of countries and crippling debt. It should be noted that crippling debt leads nowhere good!

My fascination with money began at an early age. I happened to be 7 years old when the new 1965 "tokens" were first minted. I was not sure why, but I knew there was something going on here. Several adults grumbled and complained that the new coins were really tokens because the last real coins had been minted the year before, in 1964. Several people I knew began collecting the 1964 and older coins and kept telling me that I should too because some day they would be worth something. And so, at the tender age of 7, I became a "coin collector" and a "silver commodities trader". At the time my, Father was on the board of directors at one of the local banks so I asked all the tellers at the main branch to "save the silver for me" and I would trade tokens for them. I did the same with the lady in the cafeteria at school. So once a day at school and twice a week at the bank I would collect a few silver coins. I didn't know it at the time, but a powerful law of economics was at work. Gresham's law states that "bad money will drive good money out of circulation" which simply means that people will hoard good money and spend the bad. This is exactly what happened in the mid 1960's as I am sure most of you here remember. It didn't take long before my take was getting smaller and smaller every week and finally dried up. I packed my hoard of silver coins away and eventually forgot about it.



Silver Slippers, Flying Monkeys, and Gold as a Weapon – The 1896 US Election​

The History of Money: Installment 2 – Deflation and Farmers

This piece was written by my father in December of 2003 - George W. Bush’s approval ratings were high following the successful invasion of Iraq and the capture of Saddam Hussein, the republican party controlled both the house and the senate, and the main political concern was the ongoing war in Iraq. The US economy was recovering from the 2001 recession, unemployment was falling, the stock market was rising, and the main economic issue was the budget deficit. Ironically the imperialism concern from the 1896 election was still a concern but we had definitively solved the limitations on money supply inflation…

It's hard for some to even imagine deflation in our current economic situation. All the fed has to do is just juice up the economy by lowering rates and presto - instant inflation.

Assuming of course that people are in a borrowing kind of mood. Remember that "velocity" is the other factor that must be considered when talking about deflation. Even if the Fed is giving it away for practically nothing, someone has to take it! When fear overcomes greed and the takers start to back off, even no-interest money cannot spark a borrower's interest in piling on more debt. This installment covers a part of American history when deflation was a relevant fear. There were even instances of railroad bonds being issued for 100 years at 1% interest during this time.



Wars and Inflation – The Tricky Business of Conflict Finance​

The History of Money: Installment 3 – Honest Abe

Written By: Larry LaBorde

Edited By: Christopher LaBorde

This article was originally crafted by my father for his readers in February of 2004, but its content is possibly more relevant now than ever before with multiple proxy wars threatening to bring down the US financial system.

A quick history lesson on Wars that are often won with finance skills as much as field tactics. A very important lesson as we are close to backing three wars at the same time and should probably listen carefully to the songs of history!

After the secession of the Southern States, Lincoln wanted to raise an army and invade the Southern states that had left the Union. To his dismay, he had a large overriding problem - MONEY! Raising an army and equipment for the purpose of war requires upfront cash and a large financial burden to be placed on a government and its people. Many of those people were not in favor of the war or the debt it would bring.



What Does The US Dollar Have in Common with a Mermaid?​

The History of Money: Installment 4 – Merrill Jenkins Sr., M.R.

Written By: Larry LaBorde

Edited By: Christopher LaBorde

This article was originally crafted by my father for his readers in 2005, and its content was at the root of many of our debates. The simple answer was to always answer him with “everyone knows what a dollar is,” but he was quick to remind my younger self that this definition was manipulated as part of a robbery. It is only in today’s times that this conversation is becoming more mainstream and the US is coming to understand what inflation fully means.

Last week we covered how inflation plays a critical part in managing wars and was possibly the deciding factor in the war between the states (Civil War) in the US. We also covered how an unbacked war time US currency was ultimately declared unconstitutional. This week we discuss how our current unbacked currency has made a binding legal definition of the dollar challenging at times. Court battles have been won against the dollar that suggest it does not fulfill its legal requirements, but the very nature of this topic is dangerous to the US so it can easily be understood that a most tactical approach must be used in these discussions. Enter Mr. Merrill Jenkins.

Every now and then a person comes along that just seems to make a difference in your life. Mr. Jenkins is one such man. I never had the privilege of meeting him but have studied his books and lectures for some time now. He was born in 1919 and spent his teenage years growing up during the great depression. Like many young men of his day he started work at an early age in order to help make ends meet at home. Mr. Jenkins died relatively young at age 60 in 1979. In between those years Mr. Jenkins led an interesting life. This is his story.


It appears to me the FED is turning the $USD into something like a 3x ETF based on thin air with built-in contagion.

How We Traded the Fear of Boutique Banking for the Certainty of a Declining Dollar​

The History of Money: Installment 5 – Wildcat Banking​

In the last history of money installment, we introduced that the legal definition of the dollar may not be completely solid because of its change in what backs it. This installment looks at the landscape that drove us from a country of thousands of banks and notes to a country of mega banks with one note.

In the early 19th century all banks in the United States, with the exception of the 1st and 2nd National Banks, were State chartered banks. In the frontier states, some of these banks were called "wildcat banks,” because they were managed by unscrupulous men and were often located on the edge of civilization. These men would obtain a state bank charter, issue their own notes, spend these notes and then make it nearly impossible to redeem them. Each state’s charter still required that the notes be backed by gold, so a game of hide-n-seek was set in motion. This brand of banker would often locate their “bank” in a small unheard-of town on the edge of the frontier amongst the wilderness and proceed to generate notes that would eventually be deemed worthless. Their reputations would quickly catch up with them and they would not last long. They were not prolific in number, but it only took a few to make life more difficult for the sound bankers in the state.


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