I'm guessing that it isn't prostitution that's the world's oldest profession, but bartering and trading, when early man was a hunter-gatherer. Then banking might be the second oldest profession.
We hear a lot of complaints and criticisms about the ideologies of capitalism, socialism, communism, Marxism, fascism, and Zionism; but I believe that the real problem for the past four thousand years has been the ideology of usuryism (as in usury or bankingism, acquiring wealth from someone else's labor).
I've heard Fox News pundits and politicians say that the Occupy Wall Street protesters don't know why they're protesting. Herman Cain recently criticized them, saying, "Don't blame Wall Street. Don't blame the big banks. If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself." (Cain is either very naive or very deceitful, I think the latter.)
The "occupy" protests are very similar to the anti-globalization movement (G-8 protests) that have been going on for years, which were critical of globalization and corporate capitalism. The Occupy Wall Street protesters know what they're protesting, and they know exactly who to blame...big banks and the big multi-national corporations. Just because Herman Cain personally benefited from corporations and banks, doesn't make them morally right.
When Herman Cain was asked to join the Kansas City Federal Reserve, he thought: " 'Wow, the Federal Reserve wants me to serve on one of its boards!' That was something I had never really thought about, but it seemed pretty prestigious.”
So Herman Cain (and those like him) know exactly what the protesters want (and who benefits for advocating for the corporations and banks) and who the protesters are blaming and why. Herman Cain says the protesters shouldn't blame Wall Street, and should march on the White House instead.
But if Herman Cain (being a corporate CEO and a chairman of the Kansas City branch of our central bank) knows anything about history, he should know who calls all the shots, and it isn't the politicians, but the bankers. Our president is a figure head, just like Ben Bernanke is a figure head for the Federal Reserve.
Ordinary citizens have to march on the banks, not the White House. The President can't do anything about the banks without congressional action to nationalize our banking system. It's those who own the Federal Reserve that are the real people in power.
And Herman Cain should know this. Anything else, any arguments, any crisis, any finger-pointing, any scandal, any crime, any war, any natural disaster, any presidential debate, and any criticism from people like Herman Cain, is just a welcomed distraction from the people who really rule the world. If they want you to look one way, I'd look the other way. (More on this below).
We know it was the banks who collapsed our economy, and how they put millions of people in debt with bad underwater mortgages. We know how they put millions of people out of work; now we have ask ourselves why, and would someone defend the banks?
History of Banking
The first banks were the merchants of the ancient world that made loans to farmers and traders that carried goods between cities. The
first records of such activity dates back to around 2000 BC in Assyria and Babylonia - both Semitic kingdoms in ancient
Mesopotamia. Later, in ancient Greece and during the Roman Empire, lenders based in temples would make loans,
but also added two important innovations: accepted deposits and changing money.
In ancient Rome moneylenders would set up their stalls in the middle of enclosed courtyards called macella on a long bench called a bancu, from which the words banco and bank are derived. As a moneychanger, the merchant at the bancu did not so much invest money as merely convert the foreign currency into the only legal tender in Rome, that of the Imperial Mint.
With the ascent of Christianity, banking became subject to additional restrictions, as the charging of interest was seen as immoral. After the fall of Rome, banking temporarily ended in Europe and was not revived until the time of the Crusades around 1095 (a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem.)
But most early religious systems in the ancient Middle East (the historical origin of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) and the secular codes arising from them, did not forbid usury. These societies regarded inanimate matter as alive, like plants, animals and people, and capable of reproducing itself. Hence if you lent 'food money', or monetary tokens of any kind, it was legitimate to charge interest.
The Torah, and later sections of the Hebrew Bible, criticize interest-taking, but interpretations of the Biblical prohibition vary. One common understanding is that Jews are forbidden to charge interest upon loans made to other Jews, but obliged to charge interest on transactions with non-Jews, or Gentiles.
Israelites were forbidden to charge interest on loans made to other Israelites, but allowed to charge interest on transactions with non-Israelites, as the latter were often amongst the Israelites for the purpose of business anyway. But in general, it was seen as advantageous to avoid getting into debt at all, and to avoid being bound to someone else (becoming a slave to debt).
The original "merchant banks" were first invented in the Middle Ages by Italian grain merchants. Many displaced Jews who were fleeing Spanish persecution, were attracted to the trade. They brought with them their ancient practices from the Middle and Far East silk routes. Originally intended for the finance of long trading journeys, these methods were applied to finance the production and trading of grain.
The Jews could not hold land in Italy, so they entered the great trading piazzas and halls of Lombardy, alongside the local traders, and set up their benches to trade in crops. They had one great advantage over the locals...the Christians were strictly forbidden the sin of usury, defined as lending at interest (Islam makes similar condemnations of usury).
The Jewish newcomers, on the other hand, could lend to farmers against crops in the field, a high-risk loan at what would have been considered usurious rates by the Church; but the
Jews were not subject to the Church's dictates. In this way they could secure the grain-sale rights against the
eventual harvest. They then began to advance payment against the future delivery of grain shipped to distant ports. In both cases they
made their profit from the present discount against the future price. This two-handed trade was time-consuming and soon there arose
a class of merchants who were trading grain debt instead of actual grain.
The Jewish trader performed both financing (credit) and underwriting (insurance) functions. Financing took the form of a crop loan at the beginning of the growing season, which allowed a farmer to develop and manufacture (through seeding, growing, weeding, and harvesting) his annual crop. Underwriting in the form of a crop, or commodity, insurance guaranteed the delivery of the crop to its buyer, typically a merchant wholesaler. In addition, traders performed the merchant function by making arrangements to supply the buyer of the crop through alternative sources—grain stores or alternate markets, for instance—in the event of crop failure. He could also keep the farmer (or other commodity producer) in business during a drought or other crop failure, through the issuance of a crop (or commodity) insurance against the hazard of failure of his crop.
In the middle of the 13th century, groups of Italian Christians invented legal fictions to get around the ban on Christian usury; for example, one method of effecting a loan with interest was to offer money without interest, but also require that the loan is insured against possible loss or injury, and/or delays in repayment. The Christians effecting these legal fictions became known as the Pope's usurers, and reduced the importance of the Jews to European monarchs. Later, in the Middle Ages, a distinction was drawn between things which were consumable (such as food and fuel) and those which were not, with usury being permitted on loans involving the latter.
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (the oldest surviving bank in the world) was founded in 1472 by the Magistrate of the city state of Siena, Italy, as a mount of piety. It took over Papal banking monopolies from rivals in nearby Siena and became tax collectors for the Pope throughout Europe. The Papal bankers were the most successful of the Western world and has been operating ever since. Today it consists of approximately 3 thousand branches, 33 thousand employees and 4.5 million customers in Italy, as well as branches and businesses abroad. A subsidiary, MPS Finance, handles investment banking.
The oldest surviving bank in the world is in Italy.
By the later Middle Ages, Christian merchants who lent money with interest were without opposition, and the Jews lost their privileged position as money-lenders.
The medieval Italian markets were disrupted by wars and were limited by the fractured nature of the Italian states, so the next developments happened as banking practices spread throughout Europe during the Renaissance Era. Banking offices were usually located near centers of trade, and in the late 17th century, the largest centers for commerce were the ports of Amsterdam, London, and Hamburg.
The next generation of bankers arose from migrant Jewish merchants in the great wheat-growing areas of Germany and Poland. Many of these merchants were from the same families who had been part of the development of the banking process in Italy. They also had links with family members who had, centuries before, fled Spain for both Italy and England. As non-agricultural wealth expanded, many families of goldsmiths (another business not prohibited to Jews) also gradually moved into banking. Berenberg Bank is the oldest private bank in Germany, established in 1590 by Hans and Paul Berenberg in Hamburg.
In the sixteenth century, Marrano Jews (Sephardic Jews) fleeing from Iberia introduced the techniques of European capitalism, banking, and even the mercantilist concept of state economy to the Ottoman empire. In the sixteenth century, the leading financiers in Istanbul were Greeks and Jews. Many of the Jewish financiers were Marranos who had fled from Iberia during the period leading up to the expulsion of Jews from Spain. Some of these families brought great fortunes with them. The most notable of the Jewish banking families in the sixteenth century Ottoman Empire was the Marrano banking house of Mendes, which moved to and settled in Istanbul in 1552 - and under the protection of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. When Alvaro Mendes arrived in Istanbul in 1588, he is reported to have brought with him 85,000 gold ducats. The Mendès family soon acquired a dominating position in the state finances of the Ottoman Empire and in commerce with Europe.
The Marrano Jews thrived in Baghdad during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries under Ottoman rule, performing critical commercial functions such as money-lending and banking. Like the Armenians, the Jews could engage in necessary commercial activities, such as money-lending and banking.
Court Jews were Jewish bankers or businessmen who lent money and handled the finances of some of the Christian European noble houses, primarily in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Court Jews were precursors to the modern financier or Secretary of the Treasury. Their jobs included raising revenues by tax farming, negotiating loans, master of the mint, creating new sources for revenue, negotiating loans, floating debentures, devising new taxes, and supplying the military. In addition, the Court Jew acted as personal bankers for nobility, raising money to cover the noble's personal diplomacy and his extravagances.
Examples of what would be called the Court Jews emerged when local rulers used services of Jewish bankers for short-term loans. They lent money to nobles, and in the process gained social influence. Noble patrons of court Jews employed them as financiers, suppliers, diplomats and trade delegates. Court Jews could use their family connections, and connections between each other, to provision their sponsors with, among other things, food, arms, ammunition and precious metals. In return for their services, court Jews gained social privileges, including up to noble status for themselves, and could live outside the Jewish ghettos. Some nobles wanted to keep their bankers in their own courts. And because they were under noble protection, they were exempted from rabbinical jurisdiction. One of the most notable families engaged in this activity was the Rothschild Family that created the a banking empire that had branches all over Europe.
Throughout 17th century, precious metals from the New World, Japan and other locales have been channeled into Europe, with corresponding price increases. Thanks to the free coinage, the Bank of Amsterdam, and the heightened trade and commerce, Netherlands attracted even more coin and bullion. These concepts of "fractional-reserve banking" (which is used today) and these payment systems went on and spread to England and elsewhere.
The London Royal Exchange was established in 1565. At that time moneychangers were already called bankers, though the term "bank" usually referred to their offices.
By the end of the 16th century and during the 17th, the traditional banking functions of accepting deposits, money-lending, money changing, and transferring funds were combined with the issuance of bank debt that served as a substitute for gold and silver coins.
By the end of the 17th century, banking was also becoming important for the funding requirements of the relatively new and combative European states. This would lead on to government regulations and the first Central Banks.
The main developers of banking in London were the goldsmiths, who became depositories of gold and silver holdings. The goldsmiths soon found themselves with money for which they had no immediate use, and they began to lend the money out at interest to both the merchants and the government. Finding substantial profit in this business, they began to solicit deposits and pay interest on them. The goldsmiths eventually discovered that the deposit receipts they provided were being passed on from one person to another in lieu of payment in coin, which prompted them to begin lending paper receipts rather than coins. By promoting acceptance of the receipts as a means of payment, the goldsmiths discovered they could lend more than the gold and silver coin they had on hand, a practice that became known as fractional-reserve banking.
These practices created a new kind of "money" that was actually debt, that is, goldsmiths' debt rather than silver or gold coin, a commodity that had been regulated and controlled by the monarchy. This development required the acceptance in trade of the goldsmiths' promissory notes, payable on demand. Acceptance in turn required a general belief that coin would be available; and a fractional reserve normally served this purpose. Acceptance also required that the holders of debt be able legally to enforce an unconditional right to payment; it required that the notes (as well as drafts) be negotiable instruments. The concept was well developed by the 17th century.
Meanwhile, the credit of the British Crown had been diminished in 1672. The monarchy's urgent need for funds at rates lower than those charged by the goldsmiths led in 1694 to the establishment of the Bank of England. In 18th-century London the Bank of England had a monopoly over corporate banking, and even large partnerships were prohibited. But private banks, though relatively small personal enterprises, continued to find profitable business in discounting merchants' bills. In the latter half of the century small banks in country towns grew rapidly in number and needed "correspondent" banks in London with which they could deposit and invest funds. The London banks in turn settled accounts in Bank of England notes, and by the end of the century many kept their own deposit accounts with the Bank of England. A structure that led to the development of the concept of a Central Bank.
In 1690, the Massachusetts Bay Colony became the first to issue paper money
in what would become the United States, but soon others began printing their own
money as well. The first attempt at a national currency was during the American
Revolutionary War in 1775. The Continental Congress began issuing its own paper
currency, calling its bills "Continentals". In 1791, which was after
the U.S. Constitution was ratified, the government granted the First Bank of
the United States a charter to operate as the U.S. central bank until 1811.
The Second Bank of the United States was established in 1816, and lost
its authority to be the central bank of the U.S. twenty years later under
President Jackson when its charter expired. Both banks were based upon the Bank
of England. (Ultimately, a third national bank, known as the Federal
Reserve, was established in 1913 and still exists to this day.)
Jews were founders and leaders of many of the important early European banks, as well as significant banks in the newly formed United States. Several Jewish bankers became extremely influential, successfully competing with non-Jewish banking houses in the floating of government loans.
Mayer Amschel Rothschild (23 February 1744 – 19 September 1812) was the founder of the Rothschild family international banking dynasty that became the most successful business family in history. The Rothschild family (known as The House of Rothschild, or more simply as the Rothschilds) is a European family of German Jewish origin that established European banking and finance houses starting in the late 18th century. Five lines of the Austrian branch of the family have been elevated to Austrian nobility being given hereditary baronies of the Habsburg Empire by Emperor Francis II in 1816. The British branch of the family was elevated to British nobility at the request of Queen Victoria. It has been argued that during the 19th century, the family possessed by far the largest private fortune in the world as well as by far the largest fortune in modern world history. The Japanese government approached the London and Paris Rothschild families for funding during the Russo-Japanese War. The Rothschild family is highly secretive: "They were Jews, and were particularly concerned that details could be used to promote anti-Semitism." The Rothschild family banking businesses pioneered international high finance during the industrialization of Europe, and they were instrumental in supporting railway systems across the world and in complex government financing for projects such as the Suez Canal. (In 2005, Forbes magazine referred to Mayer Amschel Rothschild as a "founding father of international finance".)
Mayer Amschel Bauer (founder of the Rothschild family): "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws."
Lord Rothschild: "Governments do not govern, but merely control the machinery of government, being themselves controlled by the
hidden hand. The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes".
Nathan Mayer Rothschild: "I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain's money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply." The Rothschild banking family, a financial dynasty of German Jewish origin, is a dynasty without a country.
In the 19th century, the rise of trade and industry in the U.S. led to powerful new private merchant banks. Citigroup dates back to the founding of: the City Bank of New York (later Citibank) in 1812; Bank Handlowy in 1870; Smith Barney in 1873, Banamex in 1884; Salomon Brothers in 1910.
In 1824 the Chemical Bank of New York was first chartered, and through a series of takeovers and mergers, eventually culminated into the J.P. Morgan & Co. of today. In 1892 John Pierpont Morgan arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric. In 1901 J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie began investing in steel mills together. J.P. Morgan & Co opened in 1935. Chase Manhattan Bank was formed by the merger of the Chase National Bank and the Bank of the Manhattan Company in 1955. Chase Manhattan Bank merged with J.P. Morgan & Co. in 2000.
In 1852 Henry Wells and William Fargo founded Wells, Fargo & Co in the gold rush port of San Francisco. In 1858, Wells Fargo helped start the Overland Mail Company. In 1861, Wells Fargo also took over operations of the western leg of the famed, but short-lived, Pony Express. In 1866, Wells Fargo combined all the major western stage lines. Stagecoaches bearing the name Wells, Fargo & Co. rolled over 3,000 miles of territory.
PNC Financial Services traces its history to the Pittsburgh Trust and Savings Company which was founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1852. U.S. Bank traces some of its earliest roots to 1853 when Farmers and Millers Bank in Milwaukee first opened its doors.
Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869 by Marcus Goldman who came from an Ashkenazi Jewish family in Germany. Goldman immigrated to New York City and hung out a shingle on Pine Street in lower Manhattan, with the legend Marcus Goldman & Co., setting himself up as a broker of IOUs. In 1882, Marcus Goldman invited his son-in-law Samuel Sachs to join him in the business and changed the firm's name to M. Goldman and Sachs. On December 4, 1928, it launched the Goldman Sachs Trading Corp. During the 20th century the financial world began incorporating and corporations came to dominate the banking business. Goldman's famous philosophy was being "long-term greedy", which implied that as long as money is made over the long term, trading losses in the short term were not to be worried about.
The Federal Reserve and Modern Banks
The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve, and informally as the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States. It was created on December 23, 1913. The Federal Reserve System's structure is composed of the presidentialy appointed Board of Governors* (or Federal Reserve Board), the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks located in major cities throughout the nation, numerous privately owned U.S. member banks and various advisory councils.
|* According to the Board of Governors, the Federal Reserve is independent within government in that "its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government." (WTF?) However, its authority is "derived" from the U.S. Congress and is "subject" to congressional "oversight". See the Federal Reserve Act - See Who owns the Federal Reserve (More links below about the Fed in 2011 at the end of this article.)|
"Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it." - Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States (1913-1921).
"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world, no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men." - Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the U.S. on his death bed for passing the Federal Reserve System.
Bank of America's history dates back to 1904, when Amadeo Giannini founded the Bank of Italy in San Francisco to cater to immigrants who were denied service from other banks. In 1922, Giannini established Bank of America and Italy in Italy by buying Banca dell'Italia Meridionale, itself only established in 1918. On March 7, 1927, Giannini consolidated his Bank of Italy with the newly formed Liberty Bank of America to form the Bank of Italy National Trust & Savings Association. In 1928, A. P. Giannini merged with Bank of America, Los Angeles and consolidated it with his other bank holdings to create what would become the largest banking institution in the country. He renamed the Bank of Italy on November 3, 1930, calling it Bank of America.
In the U.S. during the Great Depression, after so many banks had failed, the Securities and Exchange Commission was established in 1933 and the Glass–Steagall Act was passed which would separate investment banking and commercial banking. This was to try and avoid the more risky investment banking activities from causing bank failures for commercial banks ever again.
FDR: "The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson."
Morgan Stanley was founded during this time in 1935. Some of the employees of J.P. Morgan & Co., most notably Henry S. Morgan and Harold Stanley, left J.P. Morgan & Co. and joined some others to form Morgan Stanley.
Joseph Kennedy: "Fifty men have run America, and that's a high figure."
Henry Ford: "It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."
During the post World War II period two organizations were created: the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Encouraged by these institutions, commercial banks started to lend to sovereign states in the third world. This was at the same time as inflation started to rise in the west. The Gold Standard was eventually abandoned in 1971 and a number of the banks were caught out and became bankrupt due to third world country debt defaults.
In the 1960 the first Automated Teller Machines (ATM) were developed and the first machines started to appear by the end of the decade; and by the 1970s the first electronic payment systems had emerged. These included debit cards, credit cards, electronic funds transfers, direct credits, direct debits, internet banking and e-commerce payment systems.
Global banking and capital market services proliferated during the 1980s after deregulation of financial markets in a number of countries. The 1986 'Big Bang' in London allowing banks to access capital markets in new ways, which led to significant changes to the way banks operated and accessed capital. It also started a trend where retail banks started to acquire investment banks and stock brokers creating universal banks that offered a wide range of banking services. The trend also spread to the U.S. after much of the Glass–Steagall Act was repealed in the 1980s. This saw U.S. retail banks embark on big rounds of mergers and acquisitions and also engage in "investment banking activities". Universal banks were created and participated in many kinds of banking activities and is both a commercial bank and an investment bank. The regulatory barrier to the combination of investment banks and commercial banks had largely been removed.
George Carlin: "You have owners - they own you - and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the
information you get to hear. They’ve got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying to get what they
want. Well we know what they want: they want more for themselves and less for everybody else."
The consolidation was accomplished through acquisitions which grow in size over this period, and there were many of them. By the end of 2000, a record level of financial services transactions with a market value of $10.5 trillion occurred, and the top ten banks commanded a market share of more than 80%.
The Last Banking Crisis
The 2008 financial crisis caused significant stress on banks around the world. The failure of a large number of major banks resulted in government bail-outs. The collapse and fire sale of Bear Stearns to JP Morgan Chase in March 2008 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September that same year led to a credit crunch and global banking crises.
In response, governments around the world bailed-out, nationalized, or arranged "fire sales" for a large number of major banks. These events spawned the term "too big to fail"...and today, they still are.
The banks that got the most government help in late 2008 and early 2009 also invested the most to influence members of Congress, the White House, the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and a long list of federal agencies as new rules were enacted governing Wall Street.
JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. declined to comment on their lobbying spending, which went toward hiring advocates to discuss the legislation with lawmakers and regulators. Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., PNC Bank, US Bancorp, Capital One Financial Corp., Regions Financial Corp., and the American Bankers Association all lobbied heavily.
On April 14, 2011, the United States Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a 635-page report that alleged that Goldman Sachs may have misled investors and profited from the collapse of the mortgage market at the expense of its clients. Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan), Chairman of the Subcommittee, said he would refer the report to the Department of Justice for further investigation.
On June 2, 2011, following an "exploratory" meeting with the Manhattan district attorney, Goldman was subpoenaed for relevant information. Goldman is expected to accept a deferred-prosecution agreement if charges are filed. A deferred-prosecution is when a prosecutor agrees to grant amnesty in exchange for something. (A bribe maybe?)
Some strong words in the video below from Elizabeth Warren about why Wall Street is to blame.
The PBS documentary from Bill Still called the "The Money Masters" is maybe the best documentary ever made on the subject of the history of banking. The U.S. Federal Reserve is a privately owned bank, and it's name is a complete deception to trick the American citizens and to enslave them - just as England did since the founding of the Bank of England. The Rothschild family banking dynasty is probably the most major player - they almost own the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England. Yet, the Rothschild's try to stay out of the public light and work through their many henchman (i.e. the politicians and media contacts.)
Watch the documentary Inside Job: The Film that Cost Over $20 Trillion to make to better understand the financial crash of 2008. And read the book The Shock Doctrine to better understand our "free market" economic system. Also read Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream. And also The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity.
The bottom line is...the banks weren't "failing" at all. Taxpayers in the United States (and around the world) were forced to pay quick profits to all the banks. All the bank's losses were incurred by taxpayers. Society, as we know it, could completely break down, and total anarchy could prevail throughout the entire world, but the bankers would have the least to fear for their very survival. They have always survived through the centuries of their financed wars, disease, and man-made famines. It was only the masses that perished.
Today we have Herman Cain running for President of the United States of America, and what does he want? Besides being in a "prestigious" position, he also wants more of the same.
Now we have a movement called Occupy Wall Street...and the rest, as they say, is history.
(Rankings and market caps fluctuate and vary with asset values, market caps, and stock prices.)
The Federal Reserve in 2011:
Should Bankers Serve on Federal Reserve Bank Boards? (Of course not!)
Who Owns the Federal Reserve (Hint: It's not us!)
About the Federal Reserve Board of Directors
Directors of Federal Reserve Banks and Branches
* PROPOSAL: The financial system can't just be "reformed", the entire banking system of the United States would have to be totally restructured and nationalized, using the Armed Services for enforcement if necessary. It would be a government bank (like a community bank) owned by the people. Two elected boards would be put in place, one for domestic banking and one for international finance and investment. There would only be one central bank, with thousands of branch offices throughout the country, with one set rate of interest for borrowing for each category: with all interest earned from personal, auto, and home loans being paid into the U.S. Treasury, instead to privately-held commercial banks. The money supply would no longer be hoarded by the top 1%, but would be circulated and redistributed among the 99%. All military and law enforcement agencies would be working for the people, not for the banks. The 1% would be put in prison if they resist, or they can work for the government (us). Details later.
And then there is the Pope: "The Papal bankers were the most successful of the Western world and has been operating ever since."
(This article was sourced and edited from various wikipedia articles, unless where hyperlinks indicate otherwise.)