I mentioned the fake quotation phenomenon not long ago, and this is in that tradition. Some opponents of the Fed, usually those whose opposition derives more from political than economic concerns, like to cite twentieth-century U.S. presidents as alleged opponents of the Fed. The main one is Woodrow Wilson himself, who is portrayed as somehow having been tricked by the wily private bankers into establishing the Fed. So he is quoted as saying that he is a most unhappy man, for he has unwittingly ruined his country by creating the Fed. Anything to this effect from Wilson is fake. Wilson was proud of his role in creating the Fed. A similar myth surrounds John Kennedy. Some people appear to believe JFK would have ended the Fed, or that his silver certificate program, which went nowhere (the silver certificates you may have seen come from before Kennedy), was some kind of threat to its existence. This is just as groundless. (The small number of United States Notes that were issued under Kennedy were not his initiative, but derived from an 1878 act of Congress.)

Central banks and governments each derive benefits from their relationship with the other. It is not that the bankers somehow pull the wool over the eyes of the politicians, and a central bank is then established. The relationship is symbiotic. Beyond this, we should not be looking to console ourselves, ever, with the words of U.S. presidents. They are not on our side, and certainly not on anything that matters, like the Fed. We are fighting this by ourselves.


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