“Money doesn’t talk, it swears”*…
In 1858, the United States was an industrializing nation with a banking system stuck in frontier times… Heated battles over ‘the money question’ came to dominate the country’s politics, but no matter how unsatisfied the people, any solution that tended toward centralization was, due to the prevailing prejudice, off the table.
America was a monetary Babel with thousands of currencies; each state regulated its own banks and they collectively provided the country’s money. Officially, America was on a hard-money basis, but the amount of gold in circulation was insignificant…
And therein hangs a terrific tale, “Printing Money,” an excerpt from America’s Bank: The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve in the always worthy Delancey Street; read it here.
* Bob Dylan
As we bite our coins, we might recall that it was on this date in 1982 that money market deposit accounts were first offered by banks and S&Ls across the U.S. Pioneered in the early 70s by brokerage houses, the accounts were a way around the Regulation Q prohibition on interest payments n demand accounts.