"With regard to Banks, they have taken too deep and too wide a root in social transactions, to be got rid of altogether, if that were desirable. They have a hold on public opinion, which alone would make it expedient to aim rather at the improvement, than the suppression of them. As now generally constituted, their advantages whatever they be, are outweighed by the excesses of their paper emissions, and the partialities and corruption with which they are administered."
by:
James Madison
(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
Source:
May 1827, James Madison letter to his friend James K. Paulding
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Reader comments about this quote:
The banking system as administered today under the guise of a national bank is owned and run by parasites who have become way too powerful and controlling. The owners of the Federal Reserve are in no way beholden to an elected government and their collection wing, the IRS is responsible to no one. They are a law unto themselves and couldn't care less about us or the well being of the nation. End the Fed.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Today's banks are "too deep and too wide a root in social transactions". In such, they have in large part eliminated the burning will of entrepreneurship, innovation, private ownership and a greater understanding of inalienable rights. Banks promote a hold on public opinion that supports the lie that debt is money and you can't do anything without them. I started my business by finding a manufacturer that would make products for me and allow payment in 30 to 60 days. I then hitch-hiked to different customers to sell my products. I can't tell you how many banks turned me down along the way. I there built my business with as little banking as possible (debt free) My first home was purchased without any bank participation (it was a little more expensive and took some turns in paying it off BUT, the non-bank participation was liberating). My children have gone through college debt free without financial assistance from me or any bank participation. Public opinion still says the individual entrepreneur can't do anything without large bank participation.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    T think it was Bob Hope who said that a bank is an institution that will lend you money if you can prove you don't need it.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    In 1820 the first National Bank's charter expired -- Jefferson would not renew it during his presidency, and Madison let it expire. However, the second national bank was chartered during Madison's presidency because of the very reasons he describes and the war of 1812 forced his hand (that's when the Canadians burned Washington DC to the ground!) -- such are the tactics of the Bank of England which is still a force to be reckoned with. Jackson would not renew that bank's charter during his tenure. Both banks created so much debt and inflationary money that it became obvious they were vehicles for stealing the property of the people. Today's Federal Reserve is no better, but few people know that the Fed's charter expires every 20 years, and all that needs be done is for a president to NOT renew it. But we have gone so long with this system, the people do not ever remember not having it. The next president will have the option to not renew, so you can see that the banking establishment always makes sure our candidates are ultimately with them -- and since they have unlimited money, they have practically unlimited power held in check only by the hundreds of millions of citizens that could if they wanted to throw off these yokes and tar and feather the bankers. Actually, the Coinage Act calls for their execution for counterfeiting.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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