Pop Quiz

Who criticized the central bank with these words?

The money power preys on the nation in times of peace, and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before […]. “

Clues: Before rising to high public office, he was a lawyer from Illinois. Though he had tacitly supported a national bank out of wartime necessity, he wrote these words a year later (1864) in a letter foretelling and fearing the power of odious financiers, their puppets, and their central banks. It stands today with Washington’s caution to avoid foreign entanglements and Eisenhower’s warning of the military-industrial complex – all prescient; all ignored.

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