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George Ford Smith

Articles by George Ford Smith

The Great Depression’s Patsy

12 days ago

[This article originally appeared in the January 4 edition of]
The culprit responsible for the Wall Street crash of 1929 and the Great Depression can be easily identified—the government.
To protect fractional reserve banking and generate a buyer for its debt, the US government created the Federal Reserve System in 1913 and put it in charge of the money supply. From July 1921 to July 1929, the Federal Reserve inflated the money supply by 62 percent, resulting in the crash in late October. The US government, following an aggressive “do something” program for the first time in American history, intervened in numerous ways throughout the 1930s—first under Herbert Hoover, then more heavily under Franklin D. Roosevelt. The result was not an easing of

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Woodrow Wilson’s Christmas Grift of 1913

December 26, 2022

We think of thieves as conducting their work when no one is looking, such as breaking into a house while the owners are away. But the most successful thieves have done their stealing in plain sight, on a grand scale, while the owners were home and often with their tacit approval, though with sleights of hand that few are able to detect. Such a theft occurred when Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law on December 23, 1913.
A central bank such as the Fed has a remarkable character. According to establishment boilerplate, its purpose is to stabilize the economy and ensure prosperity and “full employment.” The decision makers at the Fed are of necessity selected for their superhuman brilliance and neutrality of judgment, thus qualifying them to adjust

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The “Barbarous Relic” Helped Enable a World More Civilized than Today’s

December 13, 2022

One of history’s greatest ironies is that gold detractors refer to the metal as the barbarous relic. In fact, the abandonment of gold has put civilization as we know it at risk of extinction.
The gold coin standard that had served Western economies so brilliantly throughout most of the nineteenth century hit a brick wall in 1914 and was never able to recover, or so the story goes. As the Great War began, Europe turned from prosperity to destruction, or more precisely, toward prosperity for some and destruction for the rest. The gold coin standard had to be ditched for such a prodigious undertaking.
If gold was money, and wars cost money, how was this even possible?
First, people were already in the habit of using money substitutes instead of money

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The Fed Is Not “a Good Idea that Became Corrupt”: It Always Was Corrupt

December 3, 2022

There’s an idea rooted among some libertarians that the Federal Reserve was originally a sound institution but has grown corrupt. As a bankers’ bank, it was fine, they believe, but not as the monster it has grown to be. If we could only go back to the Fed’s founding charter, all would be well.
I’m thinking of two well-known financial analysts who are unsurpassed in their analytical brilliance and knowledge of markets and who rightly regard the bureaucratic Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) as the father of bubbles, busts, stagnation, and market privilege. In their articles, Peter Schiff and David Stockman hammer the Fed relentlessly and rightfully for its cluelessness, corruption, and threat to our material and spiritual well-being. They have authored engaging

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World War I: The Great War Was also the Great Enabler of Progressive Governance

November 17, 2022

Commentaries about World War I frequently discuss causes and consequences but almost never mention the enablers. At best, they might mention them approvingly, as if we were fortunate to have had the Fed and the income tax, along with the ingenuity of the liberty bond programs, to finance our glorious role in that bloodbath.
Economist Benjamin Anderson, whose Economics and the Public Welfare has contributed greatly to our understanding of the period 1914–46 and is a book I highly recommend, nevertheless takes as a given that the Fed and the income tax had a job to do, and that job was supporting US entry into World War I. After citing figures purporting to show how relatively restrained bank credit expansion was during the war, Anderson writes:
We had to finance

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Honest Money in Dishonest Hands

October 28, 2022

For those who would find relief knowing the Bible sanctions a market-derived medium of exchange, Gary North’s Honest Money will come as a godsend (no pun intended). Even for those reprobates who forswear a religious worldview, his book will provide a solid grounding in monetary theory and history.
North’s vast understanding of money and banking coupled with his lean, no-jargon writing style takes the labor out of reading. His narrative carries us on a journey from the development of money in its innocent youth, where it was used solely as a means of facilitating trade, to money in its corrupt maturity, where today it also serves to facilitate power and profit for a ruling elite.
Very importantly Honest Money also includes numerous bullet points at the end of each

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Let’s Boycott Them!

June 8, 2022

Tom Woods’ bestseller Meltdown placed the blame for the financial debacle of 2008–09 on the government’s counterfeiter, the Federal Reserve. It was the Fed’s policies that created the problems, although most economists and economic talking heads didn’t see it that way. The Fed’s loose monetary policies funded the meltdown and became the “elephant in the living room” most pundits couldn’t see.
Woods was right, of course; putting a monopoly counterfeiter in charge of money eventually creates financial havoc. History knows no exceptions. Counterfeiters produce a medium of exchange wherein one party in a transaction exchanges nothing for something. It used to be called stealing, but in most universities, it’s now called monetary policy. That’s not a prescription for

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