This course will be an exploration of Murray Rothbard’s “power elite analysis” of the intersection of banking and politics in US History.
Selections from the following books by Rothbard will be assigned:
Origins of the Federal Reserve
Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy
History of Money and Banking in the United States
“Robert Morris’s nationalist vision was not confined to a strong central government, the power of the federal government to tax, and a massive pubic debt fastened permanently upon the taxpayers. Shortly after he assumed total economic power in Congress in the spring of 1781, Morris introduced a bill to create . . . the first central bank . . . the Bank of North America . .. modeled after the Bank of England.”
–Murray Rothbard, A History of Money and Banking in the United States
“The Bank of the United States promptly fulfilled its inflationary potential . . . . The result of the outpouring of credit and paper money by the new Bank of the United States was . . . an increase [in prices] of 72 percent [from 1791 to 1796)."
--Murray Rothbard, A History of Money and Banking in the United States
The Bank of the United States "ran into grave difficulties through mismanagement, speculation, and fraud."
--James J. Kilpatrick, The Sovereign States
"[Henry Clay's] income from this business [general counsel to the Bank of the United States] apparently amounted to what he needed: three thousand dollars a year from the bank as chief counsel; more for appearing in specific cases; and a sizable amount of real estate in Ohio and Kentucky in addition to the cash . . . . When he resigned to become Secretary of State in 1825, he was pleased with his compensation.”
–Maurice Baxter, Henry Clay and the American System
“I believe my retainer has not been renewed or refreshed as usual. If it be wished that my relation to the Bank [of the United States] should be continued, it may be well to send me the usual retainer.”
–Letter from Daniel Webster to Nicholas Biddle, president of the Bank of the United States
The Bank of the United States “is a monster, a hydra-headed monster equipped with horns, hoofs, and tail so dangerous that it impaired the morals of our people, corrupted our statesmen, and threatened our liberty. It bought up members of Congress by the Dozen . . . subverted the electoral process, and sought to destroy our republican institutitons.”
–President Andrew Jackson
“Congress gave [Treasury Secretary] Hank Paulson. . . $700 billion, and the first thing he did was to take $125 billion out of the bag and give it to his pals at the nine biggest banks and investment banks in the country. Never one to display ingratitude, he gave $10 billion to Goldman Sachs, the firm he had headed before passing through the revolving door to the Treasury.”
Lectures will be Thursdays at 5:30 pm Eastern.
All readings will be free and online. A full hyper-linked syllabus with readings for each weekly topic will be available for all students.
Grades and Certificates
The final grade will depend on quizzes. Taking the course for a grade is optional. This course is worth 3 credits in our own internal system. Feel free to ask your school to accept Mises Academy credits. You will receive a digital Certificate of Completion for this course if you take it for a grade, and a Certificate of Participation if you take it on a paid-audit basis.
If you drop the course during its first week (7 calendar days), you will receive a full refund, minus a $25 processing fee. If you drop the course during its second week, you will receive a half refund. No refunds will be granted following the second week.