Jekyll Island

1910

US National debt $2,652,665,838.

USA

Senator Nelson Aldrich, Frank Vanderlip of National City (Citibank), Henry Davison of Morgan Bank, and Paul Warburg of the Kuhn, Loeb Investment House met secretly at Jekyll Island, a resort island off the coast of Georgia, to discuss and formulate banking reform, including plans for a form of central banking.

Official version

The meeting was held in secret because the participants knew that any plan they generated would be rejected automatically in the House of Representatives if it were associated with Wall Street. Because it was secret and because it involved Wall Street, the Jekyll Island affair has always been a source of conspiracy theories. But the conspiracy theorists overestimate the significance of the meeting. Everyone knew Wall Street wanted reform, and the Aldrich Plan, which the meeting produced, was, in fact, rejected by the House.

1911

USA

Antitrust suit is filed against the Standard Oil Company.

1912

USA

In 1912 Woodrow Wilson (governor of New Jersey and former president of Princeton University) won the Democratic party's nomination for President, and in his populist-friendly acceptance speech he warned against the "money trusts," and advised that "a concentration of the control of credit...may at any time become infinitely dangerous to free enterprise"

President Wilson asked the Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Finance, Representative Carter Glass, and a former Washington and Lee University professor of Economics, H. Parker Willis to developing a workable central banking solution. In December, they presented Wilson with a draft proposal.

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