1781 – BANK OF NORTH AMERICA ESTABLISHED
This was the nation’s first private commercial bank. The Articles of Confederation was the nation’s constitution at that time. Article 9 of the Articles gave Congress the power to “emit bills of credit” -- to create money. By a single vote, Congress voted to willingly transfer their authority to issue money to the The Bank of North America when it chartered the bank on December 31, 1781. Thus, the Bank served as a quasi national central bank. Why did Congress willingly give up their money power? The public argument was that the business of finance could not be ably conduced by a public body (Congress) — only by a small number of private financiers. The first head of the Bank was Robert Morris, the richest merchant in America. This same argument against public issuance of money is made today – a public body can’t be trusted to create and distribute our nation’s money supply. The result is the creation and distribution of our nation’s money supply by banking corporations.