1782 – BANK OF NORTH AMERICA OPENS
This was the nation’s first private commercial bank. At that time, the
nation’s constitution was the Articles of Confederation. Article 9 of
the Articles gave Congress the power to “emit bills of credit” -- to
create debt free money. By a single vote, Congress voted to transfer
their authority to issue money to the The Bank of North America when it
approved its charter on December 31, 1781. Thus, the Bank served as a
quasi central bank (which created money as loans, called “debt money”).
Why did Congress willingly give up their money power? The public
argument was that the business of finance could not be competently
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.