Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time
Carroll Quigley (1966 MacMillan)
Tragedy and Hope is a free download from http://sandiego.indymedia.org/media/2006/10/119975.pdf
Ex-mentor to former president Bill Clinton, Princeton, Harvard and Georgetown professor Carroll Quigley also served as an adviser to the Pentagon and Foreign Service. He was the ultimate Washington insider. Most history books by the ruling elite teach that wars, recessions, and depressions are accidents of history that can't be avoided. It's extremely rare for one of their own to tell the truth about the role of the corporate/banking elite in precipitating global calamities that have cost the lives of millions of ordinary people.
How Banks Control Government
Tragedy and Hope provides an exacting account of how the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve, the European central banks, and the investment banks that control them (e.g. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan) came to control all western governments. In describing the system set up in the 18th and 19th century, whereby all western governments became dependent on private banks to finance government expenditures, Quigley states, "[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalistic fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences" (page 277).
According to Quigley, banks have controlled most western governments -- by controlling their money supply -- since the creation of the Bank of England and the fractional reserve lending system in 1694. Moreover, owing to the secrecy under which investment banks operate, Quigley asserts that most elected officials are totally unaware of the immense control they exert over the so-called democratic process.
How Banks Orchestrate Wars, Recessions and Depressions
He goes on to describe in exhaustive detail how all historical inflationary and deflationary crises, panics, wars, recessions and depressions were orchestrated behind the scenes by the banking establishment, for the purpose of increasing their private wealth. In his epic portrayal of three centuries of western civilization, he also describes how the banking aristocracy financed the rise of Communism in Russia, China and Eastern Europe, as well as bringing Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Roosevelt to power and guiding their governments from behind the scenes.
How Banks Create Money Out of Thin Air
The early chapters of Tragedy and Hope lay the groundwork by providing elementary instruction in the macroeconomics of wealth accumulation and capitalist production. The single act, according to Quigley, that guaranteed Britain's two century preeminence over the rest of the world was the development (in 1694), by British investment banks, of the fractional reserve lending system. This system, which many economists blame for the 2008 economic collapse, allowed English investment banks to be the first in the world to lend money (to industry and the British government) that didn't actually exist. Somehow the Federal Reserve and other central and investment banks managed to keep the fractional reserve lending system (and the major threat it poses to democracy) secret from most of the developed world until five years ago. However the banking fraternity knew exactly what they were doing. Quigley quotes William Patterson, the founder of the Bank of England: "The Bank hath benefit of interest on all moneys which it creates out of nothing."
Quigley also makes a very convincing case that it was the fractional reserve lending system (rather than superior weaponry or military strategy) that defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. The latter's downfall (according to Quigley) stemmed from his short sighted reliance on "sound money" and refusal to borrow or incur debt to finance French military operations.