The Personality of a Famous Central Banker – Montagu Norman

On page 326 of Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time by Carroll Quigley, we read the following passage about Montagu Norman, one of the key architects of the market boom that occurred in the 1920’s and the subsequent crash that presaged the Great Depression:

“Norman was a strange man whose mental outlook was one of a successfully suppressed hysteria or even paranoia. He had no use for government and feared democracy. Both of these seemed to him to be threats to private banking, and thus to all that was proper and precious in human life…. When he rebuilt the Bank of England, he constructed it as a fortress prepared to defend itself against any popular revolt, with the sacred gold reserves hidden in deep vaults below the level of underground waters which could be released to cover them by pressing a button on the governor’s desk. For much of his life, Norman rushed around the world by fast steamship, covering tens of thousands of miles each year, often traveling incognito, concealed by a black slouch hat and a long black cloak, under the assumed name of ‘Professor Skinner’…

Norman had a devoted colleague in Benjamin Strong….In the 1920’s they were determined to use the financial power of Britain and of the United States to force all the major countries of the world to go on the gold standard [with an artificial value set for the benefit of England] and to operate it through central banks free from all political control, with all questions of international finance to be settled by agreements by such central banks without interference from governments.”

This quote is cited from pages 423 and 424 of The Creature from Jekyll Island, A Second Look at the Federal Reserve by G. Edward Griffin.

Such is the nature of powerful people. Let us not forget that central banks are not a part of the free market. They operate based on a government granted and enforced monopoly over the production of money.


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