How To Profit from The Secret Life of Wall Street: 1900-2018
(C) 2018, William Schmidt, Ph.D. (Columbia University)
More excerpts coming.
Woodrow Wilson and Wall Street
Wilson was the secret friend of Wall Street. He did not disclose his connection to Wall Street's Big Banks for
fear of alienating populist Democrats. For years, populists like Andrew Jackson and William Jennings Bryan
had detested Wall Street's sinister influence over the national economy. They had long blamed Wall Street for
tight money, the Gold Standard and high interest rates which hurt farmers, small businessmen and consumers.
They blamed Wall Street for deliberately creating financial panics and depressions. They blamed Wall Street
for the increasing trend towards trusts and monopolies. They blamed Wall Street for threatening Presidents
with stock market collapses if they did not accede to Wall Street's demands. They blamed Wall Street for
exacerbating the extremes of Wealth and Poverty in the US.
The truth is that Wilson was nurtured and promoted by Wall Street, especially JP Morgan and City Bank
even while he was Governor of New Jersey. When Wilson ran for President in 1912, he only won because
Wall Street banks gave money enough to both the Republican and Bull Moose Presidential candidates to make
each viable, so that the Republican vote would be split and Wilson the Democrat would be elected. Wilson
unlike Taft and Roosevelt had secretly agreed if elected President to support the creation of a Wall Street-controlled
central bank. As it was, the big banks' manipulation of the 1912 Presidential Election worked out perfectly for them.
Late in December 1913, when most Americans were busy with Christmas, President Wilson signed the necessary
legislation to create a new Federal Reserve Bank as a private bank with only nominal control by the President and
Congress. This gave private banks control over the nation's interest rates and the national currency, something
Wall Street had long wanted.
“The war should be a tremendous opportunity for America.”
—J.P. Morgan, personal letter to President Woodrow Wilson, September 4, 1914
When World War I started, Wilson quickly allowed the big Wall Street Banks to make huge war loans to England
and France, despite his official policy of neutrality for America. He allowed vast amounts US war supplies (guns,
bullets, steel, chemicals, etc) to be sent to Britain, France and Russia despite his official policy of neutrality. This
was vastly profitable to Wall Street. 1915 brought the biggest one year advance in stock market history.
Then when Germany started sinking American munitions’ carrying ships, he avoided war still in 1915 and 1916 so that
he could claim in his 1916 campaign that he had kept America out of the war. All the while, he failed to mention
that it was American loans and war supplies that was perpetuating the European war so long.
It was only after the American Ambassador to Britain, Walter Hines cabled
Wilson early in 1917 that the British
might soon have to renege on their hundreds of millions in loans to Wall Street banks, that Wilson sought a
Congressional declaration of war on the Central Powers. It should be noted that Hines himself while Ambassador
had been receiving a "supplemental" stipend from the JP Morgan bank. It was said to have been $25,000
a year. If true, this would have been a colossal sum. So, Wilson's decision to seek war had nothing to do with
making the world safe for peace-loving Democracies against imperialistic Monarchies.
It had everything to do with seeking the US Government itself to assume the cost of the Allied war effort to prevent
their losing the war because of their impending bankruptcies. In effect, he decided to go to war to save Wall Street
banks from huge financial losses if Britain and France could not pay off their private debts to the US banks. Might
Britain and France have lost the war? In March 1917, it seemed a real possibility. Remember that in late February,
the Russian Revolution had just begun. A million Russian soldiers had deserted. This meant that German troops soon
could be sent from the Russian front to the Western front.
Once the US was in the war, it was the Wall Street elite that soon headed nearly all the US government's departments
and commissions that mobilized, supplied and ran the American war effort. Criticism against the corporate
profiteering seems to have had little impact on Wilson. Instead, he launched one campaign after another to
jail those who attacked his allegiance to Wall Street and the war.
Seen this way, one understands why many fear how insidious and dangerous Wall
Street’s control of the Federal
Government, the President and Congress can be. With some notable exceptions, Wall Street has mostly called the
shots and started the wars that Main Street is called on to fight. This they do not teach in American high schools