One of the numerous and enduring theories surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22nd 1963 is that the Federal Reserve of the United States was somehow involved in the alleged conspiracy to murder the Democrat President.
According to this theory, Kennedy had angered Federal Reserve authorities by issuing an Executive Order (E.O. 11110) that would have transferred some of its powers to issue currency to the United States Department of the Treasury, by issuing Silver Certificates under directives from the President himself.
In an article published on HuffPost Politics last November 23rd, J. Bradley Jensen1 clearly dispels the myth that Executive Order 111102 led to Kennedy’s assassination, as some authors such as Jim Marrs (author of Crossfire3, among several other books) have been alleging.
For instance, Jensen extensively quotes a 1996 report by the Library of Congress’ Congressional Research Service, “Money and the Federal Reserve System: Myth and Reality” (CRS Report for Congress, No. 96-672 E), by G. Thomas Woodward.
Woodward explains that far from curtailing the currency issuing powers of the Federal Reserve, E.O. 11110 was in fact transferring more of these powers to the Secretary of the Treasury as Silver Certificates were to be phased out and entirely replaced by Federal Reserve Notes:
“Ironically, the purpose of the order and the legislation was to decrease the circulation of Silver Certificates, with Federal Reserve Notes taking their place. As economic activity grew and prices rose in the 1950s and early 1960s, the need for small-denomination currency grew at the same time that the price of silver increased. The Treasury required silver for the increasing number of Silver Certificates and coins needed for transactions. But the price of silver was rapidly approaching the point that the silver in the coins and in reserve for the certificates was worth more than the face value of the money.”
President Kennedy thus implemented measures to bring an end to the issuance of Silver Certificates, authorizing the Federal Reserve to issue small denomination notes, which it began to do almost immediately after the legislation was passed.
“… in October 1964, the Treasury ceased issuing Silver Certificates altogether. If anything, E.O. 11110 enhanced Federal Reserve power and did not in any way reduce it”, Woodward concludes.
Jansen also provides an interesting quote from G. Edward Griffin, author of The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve:
“The proponents of the JFK Myth assert that Kennedy was assassinated because he was about to issue Silver Certificates, thereby denying the bankers their customary interest payments on the nation’s currency. However, the reality was just the opposite. Previously, the President could have issued Silver Certificates on his own authority; but, with the signing of E.O. 11110, he delegated that authority to the Secretary of the Treasury.”
On Wikipedia, the well-documented entry about Executive Order 111104 mentions an article published in February 2010 in the magazine Research that also dispels the idea that the Fed was somehow involved in Kennedy’s assassination:
“… [This] executive order was just a technicality. It did not expand the issuance of silver certificates — which actually were being phased out, since rising silver prices had raised concerns that redemptions would drain the Treasury’s silver supply. Indeed, Kennedy also signed a bill giving the Fed authority to issue small-denomination notes to replace the silver certificates, something hard to explain if he were trying to reduce the Fed’s involvement with the money supply5.”
In my mind, this puts to rest at least one theory surrounding the assassination of JFK: the Fed was not involved and had no motive to do so.
1 J. Bradley Jansen is Director, Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights. Read the entire post here.
4 Executive Order 11110 on Wikipedia
5 Silber, Kenneth in Research, February 2010: “The Fed and Its Enemies – The central bank is at the center of controversy. It has been there before.”