Overflight, 68

«Of all aristocracies,» said a Committee of the New York Legislature, in 1818, «none more completely enslave a people than that of money; and in the opinion of your committee, no system was ever better devised so perfectly to enslave a community, as that of the present mode of conducting Banking establishments. Like the Syren of the fable, they entice to destroy. They hold the purse strings of society; and by monopolizing the whole of the circulating medium of the country, they form a precarious standard, by which all property in the country, houses, lands, debts and credits, personal and real estate of all descriptions, are valued; thus rendering the whole community dependent on them; proscribing every man who dares to expose their unlawful practices: if he happens to be out of their reach, so as to require no favors from them, his friends are made the victims. So no one dares complain.»
«The committee, on taking a general view of our State, and comparing those parts where Banks have been for some time established, with those that have had none, are astonished at the alarming disparity. They see, in the one case, the desolations they have made in societies that were before prosperous and happy; the ruin they have brought on an immense number of the most wealthy farmers, and they and their families suddenly hurled from wealth and independence into the abyss of ruin and despair.»
«If the facts stated in the foregoing be true, and your committee have no doubt they are, together with others equally reprehensible and to be dreaded, such as that their influence too frequently, nay, often already begins to assume a species of dictation altogether alarming, and unless some judicious remedy is provided by legislative wisdom, we shall soon witness attempts to control all selections to offices in our counties, nay the elections to the very Legislature. Senators and members of Assembly will be indebted to the Banks for their seats in this Capitol, and thus the wise end of our civil institutions will be prostrated in the dust of corporations of their own raising.»”
William M. Gouge, A Short History of Paper Money and Banking in the United States