The image below is widely circulated on Facebook:

enter image description here

Is it true that Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy the only two presidents who ever attempted to end the Federal Reserve Banking Cartel? The definition of a Banking Cartel is given in the Wikipedia article on the Federal Reserve Act:

Preceding the creation of the Federal Reserve, no U.S. central banking systems lasted for more than 25 years. Some of the questions raised include: whether Congress has the Constitutional power to delegate its power to coin money or issue paper money, whether the structure of the federal reserve is transparent enough, whether the Federal Reserve is a public Cartel of private banks (also called a banking cartel) established to protect powerful financial interests ...

  • 6
    Do you mean the Federal Reserve System (created in 1913)? I guess the "Federal Reserve Cartel" terminology is a code phrase used by certain fringe writers...
    – GEdgar
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 19:18
  • 5
    This question critically depends on whether there is such a thing as the "Federal Reserve Banking Cartel", which is a matter of opinion (not to say Conspiracy Theory). Therefore it is impossible to answer. Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 20:53
  • 4
    I would be fairly surprised if Lincoln tried to end the Federal Reserve.
    – cpast
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 1:12
  • 4
    This ought to be an acceptable question. Perhaps a simple answer is no, since the Fed wasn't created until 50 years after Lincoln died, but maybe there's a more complete answer that looks at central banking, and Lincoln and Kennedy's policies.
    – Mark
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 1:32
  • 4
    @Oddthinking If we accept that the claim is about the Federal Reserve Bank, then the answer becomes trivial: "There was no Federal Reserve under Lincoln." Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 13:09

1 Answer 1


No, assuming you mean Central Bank rather than specifically Federal Reserve.

Lincoln and JFK actually had very little in the way of removing or even reducing the power of a Central Banking System. Let's examine Presidents (and one Founding Father) that had something to do with a Central/Federal Reserve Bank.

  • Benjamin Franklin

    One of the Founding Fathers was quoted as saying (regarding the idea of not having a Central Bank):

    That is simple. In the Colonies we issue our own money. It is called Colonial Scrip. We issue it in proper proportion to the demands of trade and industry to make the products pass easily from the producers to the consumers. In this manner, creating for ourselves our own paper money, we control its purchasing power, and we have no interest to pay no one.

  • Andrew Jackson

    The 7th President vetoed Congress' re-authorization of the Second Bank of the United States. TL:DR The bank dissolved in liquidation and became a 'state' bank rather than a 'central'


  • James Polk The 11th President was a staunch supporter of Andrew Jackson and considered the 'Lieutenant of the Bank War.' TL:DR He continued the traditions of being a Jacksonian Democrat.

    jacksonian democracy

  • Abraham Lincoln The 16th President supported the Legal Tender Act. TL:DR The Greenback was an independent currency that didn't rely on gold or silver, was enacted as legal tender, and wasn't linked to a bank, but rather the US Treasury.

    green back

    Note: this had really had little to do with any "international banking cartels;" merely having a means to pay off Civil War debts.

  • James Garfield The 20th President supported a Gold Standard, rather than any "paper notes" and was quoted as saying:

    "Whoever controls the money in any country is absolute master of industry [legislation] and commerce".

    twenty dollars

  • Grover Cleveland The 22nd (and 24th) President was arguably the greatest Advocate of a Gold Standard and fought hard against central banking.

    one thousand dollar

  • John Kennedy The 35th President actually expanded the power of the Federal Reserve, by getting passed Public Law 88-36. TL:DR The law repealed the Silver Purchase Act of 1934 and authorized the issuance of Federal Reserve Notes.


  • Where in the linked PDF on Public Law 88-36 is the issuance of Federal Reserve Notes authorized? I am not acquainted with the legalese.
    – vfclists
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 18:55
  • @vfclists it doesn't say anything explicit about that because it doesn't create a new authority to issue federal reserve notes; these were initially authorized by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. Public law 88-36 creates new authority to issue $1 and $2 federal reserve notes. The relevant text is on the second page of the PDF, title one, section 3 of the act: The first sentence of the ninth paragraph of section 16 of 40 Stat. 970. the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 418) is amended by inserting "$1, $2," immediately after "notes of the denominations of".
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 1:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .