Image: Cecil William Stoughton
10. The Federal Reserve Bank Theory
President John F. Kennedy signing the Cuba Quarantine, October 23, 1962
On June 4, 1963, President Kennedy signed an order that gave authority to the Secretary of the Treasury to issue silver certificates. The order, known as Executive Order 11110, was intended to serve as an interim measure while the government attempted to reduce the amount of silver being used to mint coins. However, conspiracy theories, like those presented in Jim Marrs’s 1989 book Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy, claim that this order gave power to the Treasury over the Federal Reserve.
According to the theorists, the Federal Reserve Bank was safeguarded by a shadowy group of international bankers who resented having their power curtailed. Supposedly, therefore, they used their incredible wealth and influence to have Kennedy assassinated.
There are several problems with this theory, the main one of which is that Executive Order 11110 did not, in fact, create any new authority over the Federal Reserve Bank; it merely transferred already existing authority from the President to the Secretary of the Treasury. Also, Kennedy’s plan was to reduce the use of treasury silver and increase printed Federal Reserve Bank notes – effectively giving the Reserve more power. Still, the idea of an international banking cabal pulling the strings – and having a president eliminated – sounds a whole lot more exciting.