Wednesday, April 30, 2014 | 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Much has been written about the secret meeting on Jekyll Island, Georgia, in 1910 that was the basis for the founding of the Federal Reserve System. The only man to talk about it later who was actually there was bank president Frank A. Vanderlip.
Vanderlip was not like the other bankers and financiers from wealthy backgrounds who spent a week drafting the plan. As a young farm boy, he watched the repossession of his family home after the death of his father, and rose to prominence through his own study and hard work. He brought a unique viewpoint to the discussions. As the idea of a central banking entity evolved and changed before being put into practice, Vanderlip stayed in the middle of the action, proposing new ideas and interjecting new thoughts right up to the last minute. In the process, he nearly de-railed the final plan. Years later, he still had much to say on what he believed was the right path.
Author Vicki A. Mack's new book, Frank A. Vanderlip: The Banker Who Changed America, is the first biography written about this prominent banker who played an important role in the founding of the Federal Reserve System. In her talk, Mack will give a brief outline of Vanderlip's life, and then closely examine his thought process as the creation of the Fed evolved. Mack's work is based on Vanderlip's own books and writings, contemporary newspaper accounts and information supplied by one of his closest associates.
"Long ago I discovered," Vanderlip said, "that black is not black; never." He added, "The great danger to business and government alike lies in suppressing the facts." In any discussion of the Federal Reserve and its place in the affairs of the country, Frank Vanderlip's original ideas and thoughts deserve to be heard in modern times.