American business was soon booming from the war in Europe. Between 1914 and 1917, the American GNP was up 20% and manufacturing was up 40%. Allied Powers purchased over 3 billion dollars in wartime orders and borrowed over 2 billion dollars in bonds, compared to twenty million in Central power bonds. The British surface naval blockade of Germany ensured that American trade was almost exclusively with the Allies.
As early as 1915, the United States, not yet involved in the War, had loaned France and Great Britain millions of dollars through American banks. Had Germany won, those bonds held by American bankers would have been worthless. By the spring of 1917, American bankers had loaned the Allies almost $3 billion dollars plus another $6 billion for exports, and the steel, munitions, chemical and agricultural industries had all become dependent on the war for profit. Lastly, some of the democrats (and Woodrow Wilson’s biggest financial backers) had vested personal financial interests with Britain and France. How did this happen?
The financial aspect of the conflict which became known as World War One is too vast to relate here with the respect the subject deserves, but let it suffice to point out that World War One elevated approximately 21,000 US investors into the brackets of millionaires and billionaires. The Rockefellers alone, who displayed great eagerness for the US to enter World War One on the British side, made in excess of $200,000,000 from that conflict, and in just one afternoon during the war, Bernard Baruch, Wilson’s Czar of American Industry and part of the commission that handled all purchasing for the Allies during the war, made a personal profit of $750,000.
The Federal Reserve System, which began operations in 1914, was the vehicle which in effect forced the American people, without them even knowing it, to lend the Allies twenty-five billion dollars in loans which went unpaid, although the interest on the loans was indeed paid... to New York bankers. The cartel of the Rothschilds and the Bank of England and other London banking houses which ultimately controlled the Federal Reserve Banks through their controlling amounts of bank stock (along with that of their subsidiary firms in New York, J.P. Morgan Co. and Kuhn, Loeb & Co., etc.) directed the successful campaign to have the plan enacted into law by Congress. These very firms had their principal officers appointed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Federal Advisory Council in 1914.
The banking and business elites salivating for war included J. Henry Schroder Banking Company, the Rockefellers, the Eugene Meyer family, J.P. Morgan, Alex Brown & Sons, Kuhn Loeb & Co., the Rothschilds, the Warburgs, the Baruch and Guggenheim families and a few others who weaved a tightly connected web of power, money, arms and influence for their own financial gains. Their mutual influence on world affairs often crossed as they financed all sides for a continual, profit rendering conflict.
J. P. Morgan, Jr., one of the signatories to the establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913, played a prominent role in the financial aspects of war-mongering. It was he who made the first loan of $12,000,000 to Russia, and in 1915, a loan of $50,000,000 to the French Government. All of the munitions purchases in the United States by the British were made through one of his firms, and he organized a syndicate of about 2,200 banks and floated a loan of $500,000,000 to the Allies.
J.P. Morgan also received the proceeds of the First Liberty Loan to pay off $400,000,000 which he in turn advanced to Great Britain at the outbreak of war. By 1917, the Morgans and Kuhn, Loeb Company had floated a billion and a half dollars in loans to the Allies. The bankers also financed a slew of pro-war (disingenuously named “peace”) organizations which prodded US citizens to become involved in the War. The “Commission for Relief in Belgium” made up grisly atrocity stories against the Germans, while a Carnegie organization called the “League to Enforce Peace” (later, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) agitated in Washington for US entry into war.
Sometimes, the bankers financed both sides. The Rothschilds’ agents, the Warburg banking house, were financing the Kaiser. Paul Warburg, a naturalized citizen from Germany who had been decorated by the Kaiser in 1912, was vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. He had also handled large sums furnished by Germany for Lenin and Trotsky while his brother Max (who was Kaiser Wilhelm’s personal banker) was the leader of the German espionage system! It was this brother, Max, who authorized Lenin’s train to pass through the lines and execute the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Jacob Schiff, like the Warburgs, also had two brothers in Germany during the war, Philip and Ludwig, who also were active as bankers to the German Government.
The Rothschilds meanwhile bought the German news agency, Wolff, to further control the flow of information to the German people and what the rest of the world would hear from inside Germany. One of the leading executives of Wolff was none other than Max Warburg! The Rothschilds would later buy an interest in the Havas news agency in France and Reuters in London. The tentacles of the banking families reached deep into the power elites: Dr. von Bethmann Hollweg, was the son of Moritz Bethmann from the Frankfurt banking family of Frankfurt, a cousin of the Rothschilds.
Kuhn, Loeb & Co. represented the Rothschild interests in the US, and along with the Harrimans, the Goulds and the Rockefellers, became the dominant powers in the railroad and America financial world while they war-mongered to fatten themselves even more. The first available appointment on the Supreme Court of the United States which Woodrow Wilson filled was given to Kuhn-Loeb lawyer Louis Brandeis who had been selected by Jacob Schiff to carry on war agitation. Through marriage, the Kuhn Loeb Company managed to twine itself throughout the U.S. Food Administration, the British Secret Service and the Wilson White House. And on and on and on it went, like a ball of twine, tangling and tying the bankers, their progeny and their friends together for war and profits.
On October 13, 1917, Woodrow Wilson stated: “It is manifestly imperative that there should be a complete mobilization of the banking reserves of the United States. The burden and the privilege (of the Allied loans) must be shared by every banking institution in the country. I believe that cooperation on the part of the banks is a patriotic duty at this time, and that membership in the Federal Reserve System is a distinct and significant evidence of patriotism.”
That “patriotism” served the bankers and their cronies well, although it did little for the people of America who sacrificed their sons, fathers, brothers and husbands to a bloody, needless war.