GOVERNMENT: The Banker's Banker

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"You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns," thundered William Jennings Bryan at the end of the peroration that won him the Democratic presidential nomination in 1896. "You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold." In the most famed speech ever made in the U.S. on money, silver-tongued Bryan pounded home a 24-carat political fantasy: the bigger the money supply, the more for everyone. Bryan's particular panacea, a switch from gold to silver as the basis for an expanded currency, was discredited after...

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