In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson approved the Federal Reserve Act. A few years later, he reflected:

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world -- no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

A century before, Thomas Jefferson reflected much the same sentiment:

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks....will deprive the people of all property until their children wakeup homeless on the continent their fathers conquered....The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."