But Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase Manhattan Bank, an JPMorgan Chase are not powerful because they worked hard. The best illustration of this point comes through a historical analysis. How did the banking system in this country get started? How did the richest people in the richest country in the world get their money?
Banking got started in this country by investing in the Triangular Slave Trade. The reason historians call it Triangular Slave Trade is that Europeans went to Africa, enslaved the people, brought them to this part of the world, and sold the people for products like hemp, sugarcane, cotton, and then those products were sent to Europe. That is why there were three angles: Africa, the United States, and Europe. The banking system—Lloyd’s of London, Barclays Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo-invested in that process and that is how their hegemony was established. In the last five years, almost all the banks I just mentioned have reluctantly acknowledged that they became established through the institution of slavery and the slave trade. So we see many people today questioning the system considering this simple fact: ‘Because the banks got rich by exploiting my ancestors I don’t see why I should have to pay them anything. They owe me if anything. I don’t want their money, because there is no price tag that can be placed on the suffering.’
Ahjamu Umi, from a guest lecture on March 21, 2013 at Concordia University
For more reading on the origins of the present American banking system and its foundations in the Euro-American slave trade, check out Slavery and American Economic Development (2006) by Gavin Wright and Debt, investment, slaves: credit relations in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, 1825-1885 (1995) by Richard Kilbourne.
Think of the centuries of wealth created by cotton, sugar, and textiles in the UK and USA built on the institution of African slave labor.(via liberalsarecool)