Did the Federal Reserve kill JFK?

L. Fletcher Prouty and the Federal Reserve Board

Did the Fed Kill Kennedy?

by Megan Knuth
The headquarters of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. (left) doesn't look like a den of murderers, nor the lair of sinister plotters. But for some conspiracists, the Fed is one of the key suspects in the assassination of JFK. Executive Order 11110, signed by Kennedy before his death, was supposedly a threat to the Fed and allied banking interests.

One of these conspiracists was the late L. Fletcher Prouty. Known for his book on the assassination, and as the model for "Mr. X" in Oliver Stone's movie "JFK," Prouty was a sort of all-purpose guru for conspiracists, explaining the details of the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, and the working of the "High Cabal" that supposedly controlled world affairs.

Prouty's theories about the role of the Fed in the Kennedy assassination can be found here:


Do Prouty's theories make any sense at all? The table that follows lists key statements from Prouty, and compares them with the historical record.

What Prouty Says The Reality
On June 4, 1963, a little known attempt was made to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the government at interest. On that day President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order No. 11110 that returned to the U.S. government the power to issue currency, without going through the Federal Reserve. Mr. Kennedy was on his way to putting the Federal Reserve Bank of New York out of business. If enough of these silver certificates were to come into circulation they would have eliminated the demand for Federal Reserve notes. "The executive order modifies a pre-existing order, E.O. 10,289 issued by Harry Truman in 1951. E.O. 11,110 did not create authority to issue new silver certificates, it only affected who could give the order. The purpose of the order was to facilitate the reduction of certificates in circulation, not to increase them. In October 1964 the Treasury ceased issuing them [silver certificates] entirely."

Debunking the Federal Reserve Conspiracy Theories

Executive Order 11110 could have prevented the national debt from reaching its current level, because it would have given the government the ability to repay its debt without going to the Federal Reserve and being charged interest in order to create the new money. Executive Order 11110 gave the U.S. the ability to create its own money backed by silver. . .Virtually all of the nearly $6 trillion in debt has been created since 1963. "The Federal Reserve banks have only a small share of the total national debt (about 7%). Therefore, only a small share of the interest on the debt goes to the Fed. Regardless, the Fed rebates that interest to the Treasury every year, so the debt held by the Fed carries no net interest obligation for the government. In addition, it is Congress, not the Federal Reserve, who is responsible for the federal budget and the national debt."

Debunking the Federal Reserve Conspiracy Theories

The Executive Order was never repealed by any U.S. President through an Executive Order and is still valid. "E.O. 11,110 remained on the books until 1987 when there was a general cleaning-up of executive orders. However, by this time the remaining legislative authority behind E.O. 11,110 had been repealed by Congress with PL 97-258 in 1982."

JFK and the E.O. 11,110 Conspiracy

Mr. Kennedy challenged the government of money by challenging the two most successful vehicles that have ever been used to drive up debt - war and the creation of money by a privately-owned central bank. His efforts to have all troops out of Vietnam by 1965 and Executive Order 11110 would have severely cut into the profits and control of the New York banking establishment. "Yes, the Federal Reserve banks are privately owned, but they are controlled by the publicly-appointed Board of Governors. The Federal Reserve banks merely execute the monetary policy choices made by the Board. In addition, nearly all the interest the Federal Reserve collects on government bonds is rebated to the Treasury each year, so the government does not pay any net interest to the Fed."

Debunking the Federal Reserve Conspiracy Theories

JFK was serious about getting "all Americans" out of Vietnam by the end of 1965. That was NSAM 263 and my boss General Victor Krulak, with the JCS, had worked on that document. Even the Pentagon Papers made an attempt to conceal NSAM #263. NSAM 263 envisioned a small withdrawal of troops from South Vietnam, and it was hoped that the South Vietnamese would progressively take over the task of their own defense as American involvement decreased. No one can know what Kennedy would have done had a continued American involvement been required to stave off a Communist takeover, but his hawkish public statements suggest he might well have escalated just as Johnson did.


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