Aug 02, 2012
Michael R. Drew
During his famous radio Fireside Chats, Franklin Roosevelt spent some time talking about banks (this was during the Great Depression – when there was a run on banks). Now, during our current Depression (let’s call it what it is), there’s also a lot of talk about banks. But mainly about how bankers ignore the common folk.
Read what Roosevelt said during that first chat on March 12, 1933.
“What, then, happened during the last few days of February and the first few days of March? Because of undermined confidence on the part of the public, there was a general rush by a large portion of our population to turn bank deposits into currency or gold. — A rush so great that the soundest banks could not get enough currency to meet the demand. The reason for this was that on the spur of the moment it was, of course, impossible to sell perfectly sound assets of a bank and convert them into cash except at panic prices far below their real value.”
“By the afternoon of March 3 scarcely a bank in the country was open to do business. Proclamations temporarily closing them in whole or in part had been issued by the Governors in almost all the states.”
“It was then that I issued the proclamation providing for the nation-wide bank holiday, and this was the first step in the Government’s reconstruction of our financial and economic fabric.”
“Let me make it clear that the banks will take care of all needs — and it is my belief that hoarding during the past week has become an exceedingly unfashionable pastime… I can assure you that it is safer to keep your money in a reopened bank than under the mattress.”
Few people are probably keeping money under a mattress. But people still consider banks to be somehow necessary evils.
What do you think though, about what Roosevelt has said? We live in an age when unemployment is common, when the gap between rich and poor is wide, and when there are movements afoot by those who want to dismantle the government (the Tea Party types) and those who want to hold the rich responsible for the collapse of the current economic system (the loosely banded Operation Wall Street).
What do you think about Roosevelt’s comments, and do they apply at all to our current age, some 80 years later?
Thanks for sharing!