"Phantom of Fear": The Banking Panic of 1933
In March 1933, in one of his first acts as president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared a bank holiday throughout the United States. Considered by many to be a bold step to curb the mounting bank crisis, the decree closed banks in all 48 states and overseas territories, putting money out of reach of citizens, businesses and all levels of government. This narrative history recounts and explains the economic, financial and political backgrounds of the banking panic, arguing that the holiday was not only unnecessary but actually damaging to the economy. The holiday did, however, provide Roosevelt with the momentum to push through a series of historic reforms that remade the federal government. This revisionist work not only reveals the circumstances around the panic but debunks numerous myths that have clung to it ever since.
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8 The Crisis in the White House
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ABAJ American announced Annual Report ofthe assets auto bank failures bank holiday Bank of United bank’s banking crisis bill bonds Carter Glass cash CG box Chicago banks Chicago Tribune City Clearing House Association Commercial and Financial Comptroller Congress Corporation Couzens currency Dawes December demand Democratic depositors Depression Detroit Bankers Detroit Free Press dollars economy Emergency Banking Act Eugene Meyer farm farmers February Federal Reserve Bank Federal Reserve Board Financial Chronicle Ford foreclosures Friday funds Garner gold standard Governor Guardian Group Herbert Hoover Illinois investment Iowa January JC box June Louis Post-Dispatch March Michigan million in deposits Mills Moley moratorium mortgages National Bank November October officers ofthe Federal Reserve Papers percent Philadelphia President Hoover president-elect Raymond Moley reopen Republican RFC loans savings Secretary securities Senator telegram Treasury Trust Company Tugwell United Walter Wyatt Washington White House withdrawals Woodin York