Financial Stability News

News about financial stability, central banking and theory of money

Central bankers of the 30s

Interesting policy statement from Fed officials in the 30s; quite relevant for situation today (from Naked Keynes):

“At the present time we are still in the depths of a depression and, beyond creating an easy money situation, there is very little, if anything, that the Reserve organization can do toward bringing about recovery. One cannot push a string. I believe, however, that if a condition of great business activity were developing to a point of credit inflation, monetary action could be very effective in curbing undue expansion. That would be pulling a string.”

Marriner S. Eccles,Chairman, Federal Reserve Board, March 4-20, 1935.
“The factor of unutilized capacity appears to furnish the decisive answer to the argument that if the budget had been balanced the resulting restoration of confidence would in itself have led to recovery. There is nothing in balancing the budget that would lead to an absorption of excess capacity and hence make it profitable for business to increase its disbursements for plant and equipment. On the contrary, balancing the budget, by curtailing the incomes of people receiving money from the Government and by reducing buying power through increased taxes, would heve been expected to decrease demand and hence increase excess capacity.”

Marriner S. Eccles, Chairman, Federal Reserve Board, June 8, 1936


“Our national debt we will owe to ourselves. The cost of interest service and gradual repayment that is collected in taxes from one generation will be paid to the same generation. The debt will be held wholly within the United States and by our citizens. It will present none of the impossible problems that accompany an external debt. If we fail in the future to make democracy worth while, it will not be the size of the public debt that defeats us. It will be because we have not learned how to use these great resources – human and material – to provide full employment and a high standard of living for all our people.”

Chester C. Davis,President, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis,November 14, 1942




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