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Fe Jruary

1936

>ret Cobb Ailbhie,
The Idaho Statesman,
Boise, Idaho
.r ..iargareti
n*.E • l o t for the c l i
.rom the N w York Herald Tribune
e
on the subject of the Federal F.eservt Board,
1 notice fcfca st&cement in thll
aditgrill that the Fedtr&i Reserve Bo^ra i*. likely to be pretty completely
ted Hby i t s Drii^iant but to our nina thoroughly aru-ute Chairman, *»ar.
,"
If I vrii-e in the position oi
. aicr and I could receive
the recognition * • indicated in thic editoriaJ-, j m from i t s source, of being
b r i l l i a n t , I would feel co.itent a.nd would contiaer i t t fine eoiaplinient. As
• aiatter of fact, tlie Bo^rd that wab appojnttd i s Marriner*s choice, although
i t ic true trait * • • coincidexice Senator Glsss requested the a.ppointraent of
t ree of these —n.
particularly notea, in connection with this a r t i c l e ,
the ?oap&rl*OQ that l i brought into the picture of the London coherence on
one Irnnd ?/ith peranps on the other extreme an Examiner for the H, F. C, I t
is certainly clever, but I doub, if the editorib.1 serves any good purp se
except possibly the l i t t l e satisfaction t,he writer got from i t . Hi refers
to the atfsrtlon that "noo one of these sen brings to r&s new post any conspicuous achievement in, or familiarity with* central banking practict."
This of course will receive • food reception, coming as i t does from the
N w York Herald Tribune* I think you know • lot of those lasternerL w%t»r
e
than I do. That is the reason I fet.1 that what I a&y b y will be lodged in
&
a pli.ee where i t may be understood without ury effort af influence on ,ay
part, - nd perhaps v;ith your Luptrior tiiowltifi of the effete l a s t yoi could
ada much to my argument that because of lay limitations i t not available to
me#
First I want to s&y th t the reference to th^ central bank i s
a l l the bunk.
What experience i s there- available on centr- i b:.nk operationc.
in thll country outsice of the staff of the Federal Rtterve Bo^rd, ;::nd i t has




Margaret Cobb Ailshie

never functioned as a central bank. Centr&l banks are foreign i n s t i t u t i o n s .
W o has been • better student of the operations of those central banks than
h
wiarriner? There are per imps two men — Paul War berg and Gilbert Parker.
So far M actual experience in central bank operations i s concerned, there
has been none tuch in this country b.nd if you had been back at Washington
and watched the operations of the Federal Reserve Board in the years past,
you could appreciate how ridiculous tht; statement in the editorial i s with
respect to ce.rbral :;ankin^.
Gilbert Parker made a speech the other day
which was just about a year l a t e on Ihi MM theories that Mr. Eccles bM
advanced.
The l a t t e r apparently w; s about twelve months ahead of the time,
I hs.d the pleasure of attending a banquet in I N lork l a s t December, witn
about 500 present.
The speakers were Robert Fleming, President of the
American ftrnjrtrt Association, Sloan Colt, Preoiaent of the Bankers Trust
Company of N w Xork, and Federal Judge Knox of ^ew York.
e
Bob Fleming and
Sloan Colt between them expounded the theories propounded by Marriaer Eccles
at his f i r s t official speech at Columbus, Ohio. That speech, made something
over a year ftfO, raised the ire of the bankers. The speeches in N w York,
e
at which there was full representation firoa a l l of the Sew lork banks, Morgan
& Co., e t c , Including up-state bankers, went over bi .
At the conclusion
of each speech they stood up and applauded and remarked afterward of the
progressive attitude and the understanding attitude of these two leaders of
American banking*
Federal Judge Kaoot folio^ea and he went even further,
and that was received with acclaim.
I a not expressing opinions — I a siaply giving you facts.
m
m
You will find that this Federal Reserve Botrdj including i t s Chairman, will
be the strangest Board and the strongest Chairman that we have had in the
history of the Federal Reserve System,
They speak about central bank operations. Bflwlrt Ransom of
Atlanta, Georgia bM been Chairman of the Federal Legislative Committee of
..he American Bankers Association and he can run rings arounti any of the commercial bankers in He?. York City.
i t is an attorney, ,-:iftcu and briliic.nt.
I a surprised that he woula bacrii'ice hUMtXf for this position. I >:now
m
in meetings that I have attended, that the tops of the N w York banking
e
profesibl > have almost been putty in his fcMtflf tea he was pressing for some
n
particular policy as to Federal ic r :islation.
And they have depended upon
him. In a l l ay contacts in ^ - f r l f legislative matters mwA Bankers Aseocdation
affairs, I have ntver met a inan sore coapet.ent than he, and th*t i s 'trie reason
. he has been the supreme power in the American Benders Association with
XiCt to legislative matters.
One of his biggest job& has perhaps been
keeping the very Mw lork bankers #10 inspired this editorial from destroying
e
themselves in s i l l y nn& ili-aavi&ed efforts.
In repetition, you have now the
strongest Federal Reserve Board in tht history of t'he System.
I t is true there ax-e things on ?;-hich I disagree with Mr.
Eccles,
I aon f t even believe in the Social Security Act. I think i t i s
devitalizing. But if I shoulo go out 0:1 the s t r e e t ana say thftt today, I
would be stoned by the masses with the stateeraen of both parties looking on
complacently.
Mr. Eccles has been 1 very rdent aavocatfc of • social security



Mrs, Margaret Cobb ^ilshie
#3

plan,
I opposed Mr. Eccles when he concluded to support Roosevelt rether
th&n Hoover. I supported Hoover,
I felt bitter about it at the moment
but I wonder just what would have happened if it, htd been Hoover* Maybe
oicay — maybe not, but that is not • proper subject of discussion In this
letter.
Am sorry that I was unable to attend our %M&% directors1
.netting in Boise as I woula likejto have had an opportunity to discuss some
of these matters with you. In the a.xence of tnat opportunity you will note
that I have over-exploued.
?*ith all good wishes,
sincerely yours,

I
*
IGB-VB