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P, 0 . Box 131,
C i n c i n n a t i , Ohio.
April 17, 1935.
Mr* Lawrence Clayton,
A s s i s t a n t t o t h e Governor of t h e Federal Reserve Board,
Washington, D, C.
Dear S i r :
I thank you for your l e t t e r of the 12th, commenting on the b o o k l e t ,
pointing out the s i m i l a r i t i e s between some of the views t h e r e i n expresses
and some of t h e views of Mr. E c o l e s , Governor of the Federal Reserve
I a l s o thank you for sending HB a copy of the Governor's speech of
February 12th before the Ohio Bankers' Association at Columbus, in which
he o u t l i n e d some of his conceptions of the o b j e c t i v e s of the Banking B i l ]
of 193 5.
You conclude that t h i s B i l l is a s t e p in the r i g h t d i r e c t i o n i n ban!
ing l e g i s l a t i o n and that i t should r e c e i v e the support of a l l those who
share my views or are w i t h i n h a i l i n g d i s t a n c e of my v i e w s .
I have not read the d e t a i l e d and s p e c i f i c p r o v i s i o n s of the proposed
B i l l , nor analyzed i t ; and I should g r e a t l y appreciate your sending me
two c o p i e s of the t e x t of i t .
I b e l i e v e , however, from the e x t r a c t s and some of the d i s c u s s i o n s II
have read of i t , that anyone who shares my economic v i e w s , or whose viewj
are w i t h i n h a i l i n g d i s t a n c e of them, w i l l b e , if not opposed, at l e a s t I
not e n t h u s i a s t i c i n support of the B i l l .
There are, in my opinion, two fundamental t h i n g s that must be done I
by t h i s Nation if we are t o have SOUND PROSPERITY and SOUND BANKING.
These two fundamental t h i n g s are as f o l l o w s :
(1) Enact income t a x l e g i s l a t i o n drawn on the p r i n c i p l e s o u t l i n e d I
i n the booklet referred t o . with r a t e s for the b a s i s of the
tax (not r a t e s f o r the tax) approximately as high as g i v e n
t h e r e i n ; and w i t h the provisions a p p l i c a b l e to ALL CorporaI
tions (not merely s o - c a l l e d personal holding companies) so as I
to induce adequate declarations of dividends out of net p r o f i t ^
(If the above is done, i t w i l l not be necessary for the F e d e r a l
Government to r e s o r t t o i n f l a t i o n a r y bank-credit l o a n s , nor toH
i n f l a t i o n a r y p r i n t i n g - p r e s s money - as i n f l a t i o n i s defined onfl
page 44 of the b o o k l e t ) .


(2) Enact banking legislation (with adequate sanctions to induce
observance) PROHIBITING inflationary bank loans, inflationary
security investments, and investments in fixed assets, beyond
a relatively small percentage of the excess of their total
assets over their capital stock, of a l l banks not exclusively
investment banks.
The above two things I consider fundamental to sound prosperity and
sound banking. As a corollary to No. 2 above, I would suggest a provision that Time Deposits be sub-classified into at least three groups, wit]
perhaps the R L T V interest rates between them fixed (or fixable by the
Reserve Board) for d i s t r i c t s . The classes of Time Deposits should be
based upon the time of not ice-of-withdrawal required, say 3-months,
6-months, 12-months. These Time Deposits should be saleable to and
transferrable to other already existing or then becoming depositors of
like-notice or longer-notice class in the same bank. These Time Deposits
should also be utilizable , on demand, by the depositor in paying loans
due from hini to the same bank in which the deposit is held. But a l l this
is more or less just adjunct to the main proposition that inflationary
loans are not to be permitted.
The proposed Banking Bill of 1935, as I understand i t , does not get
at these fundamentals, does nothing much in these directions, and therefore in m opinion would do l i t t l e if any real good. I understand, of
course, that a banking b i l l is not a tax measure; but I hope it will be
so amended as to prohibit inflationary loans, or investments in inflationary loans, by any banks the.t are amenable to Federal Control, exoept
within definitely prescribed limits - permitted only as a "breathing
spell" for the temporary financing of Capital Asset production by bank
loans, untillthe proceeds of a security issue sold to investors (other
than commercial banks) can cancel these temporary loans off the books
of these banks.



Unless the proposed banking b i l l is amended along these l i n e s , I
cannot become enthusiastic about i t ; and neither do I see how others who I
share m views more or l e s s closely, can become so*
The present depression has -been severe and long. I t s severity and
i t s length have been proportional to two factors, namely, the unusually
large proportion of the net income after taxes which f e l l into the hands
of large incoias receivers, and the extremely great and legally permissible bank-credit inflation (as I define inflation) which was actually
brought into existence up to the middle of 1929.


Governor Secies says, in the speech you sent me, that "It also seenufl
evident to m that neither capitalism nor democraoy can survive another I
depression of the magnitude of the one from which we are just emerging"••
H may be right; I hope he's wrong; because the present depression is
just a good sized frisky pup compared with the devouring dog which the
next depression will undoubtedly be, unless we wake up soon, quit kiddinB
outselves, show some signs of a sense of reality, and do the needful witfl
some degree of courage and completeness. And the needful, in my judge- •
nent, means above all else (1) a more proper distribution of "net inoomel
after A L taxes, and (2) the prevention of inflation in any form.


The already accomplished devaluation of the monetary unit, the varioi
amendments to the Federal Reserve Act and other Banking Acts already passe
during the past two years, (and now the proposed b i l l of 1935), merely la]
the ground-work for an immensely greater legally permitted inflation (as 1
I define inflation) than any inflation we have had in the past.
And now to change the subject somewhat:- I do not relish to appear
to be hypercritical of any of our governmental Officials, Boards, and
Departments; but when I see some of them gathering and publishing tremendous masses of s t a t i s t i c s , obtained at considerable expense to the
Nation and to i t s commercial, industrial, and financial concerns, some
of which s t a t i s t i c s liave in m judgement a value quite low in proportion
to their bulk, and at the same time see them neglecting to gather and
publish s t a t i s t i c s which (pardon the 'impolite* expression) get at the
G T of matters, I sometimes wonder why this i s so.
To give just an illusteation in the field of banking i t s e l f : - The
Comptroller of the Currency calls regularly for quite elaborately detailed condition statements from the National banks. Yet for the f i r s t
time in history (as of Ivlay 13, 1933, with the results published in the
July 1933 Federal Reserve Bulletin) did a comptroller call for a report
of the number of deposit accounts, and the size of their balances (with
no division as between Time and Demand deposits).


Those s t a t i s t i c s were extremely enlightening. They were not avail- I
able at the time I published m booklet; but they corroborate i t s thesis I
quite strikingly. They showed, for instance, that in a l l the banks all I
over this Nation, that were licensed to be open for business on May 13, I
1933 - — which was A T R the general bank closing and bank cleanup,
A T R almost four years of depression, A T R the so-called 'flight of
capital' had taken place
we s t i l l had a situation which showed that I
O T E A E A E for the whole Nation, one depositor in every thousand
owned $446.00 out of every $1,000.00 of deposits; and that less than 2
% I
of the number of depositors owned more than 68$ of the volume of deposits
Never since, so far as I know, have such s t a t i s t i c s been gathered and
What protection is a reserve requirement of 13, or 10, or 7 percent I
on demand deposits, and 3 percent on time deposits under such a composi- I
tion of accounts?
Yet another classification of deposits, which io far as I know, havJ
never been gathered, but which I think would be extremely valuable, woul<B
be somewhat as follows:
(1) Deposits due to non-debtors of the bank, classified as between I
citizens and domestic corporations, and foreign.
(2) Deposits due to debtors of the bank, in excess of their indebtedness to the bank*


(3) Deposits due to debtors of the bank (whether debtors on loans
or on investments, and whether the loans are s t i l l held or haveB
been discounted with a contingent l i a b i l i t y ) , which deposits arB
N T in excess of these depositors' debts to the bank, subO
classified as follows:


Deposits due to debtors on loans or investments which a r e ,
(a) Payable on demand, or within 6 months.
(bj Payable after s i x but not exceeding 9 months.
(o) Payable after 9 months.
(Some debtors might f a l l into more than one class* In suoh oases
deposits should be s e t off, so f a r as they w i l l go, f i r s t against
the nearest due-date paper; next, to the next nearest; and so o n ) .

I take i t a s being f a i r l y obvious to anyone familiar with economios
and current banking finance t h a t the smaller the proportion of t o t a l dep o s i t s in the larger-sized-balance accounts, and the larger the proportion of deposits due to debtors of the bank, the sounder i s the economic
and financial condition of t h e Nation.
I venture the a s s e r t i o n that had such two c l a s s e s of s t a t i s t i c s been
gathered a t regular and not too widely separated i n t e r v a l s , prior to the
onset of the present depression, the f a i r l y rapid and great weakening of
the economic and financial structure of the Nation, beginning at about the
I cannot refine these ideas further herein,
quite long.

The l e t t e r i s already

Those who have the public r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for supervising the operation and proper functioning of our financial and economic system w i l l of
course continue to call for such s t a t i s t i c s as tjiey f e e l they need and
uld find u s e f u l . I have merely set forth some of my ideas of the kind
s t a t i s t i c s and information I would f e e l to be necessary t o me i f I
had any direct part in that public r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .
Thanking you again for having written t o me, I am,
Yours t r u l y ,

Klair Klearsight
Copy t o :
Hon. J. F. T. 0'Conner,
Comptroller of the Currency,
Washington, D. C.