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ADDRESS BEFORE THE
SEVENTH NEW ENGLAND
BANK MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
OF THE
N I ENGLAND COUNCIL
EV
IN BOSTON, NOVEMBER 13, 1956
BY
MARRINER S. ECCLES
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS
OF THE
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

(Stenographic transcript)

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ADDRESS by Hon. Marriner S. Sccles, Chairman of the Board of Governors
_______of the Federal Reserve System. Washington. D. C.____________
Mr. Chairman, fellow bankers and friends of New England, it is
very gracious of you to permit me to come before you today.
you that it is a privilege for me.

I assure

Had I come to New England prior to

November 3rd, during the period of a heated campaign, whatever I might
have said might have been misconstrued.

Anyone in public office would

have found it very difficult to make a public address without being
accused of making a political speech.
I am not a partisan.

To me political questions resolve them­

selves, when you look through them, into economic and social questions,
and if we could forget party labels and consider political problems from
the economic or social aspect and in an unemotional manner, it seems to
me that we would have a much clearer conception of our problems and be
better able to arrive at practical solutions.
New England is looked upon, of course, as a conservative sec­
tion of this country.

I am a conservative, a believer in development

of private initiative, private banking and business opportunity, but
when I analyze just what it is that I want to conserve I come to the
conclusion that it is, after all, property rights, the opportunity for
expression of individualism.

And then when I look a little further, I

realize that the great majority of people in this country own very little
property, and that what they want to conserve is the right to work, and
the security of a reasonable standard of living for themselves, and their
families, now and in the future.




I realize that human rights must be

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Z-1S

preserved if property rights are to be preserved, and property rights
must be preserved if human rights are to be preserved.
The interests are not conflicting.
thing.

They are a part of the same

As the ov.mers of property and as leaders under a system of capi­

talism it seems to me that we cannot expect to conserve that which we
are so desirous of conserving without attempting or being willing to
conserve and assure that which the great majority of our people want to
be assured of.
As I look back and consider what we have gone through from the
time of the boom period of the '20's up to the present, I am impressed
with this fact:

That to have safety in banking we must have stability

in our economy, that it isn't possible to have such great fluctuations
in the national income as we have had, and at the same time devise any
formula for sound credit and investment policy for banks.
Loans and investments which are perfectly good when the national
income is ¡¿<80,000,000,000 become worthless or nearly so when the national
income, through the process of deflation, is permitted to be cut in two.
The same debt structure cannot be supported on a national income of
$40,000,000,000 that is supported on a national income of #80,000,000,000.
It is just as important to bankers that deflation be prevented
as it is that inflation be prevented.

Why bankers recognize the neces­

sity or desirability for government or for public bodies which are instru­
ments of government preventing inflation on the one hand and object to
the intervention by government to stop the processes of deflation on the




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other hand is difficult for me to understand.
Deflation, if anything, is more destructive to bankers than in­
flation.

They are twin evils and both should be prevented, if possible.

The volume of money— that is, the means of payment including bank credit,
as represented by deposits and currency— and the velocity or turnover
of funds arc a measure of our national income.

We know in a money economy

that the way we effect an exchange of all goods and services is through
the mechanism of money.

It stands to reason that when the total volume

of money, which includes bank deposits, and the turnover of that money
diminish, the volume of business has also diminished.

If we expect to

maintain stability or reasonable stability of business, we must find ways
and means of maintaining a more uniform availability of money and of en­
couraging a more uniform flow or velocity than we have had in the past.
In looking at the record of the past, it seems to me that it
should serve somewhat as a guide and that we should profit by its teach­
ing.

There is great disagreement as to what all of the causes of defla­

tion were, just as there may be some disagreement as to the causes of
reflation, but I would like to read here what seems to me to be a very
brief and reasonable explanation of some of the primary causes of de­
flation.
The Brookings Institute, which is an endowed, non-partisan body,
recently made a study, and in their report of income and economic prog­
ress, on page 37 they have this to say:
"The consumptive requirements or wants of the
people v/eru far from satisfied during the period of our



Z-15
highest economic achievement.

The value of the total

national production of goods and services in 1929, if
divided equally among the entire population, would have
given to each person approximately $665.

There were

nearly 6 million families with incomes less than $1,000$
12 million with incomes under $1,500; over 16 million
with incomes under $2,000$ and over 19 million, or 71
per cent of the total, with incomes less than #2,500.
A family income of $2,500, at 1929 prices, was a very
moderate one, permitting few of the luxuries of life.
Hence it was clear that the consumptive requirements,
and especially the wants, of the masses of the people
were far from satisfied."
Speaking of what appears to be at least one of the reasons for
some of our difficulties, the same report (page 156) goes on to say:
"As to income distribution and its results, we
found * * * * the proceeds of the nation's productive
effort going in disproportionate and increasing meas­
ure to a small percentage of the population— in 1929 as
much as 23 per cent of the national income to 1 per
cent of the people.

We found the unsatisfied wants—

needs according to any good social standard— of the 92
per cent of all families who are now below the level
of $5,000 annual income sufficient to absorb the prod­
uct of all our unused capacity under present conditions



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of productivity and still demand much more from such
unexplored potentialities as might hereafter be opened
up.
"We found the incomes of the rich going in large
proportion to savings and these savings strongly aug­
mented by others impounded at the source by corpora­
tions through the practice of accumulating corporate
surplus.

These savings, after providing for such in­

crease of capital goods as could be profitably employed,
we found spilling over into less fruitful or positively
harmful uses, ranging from foreign loans (bad as well as
good) to the artificial bidding up of prices of domestic
properties, notably corporate securities.
"Thus, we begin to discern the answer to our ques­
tion whether the basic defect in our economic system,
not discovered in the technical processes of production,
is to be found in the way in which we conduct the dis­
tribution of income.

The answer is affirmative:

this

is the place at which we do find basic maladjustment."
Now whether you agree with that statement or not, the fact re­
mains that the system of production did not break down.

The fact re­

mains that the surplus income which corporations failed to pay out in
dividends, in wages, or in reduced prices, together with the surplus
income of individuals, that is, the income that they saved beyond what




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they spent and which they either invested directly or through savings
banks or insurance companies, made up the great volume of what we may
term savings funds, and a very substantial part of those funds went
into foreign loans and into stock market or brokers' loans.
Bank credit did not expand to a point which in itself would
have caused the speculative inflation that we had in 1929.

Between

#5,000,000,000 and $6,000,000,000 went into the stock market through
loans by others to brokers.

The speculative inflation was outside of

the control of the bankers.
Had a greater portion of these funds that went abroad and that
went into the market gone to consumers through lower prices, or higher
wages, or a wider distribution of dividends, or a combination of the
three, thus maintaining a greater consumer buying power and an increased
standard of living on current income, we would have had a very different
situation.
bility.

T e would have had a far better opportunity to maintain sta­
i

The people as a whole must receive sufficient buying power to

enable them to buy what tho productive facilities which we have created
produce or otherwise the value of our investments and our savings, as
we found out, shrinks or disappears entirely in many cases.
There was a maldistribution of the national income which re­
sulted in getting consumer buying power out of relation to our produc­
tive capacity, and you couldn't maintain that consumer buying power
forever on credit.

I don't mean bank credit, because there was a great

deal of other credit, in fact, most of the credit was outside of the banks.




And when this point of saturation was reached, when the people

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as a whole could no longer buy out of current income what was being
produced, when they could no longer get credit to keep on buying on
the basis of credit what was being produced, and we were unwilling to
take our surplus savings and continue to loan them abroad and thus give
the foreigner buying power to buy what we produced, we found, that the
market for what we produced began to disappear.

With its disappearance

we saw prices tumble, and with the tumbling of prices and the disappear­
ance or the reduction of the market for the sale of our goods, we saw
unemployment increasing.
And we saw, therefore, a contraction of credit.

This supply

of money which is croatod by the banks began to disappear.
a bank loan is paid off that much money disappears.

Every time

And the disappear­

ance of that money created a downward spiral which was self-accelerating.
Many bankers and business men had what I conceived to be the false phi­
losophy of believing that there was a natural bottom where this thing
would stop— that Government should not interfere with the operation of
"natural law,” and that deflation should be permitted to take its course.
They felt that to have tho Government unbalance its budget would destroy
confidence, and that to fail to maintain the gold convertibility of our
money would further destroy confidence.

Therefore we continued to adhero

to the fetish that the Government was like an individual, that it should
contract its expenditures in times of deflation when everybody else was
contracting expenditures— that we should adhere to the gold standard at
all hazards, and that by so doing somehow in some way business people,




Z-15
those with money and those with credit, would undertake to go out and
to build new plants and to produce more goods and thus put people back
to work.

It was not reasonable, to my mind, to expect that individual

investors or business concerns would make new investments at a time
when everything they had was becoming less valuable and less profitable
every day.

The individual or corporation is not going to invest money

and put people to work unless there is a reasonable expectation of
profit.
And so we found what we call "confidence," what we depended upon
to turn the tide of deflation, failed to turn it, and v e kept on to a
/
point where we had destroyed or extinguished one-third of our money sup­
ply through bank credit contraction and bank closings, and had reduced
the turnover of money compared to what it wa3 in the late twenties t y
r
more than 60 per cent*
The reduction in the supply of money times the reduction in its
turnover was reflected in a reduction of the national income from
$83,000,000,000 to approximately $40,000,000,000 from 1929 to 1932, and
a complete collapse of the credit structure.

No other country in the

world even approached the degree of credit contraction and deflation
that this country went through.

In Britain the contraction during the

depression was, as I recall it, about ten per cent.

In Canada the con­

traction of the volume of bank money was less than half of what it was
in this country.

And even in France during the long period of time that

they have attempted to adhere to the gold standard, while deflation




Z-15

-9-

continued, their contraction does not approach what we had in this
country.
The Government can do for all of us what we individually cannot
do for ourselves.
purposes.

The Government can and should spend money for social

It is not animated f y the profit motive, as business concerns
c

and business men must bo.

It can and did stop the process of deflation

through providing funds first to shore up the credit structure; to stop
foreclosures on homes and farms by taking over and refunding the defaulted
securities, and then by a program of public works and relief.

The size

of that job was far greater than it should have been permitted to be.
The cost of turning the tide of deflation ;voula have been much less if
the Government had intervened earlier on a sufficient scalo to stop tho
destruction before it reached such vast proportions.

When the Govern­

ment finally interceded, it supplied the deficiency of tho means of pay­
ment by borrowing money when no one else would, because no one else
could borrow money and invest it profitably.

It borrowed money from the

banks and from those depositors of banks whose funds were idle in the
banks, whose funds were not circulating, and put that money into circula­
tion.

The Government gave its bonds for the money, and used the money

to give buying power to people who didn’ have it.
t

That money created

a demand for goods which otherwise would not have been marketed or pro­
duced; it created business that otherwise would not have existed, and
eventually the money came back into the banks in the form of deposits.
In addition to putting existing but idle funds to work, the Government,
by borrowing directly from the banks, created new money which it likevdse



-10put into circulation.

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Thus, an increase both in the volume and in the

velocity of the supply of money was created.
In other words, to the extent that they bought Government bonds—
on a large scale during the period of 1953 and 1934, less in 1935, and
very few in 1956— the banks created money, just as they would have cre­
ated it had they loaned the money instead to individuals or corporations.
They credited the Treasury's account on the one side and they put in
their investment portfolio Government bonds or bills or notes on the
other side, and as the Treasury checked those funds out and put them
into circulation, that money created business and finally came back into
the banks in deposits to the account of various individuals and corpora­
tions.

The funds went through the mill of production and distribution,

produced goods and services, came back into the banks, and are there
today.
Now that process increased employment.

It made it profitable

for business to employ people in order to fill orders for goods.

You

know what it did to many of the loans that you had which you charged off
or which were considered slow or doubtful.
your security portfolio.

You know what happened to

You know that some Government bonds which you

owned in 1931, and in 1932, when the Government debt was far less than
it is now, were selling at 83, 20 points less than their selling point
today.
Why did this great change in conditions come about?

Because

the Government intervened to increase the supply of money by borrowing
when nobody else was in a position to do it.



The Government thereby

-11-

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Increased the velocity or the circulation of money; that in turn incroased
employment, and increased the volume of production until it is higher
now than it was in the 1923-25 period.

It has increased the national in­

come until at the current time it is running more than #20,000,000,000
above what it was three years ago, and that has increased the Federal in­
come so that the Federal budget will be balanced in the near future.
I have said for three years that you cannot balance a Federal
budget until you correct the causes for its being out of balance.

A

Federal budget can only be balanced out of national income, and the
national income can only be increased by the increase in the volume and
the flow of money, and private interests will not increase the volume or
the flow of money except as it is profitable to do so, but a Government,
acting collectively for all of us, can do for us under such circumstances
what we cannot do for ourselves, acting individually.
That has been done, and the Federal budget will be balanced out
of an increased national income.

It is my belief that there will be very

little more borrowing by the Federal Government.

With the large Treas­

ury balances, with the assets which are being liquidated bringing funds
into the Treasury, together with tax revenue, it is my belief that the
market will not bo given an opportunity to take substantial additional
issues of Government securities, even though the budget is not technically
balanced.
I believe thoroughly that a technically balanced budget will be
reached by 1939, and that a balanced budget, so far as having to go to
the market for additional funds is concerned, will be reached by 1938.



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Now we have experienced the influence of deflation on the bank­
ing system.

We have seen an example of the influence of reflation on

the banking system and on our economy as a whole.

If we can determine

the forces that make for deflation and deal with them, and again can
determine the forces that make for inflation and deal with them, we
have some chance of approaching successfully the problem of maintaining
a greater degree of stability than we have been able to achieve in the
past.

I think it is much more necessary to deal with that problem now

than over before because of the complexity of our economy, because of
the interdependency of its many parts, because of the fact that we are
a creditor nation and because we no longer have the great frontiers that
we once had in the West and South.

Yet I firmly believe that with far­

sighted leadership on the part of the bankers and the business men, it
is possible to devise ways and means for a better, more orderly func­
tioning of our economic system, with a minimum of government encroach­
ment upon the field of private enterprise and initiative.
The Government's field, it seems to me, is broadly this:

As

deflation starts, as evidenced by unemployment, it is in the interests
of all of us that the unemployment problem be met; when private business
cannot profitably employ people, and therefore lays them off, it seems
to me that we must be willing to have them employed on socially bene­
ficial public work by a public body, and thus stop the process of defla­
tion in its inception.

The cost is relatively small.

In fact, it is

negligible if action is taken before the national income is permitted
to diminish greatly.



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In times of full business activity, Federal revenue, which is
one of the greatest factors in stopping inflation, should greatly ex­
ceed Federal expenses.

At such times, Federal revenue should be diverted

to the reduction of the Federal debt.

This in turn has the effect of

offsetting private credit expansion f y the banking system as recovery
c
proceeds and thus of keeping the supply of money more or less constant.
If for any reason we got out of balance again and unemployment
starts to develop, surplus Federal revenue should be promptly diverted
into the spending stream and away from the stream of the reduction of
Federal debt.

If that isn’ sufficient to meet the unemployment situa­
t

tion and stop credit contraction in its inception, we should bo ready to
incur a budgetary deficit.

In other words, the Government must be looked

upon as a compensatory agency in this economy to do just the opposite
to what private business and individuals do.
motivated by the desire for profit.

The latter are necessarily

The former must be motivated by

social obligation.
I want to say just a word about what I suppose is uppermost in
your minds.

You are not worrying today, of course, about deflation.

You are pretty well satisfied with recovery up to date.

You have been

worried about the Government debt and unbalanced budget, and you have
had fear that it would create an inflation and destroy the value of your
money, the value of your investments.
Now I have answered one of your questions, and that is the one
with reference to a balanced budget.

Inflation comes not only from a

continued budgetary deficit, financed by the banks, but inflation can



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come through an expansion of private credit.
be met.

I believe that that can

It can be met first, as I stated a moment ago, by diverting

surplus Federal revenue to retiring Federal debt as private debt expands.
It can be met ty the powers which have been given to the Federal Reserve
Board, by extinguishing excess reserves, and even going so far, if need
be, to force the banks to borrow.

That, of course, would stop the pro­

cess of private credit expansion.
There is a distinction between a speculative inflation and what
we may term a general inflation of the entire price structure.
is little immediate danger of the latter.

There

Prices have been maintained

on the average for the past two years on one of the most stable bases
that this country has had in years.

However, we have less power to con­

trol a speculative inflation unless it is built upon bank credit.

When

stocks are bought out of funds already created, it is much more difficult
for the Reserve authorities to stop that process.

But, that is a far

less dangerous speculative inflation than one which is built upon bank
or broker credit.

In 1929, you will recall, the credit extended to the

market by banks to brokers, and by others to brokers, was around 9 bil­
lions, whereas today it is less than 1 billion.
The Board now has the porer that it didn't have at that time to
fix margin requirements on brokers' loans and bank collateral loans for
the same purpose.

The law also prohibits member banks from acting for

others in making loans on securities as collateral to securities brokers
or dealers.




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I think that with the powers that are in the Federal Reserve
Board, coupled with the right fiscal policy f y the Government, first by
c
balancing the budget, and then by using surplus income in times of pros­
perity to reduce the Federal debt, we can stop inflation.

Foreign funds

coming to this country are an undesirable development, and create a
problem that I think can be met, but which must be carefully and closely
watched.

The excess reserves of our banks today arc due almost entirely

to foreign funds cooing intc this country.

If it were not for the for­

eign capital that has been transferred into this market, because foreign
investors had more confidence in America's future than in their own, we
would have no excess reserves whatsoever.

We would really have a defi­

ciency, taking into account present reserve requirements which the
Board prescribed recently.

Those funds came in here in the form of gold,

and that gold was perfectly worthless to us so far as our need for it
is concerned.

It only costs us money to store it.

We gave to the for­

eigners dollar credit, which they invested in our stocks, bonds, and
properties.

And we are paying them interest and dividends and rents on

those funds while they are so invested.

And we will likely pay them a

substantial profit if they choose to convert those funds into their own
currencies and take them somewhere else.
With the #2,000,000,000 stabilization fund, which is neither in
the money market nor reflected in our excess reserves, and with the
present excess reserves of more than #2,000,000,000, together with the
power of the Board to reduce reserve requirements back to where they
were, which would restore a billion and a half of reserves, we have a



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total of <¿5,500,000,000 available that we could lose, theoretically in
gold, without causing member banks to borrow from the Reserve System.
I merely mention that to give you an idea of the resources available to
meet any great out-movement of gold.

And that, mind you, would be with­

out decreasing further tho gold value of the dollar, or increasing fur­
ther the price of gold.
That gives to the Federal authorities broad powers, if intelli­
gently used, affecting domestic stability as well as an international
stability.

V i a other countries might do that could upset the national
iht

equilibrium, of course, we cannot control.

The Federal debt is about

$15,000,000,000 more than it was at the bottom of the depression, and
if the entire amount of Treasury bidances today, the entire amount of
liquidation of assets were used for further government expenditures, the
debt would not increase above $15,000,000,000, which added to the
¡¿•21,000,000,000 debt at the time of the bank holiday would make the total
debt #54,000,000,000.
serious problem.
al income.

N v ’ the cost of servicing that debt is not a
o .,

It is about one per cent of an 80 billion dollar nation­

The cost of servicing the British debt is about 5 per cent of

their present income which is the highest income they have ever enjoyed.
A #15,000,000,000 increase in the debt for a nation with our
wealth is a small cost to pay for recovery.

A #15,000,000,000 debt is

less than two months of our pre-depression national income.
to the Federal deficit during but one year of the World War.
we have something to show for the £15,000,000,000 now.

It is equal
However,

Moreover,

£>4,000,000,000 of it hasn't yet been spent, and we paid a bonus which



-17-

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was a liability to be paid at some future date— at least, we put it in
the form of a Government bond, and put it on the books— it was a liabil­
ity before that wasn't on the books.
In other words, the $15,000,000,000 hasn't left the country. It
hasn't gone overseas.

It is on deposit in the banks, and it is that in­

crease in the means of payment and the increased velocity of that fund
which has made it possible to bring about the increase in national income,
which is yielding the revenue to balance the budget; to bring about the
increased well-being of the people, and the increased safety and increased
security of the banks.
Not/,

let me recapitulate f o r a moment.

As I have indicated, our

problem today is not the national debt, which is large but not oppres­
sively burdensome for a nation of our wealth and resources.

And we are

rapidly reaching the point of a balmced budget when it will not be
necessary to create new deposits by the sale of government securities
to the banks.

These causes for anxiety no longer exist.

As for t l problem of excess reserves, which, as I have said,
ie
are almost entirely the result of the inflow of foreign funds, we are in
a position to deal with the present volume of reserves, and to meet very
heavy withdrawals of funds if there should be a reversal of the inward
movement.

Therefore, the present volume of reserves does not present

an unmanageable problem.
However, we have roached the stage in recovery at which it is no
longer desirable to have additions either to our banking reserves or sub­
stantially to the volume of deposits.



We have adequate means at our

-18-

2-15

disposal to cope with the present volume of reserves and of deposits,
but we have no way of preventing a further, continuous inflow of foreign
capital which would superimpose another huge and possibly unmanageable
volume both of deposits and of reserves upon our banking system.

This

is our most immediate problem from the standpoint of the Federal Reserve
System as well as from the viewpoint of the Treasury.

The President has

called attention to this problem and has requested the Treasury, the Re­
serve System and the Securities Exchange Commission to study it thoroughly
with a view to recommending such ways and means as may be appropriate for
dealing with it.
It is manifestly unfair for our own people, for American inves­
tors, to be required to pay a capital gains tax and to pay income taxes,
which range as high as 75 per cent in the highest income brackets, while
foreigners are able to purchase our securities and to profit by our re­
covery without being subject to any taxation other than the nominal 10 per
cent assessed against dividends under the so-called withholding tax.

For­

eigners are free to withdraw their funds and their profits at any time
and to take them out of the United States without paying a fair share or
a comparable share of taxes such as are imposed upon our own people.

Now

this is not an equitable situation.
But, beyond that, the speculative movement of foreign funds into
and out of the principal money markets of the world has long been a seri­
ously disturbing factor.

It upsets the domestic economy of the country

losing the capital and in our own case, as I have pointed out, it is the
sole source of our present excess of reserves.



Such action as the Reserve

-19-

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System has taken a i is now contemplating once more in order to prevent
rd
these foreign funds from becoming the base for an unhealthy, speculative
expansion at home, is, after all, action dealing with effects and not
vvith the fundamental cause.

Furthermore, such action does not prevent

inflowing foreign funds from swelling the bank deposits of the country.
That is not all.

These speculative movements of foreign capital

put a strain not only upon the domestic economies of the countries directly
affected, but they impose a heavy load upon the stabilization funds set
up to maintain an equilibrium among the principal currencies of the world
and to facilitate normal trade and commerce.

Why should the foreign

speculator be permitted to throw monkey wrenches into this vitally neces­
sary economic machinery? Why should the foreign speculator at the some
time escape a fair share of taxation?
Neither government nor Federal Reserve policy in the interest of
promoting and preserving full recovery can be effectively exercised when
such conditions exist and threaten to get beyond the boundaries of con­
trol.

Monetary management, under existing powers of the Reserve System;

operations of the stabilization fund; Treasury financing policy in rela~
tion to the creation and maintenance of a necessary but not excessive
level of bank deposits, and the problem of interest rates and the mainte­
nance of easy but not excessively easy money conditions are all exposed
to upset under the impact of large scale, speculative shuttling of funds
.among the principal capital markets of the world.

Stability of curren­

cies and of external trade conditions as well as internal stability are




Z-15

-20jeopardized by such speculative movements.

I have outlined broadly an immediate problem which deserves to
have the best thought of tho banking world brought to bear upon it— which
calls for understanding and intelligent action.

It challenges particu­

larly the attention of the banking community if the bankers are to have
a full sense of responsibility for guidance and leadership when the
country is confronted by difficult but by no means insoluble problems
such as this.

And as bankers, you and I must be willing to accept our

proper share of public responsibility and to offer a leadership that is
prepared to meet such problems.
Looking to our responsibility in the future, I was impressed by
reading this statement in a newspaper:
"The election calls for a renewed sense of responsi­
bility, not only in the President, but in £ 1 of us, for
.1
it is no longer a question for any of us whether or how
far we are prepared to collaborate vdth the President,
but whether and how far we are prepared to collaborate
with the national will.

It ought to mean that business

and industry vd.ll face tho challenge of formulating pro­
grams of collaboration with government for tho good of
the nation, to satisfy the desire of the nation for more
security and more stability, for better homes and steadier
wages, and greater assurance of continuous employment."
Let us as bankers, and I speak with feeling because I am a member
of the fraternity of bankers— I have been in the banking business all of



-21my life— let us get the touch of reality.

Z-15
Let us forget our homesick­

ness for a past that, desirable as it may have been, we cannot bring
back, and let our record in the future be one of leadership in helping
to direct the course of social and economic well being.
Let us change the record of the past, which has been one of
opposition to every progressive move by the Government.

The national

banking act in 1860 was violently assailed as an infringement upon the
rights of the people, or upon states' rights.

The income tax of 189S,

both before and after it was declared unconstitutional by a 5 to 4 court
decision, had the organised and united opposition of business and bankers,
and it took eighteen years to get a constitutional amendment.

The Fed­

eral Reserve Act was bitterly opposed by business men and bankers through
their organizations.
organized business.

Workmen's compensation acts have been opposed f y
c
The eight-hour day was opposed by organized business.

Child labor laws have been opposed in many states by organized business.
Social security legislation and old-age pensions are widely opposed by
organized business and bankers.

The Securities Exchange Act of 19S4 was

opposed by business and bankers.

The Banking Act of 1933 was opposed by

bankers and business.

The Banking Act of 1935 was opposed by them.

Now, that is a bad record, and we don't need to blame anybody
but ourselves because we find ourselves in the rear of the procession,
and find ourselves discredited today with the mass of the American people.
We might just as well admit it.
our responsibility of leadership.




We have failed to meet the challenge of

-22-

Z-15

Now, I say to you as bankers, have the courage to think clearly,
and to regain the touch of reality, and to take your place as the leaders
in this great capitalistic economy which we want to preserve.
I thank you.
Chairman BYRNE.

I think I speak for each person in this room when

I say we have been highly privileged to listen to this searching and au­
thoritative analysis by Governor Eccles of things, things which are past
and things which are facing us and things which are in the future.

We

are very grateful to the Governor for coming here today, and I want to as­
sure him that he is very welcome.