March 9, 1933

Posted by: Tom Keene on November 22, 2011

The Emergency Banking Act was introduced on March 9, 1933, to a joint session of Congress and was passed the same evening amid an atmosphere of chaos and uncertainty as over 100 new Democratic members of Congress swept into power determined to take radical steps to address banking failures and other economic malaise. The EBA was one of Mr. Roosevelt’s first projects in the 100 days. The sense of urgency was such that the act was passed with only a single copy available on the floor and most legislators voted on it without reading it.

Why did FDR’s Bank Holiday Succeed?, Federal Reserve Bank of New York Economic Policy Review, July 2009

They (the failed 12, et al.) are not scared…enough.

What is needed is a sense of urgency. What we get is a posturing that makes my most junkie-crazed political friends cringe.

David Kennedy absolutely nails this in his MUST READ effort of the 1930s.

Or, see the scene in Seabiscuit, with the actress Annie Corley, that crushes the desperation of the time. (C the Cene in Cbisquit, bonus points!)

Go on. Go with Mr. Blodget.
No.
He’s going to take care of you sweetie. Go with him.
Mom, don’t do this.

The elites, elites dazzled by SuperDuperCommittees, are clueless of the urgency of the moment. The Roosevelt & (and I do mean &) Hoover officials were scared…stiff. Across a desk at Treasury the night of the inauguration, they worked TOGETHER.

We are not scared, enough, and won’t be until we hear our children say, “Mom, don’t do this.” We need to confront our March 9, 1933. Discuss.

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EconoChat captures Tom Keene's thoughts on economics, finance and investment. He is editor-at-large for Bloomberg News and hosts Bloomberg Surveillance and Bloomberg on the Economy on NYC1130, Sirius 129 and XM 130 and Surveillance Midday on Bloomberg Television. His complete interviews are at Tom Keene on Demand. Look for Tom on twitter @tomkeene

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