Monday, April 28, 2008

The New York Times on Ben Bernanke, June 20, 1913

The New York Times wrote an article on the McAdoo-Owen-Glass Banking bill, which became the Federal Reserve Act, on June 20, 1913. The Federal Reserve Act was passed in December of that year. The Times wrote:

"Banking and politics would be one. All experience forbids us to assume with any degree of confidence that appointments made by the President and confirmed by the Senate would be made with that careful attention to the need of securing fit and experienced men which the great importance of the banking business and its delicate and easily disturbed relation to the industries of the country so urgently require. We know that our Government is one of the least efficient, most wasteful and loosely conducted of the great business institutions of the country. And into such incompetent hands it is proposed to intrust the control of banking upon which all other business is so intimately dependent. Loans upon the security of farming lands are provided for. Does anybody suppose that the policy of the Federal Reserve Banks or of the Federal Reserve Board would in this particular be determined with entire indifference to the farmer vote? Or that in Congressional or Presidential campaign years the regulation of the discount rate or the determination of banking policy in general would be decided on by minds taking no thought of political ends to be gained? The germinal principle of the bill appears to be distrust of banks and bankers. We may assume that not only financiers and bankers, but business men generally will take sober thought concerning the centralizing features of the bill and the spirit and the policy which have inspired it."

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