What Went Wrong in Wall Street Reform: Obama Versus FDR
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Posted March 19, 2017

FDR during depressionFollowing the Wall Street crash of 1929, thousands of banks failed in the United States. More than 3,000 banks went under in 1931 followed by more than 1400 the following year. There was no Federal insurance on bank deposits in those days so both depositors and shareholders were wiped out or received pennies on the dollar when the banks went bust. This deepened the panic and deepened the Great Depression.

Many of the bank failures stemmed from the banks using depositors’ money to speculate in the stock market, sometimes to manipulate the price of their own stock.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn in as President of the United States on March 4, 1933. Two days later he declared a national banking holiday, meaning that he closed all the banks and sent in the examiners to determine which ones were sound and which ones were insolvent. The banking holiday lasted to March 13. Just three months later, on June 16, 1933, FDR and Congress enacted the Glass-Steagall Act also known as the Banking Act of 1933. More…