I’m surprised to be reading this in a New York Times peace:

Roosevelt had his triumphs. He stemmed panic and stabilized the banking system with a combination of deposit insurance, government investment in banks, restrictions on banking practices and his “fireside chat” radio addresses, which repeatedly steadied the national mood and bought Roosevelt time to make changes.

Still, even after the government assistance, the surviving banks were shaken and lending remained anemic — much as the nation’s banks today are reluctant to make loans again, despite receiving more than $300 billion of taxpayers’ money in Round 1 of the federal banking bailout.

So, throughout the 1930s, economic recovery remained frustratingly elusive and arrived only with the buildup for World War II in the 1940s.


Perhaps we should take breath before borrowing another $825 billion to throw at this problem.