chapter  6
13 Pages

The November Chicago Memorandum

The passage of the Banking Act of 1933 was not the end of FDR's concern about economic recovery and the state of the financial system. In his fourth fireside chat in October 1933, Roosevelt stated that the policy of his administration was first to restore the price level, and then seek to establish and maintain a dollar that "would not change its purchasing and debt-paying power during the succeeding generation" (Kroos 1969,2780). He announced that the government would begin buying gold at a price to be determined in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury. According to Arthur Schlesinger, the gold purchase program set the financial community in an uproar and the result was a national debate over monetary policy that had not been seen since the William Jennings Bryan campaign of 1896 (Schlesinger 1958, 244--45). With the Seventy-third Congress meeting for a second session, it was clear that 1934 was to be a decisive year for debate on monetary reform.