chapter  11
17 Pages

Academic Views of the Chicago Plan

The Chicago/CurrielFisher proposals for 100 percent reserve banking stimulated debate in the academic journals as well as the popular press. Separating the academic and nonacademic debates in one sense is an artificial division since many of the academics (Currie, Viner, and so on) were also involved in the political realm. The 1933 memorandums were disseminated to both academics and nonacademics. As already discussed, the plan was known and debated in the Roosevelt administration and Congress. The academic debates over the Chicago plan began as Simons responded to privately written comments from other economists about the original memorandums. However, in addition to the private debates, articles were published in leading economics journals as well as other academic publications. Even the passage of the Banking Act of 1935 did not end the discussion of the Chicago plan, which really began to generate widespread academic interest after 1935. Though at first reflection, one might think that the debate was for nought, as argued above, the Banking Act of 1935 was not viewed at the time as the last word on banking reform. Today we tend to think that the New Deal legislation was intended as a long-term solution, but in fact it was not. There were many who felt that more needed to be done.