why did a mild recession in 1929 become the great depression of the 1930s
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Why Did A Mild Recession in 1929 Become the Great Depression of the 1930s

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Why Did A Mild Recession in 1929 Become the Great Depression of the 1930s. Overview. Why did a mild recession turn into the Great Depression? Alleged causes of the Great Depression The Fed explained More likely causes of Great Depression Failed monetary policy Failed fiscal policy

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  • Why did a mild recession turn into the Great Depression?
  • Alleged causes of the Great Depression
  • The Fed explained
  • More likely causes of Great Depression
    • Failed monetary policy
    • Failed fiscal policy
    • Failed international trade policy
  • Implications for today
what did it
What Did It?
  • In the 1920s, jobs were plentiful and the economy was growing and the standard of living was rising.
  • Between 1920 and 1929 homeownership doubled.
  • Most home-owning families enjoyed amenities such as electric lights and flush toilets.
  • 60% of all households had cars, up from 26%.
  • More teenagers were attending high school.
what did it1
What Did It?
  • By 1933…
  • One fourth of the labor forces was unemployed.
  • Families were losing their homes and many were going hungry.
  • Adolescents who should be in school were riding around the country in freight cars, looking for jobs.
what did it2
What Did It?
  • What happened?
  • The United States possessed the same productive resources in the 1930s as it had in the 1920s.
  • Great factories and productive machinery were still present.
  • Workers had the same skills and were willing to work just as hard.
  • How could life have become so miserable for so many in such a short period of time?
  • Prosperity of the 1920s was based largely on purchases of homes and cars.
  • Toward the end of the decade sales began to decline.
end of the 1920s
End of the 1920s
  • Machinery workers stand.
  • Car sales people stand.
  • Auto workers stand.
  • Steel workers stand.
  • Construction workers stand.
  • Furniture sellers stand.
  • Furniture workers stand.
  • Clothing sellers stand.
  • Restaurant workers stand.
  • Grocery workers stand.
  • Normally, people start buying again as automobiles wear out and incomes improve.
expansion begins again
Expansion Begins Again
  • Machinery workers sit.
  • Car sales people sit.
  • Auto workers sit.
  • Steel workers sit.
  • Construction workers sit.
  • Furniture sellers sit.
  • Furniture workers sit.
  • Clothing sellers sit.
  • Restaurant and grocery workers sit.
  • Grocery workers sit.
what are the alleged causes of the great depression
What Are the Alleged Causes of the Great Depression?
  • The Stock Market Crash of October 29, 1929
  • Excessive borrowing to purchase stocks and consumer goods
  • Excessive competition leading to low prices
  • Overproduction of goods and services
  • Low farm prices and low wages, leading to an uneven distribution of income
why did a mild recession in 1929 become the great depression of the 1930s a hint

Why did a mild recession in 1929 become the Great Depression of the 1930s? A Hint

It’s primarily about money, banks, and the Federal Reserve System

banking terms
Banking Terms

Are banks the same as hardware stores?

  • Money
  • Reserve Requirement
  • Required Reserves
  • Excess Reserves
  • Do banks create money?
basic money and banking
Basic Money and Banking
  • What is Money?
  • Anything generally accepted in payment for goods and services.
    • Medium of Exchange
    • Store of Value
    • Unit of Account
    • Fiat system
the money creation process
The Money Creation Process
  • I walk into Bank A and deposit $1,000 cash into my checking account.
  • What does Bank A do with the money?
  • Bank A places $100 in reserves and makes a $900 loan.
  • What does the person that takes out the $900 do the money?
  • Deposit in Bank B. Bank B puts $90 into reserves and makes an $810 loan.
  • $1,000 cash has turned into: $1,000 + $900 + $810 = $2,710 and it keeps going.
why a federal reserve system
Why a Federal Reserve System?
  • Central Bank of the United States
  • Created in 1913 by Congress (Federal Reserve Act)
  • Response to nations’ recurring bank panics
goals of the federal reserve
Goals of the Federal Reserve
  • Safe, flexible and stable financial and monetary system.
  • Dual Mandate:
    • Stable Prices
    • Maximum Employment
reserve banks
Reserve Banks

There are 12 Federal Reserve Districts, each is served by an independent Reserve bank. There are also 24 branch offices.

Federal Reserve Branch city, by District:(4) Cincinnati, Pittsburgh

(5) Baltimore, Charlotte (6) Birmingham, Jacksonville, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans (7) Detroit

(8) Little Rock, Louisville, Memphis

(9) Helena

(10) Denver, Oklahoma City, Omaha

(11) El Paso, Houston, San Antonio

(12) Los Angeles, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle

federal reserve banks
Federal Reserve Banks
  • Conduct economic research in general and on their local economy.
  • Supervise and examine bank holding companies and commercial banks in their region.
  • Provide bank services (hold reserves, make loans, clear checks and other payments, move currency into and out of circulation).
  • Provide services to the US Treasury and Federal Government.
  • Provide services to the community.
broad of governors
Broad of Governors
  • Located in Washington DC.
  • Responsible for setting and implementing the nation’s monetary policy (control of the money supply).
  • Consists of 7 members appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
  • Each member serves one 14-year non-renewable term with one member appointed every two years and one member is appointed as the chair for a 4-year renewable term.
broad of governors1
Broad of Governors
  • Board membership is relatively stable since a new president can be sure of appointing or reappointing only two members in a presidential term.
  • Board structure was designed to insulate monetary authorities from short-term political pressure by elected officials.
federal open market committee
Federal Open Market Committee
  • Consists of the 7 board governors plus 5 presidents of the Reserve Banks (one is always NY Fed president and the rest rotate– next slide)
  • Sets monetary policy
  • Meets 8 times per year
federal open market committee1
Federal Open Market Committee
  • Conducts open market operations
    • Purchases and sales of U.S. government securities by the Fed
    • Most important tool of monetary policy
    • Conducted by NY Fed Bank
the fed s monetary policy tools
The Fed’s Monetary Policy Tools
  • Open Market Operations – buy and sell U.S. Government securities to influence federal funds rate.
  • Discount Rate – interest rate charged to banks on loans received from their regional Reserve Bank.
  • Reserve Requirements – amount of funds banks must hold against deposits in reserve.
how do open market operations work
How do Open Market Operations Work?
  • The FOMC sets a target for the federal funds rate.
  • The Fed uses Open Market Operations to move the federal funds rate to its target.
  • The federal funds rate is the interest rate paid in the Federal Funds Market for overnight loans between banks.
  • The rate influences other key rates.
lowering the federal funds rate
Lowering the Federal Funds Rate
  • Why would they do this?
    • Economy is weak and they want to increase business and consumer borrowing/spending.
  • How do they do this?
    • Instruct New York Fed Bank to buy treasury bonds from banks.
    • The Fed pays these banks by crediting their reserve accounts.
    • This increase in the supply of reserves (money) lowers the price of money (Federal Funds Rate).
    • Other interest rates in the economy then typically follow.
interest rates
Interest Rates
  • The world financial system that emerged after World War I was based upon the gold standard.
  • The United was a safe haven for gold.
  • The United States and Great Britain guaranteed that they would exchange their currencies for gold at a fixed rate ($20.67) for an ounce of gold.
  • Other major countries agreed to exchange their currencies for gold, dollars, or pounds.
gold standard and interest rates
Gold Standard and Interest Rates
  • In 1927, several countries, most notably Germany and Austria, experienced serious bank runs.
  • Many foreigners exchanged their currencies for dollars in order to withdraw gold from the U.S.
  • The United States experienced a serious outflow of gold.
  • To encourage foreign investors to buy American investments (exchange gold for dollars to invest) and encourage an inflow of gold, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in 1929.
we did it
“We Did It.”
  • The Fed failed to act as the “lender of last resort.”
money in circulation
Money in Circulation

*Currency plus bank deposits, in billions of dollars.

we did it1
“We Did It.”
  • In 2002, at Milton Friedman’s 90th birthday
  • Ben Bernanke, then Federal Reserve Board Governor, said:

“ I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression, you were right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.”

why did the fed fail to act
Why Did the Fed Fail to Act?
  • The Board of Governors believed that many banks were unsound.
  • They wished to protect the value of the dollar by keeping interest rates high.
  • They wished to protect the nation against inflation which they thought was the main problem.
smoot hawley tariff
Smoot-Hawley Tariff
  • In 1930 Congress approved the Smoot-Hawley Tariff.
  • It raised rates from 20% to 34% on agricultural products.
  • Tariffs were raised on 887 items.
  • The number of items listed as dutiable commodities increased to 3,281.
smoot hawley tariff1
Smoot-Hawley Tariff
  • American farmers lost nearly one third of their markets.
  • Farm prices plummeted.
  • Thousands of farmers went bankrupt.
  • Rural banks failed in record numbers.
  • Trade partners such as Germany (Weimar Republic) were also hurt.
revenue act of 1932
Revenue Act of 1932
  • By 1932, federal revenues had declined and spending had increased.
  • In 1932, Congress approved and Hoover signed the Revenue Act.
  • It doubled the income tax.
    • The lowest bracket went from 1.25% to 4%.
    • The top bracket ($100,000) went from 24% to 63%.
  • Exemptions were lowered.
  • Corporate and estate taxes were raised.
  • New gift, gasoline, and auto taxes were imposed.
how did the u s respond to the 2007 2008 financial crisis
How Did the U.S. Respond to the 2007-2008 financial crisis?
  • Did the Fed let banks fail in large numbers?
  • Did the Fed raise interest rates?
  • Did the Federal government raise taxes and balance the budget?
  • Did the Federal government increase trade restrictions?
bank failures
Bank Failures

Great Recession

Great Depression

1930-1933 bank failures= 9,106

$6.9 billion in deposits

… or, 7.2% of GDP

  • 2008 to Oct 6, 2009 bank failures= 123
  • $322.2 billion in deposits
  • … or 2.3% of GDP