Debt, Crisis, and Recovery: The 1930s and the 1990s

By Albert Gailord Hart; Perry Mehrling | Go to book overview

Chapter 8
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE
COMMITTEE ON DEBT ADJUSTMENT

1. FINDINGS

THE DEBTS which American individuals, business concerns, and government bodies owe to each other run into huge totals. The bonded debt of corporations was about $50 billion last year; securities of government bodies, $53 billion; mortgages, about $35 billion; short-term debts owed to banks and corporations, probably $30 billion; deposits of commercial banks and mutual savings banks, $40 billion1. and $10 billion respectively; the cash values of life insurance policies, $20 billion; and the withdrawable shares of building and loan associations, $4 billion to $5 billion. Items which cannot be effectively measured would add several billion more.2. A total of the items just listed, with allowance for debts not measurable, would exceed $250 billion.

It is tempting to try to measure the burden of debt on our

____________________
1.
Not counting $6 billion of interbank deposits.
2.
As may be seen from the items enumerated, this report treats as debts some obligations (such as insurance cash loan and surrender values) which are not ordinarily so treated. The term "debt" is here taken to include all recognized obligations to pay definite sums of money, whether on demand (or after specified notice), or at a definite future date, or in instalments on a series of future dates.

-245-

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Debt, Crisis, and Recovery: The 1930s and the 1990s
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Columbia University Seminar Series ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction xiii
  • Part I Debt, Crisis, and Recovery Revisited 1
  • Chapter I Debts and Fluctuation 3
  • Chapter 2 the End of an Era: 1930s and 1990s 17
  • Chapter 3: A Framework for Reform 29
  • Appendix to Part I Regaining Control Over an Open-Ended Money Supply 45
  • Part II Debts and Recovery, 1929 to 1937 *
  • A Twentieth Century Fund Investigation iii
  • Committee on Debt Adjustment of the Twentieth Century Fund iv
  • Title Page v
  • Foreword vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Contents xv
  • Tables xxii
  • Figures xxvi
  • The Factual Findings 3
  • The Program 245
  • Appendix to Part II 273
  • Index to Part I 361
  • Index to Part II 365
  • About the Authors 371
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