The Roosevelt Banking Policy
The bank reform legislation enacted during the first hundred days of the Roosevelt administration was neither as radical as the liberals had hoped nor as conservative as most bankers desired. It was compromise legislation designed to correct obvious defects in the federal banking laws and to afford a degree of protection to the bank depositors of the country. Both the Emergency Banking Act and the Banking Act of 1933 had as their immediate aims the restoration of the banking system to a state of normalcy. Indications were, that at a later date, the administration would again turn to bank reform.
In the period between the November election and the March banking crisis, bank reform legislation had been discussed by the Roosevelt forces. The president-elect was no stranger to the subject. As governor of the state of New York, he had been brought face to face with the problems incident to the epidemic of bank failures. Nevertheless, in New York, as in other states, bank reform legislation met with delay and postponement. Commissions were established, studies were undertaken, and recommendations were considered, but little action resulted. In his message to the legislature on January 1, 1930, Governor Roosevelt had stated: "The meshes of our banking laws have been so woven as to permit the escape of those meanest of all criminals who squander the funds of hundreds