From 1930 to 1935, bank reform legislation was of immediate concern to the banking community. When Franklin Roosevelt took office on March 4, 1933, banking conditions had sunk to their lowest level in the nation's history. For three years prior to his inauguration, studies and investigations had taken place and legislative reforms had been proposed. Bankers had appeared before congressional committees to argue for and against specific provisions in the remedial legislation, but as a group with divided interests and irreconcilable differences they found it impossible to unite upon a banker-sponsored program of reform. The variety of banking institutions and the dual banking system argued against a united effort.
Yet, beneath the surface of the banking picture there were stirrings of discontent. Individual bankers voiced their dissatisfaction with the status quo. They denounced bad banking, lax supervision, unfair competition, and malpractices. Some bankers expressed their desire to see all commercial banks unified into one federal system. Tradition, however, stood in the path of increased federal supervision of banking. History did not support the premise that a government in Washington was the logical agent to create the most efficient and soundest banking system possible. From the time of the demise of the Second Bank of the United