Stabilization: From Wall Street to Congress
In sounding the future, one should leave statistics and charts behind, and seek the broad valleys and rolling prairies, view the stuffed barns, the black plowed soil, harbinger of a crop to come. . . . As we inventory our glory, take in the urban as well . . . billion dollar corporations sending out their streams of profitable employed labor, living in a comfort not remotely approached by an industrial class elsewhere on the globe. . . . This land that is proof against disaster . . . presages a tomorrow far mightier and rosier than is really logical to predict.
John G. Lonsdale1
Herbert Hoover's Commerce Department report for 1925 contained a combination of congratulation and warning. It divided the economy into two areas, the first of which, the production of goods, was held to be stable and sound and, in Hoover's view, using a normal portion of the country's credit. It was the second, speculation in the securities market, that he considered to be violent and dangerous, for it was there that speculators were absorbing an "excess" quantity of credit, while at the same time creating more.2 This division existed throughout____________________