You know, the only trouble with capitalism is capitalists; they're too damn greedy.
-- Herbert Hoover to Mark Sullivan
When Herbert Hoover was inaugurated on March 4, 1929, wrote journalist Anne O'Hare McCormick, "[w]e were in a mood for magic. . . . [T]he whole country was a vast, expectant gallery, its eyes focused on Washington. We had summoned a great engineer to solve our problems for us; now we sat back comfortably and confidently to watch the problems being solved. The modern technical mind was for the first time at the head of a government. . . . Almost with the air of giving genius its chance, we waited for the performance to begin."1 The wait was not long, as Hoover promptly summoned Congress into special session to deal with the stubborn depression in agriculture.
Convening on April 15, the representatives quickly learned that the new president would not tolerate any revival of McNary-Haugen proposals for export subsidies. Instead, Hoover demanded "the creation of a great instrumentality clothed with sufficient authority and resources to . . . transfer the agricultural question from the field of politics into the realm of economics." 2 Awed by Hoover's aura of command, Congress swiftly obliged. "The President is so immensely popular over the country," said one senator, "that the Republicans here are on their knees and the Democrats have their hats off."3 On June 15 the president signed____________________