By Darwyn H. Lumley
This historical past tells the quite unknown tale of ways the Detroit car performed an important position within the 1933 banking drawback and the next New Deal reforms that vastly replaced the monetary undefined. Spurred through failed determination making via car leaders, Detroit banks skilled a serious emergency, precipitating the federal closure of banks on March four, 1933, the 1st in a sequence of activities wherein the government obtained energy over economics formerly held by way of states and personal commercial and fiscal pursuits.
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Additional info for Breaking the Banks in Motor City: The Auto Industry, the 1933 Detroit Banking Crisis and the Start of the New Deal
One impetus to continued growth was the reputation of the wellknown auto leaders, whose names were prominently mentioned in association with the Guardian Group. Through their daring and energy the auto men had built an entirely new industry in a very short time period. Their success, it was commonly believed, was evidence of their wisdom and leadership. When a bank became a part of the Guardian Group it meant an association with known winners. Other men in the auto industry whose successes were well known added to the imposing list of Guardian Group ofﬁcers and investors.
40 There is no record that any of the other participants in the White 23 Breaking the Banks in Motor City House meeting spoke in favor of an RFC loan. As has been noted, the meeting was an attempt to ﬁnd a way to resolve the immediate crisis in Detroit by having Henry Ford and James Couzens provide the necessary ﬁnancial guarantees, with some assistance from General Motors and the Chrysler Corporation. Couzens’s statement about “shouting from the housetops and on the ﬂoor of the Senate” was colorful and is revealing of the senator’s personality.
Then, at a critical moment, 36 2. 27 Bennett also stated, “Nothing ever happened at the Ford Motor Company without Mr. ”28 Edsel Ford’s involvement in the Guardian Group, however, was not kept secret from Henry Ford. 32 To the auto men of Michigan it seemed as if the great Ford Motor Company was ﬁrmly behind the Guardian Group. Its success seemed certain, with Edsel Ford as president of Ford assisting the banking group in differing ways, and Henry Ford going along with the relationship linking his name, his son’s name, and that of his company to Guardian.
Breaking the Banks in Motor City: The Auto Industry, the 1933 Detroit Banking Crisis and the Start of the New Deal by Darwyn H. Lumley