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Eugene Meyer and the German Influence on the Origin of U.S. Federal Financial Rescues

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  • James L. Butkiewicz

    ()
    (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)

Abstract

While federal financial rescues have become a common response to crises, federal provision of finance was not one of the original powers of the federal government. One man, Eugene Meyer, is largely responsible for the origin of federal financial rescues, through both the War Finance Corporation and Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Meyer learned laissez-faire economics from William Graham Sumner at Yale. However, German economist Adolph Wagner’s state-socialism philosophy heavily influenced Meyer’s thinking, and Meyer developed an interventionist philosophy. Serving in key government positions, Meyer put his beliefs into practice. These channels of influence and the resulting policies are examined.

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File URL: http://www.lerner.udel.edu/sites/default/files/ECON/PDFs/RePEc/dlw/WorkingPapers/2013/UDWP13-09.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Delaware, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 13-09.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in Journal of the History of Economic Thought
Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:13-09.

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Keywords: B - History of Thought; N - Economic History;

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  1. Joseph Mason, 2001. "Do Lender of Last Resort Policies Matter? The Effects of Reconstruction Finance Corporation Assistance to Banks During the Great Depression," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 77-95, September.
  2. James L. Butkiewicz, 2005. "Governor Eugene Meyer and the Great Contraction," Working Papers 05-01, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  3. James L. Butkiewicz & Mihaela Solcan, 2012. "The Original Operation Twist: The War Finance Corporation's War Bond Purchase, 1918-1920," Working Papers 12-13, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  4. Thomas C. Leonard, 2009. "American Economic Reform in the Progressive Era: Its Foundational Beliefs and Their Relation to Eugenics," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 109-141, Spring.
  5. James L. Butkiewicz, 1999. "The Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the Gold Standard, and the Banking Panic of 1933," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 271-293, October.
  6. Charles W. Calomiris & Joseph R. Mason & Marc Weidenmier & Katherine Bobroff, 2012. "The Effects of Reconstruction Finance Corporation Assistance on Michigan’s Banks’ Survival in the 1930s," NBER Working Papers 18427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Carlson, Benny, 1999. "Wagner's Legacy in America: Re-Opening Farnam's Inquiry," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(03), pages 289-310, September.
  8. Garbade, Kenneth D., 2012. "Birth of a Market: The U.S. Treasury Securities Market from the Great War to the Great Depression," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262016370, December.
  9. Robert C. Bannister, Jr., 1973. "William Graham Sumner's Social Darwinism: A Reconsideration," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 89-109, Spring.
  10. Mason, Joseph R., 2003. "The political economy of Reconstruction Finance Corporation assistance during the Great Depression," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 101-121, April.
  11. Butkiewicz James L., 1995. "The Impact of a Lender of Last Resort during the Great Depression: The Case of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 197-216, April.
  12. Schiffman, Daniel A., 2003. "Shattered Rails, Ruined Credit: Financial Fragility and Railroad Operations in the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(03), pages 802-825, September.
  13. Raymond J. Saulnier & Harold G. Halcrow & Neil H. Jacoby, 1958. "Federal Lending and Loan Insurance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number saul58-1, July.
  14. Raymond J. Saulnier & Harold G. Halcrow & Neil H. Jacoby, 1958. "Federal Lending and Loan Insurance Programs for Housing," NBER Chapters, in: Federal Lending and Loan Insurance, pages 286-362 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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