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Once in Golconda: A True Drama of Wall Street 1920–1938 by John Brooks

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Chapter Seven

Gold Standard on the Booze

I

On the eve of the inauguration of the new President, Thomas Lamont (Harvard ’92) telephoned his old friend Franklin D. Roosevelt (Harvard ’04) to suggest that he take no precipitate action on the banking crisis, critical as it might be. It was Friday night, and Lamont believed that the leading banks that still remained open, meaning chiefly the key ones in New York City, could pull through the half business day on Saturday; then perhaps a sweeping change in national psychology might take place over the subsequent day and a half, by opening time on Monday morning a measure of confidence would have returned, and the crisis would be over.

Roosevelt, of course, did not follow this advice. His first act in ...

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