When in the midst of a perfect hurricane that is threatening the world’s financial structure, it helps to remember an old adage – To know where you are going, look back to where you have been.
The era that should be examined is the Great Depression which began in 1929 with many similar events to what happened in the past few months. It didn’t officially end until 1939 when the world plunged into the Second World War but the reality is that the worst ended in 1934.
The slow climb to normality took six years but it could be seen and measured.
The single most important step taken by the United States, then as now a world power, was the decision on Jan. 31, 1934 to raise the price of gold from US$20.67 an ounce to $35 an ounce.
As president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt surveyed the wreckage of the U.S. banking system and decided drastic action was required. On March 6, 1933 he closed all the banks for a three day holiday.