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M. Friedman

In: Social Issues

Submitted By brownjeanine
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Milton Friedman started the documentary Free to Choose part-3 Anatomy of a Crisis with the genesis of the Great Depression of 1930. Friedman articulated it was the Wall Street Crash on October 29, 1929 better known as “Black Thursday” that began the trickledown effects on the United States economy. Friedman claimed that bellied up businesses and bank failures in the south and mid-west of the United States contributed to the Great Depression. Friedman believed that it was not deemed a crisis until failures reached New York. One casualty the Bank of the United States in New York, New York was in jeopardy of bank failure. Friedman express that although the Federal Reserve Bank of New York whose primary functions are to prevent and or assist banks from bank failure was unsuccessful regarding the Bank of the United States dilemma. With several attempts Federal Reserve Bank proposed that the Bank of the United States merged with other local banks. By doing so a guarantee fund for depositors would cover the Bank of the United States loss and keep it afloat. Ultimately the Bank of the United States shut down December 10, 1930 due to competition from surrounding banks and racism. Friedman goes on about how the Federal Reserve Bank and their unwillingness to create new money by purchasing government securities at a grand scale. Friedman conveyed that the bank failure of the Bank of the United States would have been handled differently and fitting during that time if a Benjamin Strong former Head of Federal Reserve Bank were alive. Shortly after the Bank of the United States closing a power struggle ensued between New York, other banks, and the government. Obviously the government won and sometime after the Federal Reserve’s new address was on Constitution Avenue, Washington D.C. Friedman said that despite New York’s suggestion to the Federal Reserve to purchase government bonds for commercial banks financial security regarding their depositors, but, it fell on deaf ears and commercial banks throughout the United States crashed. Friedman called it a chain reaction and broke down how money is manage in the bank (i.e. money loaned to one bank is deposited to another bank which the money is loaned again). Friedman then blamed the negligence of the Federal Reserve and its role in the Great Depression. Friedman stated that currency and commercial banks declined one third from 1929-1933.

Friedman then introduces John Maynard Keynes an economist Friedman revered and Keynes theory of it’s not the quantity of spending but the category of spending such as jargon spending. This is the root of the “priming the pump” theory where government financial involvement comes to play in several circumstances (i.e. government deficits). Keynes’s theory was practiced during the Roosevelt administration and huge government projects were created helping the economy with full employment. Friedman felt that if John Maynard Keynes were living a decade later Keynes would have had the influence to convince colleagues to filter through ideas that worked for the 1930’s, but, would not work nor apply post war. This would have avoided the post war inflationary crisis.

Later the documentary ends with a discussion conducted at the University of Chicago where Milton Friedman and several other guest such as Robert Lekachman, Professor of Economics, City University, New York: Nicholas Von Hoffman, Syndicated Columnist, and host Robert Mc Kenzie. Some topics of the discussion were the Big Government theory which none were in favor of. Milton Friedman’s Auto Monetary Policy to stabilize the United States economy for the insurance of the of the population’s livelihood working in a free market society with limited government involvement.

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