On the Retirement of Federal Reserve Bank Stock – Fed. Bulletin Jul. 1960

Fed Chariman William McChesney Martin – 1952-1970

[Editor note:  This response in my mind is quite hilarious…and to the point…who the heck would want to give up 6% interest year after year after year after year?  ] 

You HAVE ASKED that I appear before you today in connection with your consideration of the bills H.R. 8516 and H.R. 8627, both of which provide for retirement of the stock of the Federal Reserve Banks. I am glad to be here and give to you such assistance as I can in your study of these proposals.

I should like first to discuss H.R. 8516 and then conclude with some observations concerning the similar bill H.R. 8627.

As you know, the stock of Federal Reserve Banks is nontransferable, and each unit of that stock is an incident of the membership of a commercial bank in the Federal Reserve System. The question raised by these bills, therefore, concerns not only the Reserve Banks, which issue and service the stock, but also the commercial banks that own it.

The Committee has already received the testimony of the Presidents of Reserve Banks in the central, eastern, and western parts of the country, and perhaps proposes to obtain the views also of commercial bankers representing both member banks and nonmember banks. I mention the testimony of Presidents Allen, Hayes, and Mangels because I believe you already have heard from three men well qualified to form reliable judgments regarding the value of the present arrangements regarding Reserve Bank stock and the effects to be anticipated, both at home and abroad, if that stock were to be retired.

The first nine sections of H.R. 8516 relate to “the retirement of Federal reserve bank stock,” as stated in its title. It is not necessary to take your time to review the nature, amount, and ownership of that stock, except to mention that about $400 million is outstanding; all of it is owned by the 6,200 banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System, in proportion to their own capital stock and surplus; it is nontransferable; and it pays a dividend of 6 per cent a year.

Reserve Bank stock of this nature, owned by member banks, has been a feature of the Federal Reserve System from its establishment almost 50 years ago. Such stock has not been a source of difficulty, and does have positive advantages. Unless its elimination or modification either offers a remedy for actual evils or offers new benefits, there would seem to be no justification for changing the provisions of the law with respect to stock ownership.

Neither of these circumstances appears to be present. I would not be understood as claiming that theoretically the operation of the Federal Reserve System could not dispense with member bank ownership of Federal Reserve Bank stock. I simply express the conviction that the existence of such stock has not produced, and does not threaten, any material evils. On the contrary, it has served to integrate the member banks and bankers into the guiding policies of the Federal Reserve System. This is important because the commercial banks are the principal vehicle through which System policy is effectuated and it is desirable that the banks be as conversant as possible with the needs and purposes of policy objectives.

It has been said that a purpose of this bill is to make it easier for small banks to become members of the Federal Reserve System. It is difficult to see how elimination of Reserve Bank stock would have this effect. Far from being a deterrent to Federal Reserve membership, the opportunity to acquire and hold such stock constitutes an incentive to membership, although not a feature of major importance. I cannot conceive of any small bank, otherwise unwilling to become a member of the Federal Reserve System, deciding to apply for membership simply because the stock subscription requirement had been done away with.

Another reason is sometimes advanced for elimination of Reserve Bank stock: The termination of dividends on that stock, it is said, would expand the Treasury’s annual receipts by some $24 million. Calculation of the actual net increase in Treasury receipts would be very difficult because there are factors such as income taxation on the dividends and diminished income from Federal Reserve Bank holdings of Government securities that need to be taken into account. The net cost, after these factors are allowed for, would be considerably less than the figure of Reserve Bank expense.

This is not to say that any avenue of savings should be overlooked, even though relatively small, as governmental expenditure figures go these days. If $4 million, $2 million, or even a few thousand dollars could be saved with no loss of benefit, I would advocate the necessary action. But the saving has always to be weighed against the public interest benefits. In my judgment, the payment of dividends by the Reserve Banks to member banks is adequately defensible in these terms.

To me, it seems clear that the reasons advanced in favor of this bill do not provide a substantial affirmative basis for it. But it might be asked whether, even if there is little to be said for the proposal, are there any cogent objections to it?

To my mind, the strongest argument against action in these circumstances is the sound principle that existing institutions, operating well, should not be disturbed except to do away with evils or to gain some new benefits. Whether or not it was true one hundred-odd years ago, it is no longer true that our country is “a land of wonders,” as de Tocqueville said, “in which . . . every change seems an improvement.”

In this matter, the proposed change threatens to bring detriment rather than to promise improvement. Without laboring the point, it is sufficient to say that elimination of Federal Reserve Bank stock could, in my judgment and that of the other members of the Board of Governors, be construed, both at home and abroad, as indicating a change in the structure and character of the Federal Reserve System that presaged a weakening of the resolution of the United States to maintain a stable dollar. The change might also adversely affect the extent to which the commercial banking system reinforces, and renders valuable service to, the functioning of the Federal Reserve System.

Some may say that these are merely psychological factors; I can only reply that psychological factors are among the most important in dealing with the monetary and credit streams that are the life blood of our economy.

Up to this point I have discussed only the first nine of the ten sections in H.R. 8516, which deal with the elimination of Federal Reserve Bank stock. The brief tenth section relates to a different subject. Prior to these hearings, the purpose and effect of Section 10 were not clear. There was genuine concern that this provision might change for the worse the nature and value of Federal Reserve membership and undermine a stated purpose of the Federal Reserve Act—”to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States.”

However, it is my understanding now that Section 10 is not intended to diminish the authority and duty of the Board of Governors to exercise discretion, within the statutory framework, regarding the admission of commercial banks to Federal Reserve membership, and that you, Mr. Chairman, have indicated that you would be agreeable to clarificaton of the bill in this respect. In these circumstances, it is not necessary to discuss the significance and possible shortcomings of Section 10 in its present form.

To summarize my views on the principal purpose of H.R. 8516—elimination of Federal Reserve Bank stock—it appears to me that the benefits, if any, would be relatively negligible, but that the potential injury to confidence in the American monetary system, as it is now conceived, might be considerable.

The Subcommtitee also has under consideration H.R. 8627, which is similar to H.R. 8516. Instead of simply retiring Reserve Bank stock, however, it would provide in effect that member banks should maintain interest-bearing deposits of equivalent amount in the Reserve Banks.

My remarks concerning H.R. 8516 are applicable also to this proposal. The additional feature of H.R. 8627—substitution of interest-bearing deposits for Reserve Bank stock—would not, in my judgment, produce any significant advantage, but would introduce a complicating detail without justifying benefits. Consequently, I do not favor enactment of this proposal.

NOTE.—Statement of William McChesney Martin, Jr., Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, before Subcommittee No. 3 of the House Banking and Currency Committee, June 28, 1960.

Robert Latham Owen Park and the William McChesney Martin Jr. Federal Reserve Board Building – photo by Wikipedia user Jonathunder

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Highlander Bible

Shooting in Wet Weather

 

Reprint from The Sportsman’s Cabinet and Town and Country Magazine, Vol I. Dec. 1832, Pg. 94-95

To the Editor of the Cabinet.

SIR,

Possessing that anxious feeling so common among shooters on the near approach of the 12th of August, I honestly confess I was not able [...] Read more →

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VITRUVIUS

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Click here to read The Crime of the Congo by Arthur Conan Doyle

Victim of King Leopold of Belgium

Click on the link below for faster download.

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CHAPTER V

THE VALUE OF EVEN TEMPER IN ATHLETICS—SOME OF THE FEATS THAT REQUIRE GOOD NATURE

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Pale dry Sherry, with or without bitters, chilled or not. Plain or mixed Vermouth, with or without bitters. A dry cocktail.

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Horn Measurement

Jul. 23, 1898 Forest and Stream, Pg. 65

Horn Measurements.

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Fly Casting Instructions

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Sept. 3, 1898. Forest and Stream Pg. 188-189

How to Distinguish Fishes.

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The English Tradition of Woodworking

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Popular Mechanics Archive

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Click here to view old Popular Mechanics Magazine Covers

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Sir Peter Francis Bourgeois and the Dulwich Picture Gallery

Noel Desenfans and Sir Francis Bourgeois, circa 1805 by Paul Sandby, watercolour on paper

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Target Practice

Nov. 12, 1898 Forest and Stream Pg. 396

The Veterans to the Front.

Ironton. O., Oct. 28.—Editor Forest and Stream: I mail you a target made here today by Messrs. E. Lawton, G. Rogers and R. S. Dupuy. Mr. Dupuy is seventy-four years old, Mr. Lawton seventy-two. Mr. Rogers [...] Read more →

The Fowling Piece – Part I

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Money Saving Recipe for Gold Leaf Sizing

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Mrs. Beeton’s Poultry & Game – Choosing Poultry

To Choose Poultry.

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King William III on Horseback by Sir Godfrey Kneller

Reprint from The Royal Collection Trust website:

Kneller was born in Lubeck, studied with Rembrandt in Amsterdam and by 1676 was working in England as a fashionable portrait painter. He painted seven British monarchs (Charles II, James II, William III, Mary II, Anne, George I and George II), though his [...] Read more →

The First Christian Man Cremated in America

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AFTER having given a particular description of the woodcock, it will only. be necessary to observe, that the plumage and shape of the snipe is much the same ; and indeed its habits and manners sets bear a great [...] Read more →

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika

THE HATHA YOGA PRADIPIKA

Translated into English by PANCHAM SINH

Panini Office, Allahabad [1914]

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List of the 60 Franklin Library Signed Limited Editions

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Of Decorated Furniture

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Curing Diabetes With an Old Malaria Formula

For years in the West African nation of Ghana medicine men have used a root and leaves from a plant called nibima(Cryptolepis sanguinolenta) to kill the Plasmodium parasite transmitted through a female mosquito’s bite that is the root cause of malaria. A thousand miles away in India, a similar(same) plant [...] Read more →

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Preserving Iron and Steel Surfaces with Paint

Painting the Brooklyn Bridge, Photo by Eugene de Salignac , 1914

 

Excerpt from: The Preservation of Iron and Steel Structures by F. Cosby-Jones, The Mechanical Engineer January 30, 1914

Painting.

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Abingdon, Berkshire in the Year of 1880

St.Helen’s on the Thames, photo by Momit

 

From a Dictionary of the Thames from Oxford to the Nore. 1880 by Charles Dickens

Abingdon, Berkshire, on the right bank, from London 103 3/4miles, from Oxford 7 3/4 miles. A station on the Great Western Railway, from Paddington 60 miles. The time occupied [...] Read more →

Chronological Catalog of Recorded Lunar Events

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A Creative Approach to Saving Ye Olde Cassette Tapes

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I faced this dilemma head-on this past summer as I definitely wanted in [...] Read more →

The Cremation of Sam McGee

Robert W. Service (b.1874, d.1958)

 

There are strange things done in the midnight sun By the men who moil for gold; The Arctic trails have their secret tales That would make your blood run cold; The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, But the queerest they ever did see Was that night [...] Read more →

The Black Grouper or Jewfish.

 

Nov. 5. 1898 Forest and Stream Pg. 371-372

The Black Grouper or Jewfish.

New Smyrna, Fla., Oct. 21.—Editor Forest and Stream:

It is not generally known that the fish commonly called jewfish. warsaw and black grouper are frequently caught at the New Smyrna bridge [...] Read more →

Mudlark Regulations in the U.K.

Mudlarks of London

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Standard – allows digging to a depth of 7.5 [...] Read more →

How to Make Money – Insurance

Life insurance certificate issued by the Yorkshire Fire & Life Insurance Company to Samuel Holt, Liverpool, England, 1851. On display at the British Museum in London. Donated by the ifs School of Finance. Photo by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg)

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King Lear

Edwin Austin Abbey. King Lear, Act I, Scene I (Cordelia’s Farewell) The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dates: 1897-1898 Dimensions: Height: 137.8 cm (54.25 in.), Width: 323.2 cm (127.24 in.) Medium: Painting – oil on canvas

Home Top of Pg. Read more →

Watch Fraud on eBay

EBAY’S FRAUD PROBLEM IS GETTING WORSE

EBay has had a problem with fraudulent sellers since its inception back in 1995. Some aspects of the platform have improved with algorithms and automation, but others such as customer service and fraud have gotten worse. Small sellers have definitely been hurt by eBay’s [...] Read more →

Books Condemned to be Burnt

BOOKS CONDEMNED TO BE BURNT.

By

JAMES ANSON FARRER,

LONDON

ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATERNOSTER ROW

1892

———-

WHEN did books first come to be burnt in England by the common hangman, and what was [...] Read more →

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The Standard Navy Cutter and a Whale Boat Design

Dec. 24, 1898 Forest and Stream Pg. 513-514

The Standard Navy Boats.

Above we find,

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July, 16, l898 Forest and Stream Pg. 48

Tuna and Tarpon.

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Herbal Psychedelics – Rhododendron ponticum and Mad Honey Disease

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The Hoochie Coochie Hex

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What follows is a verbatim transcription of the text:

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A Conversation between H.F. Leonard and K. Higashi

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Reprint from the Sportsman Cabinet and Town & Country Magazine, Vol.1, Number 1, November 1832.

MR. Editor,

Will you allow me to inquire, through the medium of your pages, the correct meaning of the term thorough-bred fox-hound? I am very well aware, that the expression is in common [...] Read more →

Cocillana Syrup Compound

Guarea guidonia

Recipe

5 Per Cent Alcohol 8-24 Grain – Heroin Hydrochloride 120 Minims – Tincture Euphorbia Pilulifera 120 Minims – Syrup Wild Lettuce 40 Minims – Tincture Cocillana 24 Minims – Syrup Squill Compound 8 Gram – Ca(s)ecarin (P, D, & Co.) 8-100 Grain Menthol

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Tobacco as Medicine

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Furniture Polishing Cream

Furniture Polishing Cream.

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A General Process for Making Wine.

Gathering the Fruit Picking the Fruit Bruising the Fruit Vatting the Fruit Vinous Fermentation Drawing the Must Pressing the Must Casking the Must Spirituous Fermentation Racking the Wine Bottling and Corking the Wine Drinking the Wine

GATHERING THE FRUIT.

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Reprint from the Royal Collection Trust Website

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Mortlake Tapestries of Chatsworth

Mortlake Tapestries at Chatsworth House

Click here to learn more about the Mortlake Tapestries of Chatsworth

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From the Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 13

Crane, Francis by William Prideaux Courtney

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Origin of the Apothecary

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The origin of the apothecary in England dates much further back than one would suppose from what your correspondent, “A Barrister-at-Law,” says about it. It is true he speaks only of apothecaries as a distinct branch of the medical profession, but long before Henry VIII’s time [...] Read more →

Commercial Fried Fish Cake Recipe

Dried Norwegian Salt Cod

Fried fish cakes are sold rather widely in delicatessens and at prepared food counters of department stores in the Atlantic coastal area. This product has possibilities for other sections of the country.

Ingredients:

Home Top of [...] Read more →

Stoke Park – Granted by King Charles I

Stoke Park Pavillions

 

Stoke Park Pavilions, UK, view from A405 Road. photo by Wikipedia user Cj1340

 

From Wikipedia:

Stoke Park – the original house

Stoke park was the first English country house to display a Palladian plan: a central house with balancing pavilions linked by colonnades or [...] Read more →

Method of Restoration for Ancient Bronzes and other Alloys

Cannone nel castello di Haut-Koenigsbourg, photo by Gita Colmar

Without any preliminary cleaning the bronze object to be treated is hung as cathode into the 2 per cent. caustic soda solution and a low amperage direct current is applied. The object is suspended with soft copper wires and is completely immersed into [...] Read more →

David Starkey: Britain’s Last Great Historian

Dr. David Starkey, the UK’s premiere historian, speaks to the modern and fleeting notion of “cancel culture”. Starkey’s brilliance is unparalleled and it has become quite obvious to the world’s remaining Western scholars willing to stand on intellectual integrity that a few so-called “Woke Intellectuals” most certainly cannot undermine [...] Read more →

AB Bookman’s 1948 Guide to Describing Conditions

AB Bookman’s 1948 Guide to Describing Conditions:

As New is self-explanatory. It means that the book is in the state that it should have been in when it left the publisher. This is the equivalent of Mint condition in numismatics. Fine (F or FN) is As New but allowing for the normal effects of [...] Read more →

Cocktails and Canapés

From The How and When, An Authoritative reference reference guide to the origin, use and classification of the world’s choicest vintages and spirits by Hyman Gale and Gerald F. Marco. The Marco name is of a Chicago family that were involved in all aspects of the liquor business and ran Marco’s Bar [...] Read more →

The Basics of Painting in the Building Trade

PAINTER-WORK, in the building trade. When work is painted one or both of two distinct ends is achieved, namely the preservation and the coloration of the material painted. The compounds used for painting—taking the word as meaning a thin protective or decorative coat—are very numerous, including oil-paint of many kinds, distemper, whitewash, [...] Read more →

The First Pineapple Grown in England

First Pineapple Grown in England

Click here to read an excellent article on the history of pineapple growing in the UK.

Should one be interested in serious mass scale production, click here for scientific resources.

Growing pineapples in the UK.

The video below demonstrates how to grow pineapples in Florida.

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Christmas Pudding with Dickens

Traditional British Christmas Pudding Recipe by Pen Vogler from the Charles Dickens Museum

Ingredients

85 grams all purpose flour pinch of salt 170 grams Beef Suet 140 grams brown sugar tsp. mixed spice, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, &c 170 grams bread crumbs 170 grams raisins 170 grams currants 55 grams cut mixed peel Gram to [...] Read more →

The Real Time Piece Gentleman and the Digital Watch Vault

Paul Thorpe, Brighton, U.K.

The YouTube watch collecting world is rather tight-knit and small, but growing, as watches became a highly coveted commodity during the recent world-wide pandemic and fueled an explosion of online watch channels.

There is one name many know, The Time Piece Gentleman. This name for me [...] Read more →

Clover Wine

Add 3 quarts clover blossoms* to 4 quarts of boiling water removed from heat at point of boil. Let stand for three days. At the end of the third day, drain the juice into another container leaving the blossoms. Add three quarts of fresh water and the peel of one lemon to the blossoms [...] Read more →