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Dividends of DevelopmentSecurities Markets in the History of U.S. Capitalism, 1866-1922$
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Mary A. O’Sullivan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199584444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584444.001.0001

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Wall Street on the Defensive, 1908–1913

Wall Street on the Defensive, 1908–1913

(p.231) 6 Wall Street on the Defensive, 1908–1913
Dividends of Development

Mary A. O’Sullivan

Oxford University Press

Wall Street’s central role in the panic of 1907 generated an outcry about the speculative manipulation of the country’s securities markets and eventually a groundswell of support for structural reform of the nation’s financial system. Initially, Wall Street was well positioned to shape reform but, as the debate unfolded, it found itself on the defensive as the object, rather than the architect, of change. On issues where political reformers and Wall Street bankers were at odds, therefore, the bankers lost. There was, however, one issue on which their views converged and that was the need to root out the evil of the call market from the nation’s financial system. For that reason, a central aim of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was to loosen the link the call market created between the country’s banking system and the securities markets.

Keywords:   banking and monetary reform, financial system, Wall Street bankers, Samuel Untermyer, Democrats, Woodrow Wilson

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