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In 1933 the new president Franklin Roosevelt brought an air of confidence and optimism that quickly rallied the people to the banner of his program known as the New Deal The only thing we have to fear is fear itself the president declared in his inaugural address to the nation Perhaps he should have said the only thing we have to fear is complacency What was truly unique about the New Deal was the speed with which it accomplished what previously had taken generations However many of the reforms were created in haste and weakly executed And during the New Deal public reproach and contention were never interrupted or suspended When Roosevelt took the presidential oath the banking and credit system of the nation was in a state of collapse With astonishing speed the nations banks were first closed and then reopened only if they were solvent The administration adopted a policy of moderate currency inflation to start an upward movement in commodity prices and to afford some relief to debtors New governmental agencies brought generous credit facilities to industry and agriculture The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation FDIC insured savings-bank deposits up to 5000 and severe regulations were imposed upon the sale of securities on the stock exchange In addition to aggressive legislation to corral the failing bank system FDR vigorously attacked unfair business practices The National Recovery Administration NRA established in 1933 with the National Industrial Recovery Act NIRA attempted to end cut-throat competition by setting codes of fair competitive practice to generate more jobs and thus more buying Although the NRA was welcomed initially business complained bitterly of over-regulation as recovery began to take hold The NRA was declared unconstitutional in 1935 By this time other policies were fostering recovery and the government soon took the position that administered prices in certain lines of business were a severe drain on the national economy and a barrier to recovery It was also during the
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