It was one of the sorest political points in early United States history, with populists against it, but eventually they bowed to reality. This is the reality they bowed to:
Teaconomists please note: in a low-debt, no regulation, small gubmint environment, the economy failed to grow, it crashed every seven years and it did not rapidly recover if left to itsself.
America was caught up in an industrial revolution that its banking system couldn’t sustain, as the letter from Gleason emphasizes. Glass and his Senate partner on the bill, Robert Latham Owen Jr. -- a lifelong friend and Oklahoma Democrat who, like Glass, was born in Lynchburg -- would watch the banking system trip the economy time and again.
Between 1890 and 1914, there were eight recessions lasting an average of 18 months, including banking crises in 1893 and 1907. Shopkeepers, factory owners, farmers and even bankers had identified the U.S. financial system as a matter of national importance.
After the New Deal, the economy grew steadily, it never crashed. That's why I'm a New Dealer. The New Deal made capitalism work.
Quite apart from the conspiracy theorists (who when examined under a lens often turn out to be Jew-haters) who think the Federal Reserve and other reserve banks are private enterprises secretly controlling the world, the only slightly less eccentric Teac nomists for some reason want to go back to the pre-1913 condition.
And they pretty much have the Republican Party in a headlock.
I sometimes hear it said that there is no impersonal "market," only real people running businesses and households. True enough so far as it goes. But if you insist on looking at it that way, it puts a dfferent light on Andy Mellon's advice to Herbert Hoover in 1930 to "liquidate labor" etc.
Few if any 21st century rightwingers are as honest as Andy Mellon was, but that's what they were advocating in lae 2008 and 2009.