The New Deal: Two of a Kind

In the stormiest days of Depression and New Deal, few men other than The Chief suffered the sustained abuse, year after year, in peace and war, that buffeted Henry Morgenthau Jr. On his appointment as Treasury Secretary at age 42, his own sister commented: "Henry knows nothing about finance." Cheap-money advocates attacked him for dispensing federal funds too parsimoniously, while fiscal conservatives bitterly condemned his calculated program of inflation. His own subordinates questioned his competence. Harry Truman later opined that it was Franklin Roosevelt, not Morgenthau, who had dictated U.S. monetary policy all along.

Yet for Morgenthau, who died last week...

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