To create the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in 1933, after the worst bank panic the U.S. ever had, the Government put up $289 million. Since then FDIC has become rich from the annual dues (one-twelfth of 1% of total deposits) of its 13,582 members, and piled up a reserve of more than $1 billion. A year ago, FDIC started paying off the Government loan in installments.

Last week, after making the final payment, FDIC Chairman Maple T. Harl said: "Everybody should follow [our] example and pay off their debt now." Not everybody had the money, but, thanks to FDIC,...

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