RECOGNIZING MARRINER S. ECCLES; Congressional Record Vol. 160, No. 68
(Senate - May 07, 2014)

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[Page S2787]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. HATCH. Over time, many Utahns have been honored for their 
contributions to our country, and perhaps no one contributed more to 
our Nation's economic success at such a critical time than Marriner S. 
Eccles. I am honored to stand with the Eccles family this week as the 
Federal Reserve unveils a statue of Marriner Eccles in the atrium of 
the Marriner S. Eccles Building of the Federal Reserve Board in 
Washington, DC.
  Marriner Stoddard Eccles was born in Logan, UT, on September 9, 1890, 
the oldest of nine children. Following the death of his father, who had 
become a leading industrialist with numerous enterprises, Marriner, at 
the young age of 22, took over the leadership of his father's 
businesses that were left to his mother, Ellen Eccles, and Marriner and 
his siblings. Previously, Marriner had worked in several of his 
father's businesses, had served a mission for the Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter Day Saints, LDS, in Scotland and had attended Brigham 
Young College in Logan.
  A superb business analyst and bold administrator, he reorganized and 
consolidated his father's industrial conglomerate and banking network. 
Eccles, along with his brother George, joined with the Browning family 
in Ogden, UT, to form the Eccles-Browning Affiliated Banks, believed to 
be the first multibank holding company in the United States.
  With the onset of the Great Depression of the 1930s, banks around the 
country faced customers rushing to withdraw their deposits. The Eccles-
Browning Affiliated Banks withstood several bank runs, and in the 
process, Eccles began to understand the need for a compensatory fiscal 
and monetary policy. In July of 1933, Eccles was one of the experts 
summoned by the Senate Finance Committee to travel to Washington to 
counsel Congress on the profound economic turmoil that was occurring 
across the country.
  Eccles delivered 38 pages of testimony, including a distinct 5-point 
plan for fixing the economy. ``We must correct the causes of the 
depression rather than deal with the effects of it!'' became one of the 
most quoted lines from Eccles' dramatic testimony. His five-point plan 
included unemployment relief through direct aid to the States, a bank 
deposit guarantee program, canceling the World War I Allies' war debt, 
implementing a national minimum wage, and establishing a national 
economic planning board.
  Eccles made his points clearly enough that the Roosevelt 
administration invited Eccles to join as an Assistant Treasury 
Secretary. Even when asked by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to 
become a Governor of the Federal Reserve Board, Eccles stood strong and 
replied he would ``not unless fundamental changes [were] made in the 
(Federal Reserve).''
  Eccles' involvement with policymaking did not stop there. He became 
involved with the Emergency Banking Act of 1933, the Federal Housing 
Act of 1934, and the 1933 law creating the Federal Deposit Insurance 
Corporation. With FDR's blessing, Eccles rewrote the 1935 Federal 
Reserve Act and became the first Chairman of the reorganized Federal 
Reserve Board, serving from 1936 to 1948. In February 1944, Roosevelt 
appointed Eccles to another 14-year term and Eccles stayed on the Board 
until 1951, when he resigned, marking a total of 17 years of service.
  Eccles' talents combined with the policies he supported helped 
counter the recession crisis of 1937-1938, which in turn helped build 
America's economic strength prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor and 
World War II.
  Many at the time considered Marriner Eccles' policies to be radical, 
but there is little doubt that his influence at the Federal Reserve 
continues to benefit our country today.
  It is my honor to stand with the Eccles family this week and unveil 
yet another tribute to this remarkable Utahn we are so proud of.