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The Economy in Perspective

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Taking care of business … In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge told the Society of American Newspaper Editors that the business of America is business. Coolidge, who was president from 1923 to 1928, succeeded to the office after the death of Warren G. Harding, whose administration had been rocked by the Teapot Dome and other scandals involving improper contracts with private businessmen. Coolidge had a sterling reputation for honesty and earned sufficient public trust to be elected to a full term in 1924. Cautious about extending the federal government’s authority into matters of banking and commerce, he maintained a laissez-faire philosophy and a pro-business agenda during a period of national prosperity. Later, historians would fault him for not taking stronger action to temper the stock market boom of the Roaring Twenties; whether he had sufficient moral or legal authority to have prevented the 1929 stock market collapse remains a debatable point today.


Suggested citation: "The Economy in Perspective," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 02-07, pp. 01, 07.01.2002.

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