Emergency Bank Act 48 Stat. 1 (1933)
EMERGENCY BANK ACT 48 Stat. 1 (1933)
When franklin d. roosevelt took office on March 4, 1933, banks had closed in thirty-eight states. The next day Roosevelt declared a national bank holiday, suspended all gold transactions, and called a special session of Congress for March 9. On that day Congress rushed through, and that same evening Roosevelt signed, a bill submitted by the White House aimed at ending the panic that had begun earlier that year. The bill ratified Roosevelt's actions, which he had based on the questionable authority of the 1917 Trading With the Enemy Act. The act gained constitutional significance by thus expanding executive authority. Congress also gave the President discretionary authority over national and Federal Reserve banks. The act provided for calling in all gold and gold certificates in circulation and assessed criminal penalties for hoarding. The government could appoint conservators for the assets of insolvent banks, and the Treasury could license the reopening of sound ones and reorganize the remainder. The act further authorized the emergency issuance of paper notes up to a limit of one hundred percent of the value of government bonds in its member banks.