If you watched the video on Understanding the Financial Crisis, you know I got asked a question something like, when did the RFC retire its bank stock. And I said, well, they’d got rid of about a quarter of it in 1935-36, but I don’t know how long it took to get rid of all of it.

I couldn’t find the answer in any obvious place, so I spent a couple hours this morning pulling it out of the Federal Reserve Bulletin 1932 onwards, and a couple of later audit reports tendered to Congress. I include it here for your interest. (Of course once I post it, I’m confident someone will point out that this is readily available in such-and-such standard reference work, but hey, such is the wages of research.) Most of the figures are as of Oct 31 of the year; the last two figures are as of June 30 and include a bit more than just the preferred stock—also notes and debentures.

Here’s what an audit of the RFC said on the subject in 1950:

The balance of investments in bank stock, notes, and debentures of $157,655,807 [at 1947] represents the unliquidated portion of over $1,125,000,000 of such investments made mainly during 1933 and 1934. At the time the Corporation made investments in bank and trust companies it was anticipated they would be retired over a period of 20 years. On this basis approximately 70 percent would have been retired at June 30, 1947; actually 86 percent had been retired at that date.1

The RFC went into liquidation itself upon an act of 1953.

1Serial Set Vol. No. 11426, Session Vol. No.22, 81st Congress, 2nd Session, H.Doc. 468, Report on audit of Reconstruction Finance Corporation and subsidiaries, p. 52.