Henry Ford: Productive Genius

The Amazing Life of Henry Ford

“The highest type of human being-the self-made man-the American industrialist” – Ayn Rand

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3 thoughts on “Henry Ford: Productive Genius

  1. On February 13, 1933, two holding companies dominated finance in Detroit. One was the Detroit Bankers Company Group. The other was the Union Guardian Group, colloquially called “The Ford Group.” When the Union Guardian Group experienced pressure from withdrawals, it turned to the federal government for a loan. However, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation required that the Fords subordinate $7 million that the banks owed to them, which Henry Ford refused to do. President Herbert Hoover set up a meeting with Ford, Arthur Ballantine (Under Secretary of Treasury) and Roy D. Chapin (Secretary of Commerce). Chapin was a former Olds executive and co-founder of the Hudson Motor Car Company. He appealed to Ford as a fellow manufacturer. Ford replied that Hudson stock was traded on the NYSE, which Ford’s was not, and that a washout of the banking industry seemed inevitable. Chapin replied that if people do not have money to buy cars, Ford was in for hard times himself. Ford said that he felt young enough to start over from scratch. Ford said that everyone else ought to be prepared to get up a little earlier and work a little harder. He also said that he would withdraw his $25 million from the banks in the morning. He did not get to do that.

    Michigan’s governor, William Comstock, closed the banks with a proclamation signed at 1:00 AM, published, and delivered to bankers when they arrived for the start of the business day, February 14, 1933.

    Two weeks later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt closed all the banks.

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