The President of the United States makes a lot of decisions that impacts the country financially. Here is a list of four presidents who had introduced major financial innovations.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Three years after the stock market crashed Franklin Roosevelt was elected President. He inherited a disastrous financial situation, the Great Depression. Before FDR took office, the economic center for the United States was Wall Street. While in office he shifted much of that financial influence to Washington DC with creations like the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Federal National Mortgage Association.
Unlike FDR, who was elected to serve four terms as president, Benjamin Harrison only served one, but that’s all it took to have an impact still felt to this day. Harrison’s target were the monopolies, and it was during his presidency that Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. This law regulates big business and prevents companies from monopolizing an industry. It has been used by other presidents to hinder a corporation’s ability to set prices and prevent competition. Harrison was the first president to oversee a billion dollar federal budget.
Serving from 1953 to 1961, Dwight Eisenhower was a financially successfully president. Out of the eight budgets he presided over, three were in the positive. No president since can say that. While in office he expanded Social Security, increased the minimum wage, and started the Interstate Highway System, which was a huge infrastructure project. It created jobs and allowed for quicker and easier travel. This resulted in increased retail competition and lower prices. The new highways also positively impacted shipping times and manufacturing efficiency, encouraging the growth and development of businesses all over the country.
The youngest person to become president, Teddy Roosevelt was known as a “trustbuster” because of his effective use of the Sherman Antitrust Act. His other focuses were protecting consumers, and ensuring quality food and pharmaceuticals. Roosevelt signed the Elkins Act, which ended preferential treatment towards customers by railroad companies on shipping costs, and he created the Department of Commerce and Labor, which would later be split into two departments.
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