These cool posters below come from the San Francisco Fed archive, courtesy of NY Fed’s blog Liberty Street Economics.

Over the years, the Federal Reserve System has used many methods to communicate about the role it plays in support of stable prices, full employment, and financial stability. Current communication tools include the new press conferences by the Chairman, speeches by Bank presidents, public websites, economic education programs, local outreach efforts, publications, and blogs like this one.

Back when the Fed was new, and the nation’s economy was plagued by a growing number of bank failures, the posters below were supposed to convey a sense of strength and stability.



More posters after the jump




Category: Digital Media, Federal Reserve

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

17 Responses to “Federal Reserve Posters (1920′s)”

  1. AHodge says:

    i like the “Resevoir of funds instantly available…..for any crisis”
    also “complete protection” for depositors
    guess they laid low during the Great Depression…
    and let the FDIC put up its posters, and money.
    unfortunately thay had Hoover Dams worth for the bank bondholders this time

  2. socaljoe says:

    Stable prices?

    Today’s dollar is worth $0.03 from the day the FED was created.

    97% of the value of a dollar has been destroyed… 3% to go.

    If they were so effective, why the need for propaganda?

    Watch what they do, not what they say.

  3. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    The Federal Reserve:

    When the Jig is Up, We’ll Bend You Over a Barrel and Punk You for All You’re Worth.

  4. louiswi says:

    The Federal Reserve is now 97 years young. For most of the people and for most of the time it has kept the boat floating and off the rocks. Yes, for most of the people, and for most of the time. They have done this in spite of the seemingly unending carelessness and utter recklessness of the congress and the administrations. It seems to this author the Federal Reserve has an exceptional track record..

    I’d love to hear an intelligent alternative suggestion for replacing the Federal Reserve.

  5. Petey Wheatstraw says:


    How about something beholden to the people, and not extra-governmental? socaljoe’s comment is more reflective of the truth of the Fed’s keeping the boat floating and off the rocks (from the beginning, it was deep water, a slow leak, and an ever heavier anchor).

  6. Fred C Dobbs says:

    The shareholders of the regional federal reserve system banks are Commercial Banks like BofA, Wells Fargo etc., and they own shares proportionally, so the big shareholders call the tune when it comes voting shares to elect the regional bank board of directors, who, in turn, cast their votes to elect its president, as I understand things. And, all of the employees promotions, and pay depend on this executive. This means the big commercial banks control the regional federal reserve system banks. However, only a minority of regional federal reserve system bank presidents are members of The Board of Governors Of The Federal Reserve System to give the appearance to the public that the Chairman Bernanke and his majority cohorts in DC regulate or determine policy for the regional banks to carryout through the exercise of the power to examine and supervise. It’s another political/industry joke. The commercial banks and their federal and state regulators are just one big, fat overpaid chummy bunch protecting their salaries, and retirement benefits at the expense of the ignorant trusting public.

  7. farfetched says:

    An alternative? How about just sticking to the Constitution and a currency backed by silver and gold?
    Then how about we re-instate Glass-Steagall to reduce OUR risk? With a currency backed by silver and gold as it was before Nixon in the 1970′s, the Glass-Steagall Act, maintaining the FDIC, taxing (and spending) at levels shown previously to lead to a healthy economy and infrastructure and throwing out the spend thrift politicians, we could return to fiscal stability and a thriving economy.
    The Treasury is responsible for printing and issuing currency, we do not need the Fed mucking things up.
    It’s the people’s money, the people should determine how to determine risk/reward with their own capital, not the Fed who IS the banks. What kind of sucker would suggest such a conflicted intermediary?

  8. NoKidding says:


    I’m with you in spirit, but fear that more of “the people” can name three American Idol finalists than can name three Fed Reserve Chairmen.

    Discounting election rigging and voter fraud (I have never decided how big I think that is) we have chosen exactly the fools who answer to the thieves running this country.

    The closest thing to a strong control we could institute is a constitutional balanced budget amendment. Over-promising keynsians would overturn that on the first recession- government debt spending to replace the slack in consumer demand my a$$.

  9. machinehead says:

    The second poster with the industrial plant scene mentions the privately-owned ‘Federal Reserve System’ in the first sentence, and then ‘federal supervision’ (suggesting federal government supervision) in the second sentence.

    Precisely this sort of deceptive blurring of the two meanings of ‘federal’ was employed during its founding in 1913, with the premeditated intention of confusing the voters.

    As AHodge points out, the bottom poster promises ‘complete protection’ which could be interpreted as unlimited deposit insurance. The actual amount was zero, as bank failure victims learned.

    An institution founded on lies and the crime of counterfeiting will never spontaneously become an honest actor. Shut the sucker down, and don’t ever let it come back.

  10. socaljoe says:

    The Federal Reserve is neither “federal” nor does it have any “reserves”.

    It’s balance sheet carries only debt that can’t be sold in the market (except maybe at lower prices). Much of it is low grade toxic debt put there by the member banks to get it off their balance sheets.

    The Federal Reserve can create money out of thin air, use it to purchase US government bonds… then collect interest on those bonds. The interest ($244 billion, this year) comes, of course, from you the taxpayer.

    The Federal Reserve is leveraged 50:1. If interest rates rise a little and the value of their fixed interest rate balance sheet drops by more than 2%, they are technically insolvent. Then the treasury (you, the taxpayer) will likely have to bail them out as well.

    The real reason for the creation of the FED, of course, was so the US government would always have a ready buyer for its debt, facilitation the growth of the welfare/warfare state.

    The FED is a product of the symbiotic relationship between government and banking, providing power to the former and wealth to the latter, both at the expense of the public.

    The constitution defines a dollar as 371.25 grains of silver and authorizes congress to issue the nation’s money.

  11. mathman says:

    Reminds me of communist propaganda (both Soviet and Chinese styles) of long ago.

    Putting one’s faith in any banking system is going to turn out a lot like the “rapture” we just witnessed:
    fictitious and disappointing to say the least. We’re on the downhill run of the global ponzi scheme and when it hits bottom, believe me, everyone will know since the effects will be immediate and widespread and get worse over the following few years (if not decades).

    My neighbor just bought himself one of those big-block classic vettes that rattles the windows when he starts it up! Talk about being in denial (or midlife crisis?) . . .

  12. SANETT says:

    Too bad the thesaurus doesn’t use artwork — you could submit these for “irony”

  13. [...] Federal Reserve Posters (1920′s) | The Big Picture [...]

  14. Lord says:

    Anyone know that fairly elegant font used in the first several?

  15. r0na1d says:

    louiswi, I think you are mistaken. Read Rothbard’s History of Banking in America. Before the war to kill freedom (1861-1865), there was a bank in New England that acted as a clearing house for other banks in the area. It and member banks kept operating though at least one big bank panic with no support from govt at any level. So I think the free market can handle it. Also, I think there have been five bank panics since the Fed was started that are worse than anything since the South Sea Bubble (which was caused by government paper money): The Great Depression, the stagflation of the Ford-Carter years, the savings and loan crisis, the 2001 tech bubble and the current Great Resession. The alterative is simple. Set people free, that is, prohibit government use of police power. Let free people go to court to settle disputes and eliminate the regulatory bureaucracy. Make the US Dollar convertable to gold or silver at the spot market price. Eliminate legal tender laws.

  16. [...] is granted to central banks is grounded in ignorance more than anything else. As can be seen by these propaganda posters, the Federal Reserve was founded on a platform of ‘providing funds to businesses in [...]