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John D. Rockefeller questionnaire response, November 17, 1937

The Pecora Committee, assisted by more than a hundred researchers, gathered information from questionnaires, business records, and the testimony of financial giants, including Standard Oil heir John D. Rockefeller Jr. and banker John Pierpont Morgan Jr. The investigation of such prominent individuals kept the committee in the national news.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

John D. Rockefeller questionnaire response, November 17, 1937

The 1929 Stock Market Crash

The 1929 New York stock market crash reverberated throughout the nation, propelling the economic collapse that resulted in the Great Depression. To understand the cause of the financial crash, the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency investigated the market practices of Wall Street financiers and financial institutions. Informally named after its astute and dynamic chief counsel, Ferdinand Pecora, the Pecora Committee exposed wrongdoing and recovered millions of dollars in unpaid taxes. Congress drew on the committee’s discoveries to legislate regulations that would guide the economy for decades to come.

[Financial lobbyists] are powerful, but they are not powerful enough to defy Congress. They are strong, but they are not strong enough to obstruct the Government. At least that is my hope.

Senator Duncan Fletcher of Florida, Speech to the Senate, May 7, 1934