Post World War II Prosperity in America..What Happened?

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The Post World War II Prosperity

The post World War II era was a very different America from the America of the 1930′s. In the 1930’s, The Great Depression was a period of economic decline, rampant unemployment, and despair that defined America. In 1945, The Great Depression was replaced with the United States becoming economic superpower as a result of World War 2. In 1945, soldiers were coming home in the millions to opportunities in a technologically advanced society as a result of the war. These soldiers started families, and these new families needed houses for a permanent place of residence. In addition, the new conveniences of the automobile, home appliances, and televisions were a part of the new post 1945 world. Both homes and new conveniences were affordable but required financing to make affordable payment options to the masses of people. As the country changed from the Depression to the post 1945 era, the banks were required to change due to required to change due to a new regulatory environment and the creation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The banks began to rebuild trust in the local communities by providing the necessary financing for all the new homes and new conveniences being sought by a generation of soldiers returning from war and the country as a whole. The new positioning of the banks in the relationship with the consumer began a prosperity that would last until the bank deregulation of the 1990′s, and would foster a confidence in the economy to insure economic stability and future growth.

In the post war era, banks have emerged as the safe haven for the community to make deposits and these deposits allow the banks to make loans in the community for home mortgages and personal loans to purchase the new conveniences of the era. Strong regulatory reform and the FDIC brought confidence to the system in addition to the new roles of banks in the community.The growing of credit and the location of banks in communities both large and small became a widespread driver of prosperity throughout the nation. The community bank and the consumer were pillars of a relationship that formed the foundation in the post war economy. The relationship was essential in retaining confidence during economic challenges of the late 1960′s, 1970′s, early 1980′s, and the Savings and Loans Crisis of the late 1980′s. These time periods did pass with economic prosperity taking over at the end of each of these cycles.

In each of these downturns of the latter half of the 20th Century, the bank playing a local role in the community provided credit and opportunities to consumers and business owners with a knowledge of each person’s request. The consumer had a personal banker that provided more of a connection to work with the bank in challenges of repayment of loans. This connection did provide an avenue to be proactive no matter the economic times to workout loans to avoid a percentage of loan losses that helped the bank, consumer, and the community. In addition, this relationship foster the spread of innovation and prosperity throughout every community in America. The American Dream was brought to reality by the community bank being involved in innovation and provider financial services to the American community.


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