The markets bleed off waiting on leadership. Corporate America bleeds off waiting for leadership and America bleeds off waiting for bleeding leadership.
"True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish." FDR, First Inaugural Address
After the crash of 1929, Herbert Hoover listened to what his cabinet advised. Direct intervention would only make things worse. Hoover's Quaker background taught him; loss of personal responsibility would lead to personal despondency. So, Hoover opposed any direct aid to the hungry and starving. His personal morality had no such reservation regarding corporate America. The Depression was caused by an over-extension of credit and the loss of purchasing power.
Hoover came up with a $2 billion-dollar corporate aid package to help industry to re-open factories. So, Ford could produce new cars to sell in cities with 70 and 80% unemployment. The reality of the Depression overwhelmed Hoover, personally, professionally and philosophically. Starving farm families in the dust bowel were sent seed kits. First, there had been a drought. Second, families were being dispossessed in record numbers and third, they were hungry today.
"Three or four million heads of households don't turn into tramps and cheats overnight, nor do they lose the habits and standards of a lifetime. ["] They don't drink any more than the rest of us, they don't lie any more, they're no lazier than the rest of us. ["] An eighth or a tenth of the earning population does not change its character which has been generations in the molding, or, if such a change actually occurs, we can scarcely charge it up to personal sin." Harry Hopkins
This was the great moral divide. The Conservative newspapers stressed all these bad people no differently than today. Blaming the homeless for being homeless. Painting the unemployed as lazy or shiftless redirecting the blame on the workers. Painting hunger marches and marches of the unemployed as riots and revolutionary uprisings.
"The depression was just a state of mind. It is over for everyone who has changed his state of mind." -Henry Ford
But it wasn't over, two people an hour were dying of hunger in Detroit. Hoover was worried about personal morality while the people were ignored. Hoover wasn't a bad man he was just a man out of his element his personal and philosophical beliefs blinded him to needed actions. Hoover worked with the Red Cross and private agencies but did not believe in direct Federal intervention. Intellectually it might have been defensible eating fresh fruit for breakfast, but morally millions of Americans were destitute and that was morally indefensible.