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That this privilege shall not be extended to banks acting as reserve agents for banks or trust companies.
SEC. 41. All demand liabilities, including deposits and circulating notes, of the National Reserve Association shall be covered to the extent of fifty per centum by a reserve of gold (including foreign gold coin and gold bullion) or other money of the United States which the national banks are now authorized to hold as a part of their legal reserve: Provided, That whenever and so long as such reserve shall fall and remain below fifty per centum the National Reserve Association shall pay a special tax upon the deficiency of reserve at a rate increasing in proportion to such deficiency as follows: For each two and one-half per centum or fraction thereof that the reserve falls below fifty per centum a tax shall be levied at the rate of one and one-half per centum per annum: Provided further, That no additional circulating notes shall be issued whenever and so long as the amount of such reserve falls below thirty-three and one-third per centum of its outstanding notes.
SEC. 42. In computing the demand liabilities of the National Reserve Association a sum equal to one-half of the amount of the United States bonds held by the association which have been purchased from national banks, and which had previously been deposited by such banks to secure their circulating notes, shall be deducted from the amount of such liabilities.
SEC. 43. The National Reserve Association shall make a report, showing the principal items of its balance sheet, to the Comptroller of the Currency once a week. These reports shall be made public. In addition, full reports shall be made to the Comptroller of the Currency by said association coincident with the five reports called for each year from the national banks.
SEC. 44. All subscribing banks shall, under regulations to be prescribed by the National Reserve Association make a report monthly, or oftener if required, to said association showing the principal items of their balance sheets.
SEC. 45. All reports of national-bank examiners in regard to the condition of banks shall hereafter be made in duplicate, and one copy shall be filed with the National Reserve Association for the confidential use of its executive officers and branch managers.
SEC. 46. The National Reserve Association may accept copies of the reports of the national-bank examiners for subscribing national banks and also copies of the reports of State bank examiners for subscribing State banks and trust companies, in States where the furnishing of such information is not contrary to law: Provided, however, That the standard of such examinations, both National and State, meets the requirements prescribed by the National Reserve Association. The National Reserve Association shall have the right at any time to examine or cause to be examined by its own representatives any subscribing bank. The National Reserve Association may make such payments to national and State examiners for such services required of them as the directors may consider just and equitable.
SEC. 47. All provisions of law requiring national banks to hold or to transfer and deliver to the Treasurer of the United States bonds of the United States other than those required to secure outstanding circulating notes and Government deposits are hereby repealed.
SEC. 48. There shall be no further issue of circulating notes by any national bank beyond the amount now outstanding. National banks may maintain their present note issue, but whenever a bank retires the whole or any part of its existing issue its right to reissue the notes so retired shall thereupon cease.
SEC. 49. The National Reserve Association shall, for a period of one year from the date of its organization, offer to purchase at a price not less than par and accrued interest the two per centum bonds held by subscribing national banks and deposited to secure their circulating notes. The National Reserve Association shall take over the bonds so purchased and assume responsibility for the redemption upon presentation of outstanding notes secured thereby. The National Reserve Association shall issue, on the terms herein provided, its own notes as the outstanding notes secured by such bonds so held shall be presented for redemption and may issue further notes from time to time to meet business requirements, it being the policy of the United States to retire as rapidly as possible, consistent with the public interests, bond-secured circulation and to substitute therefor notes of the National Reserve Association of a character and secured and redeemed in the manner provided for in this act.
SEC. 50. All note issues of the National Reserve Association shall at all times be covered by legal reserves to the extent required by section forty-one of this act and by notes or bills of exchange arising out of commercial transactions as hereinbefore defined or obligations of the United States.
SEC. 51. Any notes of the National Reserve Association in circulation at any time in excess of nine hundred million dollars which are not covered by an equal amount of lawful money, gold bullion, or foreign gold coin held by said association shall pay a special tax at the rate of one and one-half per centum per annum, and any notes in excess of one billion two hundred million dollars not so covered shall pay a special tax at the rate of five per centum per annum: Provided, That in computing said amounts of nine hundred million dollars and one billion two hundred million dollars the aggregate amount of any national-bank notes then outstanding shall be included.
SEC. 52. The circulating notes of the National Reserve Association shall constitute a first lien upon all its assets and shall be redeemable in lawful money on presentation at the head office of said association or any of its branches. It shall be the duty of the National Reserve Association to maintain at all times a parity of value of its circulating notes with the standard established by the first section of the act of March fourteenth, nineteen hundred, entitled "An act to define and fix the standard of value, to maintain the parity of all forms of money issued or coined by the United States, to refund the public debt, and for other purposes."
SEC. 53. The circulating notes of the National Reserve Association shall be received at par in payment of all taxes, excises, and other dues to the United States, and for all salaries and other debts and demands owing by the United States to individuals, firms, corporations, or associations, except obligations of the Government which are by their terms specifically payable in gold, and for all debts due from or by one bank or trust company to another, and for all obligations due to any bank or trust company.
SEC. 54. The National Reserve Association and its branches shall at once, upon application and without charge for transportation, forward its circulating notes to any depositing bank against its credit balance. SEC. 55. Upon application of the National Reserve Association the Secretary of the Treasury shall exchange the two per centum bonds of the United States bearing the circulation privilege purchased from subscribing banks for three per centum bonds of the United States without the circulation privilege, payable after 50 years from the date of issue. The National Reserve Association shall hold the three per centum bonds so issued during the period of its corporate existence: Provided, That after 5 years from the date of its organization the Secretary of the Treasury may at his option permit the National Reserve Association to sell not more than fifty million dollars of such bonds annually: And provided further, That the United States reserves the right at any time to pay any of such bonds before maturity, or to purchase any of them at par for the trustees of the postal savings, or otherwise.
SEC. 56. The National Reserve Association shall pay to the Government a special franchise tax of one and one-half per centum annually during the period of its charter upon an amount equal to the par value of such United States bonds transferred to it by the subscribing
SEC. 57. That banking corporations for carrying on the business of banking in foreign countries and in aid of the commerce of the United States with foreign countries and to act when required as fiscal agents of the United States in such countries may be formed by any number of persons, not less in any case than five, who shall enter into articles of association which shall specify in general terms the object for which the banking corporation is formed and may contain any other provisions not inconsistent with the provisions of this section which the banking corporation may see fit to adopt for the regulation and conduct of its business and affairs, which said regulations shall be signed, in duplicate, by the persons uniting to form the banking corporation and one copy thereof shall be forwarded to the Comptroller of the Currency and the other to the Secretary of State, to be filed and preserved in their offices.
That the persons uniting to form such banking corporation shall under their hands make an organization certificate which shall specify, first, the name assumed by such banking corporation, which name shall be subject to approval by the comptroller; second, the foreign country or countries or the dependencies or colonies of foreign countries or the dependencies of the United States where its banking operations are to be carried on; third, the place in the United States where its home office shall be located; fourth, the amount of its capital stock and the number of shares into which the same shall be divided; fifth, the names and places of residence of the shareholders and the number of shares held by each of them; and, sixth, a declaration that said certificate is made to enable such persons to avail themselves of the advantages of this section.
That no banking corporation shall be organized under the provisions of this section with a less capital than two million dollars, which shall be fully paid in before the banking corporation shall be authorized to commence business, and the fact of said payment shall
be certified by the Comptroller of the Currency and a copy of his certificate to this effect shall be filed with the Secretary of State: Provided, That the capital stock of any such bank may be increased at any time by a vote of two-thirds of its shareholders with the approval of the Comptroller of the Currency and that the capital stock of any such bank which exceeds two million dollars may be reduced at any time to the sum of two million dollars by the vote of shareholders owning two-thirds of the capital.
That every banking corporation formed pursuant to the provisions of this section shall for a period of twenty years from the date of the execution of its organization certificate be a body corporate, but shall not be authorized to receive deposits in the United States nor transact any domestic business not necessarily related to the business being done in foreign countries or in the dependencies of the United States. Such banking corporations shall have authority to make acceptances, buy and sell bills of exchange, or other commercial paper relating to foreign business, and to purchase and sell securities, including securities of the United States or of any State in the Union. Each banking corporation organized under the provisions of this section shall have power to establish and maintain for the transaction of its business a branch or branches in foreign countries, their dependencies, or the dependencies of the United States at such places and under such regulations as its board of directors may deem expedient.
A majority of the shares of the capital stock of such banking corporation shall be held and owned by citizens of the United States or corporations chartered under the laws of the United States or of any State of the Union, and a majority of the members of the board of directors of such banking corporations shall be citizens of the United States. Each director shall own in his own right at least one hundred shares of the capital stock of the banking corporation of which he is a director.
Whenever the Comptroller shall become satisfied of the insolvency of any such banking corporation he may appoint a receiver who shall proceed to close up such corporation in the same manner in which he would close a national bank, the disposition of the assets of the branches to be subject to any special provisions of the laws of the country under whose jurisdiction such assets are located.
The annual meeting of every such banking corporation shall be held at its home office in the United States, and every such banking corporation shall keep at its home office books containing the names of all stockholders of such banking corporation and members of its board of directors, together with copies of the reports furnished by it to the Comptroller of the Currency exhibiting in detail and under appropriate heads the resources and liabilities of the banking corporation. Every such banking corporation shall make reports to the Comptroller of the Currency at such times as he may require, and shall be subject to examinations when deemed necessary by the Comptroller of the Currency through examiners appointed by him; the compensation of such examiners to be fixed by the Comptroller of the Currency.
Any such banking corporation may go into liquidation and be closed by the vote of its shareholders owning two-thirds of its stock. Any bank doing business in the United States and being the owner of stock in the National Reserve Association may subscribe to the stock of any banking corporation organized under the provisions of this section, but the aggregate of such stock held by any one bank shall not exceed ten per centum of the capital stock of the subscribing bank. SEC. 58. Congress reserves the right to alter or amend the provisions of this act to take effect at the end of any decennial period from and after the organization of the National Reserve Association.
SEC. 59. All acts or parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of this act are hereby repealed.
NELSON W. ALDRICH,
Annual Report, Secretary of Treasury (Franklin MacVeagh) [Sixty-Second Congress, 3d Session, December 2, 1912, Pages 1-4]
BANKING AND CURRENCY REFORM.
One of the most important facts in connection with Banking and Currency legislation is its urgency. As long as our banking and currency system remains as it is the immeasurable disaster of a panic will remain a possibility. The system under which we are living not only will not prevent a panic, but after a certain point in the generation of panic conditions is reached, will make it inevitable. So that,