From Eric Rauchway’s highly digestible “The Great Depression and the New Deal, A Very Short Introduction.”

As to whether the government should take any action, [Hoover] allowed it might cut the tax on capital gains, which would permit investors to keep more of their profits from trading.


And from a passage on his actions in 1932, when Hoover actually pushed through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and the Federal Land Bank, which were well capitalized and started using their capital to lend to banks and free up capital:

All these measures probably helped loosen restrictions on credit and got bankers and businessmen to lend and borrow more freely again…But they did nothing immediate for non-banker Americans.

Sound familiar?