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A Wise Man Once Said Of Crisis--We're All In This Together

Thursday, 9 Oct 2008 | 11:33 AM ET

Here's an idea for the "bailout." Let's all work together. My colleague Bertha Coombs weighs in today with a guest blog:

“It’s your problem no less than it is mine.” Those words, from a wise man about the American financial crisis. Forget Main Street and Wall Street, we’re all in this together, he says, and our will to make it better is an important part of the solution:

“There is an element in the readjustment of our financial system more important than currency… and that is the confidence of the people. Confidence and courage are the essentials of success in carrying out our plan. You people must have faith; you must not be stampeded by rumors or guesses. Let us unite in banishing fear. We have provided the machinery to restore our financial system; it is up to you to support and make it work. It is your problem no less than it is mine. Together we cannot fail.”

Who is this guy? Franklin Delano Roosevelt, speaking on March 12, 1933, in the first of his fireside chats following a four day bank holiday. Can you imagine if we couldn’t get anything out of the ATM for four days???

We might all do well to talk to our depression era parents and grandparents about working through really hard economic times, and resetting our expectations about credit. I think about my mom, who uses credit wisely, saves and doesn’t know how to use an ATM card--she actually lives on the cash she budgets from her bi-weekly paychecks.

Here's a link to Roovevelt's famous Fireside Chats.

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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