With the swearing in of a new President (apparently) happening this week, I thought we’d get a little political on the blog with some different transcriptions in my collection dealing with various facets of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration.
First up, an episode of a government radio series that appears to be previously lost promoting the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA was established as part of the National Housing Act of 1934; I’m guessing this show dates from 1934 or ’35 as the agency was trying to first promote their services. This was typical of the type of promotional radio work done by FDR’s New Deal agencies; many of the individual shows and series were simply discarded since they served a temporary purpose and don’t survive today.
The FHA has seen many changes over the years. The original idea of commercial banks making loans in their own community, with the loans being backed by the Federal government, was, in my opinion, a sound idea. The breakdown of regulations over commercial banking led to the 2007 sub-prime mortgage crisis, with banks taking on loans from unqualified borrowers, buying and selling these “junk” loans on the open market, and sticking the Federal taxpayer with the bill.
Wikipedia notes that, “The share of home purchases financed with FHA mortgages went from 2 percent to over one-third of mortgages in the United States, as conventional mortgage lending dried up in the credit crunch. Without the subprime market, many of the riskiest borrowers ended up borrowing from the Federal Housing Administration, and the FHA could suffer substantial losses. Joshua Zumbrun and Maurna Desmond of Forbes have written that eventual government losses from the FHA could reach $100 billion. … By November 2012, the FHA was essentially bankrupt.”
Despite this mix of Federal backing for loans by private local commercial banks to support affordable home ownership and stable home markets, the Republicans opposed the FHA, like many other of FDR’s New Deal programs. They got their wish to dismantle the FHA by simply passing de-regulation of banks over the years that ensured the agency would collapse with a tidy profit being earned by private commercial banks.
Our FHA radio show features the United States Marine Band, Captain Taylor Branson, conducting. They perform “The Gate City March” by Weldon, as well as works by Wagner and others. We also hear a little sketch about a family needing to do some updating to their home for a long-term family visitor. They discover how a loan through their local bank, guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, can help them. I have another FHA transcription I’ll post later that includes short dramatized sketches about young couples buying their first home and other common situations for taking out home loans.
There are no credits on the show, but the announcer sounds like the same guy who did the announcing work on 1930s episodes of “Jungle Jim”. He shows the same dramatic enthusiasm, whether he’s talking about the Marine Band and the FHA or the latest perils of Jungle Jim.
The mp3 was transferred directly from a 16” one-sided shellac transcription from Radio and Film Methods Corporation, 101 Park Avenue, New York, matrix number 206A. As far as I can tell, no other episodes of this series survives.