Although FDR advisor Raymond Moley had suggested that he act as a pitchman for free enterprise and securities reform, Kennedy used the bully pulpit sparingly. During his first months in office, Kennedy regularly rejected speaking engagements, insisting that with his work just beginning he had little to say.
By late 1934, however, with new registration rules coming out and the capital strike still holding, Kennedy took to the dias with more frequency. Although one former official claimed that Kennedy and Landis "packed their suitcases like traveling salesmen," by modern standards neither man traveled extensively during these months--both were too busy with the affairs of the now four-man Commission.
But in speeches in Boston, Chicago, and New York, Kennedy did his best to sell the SEC. In New York, he urged businessmen to put aside their fears of unreasonable regulation--"why conjure up legislative monstrosities that will never see the statute books?" he asked. In Chicago he offered businessmen an olive branch--"Come down to Washington in person and present your problems to us," he said.
Executives of one major Chicago corporation did just that. On March 7, 1935, packing giant Swift and Company registered a $43 million bond issue after the Commission exempted the firm from any action resulting from an earlier effort to make a private issue. Kennedy delighted in comparing Swift's 59-page registration statement with the 2,000-page document provided by Republic Steel to the FTC.
"Swift's Bond Issue Ends Security Jam," the New York Times announced. Two days later Pacific Gas and Electric made a $45 million issue, and the value and number of new issues began climbing steadily. Kennedy had achieved his goal.
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