New York Bank of the United States

New York Bank of the United States

The New York Bank of United States was a bank in the Bronx, New York City which was founded in 1913. The institution had hundreds of thousands of depositors. While it survived the turmoil of Black Tuesday, it ended up collapsing and being unable to make whole on its deposits; it was one of the first large banks to collapse during the Great Depression.

In 1930 Wall Street refused to help a bank it could have saved. That touched off a wildfire of failure throughout the American banking system. The Bank of United States wasn't well-run. Some of its managers later went to jail. But it was a very large bank, the fourth-largest depository bank in New York, with 450,000 depositors, most of them middle- and working-class Jews from the Garment District. That's why it was known, sneeringly, as the "pants pressers' bank."

When the Bank of United States failed, on December 11th, 1930, the public panicked and the American banking system shuddered. People flocked to withdraw their money from other banks. In turn, the banks called in loans and sold assets in order to stay liquid. In that month alone, over 300 banks around the country failed. []


*Gray, Christopher. "Streetscapes: The Bank of United States in the Bronx; The First Domino In the Depression," "The New York Times", August 18, 1991
*"High-titled Bank can hold its name; Its Rivals Argued East Side Would Think "Bank of United States" Was Government's." "The New York Times", June 24, 1913

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