[Milton] Friedman blames unknowing monetary policy in large measure for the magnitude of the Depression of the 1930s. Partly because so many banks failed between 1929 and 1933, the U.S. supply of money shrank by 33%—and that compounded a worldwide economic collapse. The Federal Reserve, which took a narrow view of its responsibilities, felt itself almost powerless to reverse the tide of events. Not really understanding what should be done, it did practically nothing to offset the contraction of the money supply.
~ Time, December 19, 1969