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Mr. STONE. It would not, of course, be equivalent to a special pledge of assets as security.
Senator COUZENS. No.
Mr. PECORA. Was a 100-percent reserve set up and maintained against those fiduciary or trust accounts?
Mr. STONE. It was not specifically set up, but there was a 100-percent reserve in the form of cash on hand, the most of the time. That is, cash on hand in excess of the trust balances. We were advised by counsel that so long as that was done and the funds were invested with reasonable promptness, and the interest was credited on the balances, we were handling it in the proper manner. Also that the books of the company showed credits to the trusts, with specific amounts due to each.
Mr. PECORA. I want to show you what purports to be photostatie copies of three certificates of deposit, each issued by the Detroit Trust Co., and each dated August 8, 1931, the first one payable to the Peoples Wayne County Bank of Detroit in the sum of 442 million dollars; the second one payable to the First National Bank in Detroit, in the sum of $1,700,000; and the third payable to the Detroit Savings Bank, in the sum of $500. Will you look at them, please, Mr. Stone, and tell me if you recognize them to be true and correct copies of certificates of deposit issued by the Detroit Trust Co. on the date which those certificates bear?
Mr. STONE (after looking at the three photostats). They are.
Mr. PECORA. Now, those are the three certificates of deposit through the medium of which the so-called “reciprocal deposits” were made by the First National Bank in Detroit, the Peoples Wayne County Bank, and the Detroit Savings Bank, were they?
Mr. STONE. They were, but-
Mr. PECORA (interposing). But you object to calling them “ reciprocal deposits”!
Mr. STONE. Yes; I wouldn't call them that.
Mr. PECORA. Doesn't it appear to you that the State bank examiner, Mr. Carroll, regarded those as reciprocal deposits when he made reference to them as such in his letter of September 18, 1931 ?
Mr. STONE. He called them that, but we did not agree with him on his terminology.
Mr. PECORA. I will now read to you from committee exhibit no. 110, in evidence on this date, which is the copy of the letter that you produced this morning, addressed by the Detroit Trust Co, to the commissioner of State banking, in reply to the letter of Examiner Carroll, referring to what you say in the matter of reserves:
We have on deposit in the fiduciary account $6,700,000. We have segregated the balances in court trusts, the total of which is $1,918,991. The total cash balances in mortgage sinking fund accounts, other than those wherein the mortgage indenture specifically provides that the fund remain on deposit with us, amounts to $1,218,227.55.
So you will observe that we have much more than enough in our fiduciary accounts to cover these two classes of balances. Our cash reserve in approved Federal Reserve agents at the present time, after deducting the total of the segregated accounts and maintaining a 100-percent reserve against them, is 21.83
And what is that?
Mr. PECORA. There is a lead-pencil figure there which I cannot quite make out.
Mr. STONE. Percent, I think that means.
Mr. PECORA. All right. I continue: is 21.83 on our other matured and demand obligations. In addition to these, we hare $2,500,000 par value of United States Government bonds.
Now, that is all that is set forth in paragraph 4 of your letter to the State banking commmissioner in reply to paragraph 4, or item 4, of Mr. Carroll's letter to you, or to your Trust Co. I notice that you do not in any way in your letter to the banking commissioner take issue with Commissioner Carroll's reference to these deposits as“ reciprocal” deposits.
Mr. STONE. I did not.
Mr. PECORA. Yet you felt that he had improperly characterized those transactions as evidence of reciprocal deposits.
Mr. STONE. Yes, sir.
Mr. Pecora. Well, now, Mr. Carroll in his letter of September 18 calls attention to the fact that the Trust Co.'s reserves as of August 1, 1931, were short $3,406,125.94 upon the date of the examination. How did that shortage occur?
Mr. STONE. I would not be familiar with that. That was a matter of bookkeeping and accounting, under the jurisdiction of the treasurer.
Senator COUZENS. Well, the treasurer is here.
TESTIMONY OF W. J. THOMAS, TREASURER OF DETROIT TRUST
Mr. PECORA. Mr. Thomas, can you answer that question I have just propounded to Mr. Stone ?
Mr. THOMAS. I think so.
Mr. THOMAS. We appended our explanation in the paragraph that you read there, that according to our computation we had more than the required reserves. You see, the required reserve, by statute, was 20 percent of our matured obligations, and by deducting from our total of fiduciary accounts, of $6,700,000, the actual amount that was segregated, and using the difference, together with our other cash balances in approved Federal Reserve agents, we had at that time something over 21 percent on our matured obligations. That was our explanation to the banking department, and they made no further criticism of it, I mean pertaining to that particular date.
Mr. PECORA. Now, Examiner Carroll, in his letter of September 18, 1931, stated as follows:
The matter of deducting your fiduciary accounts from your liabilities, and also the 100-percent reserve for same from your assets in making the published report, will be referred to the commissioner, and you will have direct from the office in Lansing his reference to same.
Did you receive any communication from the State banking commissioner on that subject!
Mr. THOMAS. No, sir; I did not. As stated in the last paragraph of our letter, we assurned because we did not hear anything further from them that they wanted us to carry the accounts in our statement. As a matter of fact, they based their cost of the examination on our total footings with these amounts in, which I believe was called to their attention.
Mr. PECORA. Now, Mr. Thomas, Jr. Carroll in his letter refers to the fact that the matters discussed by him in the letter specifically had previously been discussed by him with Jr. Browning, then president of the Trust Co., with Vice President Butler, and with yourself. Do you recall that discussion with Examiner Carroll!
Mr. THOMAS. Yes; I do.
Mr. PECORA. Now, what, in substance, was the discussion that took place with respect to these so-called “reciprocal deposits” referred to by Mr. Carroll in his letter under item 4
Mr. Thomas. Well, to the best of my recollection, ther realized why we opened the accounts, and that it was the
Vr. Pecora (interposing). You say they realized why you opened the accounts; but did Mr. Carroll indicate that he knew why you opened them?
Mr. THOMAS. I believe so.
Mr. PECORA. How did he indicate that? What did he say that showed that to you?
Mr. THOMAS. I do not remember his language.
Mr. PECORA. Don't attempt to give us his language, but the substance of what he said.
Mr. THOMAS. Well, that he knew why the accounts were opened, and that
Mr. Pecora (interposing). Why were they opened?
Mr. PECORA. Why were those corressponding deposits evidence by those certificates of deposit that have been identified by Mr. Stone obtained and used ?
Mr. THOMAS. Well, as Mr. Stone has testified, that we either had to solicit deposits or sell assets at a very great depreciation. We considered that by doing it this way it was to the advantage of the company and to depositors and everyone concerned. We could have secured sufficient cash by dumping a tremendous amount of assets on the market at very low market values, but
Mr. Pecora (interposing). Mr. Chairman, I want to offer at this time the three photostatic reproductions of the certificates of deposit, which have already been identified by Mr. Stone; I now want to offer them in evidence.
The CHAIRMAN. They may be received and made a part of the record.
(A photostat of a certificate of deposit dated Aug. 8, 1931, issued by the Detroit Trust Co. and payable to the Peoples Wayne County Bank of Detroit for $4,500,000, was marked " Committee Exhibit No. 111, Jan. 31, 1934 ", and will be found at the end of the day's proceedings.)
(A photostatic reproduction of a certificate of deposit issued by the Detroit Trust Co., dated Aug. 8, 1931, payable to the First National Bank in Detroit for $1,700,000, was marked “ Committee Exhibit No. 112, Jan. 31, 1934”, and will be found at the end of the day's proceedings.)
(A photostatic reproduction of a certificate of deposit issued by the Detroit Trust Co., dated Aug. 8, 1931, payable to the Detroit Savings Bank for $500,000, was marked “ Committee Exhibit No. 113, January 31, 1934 ", and will be found at the end of the day's proceedings.)
Mr. PECORA. Mr. Thomas, do you recall whether Mr. Carroll indicated that he knew of the existence of these three certificates of deposit just offered in evidence ?
Mr. Thomas. Yes; I believe he did.
Senator COUZENS. Does he examine all of your deposit accounts when he makes an examination!
Mr. THOMAS. Well, I don't know, Senator Couzens, whether he examines all of them. I am quite sure they go through the certificate of deposit register.
Senator ČOUZENS. They do that differently, then, than in the case of the ordinary checking account, do they? Mr. THOMAS. Oh, I think so; yes, sir. Senator COUZENS. In the case of all banks!
Mr. Thomas. Of course, as to that I cannot say. But as I recall they have men go through the certificate of deposit register and so on and, of course, the man doing this particular work balances the certificates, and I suppose observes names, and so forth. I do remember particularly a discussion about whether or not we should carry the amounts in our published statement, because we at first did not carry them as such. We did not want to create the impression that we were inflating our totals or deposits. So from the time the account was opened in August until this examination we did not show them in our daily statement at all. We simply carried them as a memorandum control amount on the general ledger. Then after this discussion that you mention with Mr. Carroll it was the concensus of opinion that they should be carried in the C.D.'s representing a deposit liability of the company, just like any other C.D.’s. But up until that time we did not include them in our daily statement. Senator Couzens. How did you carry the deposits that you carried your
you those on your statement?
Mr. THOMAS. As fiduciary accounts.
Mr. THOMAS. That is right. At first, you see, we left them out on both sides of the statement. We did not show the fiduciary accounts in the bank, and we did not show the segregated balances in our trust balances. But after that examination we put them both back into the account.
Senator COUZENS. So that was in fact a padding of your deposits, after you put them back in.
Mr. Thomas. Well, it was done at the suggestion of the Commissioner.
Senator Couzexs. I am not saying at whose suggestion it was done, but that was the fact, wasn't it?
Mr. Thomas. We purposely did not put them in, in the first place, so that they would not create that impression.
Mr. PECORA. Now, Mr. Thomas, I show you what purports to be a letter addressed by you to Mr. Muir of the investigating staff of the committee, dated January 11, 1934. Will you look at it and tell me if you recognize it to be a letter signed and sent by you to Mr. Muir?
Mr. THOMAS (after looking at the letter). Yes; it is.
(A letter dated Jan. 11, 1934, from William J. Thomas, treasurer of Detroit Trust Co., to H. F. Muir, was marked " Committee Exhibit No. 114, January 31, 1934 ", and will be found immediately following where read by Mr. Pecora.)
Mr. Pecora. The letter just offered in evidence is written on the letterhead of the Detroit Trust Co. and reads as follows:
JANUARY 11, 1934. Mr. H. F. MUIR,
Senate Investigating Committee, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. MUIB: In response to your request I would say that when we opened our fiduciary accounts with the banks in August of 1931, it was not understood by us, and I believe neither was it understood by the banks, that those accounts were entitled to preference in payment as against other deposits in the banks.
The purpose in opening those fiduciary accounts was to segregate trust funds from company funds. After the bank holiday, namely, February 11, 1933, the trusts having funds on deposit in these fiduciary accounts, became creditors of the respective banks and received the same dividends as all other depositors. Very truly yours,
WILLIAM J. THOMAS, Treasurer. Now, according to this letter, which you wrote on the eleventh of this month, it was considered not only by the Detroit Trust Co., but these other three banks in which these fiduciary funds were deposited, that these deposit accounts were not entitled to any preference what soever in payment as against other deposits in the banks, wasn't it?
Mr. THOMAS. Well, there was no discussion about that at the time the accounts were opened. That is why I said it was not our understanding and I did not think it was the understanding of the banks, because we did not discuss the matter at all. We simply opened the acounts to segregate the trust balances, and there was no discussion at that time that I recall regarding a preference of the account against some other depositor.
Mr. PECORA. And these trusts became creditors together with all other depositors in the banks.
Mr. THOMAS. That is right.
Mr. PECORA. As general creditors, with no preference arising from the fact that the deposits were those of trust funds.
Mr. THOMAS. No; I do not think there was any preference.
Mr. PECORA. I want to ask you this, Mr. Thomas, before I leave the subject of Mr. Carroll's letter of September 11, 1931: I note in this letter that Examiner Carroll calls attention to the rather severe losses in the real estate account, and to the fact that as of August