- The Washington Times - Friday, April 10, 2020

Walmart’s CEO, Doug McMillon, said on a recent NBC “Today Show” televised segment that his company sold enough toilet paper in five days for every man, woman and child to have a roll.

The Depression had its run on banks.

Guess the modern day equivalent, coronavirus style, is a run on toilet paper.

“In the last five days,” McMillon said, as The Hill reported, “we’ve sold enough toilet paper for every American to have their own roll. Just in five days.”

Indeed; the shelves in the paper products’ aisles are cleared at many Walmarts around the nation.

So, too, the hand sanitizer spots.

“There’s plenty of [merchandise] flow coming but if everyone can just kind of manage and buy week-to-week rather than stocking up, it’d be helpful for everybody,” McMillon said.

Yeah; that’s not gonna happen.

The panic is real; the stay-at-home dictates from governing officials keep growing longer.

The fact is, if people felt secure, people wouldn’t be stocking up on basic necessities. Like toilet paper.

At least it’s not the 1930s.

“In November 1930,” Federal Reserve History wrote, “a series of crises among commercial banks turned what had been a typical recession into the beginning of the Great Depression.”

One crisis came from the floating of checks based on cash reserves at banks — only “the cash resided in only bank” and the reserves “composed of float” were “fictitious reserves,” the site said.

When word leaked to the public, bank customers started racing to withdraw their money.

Only in many cases, it wasn’t there.

So if there’s a bright light in this dark coronavirus tunnel, it’s this: It could be worse.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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