First counselor J. Reuben Clark confides to Brigham Young University's president that in 1938 the church spent nearly $900,000 more than its revenues. As a result Clark begins the policy in 1939 of having a fixed annual budget for all church expenditures to avoid deficit-spending. On 1 Apr. 1940 Clark informs a meeting of all the church auxiliary leaders about the 1939 deficit, as well as "a deficit of over $100,000, from the point of income and expenditures" in 1937. He also refers to this deficit-spending in general terms during his remarks to general conference in Apr. 1940.
[The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database ( http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase )]]