This article describes what led up to the stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression:
“…people believed that everything was going to be great always, always. There was a feeling of optimism in the air that you cannot even describe today.”
“There was great hope. America came out of World War I with the economy intact. We were the only strong country in the world. The dollar was king.”
“Wall Street got the credit for this prosperity and Wall Street was dominated by just a small group of wealthy men. Rarely in the history of this nation had so much raw power been concentrated in the hands of a few businessmen…”
“Everything was not fine that spring with the American economy. It was showing ominous signs of trouble. Steel production was declining. The construction industry was sluggish. Car sales dropped. Customers were getting harder to find. And because of easy credit, many people were deeply in debt.”
“On September 5th, economist Roger Babson gave a speech to a group of businessmen. ‘Sooner or later, a crash is coming and it may be terrific.’ He’d been saying the same thing for two years, but now, for some reason, investors were listening. The market took a severe dip…The next day, prices stabilized, but several days later, they began to drift lower. Though investors had no way of knowing it, the collapse had already begun.”
Wednesday October 23rd: “…the market was a little shaky, weak. And whether this caused some spread of pessimism, one doesn’t know. It certainly led a lot of people to think they should get out. And so, Thursday, October the 24th—the first Black Thursday—the market, beginning in the morning, took a terrific tumble. The market opened in an absolute free fall and some people couldn’t even get any bids for their shares and it was wild panic…It was, indeed, one of the worst days that had ever been seen down there.”
“In brokers’ offices across the country, the small investors—the tailors, the grocers, the secretaries—stared at the moving ticker in numb silence. Hope of an easy retirement, the new home, their children’s education, everything was gone.”
“At the end of 1929, as they celebrated New Year’s Eve, all that lay in the future. Nobody knew that the Great Depression was coming—unemployment, bread lines, bank failures—this was unimaginable. But the bubble had burst. Gone was that innocent optimism, the confidence, the illusion of wealth without work. One era had ended…they knew the party was over.”
The above comments are an edited and abridged synopsis of an article by Jess, Le Café Américain compliments of BMGBullion.com
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