“It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.” (The Economist, 1929)

Huts and unemployed, West Houston and Mercer Street, Manhattan.. Abbott, Berenice -- Photographer. October 25, 1935
Abbott, Berenice (October 25, 1935)

Reactions of the Wall Street Slump appeared in The Economist on November 23rd, 1929.

It gives a unique perspective of the problems on Wall Street at that time and offers forecasts of what could come (without the advantage of hindsight).

…what will be the economic effect of the slump on business in the United States?

…speculation in the United States has been so widespread that persons of all classes deceived by, in some cases, real, but in many more cases, purely paper profits from their investments, have been living beyond their means, or, at all events, mortgaging their future by purchasing luxury goods up to, or even beyond, the full limit of their incomes.

How far this will extend must at present be a matter of conjecture. A great deal must in any case depend upon the situation of the banks.

It remains to consider what effect a setback, whether great or small, in the United States will have upon other countries.

If we are justified in assuming that the setback in American industry will only be temporary, we may look forward to steady development in 1930…[Read more]

**Update 1-4-09: I published this post back at the end of September and it keeps getting hits.  Makes me wonder. I’m not the only one worried.  I think we are waking up to the harsh reality.  It’s so obvious, but no one wants to see.  

I hope I’m wrong, but I think the Dow is headed to 4,000 and unemployment (in U.S.) will eventually reach 20%.  How long will this downturn last?  Perhaps 5 years and I hope not 10.  Please tell me we won’t need a world war to complete the cycle.

“Aim for a History Lesson”


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