The great depression, can it happen again?: Hearing before the Joint Economic Committee, Congress of the United States, Ninety-sixth Congress, first session, October 29, 1979

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U.S. Government Printing Office, 1980 - Depressions - 51 pages
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Page 14 - The fundamental business of the country, that is production and distribution of commodities, is on a sound and prosperous basis.
Page 11 - We feel that we have an obligation which is paramount to any Federal Reserve warning, or anything else, to avert . . . any dangerous crisis in the money market.
Page 10 - Seven per cent with near-perfect safety and your money available on demand is a very decent return. Individuals and especially corporations were finding this an increasingly attractive outlet for surplus cash, and the Federal Reserve had no obvious way of checking this source of money for the market. However, in many respects this was a detail. There was the much more inconvenient question of whether any control could be exercised which, if effective, wouldn't bring an awful smash. It is easy enough...
Page 13 - In the crowded board rooms across the country the ticker told of a frightful collapse. But the selected quotations coming in over the bond ticker also showed that current values were far below the ancient history of the tape. The uncertainty led more and more people to try to sell. Others, no longer able to respond to margin calls, were sold.
Page 14 - Tel. & Tel., 34. Indeed, the decline on this one day was greater than that of all the preceding week of panic. Once again a late ticker left everyone in ignorance of what was happening save that it was bad.
Page 13 - Then, as the final trades were registered, they made their way out into the gathering night. In Wall Street itself lights blazed from every office as clerks struggled to come abreast of the day's business. Messengers and boardroom boys, caught up in the excitement and untroubled by losses, went skylarking through the streets until the police arrived to quell them. Representatives of thirty-five of the largest wire houses assembled at the offices of Hornblower and Weeks and told the press on departing...
Page 15 - Believing that fundamental conditions of the country are sound . . . my son and I have for some days been purchasing sound common stocks.
Page 14 - It was explained at the conclusion that it was no part of the bankers' purpose to maintain any particular level of prices on the market. Their operations were confined to seeing that the market was orderly — that offers would be met by bids at some price, and that "air holes,
Page 12 - October 2 1 , was another poor day. Sales totaled 6,091,870, the third greatest volume in history, and hundreds of thousands who were watching the market throughout the country made a disturbing discovery. There was no way of telling what was happening. Previously on big days of the bull market the ticker had often fallen behind, and one didn't discover until well after the market closed how much richer he had become. But with a falling market things were very different. Now one might be ruined,...
Page 16 - The pocket contained $9.40 in change and some margin calls. No feature of the Great Crash was more remarkable than the way it passed from climax to anticlimax to destroy again and again the hope that the worst had passed. Even on the thirtieth the worst was still to come, although henceforth it came more slowly. Day after day during the next two weeks prices fell with monotonous regularity. At the close of trading on October 29 the Times industrial average stood at 275. In the rally of the next two...

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