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The Great Depression Past and Present?

Updated on May 1, 2011

The Beginning of The Great Depression of 1929

When the New York Stock Exchange opened on the morning of October 24, 1929, nervous traders sensed something ominous in the trading patterns.

By 11:00 a.m. the market had started to plunge. Shortly after noon a group of powerful bankers met secretly at J.P. Morgan & Co. next door to the Exchange and pledged to spend $240 million of their own funds to stabilize the market.

(Sound Familiar?)

This strategy worked for a few days, but the panic broke out again the following Tuesday, when the market crashed again, and nothing could be done to stop it.

Before three months had passed, the Stock Market lost 40% of its value; $26 billion of wealth disappeared. Great American corporations suffered huge financial losses. AT&T lost one-third of its value, General Electric lost half of its, and RCA's stock fell by three-fourths within a matter of months.

(It would take 25 years for the stock market to return to its pre-crash level following the 1929 crash.)

Photo by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration-1936.

Read More About the Stock Market Crash and Great Depression of 1929

A Lesson Learned From The Great Depression

"Of all the lessons to have emerged from the Great Depression, this remains the most important: that inept or inflexible monetary policy in the wake of a sharp decline in asset prices can turn a correction into a recession and a recession into a depression."

~ From The Ascent Of Money by Niall Ferguson

The Ascent of Money - A Financial History of The World

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

- George Santayana

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of finance, from its origins in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance.

Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot, lucre, moolah, readies, the wherewithal: Call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it’s the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it’s the chains of labor. But in The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress. What’s more, he reveals financial history as the essential backstory behind all history.

 

Your Thoughts About The Current Economic Crisis? - A Recession or A Depression? You Decide!

The decade of the 1930s found America facing the worst economic crisis in its modern history.

Millions of people were unemployed, two million adult men ("hobos") wandered aimlessly around the country, banks and businesses failed and the majority of the elderly in America lived in dependency.

Sound Familiar!?

Are We Headed For Another Great Depression?

The Bread Lines in 1929

The Bread Lines in 1929
The Bread Lines in 1929

Video of The Depression and The New Deal - FDR and France Perkins

Your Feedback and Thoughts?

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    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 2 years ago from Washington KS

      I returned to reread this one. If my grandparents were alive today, they'd be planning and preparing for the next depression.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 6 years ago

      Your Winston Churchill quote on your bio, reminded me of what my Father used to tell us kids when we complained about what we had to eat. He used to say "it isn't what you want that makes you fat, it is what you get" Nice lens.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 6 years ago

      Living in poverty, especially like that of The Great Depression, would be a mind-sapping and demoralizing existence.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 6 years ago

      Living in poverty, especially like that of The Great Depression, would be a mind-sapping and demoralizing existence.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Good look back to the 1920s. I really hope we don't all go down a similar plughole again.

    • profile image

      nettymy2k10 7 years ago

      This is very interesting. This lens is perfect example of a material well written and packed with information. Thanks for sharing.

      FAP Turbo Expert Guide Facts

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 8 years ago from Washington KS

      Thanks for lensrolling my homeless in America lens here. This is an informative, excellent lens.

      In many ways, the political environment in our recent past is reminiscent of the Depression Era, just in a smaller way. I'm truly not trying to hawk my lenses, but you might enjoy reading my grandparents' memories of the years and presidential elections leading up to the Depression on Economy Lessons. Five, fave, and lensroll for your excellent lens.

    • bgamall lm profile image

      bgamall lm 9 years ago

      Great Lens. I hope you submit it to my palin sucks group because I take economic history in a separate featured lens grouping. Thanks for joining my fanclub! Gary

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 9 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Very well done. We sure have to think about it whether we want to or not.