The stock market crashed in October 1929. But that was not the cause of what caused the Great Depression. It was, in my opinion, a very minor element of it. What happened was that from 1929 to 1933 you had a major contraction which, in my opinion, was caused primarily by the failure of the Federal Reserve System, to follow the course of action for which it was set up. It was set up to prevent exactly what happened from 1929 to 1933. But instead of preventing it, they facilitated it.
The two things that came out clearly were the sense of reality in the background and the mythical value: the essence of myth being that it should have no taint of allegory to the maker and yet should suggest incipient allegories to the reader. [C.S. Lewis writes to J.R.R. Tolkien on December 7, 1929]
Some calamities - the 1929 stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, 9/11 - have come like summer lightning, as bolts from the blue. The looming crisis of America's Ponzi entitlement structure is different. Driven by the demographics of an aging population, its causes, timing and scope are known.
I am myself persuaded, on the basis of extensive study of the historical evidence, that... the severity of each of the contractions - 1920-21, 1929-33, and 1937-38 - is directly attributable to acts of commission and omission by the Reserve authorities and would not have occurred under earlier monetary and banking arrangements.
My mother actually left American in 1929 to be part of an alternative community of bohemians around her then father-in-law who was a well-known Greek poet. This group of people were living in this semi-Luddite reality and weaving their own clothes - proto-hippies in a way- -but around an artistic vision.
The close of my studies with a degree of a Dr. Ing. in 1929 coincided with the great economic crisis, and I was not able to find an academic position. I was therefore very grateful for a position in the newly created laboratory of G.J. Driza in Prague where rare chemicals were produced on small scale.
More investment trusts securities were offered in September of 1929 even than in August - the total was above $600 million. However, the nearly simultaneous promotion of Shenandoah and Blue Ridge was to stand as the pinnacle of new era finance. It is difficult not to marvel at the imagination which was implicit in this gargantuan insanity. If there must be madness something may be said for having it on a heroic scale.
John Kenneth Galbraith
What happened was that for every $100 of money, by which I mean the cash that people keep in their pockets, and the deposits they have in the bank, for every $100 of money that there was in 1929, by 1933 there was only $67. The Federal Reserve allowed the quantity of money to decline by a third. While, at all times, it had the possibilities and the power of preventing that from happening.
Smoot and Hawley ginned up The Tariff Act of 1930 to get America back to work after the Stock Market Crash of '29. Instead, it destroyed trade so effectively that by 1932, American exports to Europe were just a third of what they had been in 1929. World trade fell two-thirds as other nations retaliated. Jobs evaporated.
As one 1935 study put it, boys and girls who were 15 or 16 in 1929 when the Depression began are no longer children; they are grown-ups - adults who had never, since they left school, had anything productive to do; adults in the embittered by years of suffering and hardship. The President's Advisory Commission on Education was to warn of a whole lost generation of young people.
Robert A. Caro
Better known as the Secret of the Golden Flower, this is a famous neidan text that the Western world came to know through Richard Wilhelm's 1929 translation. The Chinese text used by Wilhelm was edited by Zhanran Huizhen zi in 1921. Besides this, at least five more versions are available, all of which date to the late Qing dynasty (1644-1911) and are ascribed to Lu Dongbin, who revealed them through spirit writing.
The stock market is but a mirror which provides an image of the underlying or fundamental economic situation. Cause and effect run from the economy to the stock market, never the reverse. In 1929 the economy was headed for trouble. Eventually that trouble was violently reflected in Wall Street.
John Kenneth Galbraith
Economist Frederick Thayer has studied the history of our balanced-budget crusades and has come up with some depressing statistics. We have had six major depressions in our history (1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893 and 1929); all six of them followed sustained periods of reducing the national debt. We have had almost chronic deficits since the 1930s, and there has been no depression since then - the longest crash-free period in our history.
You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.
C. S. Lewis
Communities now find themselves in possession of improvements [resulting from the WPA] which even in 1929 they would have thought themselves presumptuous to dream of... [but] everywhere there had been an overhauling of the word presumptuous. We are beginning to wonder if it is not presumptuous to take for granted that some people should have much, and some should have nothing; that some people are less important than others and should die earlier; that the children of the comfortable should be taller and fatter, as a matter of right, than the other children of the poor.
Living through the 1929 Great Depression helped shape my social conscience. During this time, I realized the earth was still the same place, manufacturing plants were still intact, and resources were still there, but people didn't have money to buy the products. I felt the rules of the game we play by were outmoded and damaging. This began a life-long quest resulting in the conclusions and designs presented in The Venus Project.
The international monetary order is more precarious by far today than it was in 1929. Then, gold was international money, incorruptible, unmanageable, and unchangeable. Today, the U.S. dollar serves as the international medium of exchange, managed by Washington politicians and Federal Reserve officials, manipulated from day to day, and serving political goals and ambitions. This difference alone sounds the alarm to all perceptive observers.
Hans F. Sennholz
In my first publication I might have claimed that I had come to the conclusion, as a result of serious study of the literature and deep thought, that valuable antibacterial substances were made by moulds and that I set out to investigate the problem. That would have been untrue and I preferred to tell the truth that penicillin started as a chance observation. My only merit is that I did not neglect the observation and that I pursued the subject as a bacteriologist. My publication in 1929 was the starting-point of the work of others who developed penicillin especially in the chemical field.
A major boom in real stock prices in the U.S. after 'Black Tuesday' brought them halfway back to 1929 levels by 1930. This was followed by a second crash, another boom from 1932 to 1937, and a third crash. Speculative bubbles do not end like a short story, novel, or play. There is no final denouement that brings all the strands of a narrative into an impressive final conclusion. In the real world, we never know when the story is over.
Robert J. Shiller
Capitalism is chronically unstable.Boom and bust has always marked capitalism in the United States. There were panics in 1785, 1791, 1819, 1857, 1869, 1873, 1907, 1929 and 1987.In economies and politics, as in war, an astonishing number of people die, like the man on the railway crossing, defending their right of way. This is a poorly developed instinct in Switzerland. No country so firmly avows the principles of private enterprise but in few have the practical concessions to socialism been more numerous and varied.
John Kenneth Galbraith
Remember Stalingrad. Remember the crash of 1929. Remember the Industrial Revolution. Now remember that I am the proletariat cog in the machine that causes the meltdown of the aristocratic assembly line. Ben Franklin was a man of vision. Ben wore bifocals. Agatha was a beautiful woman. But if she were standing on her head, she'd look like Walt Disney. She'd often make me feel as small as Mickey Mouse. I am the elevator of love. So why'd she have to take the stairs? I am a rational being. She rationed her love like loaves of bread in times of famine. She was my feminine famine. I ate her love like it was cabbage soup, minus the cabbage; I drank it up like water. She pissed me off like a mouth-shaped urinal that liked to spread, like peanut butter, nasty rumors about the size of my penis. Three inches. That was the width of my love for Agatha. Three and a half years. That was the length of my love for her. 2009. That was the height of my love for her.
You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The words 'compelle intrare, ' compel them to come in, have been so abused be wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.