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Commentary by Bob Hoffman
Political Gateway - September 18th, 2008 - In 1929 a big event in American history happened. The crash of the stock market, Black Monday.
What you do not know is the crash was preceded by an unusual time of great prosperity. Largely brought on by the first use of mortgages. Before that time, a normal person would have to pay 100% for a house. In the 20’s they could only put down 50% and borrow the rest.
Complete havoc ensued and prices went crazy. A land boom became the lay of the land. As that started capping out, the stock market was sent into a frenzy when all that money from the land boom went into it. Most of it on margin buys (borrowing to buy stock).
At this same time, in the teens, the Federal Reserve Board was activated. It was shortly after the panic on 1907-1908.
It finally happened. It all just collapsed. All the signs were there but all the newspapers were touting it as not so bad. Until the end came. First the land boom leveled and starting to go. Then it came, the stocks fell.
First was black Thursday, October 24th., 1929. 13 million shares traded, 5 days from Black Tuesday.
On the 25th, the President, Herbert Hoover said this to the country…Together with some choice quotes from nowadays.
“The fundamental business of the country .. is on a sound and prosperous basis … many industries show an increase, all of which indicates a healthy condition.” - Hoover
“Our economy, I think, is still -- the fundamentals of our economy are strong, but these are very, very difficult times,'' McCain said. "I promise you, we will never put America in this position again. We will clean up Wall Street “ -John McCain, Presidential Candidate, this week
The Governor of New York, in a wire to the New York Papers, stated his firm belief "That industrial and trade considerations are sound" and the Governor did not think it was that significant. That Governor in 1929 was Franklin D. Roosevelt
November 5th 1929 the President’s news conference, the first since the crash to talk about the crash
“I see no particular reasons for making any public statements about it, either directly or indirectly…we have had a period of over speculation… waves of speculation that are more or less uncontrollable, as evidenced by the efforts of the Federal Reserve Board… whole phenomenon has been the congestion of capital in the loan market…driving up of money rates all over the world...”- Hoover
“Bush has publicly uttered 160 words about the worst Wall Street crisis since the Great Depression….Bush acknowledged public concern about market ‘adjustments’ and said he had been ‘in close touch’ with Paulson as the government worked to ``promote stability in the financial systems.''…Dana Perino yesterday defended Bush's low profile ‘There are times, believe it or not, when policy makers actually need to, like, work on making some policy…We decided it would be best to limit public comment about markets today,’”- Bush, staff, critics, last week or so
“The federal reserve board, in cooperation with New York banks, has made ample capital available for the call market in substitution of withdrawals….resulted in lowering the discount rate…In other words, the financial world is functioning entirely normal and rather more easily then it was 2 weeks ago…because there is more capital available.” Hoover
"...help promote market stability and to ensure they can continue to play a role in helping our housing market recover...These actions are necessary and important, and the markets are adjusting to them"- Bush Speech today
“The effect on production is purely psychological … there has been no mortgage or bond money available and practically no bond issues of any consequence…”- Hoover
“You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession” – Phil Gramm, John McCain’s top advisor. A few weeks back
“Just one problem: There isn't any recession. The latest figures show that we clearly were not in one…but otherwise it's been growing steadily for years….It's in their minds, what psychologist and author Bardwick calls the psychological recession..”-CNN senior editor this week
Final thoughts by Bob Hoffman
And in closing, looking at the way and the thoughts of Wall Street, the White House, and Congress, I see it repeating itself. All of their so called 'efforts' are about 'restoring consumer confidence.' This is the same thing they tried back then, it did not work. No matter how confident investors are, it is not going to pay off bad debt.
There are 3 things that happen during a disaster in your life. The first is the preparation. How are you preparing for it? The third is recovering from it, your success usually directly proportional to the first step.
The second? It is called, by me, "in the moment".. When you are 'in the moment' all you can do is hold on to your family and pray as all hell breaks loose. You cannot control 'in the moment' but you can control preparation and recovery.
My suggestion is to just hold on to all you hold dear and pray. Much like we do here in South Florida when a hurricane hits. We prepare and we recover... but we are powerless 'in the moment'.
My suggestion? Vote for Ralph Nader for president. He has fought against corporate greed and malfeasance for 40 years. The other two have pockets bursting full of money from the companies Nader has fought. I suggest looking at the history of what Nader has done versus what Obama and McCain have done. Go to their websites and check it out.
In times like these, I do not want a president restoring investor confidence for big business, I want a president in our corner.
Of course the big companies are being bailed out right now. After all, those companies have 'so much' on congress that they better or that information could become public. We elected the wrong people the whole time.
Lastly, before the bottom fell out, the market was rocked by a roller coaster of up/downs. This week historic rises and drops happened. Almost every day. Drops of 400 to 500 and rises of 300 to 400. You cannot ignore the warnings. The storm is here, time for preparation is over, you are now 'in the moment.'
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