The Economics Of The Causes Of The
Great Depression Essay, Research Paper
Looking back on the past century of American History, there are many ups and downs, victory and calamities, roars
and flops. However, each one of these periods lasted for comparatively short periods of clip. There is one noteworthy exclusion. The
Great Depression was genuinely that, the greatest low point this state has of all time experienced. At its low-water mark, in 1932 and 1933, 14
million people were unemployed, over 25 % of the state & # 8217 ; s work force. All this occurred after a decennary remembered as the
& # 8220 ; Golden Twenties & # 8221 ; in which prosperity was everyplace. Those who didn & # 8217 ; t set their money in the stock market were judged
insane or incompetent.
There were, nevertheless, & # 8220 ; Two Sides to Paradise, & # 8221 ; during the Twenties. Forty per centum of the state & # 8217 ; s wealth was
concentrated in merely 5 % of the population. Even though workers in the 1920 & # 8217 ; s increased their end product by 40 % , wages merely rose
by 7 % . This meant that the now greatly increased net incomes weren & # 8217 ; t being passed on, merely doing the really rich still richer.
Because antimonopoly Torahs weren & # 8217 ; T enforced, there were besides price-skimming cozenages, that allowed companies to do even larger
net incomes. Overall this meant that manufacturers were easy compressing their market. Without money to pass in workers & # 8217 ; pockets,
there could be no demand for goods.
The effect of the rich holding so much of the state & # 8217 ; s money was that they speculated with their money in the stock
market. They besides spent much of the state & # 8217 ; s gross national merchandise. This meant that if the stock market crashed, as it would,
much of the state & # 8217 ; s money would immediately vanish. As the rich disappeared, demand for luxuries and similar merchandises would
disappear with them.
Another false side to paradise was the husbandmans. During World War I much of Europe & # 8217 ; s premier farming area went out of
production due to the war. The demand for nutrient was increased by the demands of the huge ground forcess. American husbandmans filled the
spread by stepping up production, thereby harvesting immense net incomes. However, between 1919-1921 farm income went from $ 17.7
billion to $ 10.5 billion as European farming area came back into production. Farmers continued to take losingss all through the 20 & # 8217 ; s.
Another unstable portion of the 20 & # 8217 ; s economic system was that most of the antic growing of the decennary had been based upon
two industries, wireless and the car. Any industry that was remotely connected to these had streamer old ages. Take
building for illustration. During the 20 & # 8217 ; s there was an unbelievable demand for new paved roads. On mean America spent
$ 1.4 billion dollars yearly on new roads. In add-on, the car was responsible for much of the urbanisation of the
state during the 20 & # 8217 ; s. Because so many new people were traveling to the metropoliss, there was demand for many new flats,
mills and office edifices. Steel, lead, glass, leather, fuel and likely most of all, the tyre industry benefited from autos.
The job with so much of the state & # 8217 ; s growing being basically centered on two industries was that the whole
economic system was dependent on them. If the wireless and car industries slowed down, the full economic system would decelerate down
with them. This might hold been all right had it been a different industry, such as agribusiness. However, these two industries
could non spread out everlastingly. You could merely have so many wirelesss and so many autos before you didn & # 8217 ; t want any more ; this is jurisprudence
of decreasing fringy public-service corporation in action. Because agribusiness had been dismissed as unprofitable, there was nil left in the
economic system after wireless and building went down.
As more and more people speculated in the stock market monetary values, were driven manner up, beyond the existent worth of a
company. Alternatively of reflecting a company & # 8217 ; s assets, dividends, or mentality, monetary values reflected what person else might pay in a
hebdomad, or a minute, for their opportunity to do a net income in the same manner. Another job with the bad roar was that
when people bought stock they normally bought it on border. This meant that you merely paid 40 % of the value of the stock. The
agent got the remainder of the money on recognition, which you paid back when you sold the stock. If your stock & # 8217 ; s value fell below the
breakeven point for the agent, he would either sell the stock, and take a loss, or inquire you for more money. What all this meant
was that Bankss were indirectly, and sometimes straight, puting their depositors & # 8217 ; money in the stock market.
By and large the largest cause for the clang of 1929, and hence the depression, was the fact that the stock market roar
was based on assurance, non existent world. If investors lost assurance in the market & # 8217 ; s ability to turn a net income the whole system
would come crashing down. Alternatively of being based on assurance, a clang would be based on fright.
During the summer of 1929 many warning marks of the at hand clang were noticed. However, these marks were
by and large ignored because most investors believed there was no manner the market could crash. The one strong response to the
warning marks was when the Federal Reserve raised involvement rates to 6 % . However, this had small consequence because Bankss could
still do 12 % in stocks, an unbelievable net income border.
October 24, 1929 is now remembered as & # 8220 ; Black Thursday. & # 8221 ; On this twenty-four hours the whole US fiscal system came toppling
down. Investors lost all assurance in the value of their stocks and tried to sell at lower and lower monetary values. Some couldn & # 8217 ; t happen
purchasers at any monetary value. The heart tape, which allowed those non in the existent exchange to cognize monetary values, ran two hours behind.
In response to the clang a group of improbably affluent bankers, whose personal lucks totaled more than $ 300 million,
met to seek and quiet the peo
ple and halt the terror. They bought stocks at much higher monetary values than the traveling rate, appeasement and
stabilising the exchange. However, since the heart tape was running several hours behind, sell orders continued to pour in from
across the state. On & # 8220 ; Black Thursday & # 8221 ; the New York Stock Exchange entirely lost $ 4 billion dollars. The magazine Assortment
unforgettably summed up the clang with the headline, & # 8220 ; Wall Street Lays an Egg. & # 8221 ;
On the following twenty-four hours, Friday, monetary values remain comparatively stable as investors tried to take stock of the state of affairs. However, this did
non last. The following Monday, although trading was less, the market fell still farther. & # 8220 ; Black Tuesday, & # 8221 ; October 29, proved even
more fruitless. The bankers that had tried to halt the clang were now selling. It was the worst twenty-four hours in the market & # 8217 ; s 112-year
As the monetary values fell further and farther many agents madly sent out border calls for more money. Some sold their
investors & # 8217 ; stocks outright. The job was that the people acquiring called merely didn & # 8217 ; t have the money, or didn & # 8217 ; t want to put
it, coercing agents to take a loss. This money was, of class, on recognition and the Bankss were demanding payment to pay for the
losingss they had sustained. The agents merely didn & # 8217 ; t have the money and were forced to default. This meant that the Bankss lost
one million millions of dollars of their depositors & # 8217 ; money, which the depositors were now seeking to withdrawal. Once once more the Bankss merely
didn & # 8217 ; t have the money and were forced to travel bankrupt. Between 1929-33 more than 10,000 Bankss failed, greatly shriveling the
money supply. The bad roar had been built like an & # 8220 ; Upside-down pyramid & # 8221 ; on recognition. Now it collapsed like one.
On Halloween Thursday the New York Stock Exchange closed and didn & # 8217 ; t reopen until the following Monday. During
this, the 2nd hebdomad since & # 8220 ; Black Thursday, & # 8221 ; monetary values fell still further in even larger selling crazes. By mid November the
market had sustained an mean $ 26 billion, or 40 % loss. Some companies had seen their value bead from $ 100 to $ 3 per
portion every bit small as two yearss.
The stock market clang started a concatenation reaction throughout our economic system, and, so, the economic system of the universe. Since
most of the money was with the rich, and these were the people that had lost everything, disbursement declined really quickly,
particularly on luxuries. Lending to the continued ruin was the fact that industry hadn & # 8217 ; t shared its net incomes with its workers.
This meant that there was no mass buying power left one time the rich lost out. Another subscriber was the immense stock lists
kept by many retail merchants. Since no 1 was purchasing no orders came in for many months, coercing concerns to layoff workers. Due
to the strong anti-union sentiment of the 20 & # 8217 ; s, there were no brotherhoods left to forestall the mass layoffs. Laying-off workers
constricted concern & # 8217 ; s markets still farther until they were forced to put off still more workers in an about unbreakable
downward spiral. By the spring of 1939, six months after the clang, 4 million people were unemployed and this was merely the tip
of the iceberg. By 1933 24.9 % of the work force would be unemployed. There would be an attempted military putsch and the
US would eventually travel off the gilded criterion. The Great Depression had begun.
The foremost inquiry in most people & # 8217 ; s mind when believing about The Depression is, & # 8220 ; Can and will it go on once more? & # 8221 ;
When asked this simple inquiry most experts agree that in our present economic state of affairs something like The Depression
couldn & # 8217 ; t develop. This is because the US passed many Torahs during the 30 & # 8217 ; s to forestall a stock market clang from re-occurring.
If something like The Depression started once more federal agency, like the Securities and Exchange Commission, would step in
and effort to forestall it. However, this is of small importance sine many of the causes of the 1929 clang are now illegal. First of
all commercial Bankss are no longer allowed to theorize in stocks. Second, the Federal Reserve now has greatly increased
power over involvement rates. Which gives them much greater power to forestall a clang. Another factor that makes it less likely for
a clang to happen is the riddance of the large investing trusts, except the common financess, which are extremely regulated. Incredibly,
the current revenue enhancement system helps forestall a clang by distributing the wealth from the really rich to the hapless. Unemployment
compensation and societal security, both passed in the 30 & # 8217 ; s, would assist keep an income base and protect the old should
another depression develop. Probably the individual most of import step against another depression is FDIC insurance, which
insures depositors & # 8217 ; money, up to $ 100,000. Bank failures were one of the most demoralising effects of the Depression. They
were besides one of the most dearly-won. FDIC insurance would cut down the consequence of most bank failures, moving like a brick wall to any
There are, nevertheless, a few factors in favour of a depression. The current loss of power in most labour brotherhoods could let a
depression to happen. This is because mass layoffs and decreases in wage could non be disputed without organized labour. A
farther job that could ensue in a clang is the current overvaluing of many stocks. During the mid-twentiess stock values soared
much beyond the existent worth of a company. The same thing is go oning today with companies like Yahoo! , presently valued
at over $ 200 a portion, even though it has yet to turn a net income Another job is an built-in defect in our free-enterprise system.
This defect is that net income will ever take precedency over the good of the people. This simple jurisprudence means that poorness will ever
be if we are to keep our competitive system.