october memories / 24

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)

24th October, 1929 : In an unprecedented wave of fear, confusion and panic, nearly 13 million shares changed hands on the New York Exchange today. Dazed brokers waded through a sea of paper clutching frightened investors’ order to “sell at any price”. At the peak of panic selling this morning, the market ceased to function as such and turned into a mad clamour of salesmen looking for non-existent buyers. Stocks were being dumped overboard for whatever they could bring, and prices plummeted as much as ten points between sales. The crisis started early, when sheer volume of selling caused the prices to drop sharply. The ticker tape started to lag behind, and as prices fell faster and further, spot quotations began to show shocking collapses in value. The bottom truly dropped out at around 11.30 a.m. Police riot squads were called in to try to disperse the hysterical crowds gathering in Wall Street awaiting the news.

 

About Avadoro Worden

Iconoclast
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