NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
5th November, 1909 : America now has more than two million shareholders, making the economy more dependent than ever before upon the health of Wall Street, where at least $40 billion, a third of nation’s wealth, is now invested. Playing the stock market has become a favourite pastime for all social classes, from bell-boys to businessmen, and many have been made rich by large rises in share values. Railway dividends, for example, have trebled during the last ten years, while $1 billion is now paid out annually in stock dividends and only slightly less in bond earnings. Carnegie Steel Corporation has 100,000 shareholders compared with 63 a decade ago.