The Great Crash of 1929

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In The Great Crash 1929, John Kenneth Galbraith considers the significance of the stock market crash of 1929 and the depression which followed. In the introduction, which was included for the 1988 release, he discusses the comparisons between the Great Crash of 1929 and the Crash of 1987. He refers to the date October 19, 1987, as "the most devastating day in the history of financial markets at least since the bursting of the South Sea Bubble." He asks, how many economists and investors were observing to see if the safeguards put in place to stop this kind of crash would work and prevent a repeat of 1929? These protections did appear to work and many believed that another crash, such as the Great Crash of 1929, was impossible given the current set-up of the market, governmental screening, and other controls now put in place. Galbraith finds that The Great Crash of 1929 was not a random event. He observes that earlier in history there had been many other preceding examples. Galbraith begins in 1928, as President Calvin Coolidge gave his last State of the Union address to Congress where he expressed a great deal of optimism after the booming progress of the 1920's. President Coolidge talked about the economic success of the country. "There was much good about the world of which Coolidge spoke… The rich were getting richer much faster than the poor were getting less poor. " According to Galbraith, there was a high employment rate as well as production. "Wages were not going up much, but prices were still stable. Although many people were still very poor, more people were comfortably well-off…" He goes on to make mention of the land boom in Florida earlier in the 1920's. People were flocking to Florida, buying up land with the hopes that the values would greatly increase. Even though the real estate boom in Florida came to an end, it expressed the ideology of Americans at that time. "They were displaying an inordinate desire to get rich quickly with a...