Talk:Wall Street Crash of 1929

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Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive This article was on the Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive for the week of January 31, 2007.
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Wall Street Crash of 1929:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • NPOV : check that all views are included
  • Verify : find additional references and add citations
  • Other : This article really needs a discussion of buying on margin, and the effects of that on the speculation that led to the crash. There also should be a discussion as to how the government's role created and/or affected the Great Crash.

Tuesday or Thursday?[edit]

Did the crash happen on Tuesday or Thursday — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:241:4200:1D10:10BE:B1DE:E653:DFEB (talk) 07:11, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Confusing Text[edit]

Does this make any sense:

The market had lost over $30 billion in the space of two days which included $14 billion on October 29 alone.[17]

If it was two days, the 'alone' portion should be 'which included 16 billion on October 28th alone'. However, since the amounts are basically the same, the thing really does not make much sense to me.

Should it maybe just simply read:

The market had lost over $30 billion in the space of two days.

DeepNorth (talk) 16:41, 21 July 2015 (UTC)


not very long for one of the biggest events of the 20th century... or is that more effects? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:06, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

The Associated Press today (09/29/08) said that the 700 point drop in the Stock Market is the BIGGEST EVER. Does this make the Crash of '29 the second worst?-- (talk) 20:16, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
No, declines are typically measured in percentage terms. Point totals are just headline fodder. Eusebeus (talk) 20:34, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
and even at that, the percentage is not among the information on the page. Somebody needs to put both figures in there for the number-crazies. (talk) 20:55, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

A part of the text had been obliterated by vandals. I have restored the missing section. Eusebeus (talk) 21:09, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Recent Edits and Changes[edit]

The root cause of the crash is missing from the article[edit]

Is it a bad idea to state the actual date, October 29, in the very first paragraph? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:45, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Seems no one has cited the root cause of all this, without which the bubble, and therefore, the subsequent crash, couldn't have happened, or at least not been so severe: The creation of the Federal Reserve Board in 1913, which allowed artificial manipulation (almost always upward) of the money supply, leading to the "Roaring 20s", and to the inevitable bursting of the balloon. Sorry I don't have time to find the citations and edit the article, but here it is on the talk pages, so anyone who's truly interested in fundamental causes and cause/effect can research it for themselves, and maybe edit the article. We continue to suffer from this mistake to this day (*literally* to this day), as another Fed-induced boom crashes. Unimaginative Username (talk) 09:11, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

That's an opinion, not an established fact. Galbraith's book on the crash for example is pretty dismissive of that explanation. G-Man ? 17:20, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Galbraith's book is Galbraith's opinion. The adoption of Galbraith's theories has done nothing to alleviate the problem; the hyperinflationary stagnation of the 1970s occurred while Galbraith's policies were in full force. Try reading alternative sources and economists, e. g., von Mises, Hayek, Milton Friedman. I readily acknowledge that the above post was my own opinion, which is why I didn't edit the article accordingly; as I explained, I haven't the time to dig up the proper citations from these sources. Contrary to popular belief, Galbraith isn't the only economist in the world, nor are his theories the only ones. They're just the only ones taught in Econ 101 in most (politically-liberal) colleges. His dismissal, appropriately sourced, is worthy of inclusion; my point was that the above theory, advocated by people with the appropriate letters after their names and therefore noteworthy, wasn't even mentioned in the article. Regards, Unimaginative Username (talk) 00:58, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Although Milton Friedman's work should be acknowledged adding words like 'the now standard intrupretaion' when describing his views and describing History of Money as 'monumental' is unneeded. Inturpreting his work as either right or wrong is the job of an economist not a wikipedia contributor. If you're an economist that believes his work was correct then you can submit your arguement to another site or blog.
  • The Federal Reserve's easy money policy of 1927, which expanded credit in an already booming economy that saw real wages rise, standard of living increase, and provided many technological break throughs, is the cause of the Depression. It is a fact. Go back to the original sources and the admission by Bernanke that yes, in fact, the Fed is and was the cause of the economic collapse. It wasn't Capitalism, tax cuts,or rampant greed. Galbraith was wrong and when one looks at the numbers and original sources,it is the fault of the fed, prolonged by Hoover's interventionist policies, and worsened by the New Deal. It is not a matter of oppinion, you can look at the charts, facts and figures. Considering also that the Austrian school predicted not only the crash but it's causes, they have a more valid claim to an explanation than that from the folks who didn't see it coming. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:18, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Saying something is a fact does not make it so. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:31, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

As to the crash itself[edit]

As to the crash itself, however, "Niall Ferguson, professor of history at Harvard University says 'Everybody assumes that 1929 was the big one, but 1914 was far, far worse.'"

Is there a way to work this quote in? Please do not delete my requests for help. Johndoeemail (talk) 16:44, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

I disagree that it's "far, far worse." The decline in the Dow from a peak in October 1912 at 94 down to 53 in December 1914 was not even 50%. --Robertknyc (talk) 18:51, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Key line from the Times article: "Ferguson believes that if the markets had remained open, the collapse would have been more serious than the Wall Street crash of 1929." Can't see any academic sourcing mentioned though (presumably Ferguson's published something on this), and don't have time to follow it up. Rd232 talk 11:23, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

General Comment on Sources[edit]

Most of the references that have been added by JohnDoe above are internet-available newspaper articles from sources like the FT & NYT that offer substantiation for the more serious aspects of the crash and its aftermath.

For a topic such as this one, however, those are simply too lightweight and insubstantial to be considered serious references. The encyclopedic treatment of this topic in other sources (Britannica, Economic History, etc...) would not permit such material and neither should we.

Now, the impulse to provide references is an excellent one, of course, and kudos to Johndoe for taking the time and effort to provide at least something to what was a hideously unsourced article - even unscholarly journalistic rehash is better than nothing.

Ultimately, if one wants to undertake a serious sourcing of the article, you would need to consult the scholarly material available. This is accessible on the web via Google Scholar and Google books - subscription access to any of the main scholarly journals would help. There is a standard literature on the subject of the Great Depression (of which this is a subset in the literature) and in order for this article to be considered as authoritative, it will need to be cited and the main arguments articulated. Let me hasten to add, this is not a criticism of any effort to provide references to an article. But if editors are serious about wishing to improve the overall quality, then much better material needs to be adduced. Encyclopedia articles on well known topics are not sourced from the New York Times. (I have refactored this discussion to make it easier to read.) Eusebeus (talk) 15:13, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Ok, you are right. I just looked at the featured article tulip mania on wikipedia and all the references are books or scholarly journals. Thanks for your input. Johndoeemail (talk) 18:51, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Worst crash of all time[edit]

I've fixed the dead link to the initial statement, but it seems, that as before, it states that it was the 'most savage bear market' of all time - not just in the history of the US. Pestergaines (talk) 10:10, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

NPOV Problem[edit]

The last paragraph cites a Washington Times article for the proposition that the depression was caused by a lack of lending to bail out Wall Street. Many people, both liberal and conservative, view the Washington Times as a conservative news source and I believe this to be a conservative view point. I believe the liberal view point is that the crash and the ensuing depression were caused by the income disparity. See

Thanks, (talk) 00:20, 5 October 2008 (UTC) Jeff

Or you could consider my suggestion, three paragraphs above as of this version, that the crash was not the problem, it was the result of the problem; the proximate cause being a speculative bubble, and the root cause being the creation of the Federal Reserve System with its virtually unlimited power to print worthless dollars and pump them into the economy. Some economists, notably the "liberals", believed, contrary to the laws of reality, that the creation of the Fed and its worthless "notes" could actually put the economy in a state of perpetual boom. Actual prosperity and wealth are created by producing actual goods and services, not by printing more money to chase the existing goods. So it wasn't the lack of lending to Wall Street that caused the crash, it was the lending to Wall Street that caused the bubble. You can't have a crash without a zoom or a bursting bubble without a bubble. You're welcome. Regards, Unimaginative Username (talk) 09:24, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Per my comment above, the current sourcing is inadequate to the topic at hand. Insofar as bad references are better than no references, I suppose they are salutary. But frankly, this is akin to sourcing the American Revolution from book reviews from the NYRB. As a result, POV one way or the other is a secondary concern to the need for better reference material. There various schools of thought as to the crash (one is presented above - viz the role of the FRS in creating cheap credit) and all should be noted in the article based on the credibility and acceptance they have received in the scholarly community. Needless to say, this article needs an enormous amount of work. Eusebeus (talk) 15:34, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
  • There is a problem with the "liberal" claim: Incomes, real wages, and standards of living all increased more rapidly than at any other time in the 20th century. Most of the growth was real, but the Fed's easy money, particularly in 1927, is what created a speculative bubble that inevitably burst in 1929 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Proposed Changes[edit]

Moved from top of page and titled by: Franamax (talk) 07:33, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

My name is Sara Moore. I am an economic historian. After the second paragraph under 'Impact and academic debate' I would like to insert two further paragraphs as follows

One factor, which experts have not taken into account, was the extent that the world was already a ‘global’ economy before the crash. In 1929 America and the Allies had decided they could trust Germany. They gave her what they believed was a generous deal over her payment of war reparations – the Young Plan – and promised to remove their troops and controls over the German economy too. However, in the autumn of 1929 newspaper magnate and leader of Germany’s second largest political party, Alfred Hugenberg, promoted a petition to have the whole German cabinet and the President tried for treason for accepting the Young Plan and all treaties since the war (including the Treaty of Versailles). The anticipated success of this petition must have affected Wall Street because it called into question, not only Germany’s payment of war reparations, and the allies relatated war debt payments but all the trust and friendship – and loans – that America and the Allies had offered Germany since the war. In 1930 Germany’s new Chancellor, Heinrich Brüning, continued the country’s campaign against paying war reparations. He was nicknamed Hungerkanzler at home because he lowered wages and put up taxes. As Germany was a stronger country than has until recently been supposed, with the greatest exports in the world in 1931, his deflation had a global effect.

My latest book 'How Hitler came to Power' (2006) is endorsed by Professor Capie, at present writing the latest volume of the History of the Bank of England. I have also had two articles published by the European Foundation's 'European Journal', one of which was called 'Germany - an emerging superpower? Comparisons with the 1930s' My latest article 'Germany Saint or Villain? the 1930s revisisted' is being considered for publication by the 'Spectator' [[Image:-- (talk) 07:13, 10 October 2008 (UTC)Example.jpg-- (talk) 07:13, 10 October 2008 (UTC)]]

Hi Sara, if you think you can improve our articles, then just be bold and do it. Don't get upset though if your changes are reverted. We like to see reliable and verifiable sources quoted to back up any additions. If your own work has been published in peer-reviewed journals or is discussed by other parties, it can be used as a reference. You will most certainly also have access to other sources which you can quote to back up your statements.
With ref to the changes you propose, are you sure that they are directly relevant to this article? For instance, the nickname of the German Chancellor may not contribute directly to our readers understanding of this topic. Perhaps you would consider creating an account to better facilitate communication. We can always use more help here. In any case, change away! If we don't like it, we'll just change it back :) Franamax (talk) 07:45, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Looking this over again, there are a few red flags in your post. One is the statement "experts have not taken into account" - this looks like a lead-in to original research. You need to be aware that Wikipedia is not the place to promote your original theories. Alternatively, looking at your edit summary, you say "This extract comes from the biography of Bruning..." - this implies that you have copied text from someone else's work, which is almost never allowed. The text you place into an article must be strictly your own, licensed for public use under GFDL unless you are quoting limited portions of a copyrighted work in a way that complies with fair-use rights. In particular, the copied text must be placed within quote marks and properly attributed. Franamax (talk) 08:14, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Just to echo Franamax, this is not the place for debates that are taking place within the academic literature. The article needs to reflect consensus scholarly opinion. Insofar as that consensus is swayed by a contribution such as the one indicated above, then there are no worries triggered its inclusion. However, that would need to be demonstrated I think. This is not the place to expound upon original (even if academically sanctioned) theories. I do not intend to in any way invalidate any ideas or views that Sara may have. Eusebeus (talk) 19:14, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Great Crash nicknames[edit]

I think there may not be enough nicknames for the 1929 Wall Street Great October Crash (my preferred name, which is not in the article) listed in the first sentence of the article. Can we consider adding more? Ideally, we should include every combination of the words "Wall Street," "1929," "Crash," "Great," and "October." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:04, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

It would be nice if someone could put them all in a section of their own, I don't want to just delete them but I don't think they should all be up there. (talk) 21:09, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Yeah they should all be deleted, those are simply the names used by authors of the articles and sources, anyone can call anything anything, that doesn't mean it is "also known as", known implies popular use, not "this one source that we used called it..", the entire sentence should be removed, "also known as" also implies that the nicknames would make the event or given subject unrecognizable as in "abraham lincoln, also known as abe or honest abe" since those ARE nicknames which a total stranger might not recognize. if anyone hears any one of these they will immediately recognize its about the crash or realize it was in october of 1929. -FranzSS (too lazy to sign in now that im stuck in editing....)

Movie based on the crash ?[edit]

Was there ever a movie made based on the wall street crash because if there is i would like to see it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:34, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

If someone can figure this out, I think we should include it in a new trivia section on this page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:57, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

A lot of names[edit]

The first sentence of this article reads as follows (I've left out the citations):

The Wall Street Crash of 1929 also known as the ’29 Crash, the Great Crash of 1929, the Great Crash of October 1929, the Great Wall Street Crash of 1929, 1929 Great Crash, or the Great Crash was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, taking into consideration the full extent and longevity of its fallout.

If you want to catalog all of the names that people have used (meeting notability requirements) for the Great Depression, you will get a very long list -- much longer than the list in the aforewritten sentence. The article names seven of the undoubted dozens of alternate names for the '29 Crash that have been used in publications over the last 75+ years. Doesn't this seems like a bit much to anyone? It sure does to me. Why stop at just seven? One could easily name fifteen alternate names with citations on each of them to boot. The bottom line is that having each of these seven names listed in the first sentence of the lede makes the sentence sound muddled and, well, ridiculous. Yes, it is true that other articles do list multiple names that the given subject goes by. But these articles usually limit the number of alternate names to two or three at most. Perhaps some editors who are invested in this article can pick out the two or three most common of alternate names and keep them in the article, deleting the remaining ones. If not, the lede will continue to sound messy and absurd. ask123 (talk) 22:58, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

I totally agree with this and suggest we cut it down to two or three. My recommendations would be: The Wall Street Crash of 1929, The Great Crash, and 29 Crash. --Robertknyc (talk) 19:39, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

If there's no further input I suggest we make an edit here...any final comments? --Robertknyc (talk) 22:44, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

No, I completely disagree. We should have at least seven nicknames listed, and my top choices are "1929 Wall Street Great October Crash," "Street, Wall October 1929 Crash of Greatness," and "The '29, 19 October Street Crash of the Great Wall." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:18, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Quotation Mark Error[edit]

In the second paragraph of the Effects and academic debate section, the fourth sentence has an error. It says: The main question is: Did the "'29 Crash spark The Depression?", or did it merely coincide with the bursting of a credit-inspired economic bubble? I think that the quotation marks should only be around '29 Crash, or around the whole question (Did the "'29 Crash spark The Depression?", or did it merely coincide with the bursting of a credit-inspired economic bubble?). JoshE3 (talk) 00:37, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

The quotation marks seem to be around the part of the sentence which is exactly present in the quoted NY Times source. The ugly cut off is a consequence of the newspaper title style leaving out "the", something which doesn't look good in an encyclopedia article. --Ørjan (talk) 01:31, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Worldwide Affects[edit]

Would someone please make a section on how the crash impacted the rest of the world and not just America? JoshE3 (talk) 01:03, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Corrected nonsense about 1987[edit]

The article stated that 1987's crash was "Even more severe" than that of 1929. I'm sure almost all of you understand that this is incorrect, indeed nonsensically so. I replaced the text with " Although much less significant (since it wasn't part of a multi-day trend) the one-day crash of Black Monday, October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.6% was worse in percentage terms than any single day of the 1929 crash."

I thought that would be the end of it, but someone reverted to the old version. I reverted back to mine. Glad to help. Jamesdowallen (talk) 08:12, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Minor nit about wording.[edit]

The article has "The October 1929 crash came during a period of declining real estate values in the United States (which peaked in 1925)".

Did the real estate values peak in 1925? Or was that the peak of "declining values"? I can *guess* the correct answer from context ... but I'm not supposed to need to guess.Jamesdowallen (talk) 08:05, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

The decline of real estate prices that began in 1926 was triggered by multiple hurricanes that popped the real estate bubble in Florida and spread to other states as national banks became more cautious. Greensburger (talk) 03:51, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Statement about end of the Depression is inaccurate.[edit]

The statement in the first paragraph that the Depression "did not end in the United States until the onset of American mobilization for World War II at the end of 1941," is inaccurate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average unemployment rate in 1941 was 9.9%. American mobilization for World War II began in December of 1941 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I do not know exactly what unemployment rate constitutes a "depression" but we can safely say it is substantially above 10%. Therefore the Depression was over before Pearl Harbor and the American mobilization.

The link for the BLS page is:

AsFields (talk) 05:36, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

It would be accurate to say "until the start of US rearmament in 1940 prior to World War II". The reason for the rearmament was WWII, so it is factual that the end of the depression was directly related to the war. See the graph at Great_Depression#Turning point and recovery. VMS Mosaic (talk) 00:27, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Too many quotes in section[edit]

Hi all,

I noticed that the section Effects and academic debate contains what look like waay too many quotations. Did someone vandalize the page? If not, can someone fix it so that it contains more paraphrases?


The Doctahedron, 00:05, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Quotations from contemporary 1929 financial newspapers and 1929 economists provide freshness and authenticity to historical statements that would, as paraphrases, seem like present day interpretations that may not accurately reflect what knowledgable people were saying in 1929. And such suspicion of editorial bias can persist even if the 1929 sources were cited as references. Better to quote the sources verbatim. Greensburger (talk) 03:41, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Doctahedron (who should consider registering an account rather than spoofing their signature), the use of quotations through some areas of this article is excessive. There's almost no reason to have back-to-back quotations like this. WP:LONGQUOTE has a few bits of advice:
  • Using too many quotes is incompatible with the encyclopedic writing style.
  • Intersperse quotations with original prose that comments on those quotations instead of constructing articles out of quotations with little or no original prose.
NULL talk
04:06, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree that most of the question marks are not needed. So I deleted them and rephrased some sentences. The quote from Irving Fisher should remain in quotes to illustrate how a very smart, informed, and highly respected academic, can completely misjudge the situation. Greensburger (talk) 16:22, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Black Thursday[edit]

The edit Black Tuesday by User:David.moreno72 does not hit the mark, as Tuesday October 24, 1929 (Black Tuesday) was just one of the days to follow the "Big Crash". Eponymous was the Big Stock Market Crash of 1929 of October 24, 1929 (Black Thursday). Other days just followed: October 28, 1929 (Black Monday), October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday) ... — See also:  . . . As a result of this the stock-market crashed, a day that would go down in history as, “Black Thursday.” --Gerhardvalentin (talk) 22:29, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Wall Street Crash of 1929. Known as Black Thursday or Black Tuesday ?[edit]

There has been a spate of vandalism and/or edit war on the common name for the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Although the start of the crash started on "Black Thursday", and continued on "Black Monday", most historians agree that it is more famously known as "Black Tuesday", as this was the day of a record breaking volume and is considered as the day that the stock market crashed and the start of the Great Depression. I provided a link to a reputable source in the hope that the vandalism would stop. It hasn't. I have therefore provided a citation to a government source in the hope that it will stop. Also, a search for "Black Thursday" at the Library of Congress has only 1 relevant result, whereas a search for "Black Tuesday" returns 9 relevant results, a clear indication that "Black Tuesday" is the more famous name — Preceding unsigned comment added by David.moreno72 (talkcontribs) 08:44, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

London Stock Exchange[edit]

Paragraph four of the Timeline section suggests that the London Stock Exchange crashed as a result of the conviction of Clarence Hatry for fraud and the freezing of his company's shares. I have found references to a "drop", but nothing that describes it as a "crash". Perhaps it should be altered? Cwbr77 (talk) 17:59, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Didn't the crash affect the entire United States?[edit]

I assumed that the name of the article was based on the metonym of "Wall Street" referring to the entire U.S. financial sector, as didn't the crash affect the entire United States and even help to precipitate the Great Depression? I know that the area considered in New York when referring to the Great Crash would literally have been Wall Street, but a lot more than Wall Street in New York went down. With that being said, why is every single image in the United States just of New York's Wall Street? There were certainly gatherings in places other than New York during the Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression. Dustin (talk) 16:21, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Hello? I don't know how to draw attention to my inquiry, so if anyone sees this, please take the time to respond. Dustin (talk) 03:54, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

The article Great Depression, mentioned in this article's 2nd sentence, discusses the wider effects at length. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:49, 1 January 2015 (UTC)