The great bull market of the 1920s and the spectacular collapse of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in late 1929 occupy a pivotal position in popular explanations of the cause of the Great Depression. In the early part of 1928, the Federal Reserve Board began to feel a little uneasy about the situation in the stock market, where prices had been rising with alarming rapidity. Given that there have been more than 32,000 trading sessions since then, the judgment of at least this swath of history is that in any given six-month period there is a 0.79% chance of a daily crash that severe. Historically, this month is the worst month of the year for stocks, and most of the biggest stock market crashes throughout our history have come in the fall. We can infer unfavorable market internals in that instance because we know that cumulative NYSE breadth was declining for months before the 1929 high. Uncertainty seems to have increased already during the summer, and the crash brought about a substantially larger increase.
These studies mainly focus on the factors leading to a crash and on the volatility and co-movements of stock market indexes during and after the crash. The Great Crash of 1929 propelled gold, a historically viable store of value and durable medium of exchange, to unprecedented value. To put these survey responses into context, consider that the 1987 and 1929 crashes were the two worst one-day plunges since the DJIA was created in 1896. Wall Street financers were able to reverse the downward plunge only by buying as many shares of stock as they could over the next two days. It occurred on Black Tuesday, October 29, the day the stock market experienced the greatest crash in its history. Eric, I fear that this coming September – October all hell will break loose in the world economy and markets.
One motivation for adding these questions is that expectations about stock returns are a key component in determining retirement saving and portfolio choice. Prior to the Great Stock Market Crash, the United States was enjoying a sustained period of economic growth. It well may, but be careful in presupposing the relationship will hold up… particularly if the next market crash puts pressure on the European banking system. Note that potential heterogeneity in the effect of the crash implies that the average effect could go either way. Though the market ended on a positive note on Thursday, there was still some panic among the people. The crash may affect the population average of expected returns for various reasons.
However, during this period stock prices were rising far more rapidly than dividends, and it is reasonable to assume that the judgement of a number of investors was clouded by the prospect of an inexorable increase in stock prices. On October 23, the stock market lost thirty-one points, approximately seven percent of its value. A well-respected financial expert that correctly predicted the last two stock market crashes is now warning that we are right on the verge of the next one. There were already fears the election could cause a stock market crash in 2016 before voting started on Tuesday. Bond proceeds frequently ended up buying back shares or boosting dividends, thus elevating the stock market on the back of heavier debt levels on corporate balance sheets. This quick and precipitous decline in stocks’ value in October 1929 became known as the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
Early in the Depression President Herbert Hoover had asked the Senate Banking and Currency Committee to investigate trading practices on Wall Street. Note that, similarly to stockholding status, whether one follows the stock market is potentially endogenous to the stock market crash. Meanwhile, China bears like Jim Chanos have returned with cataclysmic warnings about why the Chinese market meltdown will mean the end of the financial universe as we know it. Our interpretation of the results is that it was largely similar before and after the stock market crash. Subprime financial crisis-related events that triggered the top two largest single-day Dow drops also accounted for the fourth, fifth, and tenth largest single-day crashes in Dow history, all occurring in 2008. The New York Stock Exchange was founded in 1817, although its origins date back to 1792 when a group of stockbrokers and merchants signed an agreement under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street.