The experience of the 1930s makes me think that the present downturn will be relatively long and difficult
Today I am celebrating my 80th birthday, an age that seems less formidable when one has reached it than when one can see it only from afar.
I was born on July 14, 1928, about 15 months before the American boom of the 1920s came to its rather abrupt end. Like everyone else, I am naturally curious to see whether the global credit crunch is going to be a brief interruption in global prosperity, or the prelude to a longer and deeper depression.
I cannot claim to have clear memories of the 1929 Wall Street Crash, which occured when I was 1year old, or of Britain leaving the gold standard in 1931, when I was 3 years old.
I do however, remember newspaper articles about the later stages of the Depression. In the 1930s, my parents read The Times, the Financial Times and the Daily Mail.
Related articles and videos:
– More Than 300 US Banks to Fail, Says RBC Capital Markets Analyst
– Run on banks spells big trouble for US Treasury
– US: Total Crash of the Entire Financial System Expected, Say Experts
– The Dollar is doomed and the Fed will fail
– Fannie, Freddie insolvent, Poole tells Bloomberg
– Foreclosures Rose 53% in June, Bank Seizures Triple
– Small Banks: Billions in Troubled Construction Loans
– Financial market losses could top 1,600 billion dollars: report
– Dow suffers worst 1st half since ‘70
– Fortis Bank Predicts US Financial Market Meltdown Within Weeks
– Barclays warns of a financial storm as Federal Reserve’s credibility crumbles
– Jim Rogers: Avoid The Dollar At All Costs
– Ron Paul on Iran and Energy June 26, 2008
– Marc Faber: ‘Misleading’ Fed Should Let Banks Fail
I can remember the news stories of the Jarrow march of the unemployed. I also remember discussing with my mother a lead story which reported that farm workers’ pay was to be raised 6d (2p) to what would now be £1.50 a week. The depression was a fact of existence in the North Somerset coalfield up to the outbreak of war in 1939.
Fortunately, there has only been one Great Depression in my lifetime, but there has also been a Great Inflation. In 2006 Pickering and Chatto, which I refounded in the 1980s, had the good timing to publish a three-volume History of Financial Disasters, under the general editorship of Mark Duckenfield.