On Thursday 24 October 1929 the New York Stock Exchange experienced a catastrophic fall in share prices. Along with the panic selling of shares and the plummeting prices, an entire world was about to sink into depression on an unprecedented scale, soon to be followed first by poverty and starvation and then by world war. During the following three years, industrial production in the United States fell by 50 per cent and output of capital goods fell by 75 per cent. The official statistics for persons unemployed and in receipt of welfare assistance from the State spoke of a total of ten million, but the real total was probably nearer twenty million — more than a third of the total workforce. In Germany, industrial production over the same period fell by 40 per cent and the number of unemployed reached 6 million. Wholesale prices fell by 40 per cent in France, by 56 per cent in the United Kingdom and by 51 per cent in the United States. The New York Stock Exchange Index stood at 216 at the beginning of September 1929: by June 1932 it had fallen to 34, a fall of 80 per cent.
KeywordsInterest Rate Money Supply Bank Lending Wholesale Prex York Stock Exchange
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