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October 29, 1929 will be a day no one will ever forget in America. It is written in in the hearts of Americans decades after it happened. On this day, which is popularly referred to as the black Tuesday, Wall Street investors traded more than 16 million shares in the New York Stocks Exchange (NYSE) which left many investors and Americans in general in shock. Billions of dollars were lost. Many Americans wept, got depressed and others died. Some, including some of the richest people of the time suffered a lot by losing their money. Today, many books have been written and movies acted about the great depression. Up to date, the great depression is the world’s greatest economic disaster that has ever been witnessed. Before that in the early 1920s, many Americans took solace in the stocks exchange. Many of them put all their money on the exchange and hoped to have a great retirement and economic future. With the great depression, all these hopes and aspirations were diminished. In addition, many Americans who were then working in the manufacturing sectors lost their jobs while others who were left working had to go on with very little money. Many Americans who were in debt had to make due with missing their payment obligations. The agriculture, manufacturing and financial sectors were the most hit.
Early October 1929, the price of stocks began to decline. On 18th October, there was panic among the investors at the NYSE. On the material day, investors panic increased and a record of more than 12 million shares were traded for a bargain. Companies and investment bankers attempted to save the market by introducing share buy backs which investors never took notice on. On Friday, there was a little rally and investors decided to buy shares because of the buyback. However, on Monday, there was a ‘storm’ in the exchange when the buyback period ended. On Black Tuesday, the stocks declined completely. More than 16 million shares were traded. Billions of dollars from individuals and institutional investors were lost because the exchange could not handle that kind of volume.
After the black Tuesday, there was a sign of recovery when the stock prices started to go up. Americans had a sigh of relief because of this signal though it was short lived. The stock prices continued to go down up to 1932. By this time, American’s confidence in the stock exchange and the business leaders had diminished. It is important to understand that the drop in price of shares was not the sole cause of the great depression. There was more into that story than what met the eye. Many research papers have been written, movies acted ad newspaper articles have been published. By 1933, all American banks had failed and more than 15 million people were unemployed. President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated talks to end the depression. He introduced vital reform measures. His input at the time did a lot to lessen the burden of American people.
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