American academic says similarities exist between Wall Street meltdown and Great DepressionOctober 11th, 2008 - 1:14 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Oct.11 (ANI): A professor of history and director of American Studies at Temple University, Bryant Simon, has said that there are some obvious similarities and differences between todays crisis and the Great Depression of the 1920s and early 1930s.
But the one key difference, said Simon, is that society in the 1930s was better organized, and social groups — such as labor and even small business groups — were better able to push back against Congress.
First, both were triggered by speculation, unregulated financial markets, and a failure of confidence. FDR closed the banks to restore credit, said Simon.
Additionally, both crises were all-time lows for Wall Street although the anti-Wall Street language in the 1930s was more pointed and directed, Simon noted
But, according to Simon, the Great Depression was much more severe because it hit a nation without a safety net. When people fell there was nothing to catch them.
That safety net was built by the New Deal and whatever the New Deal’’s flaws it has helped to prevent another collapse by allowing people to keep spending, said Simon.
A key difference, said Simon, is that society in the 1930s was better organized, and social groups — such as labor and even small business groups — were better able to push back against Congress.
Perhaps this push against Congress by a tightly-knit social infrastructure led to the New Deals bailing out of banks and homeowners at the same time, explained Simon. (ANI)
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