Skip to comments.A College Freshman History Text on the Stock Market Crash of 1987.
Posted on 08/22/2006 10:51:02 AM PDT by mcvey
A seeming epidemic of greed and self-absorbed materialism had spread through the country. Wall Street witnessed a rash of arrests and convictions . . . .
And more government officials, including Attorney General Edwin Meese, became entangled in the web of corruption. Commentators talked of a compulsive materialism energizing the . . . professionals dubbed Yuppies. Caught up in the race for money, goods, and status, these baby boomers in the fast lane captured the tone and mood of affluent life in the 1980s.
Then on October 19, 1987, the bill collector suddenly arrived at the nations doorstep.
The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted . . . an astounding 22.6 percent.
What caused such a goring of the bull market?
But most [analysts] agreed that the . . . problem was the nations spiraling indebtedness and chronically high trade deficits. Americans were consuming more than they were producing, importing the difference, and paying for with borrowed money . . . Foreign investors had lost confidence in Reaganomics and were no longer willing to finance Americas spending binge.
For the first time, [Reagan] indicated that he was willing to include increased taxes in such a package. Yet the eventual compromise plan was so modest that it did little to restore investor confidence. As one Republican senator lamented: There is a total lack of courage among those of us in the Congress to do what we all know has to be done.
George Brown Tindall and David Shi, American A Narrative History (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004) Brief Sixth Ed., pp. 1188-1189.
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Automated sell programs made the problem several times worse than it should have been.
No bias there, kiddies, move along!.........
How old are you that you can be a professor in a college and not be able to claim the 80s as an era which you are intimately aware of?
That is covered in this sentence:
"Others blamed new computerized trading programs that distorted market activity and misled individual investors." p. 1188
And note the prescription of that surefire fixall- the tax increase.
Sounds more like the '40's, '50's and 60's to me.
But what about that government corruption in the '90's? Worst ever.
All I know is the stock market crashed in 1987 when Steinbrenner announced that Billy Martin was coming back to manage the Yankees.
Quick before the semester starts: Paul Johnson's A History of the American People published by Harper Collins.
That should do it. Your students will thank you (and Johnson) for it.
Most of the rest is outright propaganda from the left.
I was already a professor when this happened. In fact I was driving to work listening to reports that day.
But I am not a specialist in this era and I do not have the Reagan presidency at my fingertips in the way that others do. I try to present a professional course to my students and would like to shoot this out of the sky since my recollection is that this is nonsense. But I am not an economist and do not have the data easily at hand.
That is, if most analysts have a few extra chromosomes.
The crash had a lot to do with the internal strucutures set up at the NYSE, including computer trading with no stop limits. The market acutally bounced back in a fairly big way THE NEXT TRADING DAY! And, for the record, the Dow was up at the end of '87 for the year.
Bubbles and their popping happen because of the introduction of radically new technologies. Everyone knows that the technology is promising in the aggregate, but no one yet knows how. That is what entrepreneurs have to sort out. In the 1980s the personal computer was worming its way into society, just as the Internet was in the late 1990s. (In the 1920s, another famous bubble, it was electricity, radio and cars.) In the 1980s the Reagan tax cuts unleashed a lot of stock-market experimentation, further pumping up the bubble. These are unavoidable events given certain kinds of technological developments.
The 1987 crash was arguably a momentary pause in a boom that has been going on for over 20 years.
I don't have that option. We have a program where we agree on textbooks and then we all use them. I am trying to get the least nutty.
Thank you, old left, that is the type of data for which I was looking.
Media Schadenfreude and Media Shenanigans PING
The 1990s were the decade of GREED, not the 1980s.
How do they come up with this crap?!
Let me guess, it goes on to say that "the worst economy since Hoover continued until America came to its senses and elected Clinton in 1992."
Does it say anywhere in this "textbook" that the Dow was up for the year at the end of 1987?
And what is this nonsense about foreign investors losing confidence? It was during this time and afterwards that the Japanese went on a spending binge and started paying unheard of prices for prime NYC and California properties and companies.
Oh I see. A case of academic "freedom" to use only leftist texts.
So what's wrong with Johnson: eminent historian. Get everyone to agree. Tell them he's a Euro leftie.
Yes, wagglebee, I had forgotten all about that spending spree. This is a subject I cover once a year and that had slipped my mind.
Thank you . . . great piece of data.
If my memory serves, the DOW recovered 100% of that "crash" the very next day.
Hey dude, you could say the exact same thing about today. Or 1996. Or 1976. Or 1966. We are more in debt, have way bigger chronic trade deficits, are paying with more borrowed money, and are consuming way more now than in the 1980s. And besides, the stock market "crash" (really just a market correction, albeit a steep one, "crash" is a complete misnomer created by the press) had nothing at all to do with foreigners not wanting to finance our "spending binge." Foreigners were and are completely willing to buy our bonds. Stocks had just become temporarily over-valued, and had recovered all their losses within a couple of years. It was an EXCEPTIONALLY good time to buy stocks.
So, this doesn't explain anything, except by putting the nebulous label "Reaganomics" on it and expecting rows of gullible college students to go, "Yeah, the evil Reaganomics."
Throw that book out and look for something that isn't just a polemic.
Probably teaching at a publicly-funded college, where ignorance of Republican policies is a prerequisite for employment.
Depressingly, he or she can be in his late 20's or early 30's. I was born in '77 (so, I was only 10 when all of that was going on) and have friends I graduated with who are MD's. How much longer does it take to get a PhD. I could easily have a masters by now.
Excellent recommendation. My high school kid read it (calling it her "nosebleed" book) but she did finish it and learned a tremendous amount of factual history from it.
Try "Modern Times" by Johnson as well.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Meese's "corruption" accepting a gold watch from the Japanese?
As an aside, I'm taking a micro-economics class this fall. God help me.
No, ark_girl . . . it is he and I had my first master's before you were born.
Do you actually have to use the textbook. I remember classes in college where the professor told us on the first day of class that we didn't even need to bother buying the textbook because he wasn't going to use it and everything came from handouts and his lectures.
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Place marker (for later reading).
well then your textbook was written by idiots.
1) We are Americans, and "get" Americanism more than he does;
2) PJ is weakest on economics. If you look closely, he has multiple, mutually-exclusive explanations for the Great Depression.
3) HofAmPeeps only goes up to something like the early 1990s. Our paperback goes up to mid-2006!!!
IIRC they bought Rockefeller Center and Pebble Beach for more than double fair market value at the time.
Actually, I have used textbooks in the past where I sat there day-after-day pointing out inaccuracies and bias.
It is fun for the students and fun for me and my colleagues HATE it.
Okay, I see. Seemed a little odd. I was 7 or 8 when it happened.
If you do a quick poll of young adults, you'll discover that most of them are aware of the recession during the late 1970s, the recession in the early 1990s (Bush 41), and the ongoing recession that we're currently in.
They'll also be aware of the big boom during the 90s, which they'll all know was the best economy ever.
What you'll probably also discover is that almost none will know about a stock market crash in 1987, which would be a big indicator that the crash was not a major crash, and doesn't deserve much in the way of emphasis except to note that it happened. Now, the tech bubble burst is a much more notable "crash" in that it had far reaching consequences and wiped out billions of dollars in wealth, taking many years to recover, and that recovery being fragile as a snowflake on a cold spring morning.
As for our current recession, and other misinformation touted in text books, in the news, and by liberal professors - just take an economics 101 book off the shelf and do a couple units on basic macroeconomics. Clear, dry, and unbiased economics is 100% conservative. It can't help but be conservative, which is why liberal economics professors don't teach from the text book.
Will do and thanks!
Options trading was out of control in those days, too. Everybody was selling puts and praying the market would continue upward. It didn't, and lots and lots of folks had to meet disastrous margin calls, selling into a down market and making it worse.
By far, it has the most up-to-date research; most consistently-argued conclusions; and most thorough coverage of anything that is out there.
"And more government officials, including Attorney General Edwin Meese, became entangled in the web of corruption. Commentators talked of a compulsive materialism energizing the . . . professionals dubbed Yuppies. Caught up in the race for money, goods, and status, these baby boomers in the fast lane captured the tone and mood of affluent life in the 1980s.
Then on October 19, 1987, the bill collector suddenly arrived at the nations doorstep."
In 1980 the boomers ranged from age 16 to 34, how can they be responsible for every bad thing that has happened in America for the last 50 years.
I don't envy your challenge in getting balanced history textbooks.
I'm afraid I'm old enough to have grown up in an affluent "Oil Town"
in Oklahoma in the 1970s.
And thus also saw the oil boom of the last 1970s and oil-crash of
Stuff like seeing guys that didn't have high-school diplomas that could get
bankers/investors shoving millions at them with just the prospect of drilling
I was working in graduate school when the 1987 "crash"
(it was a bump) occurred.
If there was an epoch of greed...it happened in the 1990s.
That was when a "new era economy" was hailed and stock prices rocketed
without any apparent fundamentals.
I think someone even wrote a book about their experience in launching a tech
start-up called "Burn Rate". The theme was that the faster the company expended
money (even without revenues), the higher their stock went.
But I wouldn't expect a textbook to speak badly of the 1990s as the true
"decade of greed".
Because textbook writers/revisionists liked the guy that was in the White House
for most of that decade.
For your reading about the current state of history education:
first paragraph under the heading of
Our Failure, Our Duty
On a personal note, my dad's business went from 10-15 employees to 50-60 after his tax cuts... Contrary to the democrat lies, businesses do reinvest in their companies when they get to keep more of it.
Good points and thank you. History is hard to kill--although my colleagues take a run at it.
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