Market Crises

According to Otto Lightner, one of this exhibit's featured authors, "Depressions and trade upheavals have swayed the course of humanity in its struggles equally as much as has war. . . . Were it not for the demands of commerce," he continues, "we should probably still be in a state of feudalism." Whatever the truth of Lightner's pronouncement, the cycles of boom and bust that have marked the history of finance certainly have altered the world's social, political, and of course, economic landscape. The number of books that study financial panics of the past illuminate the changes these debacles have effected and the situations that caused them to occur. Armed with such knowledge, the authors of these works aim to prevent economic crises in the future, or at least to warn and protect individual readers against the adverse effects of financial depressions.

Bladen, Ashby. How to Cope with the Developing Financial Crisis. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980.

One of a crop of "caveat emptor" books from the early 1980's prophesizing the imminent collapse of real estate prices, and more seriously, of the debt-driven economy. The book includes lessons in micro and macro economics as well as suggestions for national policy changes and suggests courses of defensive action for the American public. First edition with dust jacket.

Burton, Theodore, E. Financial Crises. New York: Appleton, 1931.

This thorough study begins by clarifying different financial terms and then examines not the particular circumstances of commercial crises but their "general and dominating character." In this manner, the author hopes to correct the mistakes of previous studies which stop their investigations "at the immediate or secondary causes by which [crises] are determined" by looking at the "primordial cause which engenders" all such crises. First edition, hardbound with dust jacket.

Collman, Charles Albert. Our Mysterious Panics 1830-1930. New York: Morrow, 1931.

"It is the purpose of this work to undertake a journey into a region not yet explored--into that complex, human problem of a century of Wall Street panics." Each chapter profiles the persons and institutions behind the conditions of various panic periods and asks: what caused these panics and what can we learn from them for the future? First edition, hardbound.

Erleigh, Viscount. The South Sea Bubble. Manchester, England: Peter Davies Limited, 1933.

Anentertaining and informative treatment of the notorious 18th century scheme to refinance England's national debt through the stock of the South Sea Company. In a move that presaged some later-day stock exchange frauds, promotional blitzes combined with speculative mania to lift the price of the South Sea Company to dizzying heights, until the bubble burst. First edition, hardbound with illustrations.

Fisher, Irving. Booms and Depressions: Some First Principles. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1933.

This text examines nine main factors, including over-indebtedness, price levels and interest rates, that led to the financial collapse of 1929. After discussing the conditions of each of the nine factors that created an atmosphere ripe for panic, the author offers a series of suggestions for citizens and governments to prevent such panics in the future. First American edition, hardbound.

Fisher, Irving. The Stock Market Crash--And After. New York: MacMillan, 1930.

Ina move away from those discussions of the crash that cast blame on different persons and groups for the 1929 debacle, Fisher's study looks back at the months preceding the crash and notes not only the reasons why the steep decline was inevitable but the reasons, too, why in the light of unprecedented business growth, many investors did not see the crash coming. First edition, hardbound.

Fullerton, Francis C. "After the Break--What?" The Magazine of Wall Street. 45 (1929): 93-96, 170.

Fullerton's essay about the coming rebound in stock prices proved to be a little too optimistic. Though the stock market did, in fact, return to its pre-crash levels, it would not reach new highs until 1954.

Funk, Wilfred J. When the Merry-Go-Round Breaks Down. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1938.

A collection of newspaper clippings that chronicle "man's reactions to the troubles that have beset him in the past hundred years." A marked pattern of denial, despair, outrage, and finger-pointing divulges itself in every case and invariably, each crisis is deemed "the worst ever." First edition, hardbound.

Galbraith, John Kenneth. The Great Crash 1929. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1955.

Inthis book, Galbraith tells "of the breathtaking ascent of the Coolidge bull market, of the ultratentative efforts of the government to check it, of the investment trust promotions which, for a time, dwarfed the operations of the U. S. Treasury, and of the people in high places and low who made speculation a way of life. . . .Then came the collapse." First edition, hardbound with dust jacket.

Knapp, Paul. The Berengaria Exchange. New York: Dial Press, 1972.

A factual account of the events on board a luxury cruise liner equipped with its own brokerage office. When the ship takes to the seas during the week of the 1929 stock market crash, a rocky ride ensues. First printing, hardbound with illustrations and dust jacket.

Lauck, W. Jett. The Causes of the Panic of 1893. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1907.

This book considers the severe financial panic that gripped Europe in 1890 in order to discover if the American panic three years later was a result of conditions overseas. Ultimately, since Lauck concludes that the two financial crises were independent, his study elucidates the causes and results of two very distinct types of market panics. First edition, hardbound.

Lawrence, John F. and Paul E. Steiger. The 70s Crash and How Survive It. New York: World Publishing, 1970.

When the stock market dropped broadly in 1970, not everyone called it a crash, but investors lost lots of money. "The authors have written this book to show 'just what did go on behind the scenes in the stock market of the late 1960s . . . who it was that pushed stock prices to such artificial heights and how they did it . . . to arouse enough concern that steps are taken to see that they aren't permitted to do it again." Second printing, hardbound with dust jacket.

Leinbach, Arthur M., "Forthcoming Events Cast Their Shadow in the Stock Market." The Magazine of Wall Street. 43 (1929): 913-14.

Anyone who heeded Mr. Leinbach's advice in this study from March of 1929 would have been wise indeed. After an assessment of the credit markets, interest rates and recent stock market activity, Leinbach concludes with this advice from then Federal Reserve Secretary, "buy bonds."

Levien, J.R. Anatomy of a Crash--1929. New York: Trader's Press, 1966.

The purpose of this book "is to review 1929 in detail so that the reader can get a close look at the phenomena of a panic and actually see how the public is slow recognizing a boom and won't believe a bust." Surely, Levien concedes, no two panics will ever be exactly alike, but in surveying the price patterns of the 1929 crash this author hopes to answer questions like "what does a top look like? Do prices go straight down? Are their rallies?" and "Are their opportunities on the upside?" First edition, hardbound.

Lightner, Otto C. History of Business Depressions. New York: Northeastern, 1922.

Lightner's work, written after the 1920 depression which led to his friend's suicide, surveys financial depressions from ancient commerce to 1921. In the last analysis, this author's history maintains that financial upheavals and their resultant reforms have "swayed the course of humanity in its struggles equally as much as has war." First edition, hardbound.

Perkins, D.W. Wall Street Panics: 1813-1930. Waterville, NY, 1931.

This book consists of 27 independent chapters, each of which tells the story behind a different stock market panic, some small and short-lived, others debilitating the nation. Also included are brief biographical notes on notable exchange personages and other relevant information pertaining the events described within the text. First edition, hardbound.

Smith, Dan Throop. Deficits and Depressions. New York: Wiley & Sons, 1936.

"An investigation of the relations between government and financing, the banking system and business--a judicious and impartial survey of the various dangers and benefits which may arise from the unbalanced budget"--particularly during a depression. First edition with dust jacket.

Sullivan, Lawrence. Prelude to Panic: The Story of the Bank Holiday. Washington, D.C.: Statesman Press, 1936.

OnMarch 5, 1933, President Roosevelt proclaimed a nationwide banking suspension to stop the run on bank deposits that had been accelerating since January of that year. The causes for the panic that led to a nine-day bank holiday were many and varied but seemed to stem primarily from England's abandonment of the gold standard in 1931 and the subsequent depreciation of the British pound. Sullivan's text is a Washington eye-witness account that chronicles the political, psychological, and financial events that precipitated the bank holiday. First edition, hardbound.

Whitney, Richard. Trade Depressions and Stock Panics. [New York]: [s.n.], 1930.

This booklet contains the text of an address given by the president of the New York Stock Exchange before the Merchants' Association of New York in September of 1930. In an effort to defuse criticism of the New York Stock Exchange for causing a business depression. Mr. Whitney contends that those who "attribute business depressions to stock market panics . . . place the cart before the horse, for in reality stock panics are an effect rather than a cause for trade depressions. Paperback edition in gray wraps.

Whitney, Richard. The Work of the New York Stock Exchange in the Panic of 1929. [New York]: [s.n.], 1930.

A copy of an address given by the president of the New York Stock Exchange before the Boston Association of Stock Exchange Firms. In it, Whitney recounts the actions of the New York exchange during the panic of 1929 and highlights the lessons learned in the course of these events. Paperback edition in gray wraps.


Last Updated: 6/27/22