04 September 2009

Newsfrom1930.blogspot.com


I came across this intriguing blog today, newsfrom1930.blogspot.com. It reminded me of a classic book from the Great Depression, Oh Yeah?, that I've had since childhood. Oh Yeah? in 1931 presented quote after oblivious quote from politicians and businessmen who believed in the early-30's version of green shoots. News from 1930 likewise captures the day-to-day reportage from 80 years ago that eerily parallels much of what is happening today. It's a fascinating work in progress, even though we know what happens.

Here's a link to News from 1930's amusing mission statement and an excerpt:

Q. Okay, why are you doing this blog? Are you saying we're in for a replay of the 30's?

A. How did I know you were going to ask me that? No, I don't think things are going to get as bad as in the 30's.

Q. So you're an optimist.

A. Well, that's only mildly optimistic. I mean things in the 30s got really, really bad. For example, between 1929 and 1932, the number of cars produced declined from 4.8 million to 1.2 million ...

Q. Okay - that's pretty bad, but it's only one industry ...

A. Looking at the economy as a whole, GDP went down by 40% and unemployment went from around 3% to 24% ...

Q. Wow! That is really bad.

A. It's actually even worse than that, because back then many more people worked on farms. When you take out farm workers, unemployment hit 37% - an almost unimaginable level for us today ...

Q. You must be a blast at parties ... Well then, if you don't think we'll repeat the 30's, are you saying, in Mark Twain's words, that history won't repeat but it will rhyme?

A. Hey! I wanted to use that line!

Q. Sorry. Well, do you think that?

A. Yes. I believe 1929-1930 has a couple of important similarities to 2008-2009. First and fundamentally, there was a big buildup of debt leading up to both. This was followed by a couple of major economic problems, including many banks running into trouble and a loss in perceived wealth by lots of people. These problems in turn have deflationary implications since they lead to less credit and spending ...

Q. Could you get to the second point before I fall asleep?


Click this to read the rest.

6 comments:

dyanna said...

I like your blog very much.I'm waiting for your new posts.

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