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America's economic meltdowns - Los Angeles Times
Speculation has been followed by collapse at least as far back as the South Sea bubble of 1720. The Panic of 1819 followed a period of crazy exuberance during which ordinary, nose-to-the-grindstone people found themselves tempted to risk too much. In the years leading up to 1819, a booming demand for cotton fueled a price spike. Men with money got rich buying and selling land and slaves as cotton prices rose dramatically. Men without money borrowed to invest, betting on the windfall from next year's crop. An estimated four-fifths of Philadelphia's skilled artisans faced the winter of 1819-1820 without work -- in an age with no benefits, no welfare, no Medicaid. Panics always subsided, then they came back again. A cotton boom recurred in the 1830s, collapsing in 1837. The next three big panics -- in 1857, 1873 and 1893 -- fed off railroad development accompanied by currency and stock speculation. The Crash of 1929 yielded a worldwide Great Depression.
Winter  2009  January  economy  past  J2020F  trends  Boom-bust-cycles  business-cycle  1720  1819  1830  1837  1857  1873  1893  notes 
january 2009 by ahasteve

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