Similarities and Differences of the Great Depression as Compared to Today's Financial Crisis

3753 Words Feb 24th, 2009 16 Pages
SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION AS COMPARED TO TODAY'S FINANCIAL CRISIS

ABSTRACT The financial crisis which the United States is combating today, in many aspects resembles the characteristics and consequences which were the outcome of the Great Depression lasting from the time period 1929 till 1933 (Great Depression). The Great Depression of earlier times and the financial crisis of the current times from 2003-2008 will be studied in depth in the following research work in order to bring out the similarities and differences the United States faced during these two times of financial turmoil. Particular highlighted areas would comprise of government bond rates, Gross Domestic Product rates, Interest rates, money
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13 and did not revive back until 1954. On the other hand in 2008 Dow fell a record high of 14,280 on Oct. 5, 2007 to a low of 10,267 on Monday, before gaining a little to Friday’s close of 10,325. The stagnant incomes in 1929 observed a 4 percent drop in inflation-adjusted disposable income of agricultural workers whereas the top bracket class observed a steady gain whereas in 2008 (Waggoner J, 2008), inflation-adjusted income for middle-class workers dripped by 1 percent. The concentration of wealth in 1929 was mainly in the hands of stock speculators (Tomkins L M, 2008) whereby the richest 1 percent of Americans owned approximately 40 percent of the country’s wealth. However the current figures reveal that in 2008 the richest 0.1 percent of Americans constitutes only 11.6 percent of the total nation’s income (Calbreath D, 2008). As per the information given by Amity Shale’s in her “The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression”, November 1933, figures reveal that unemployment rate had increased to over 23% whereas in the current times it’s just 5%.
GOVERNMENT BOND RATES Stocks performed very badly during the Great Depression but on the contrary government bonds did fairly well. During depression Bond prices did rise tremendously as bond yields came down sharply. For example, the prime corporate bond output level fell from 4.59% in September 1929 to 3.99% in May of 1931. By June of 1938