Putting the Recesssion in Perspective

If you are like me you are worried about your home, your job and your future. I sometimes turn off the news because by nature I am pretty positive and I get weary of all this bad news. I ask myself constantly "how bad are things and how does it compare to the Great Depression in 1933. I found a great article today that will help you put things in perspective.

Here's a description of the Great Depression and how President Frankiin D. Roosevelt handled the first press conference on it. It all sounds so familiar, including the fact that President Roosevelt had just taken office when everything hit the fan. Credit for the article goes to Daniel Roth for the description and the article that follows.

On the morning of March 29, 1933, dozens of reporters filed into the Oval Office for a press conference with the new president. Franklin Roosevelt had taken office earlier that month amid the greatest economic crisis the US had seen:

  • 5,700 banks had failed,
  • 25 percent of the country was unemployed, and
  • more than half of all mortgages were in default.

Hope for a recovery was dim; the public had lost faith in the entire financial system. The number of American investors had exploded, from a few hundred thousand before 1916 to more than 16 million. Yet few of them understood the investments they held, many of which had proven to be junk. Supposedly sound companies were exposed as pyramid schemes. Of the $50 billion in securities sold in the previous decade, half had become worthless."

The entire article is at http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/national-news/portfolio/2009/02/25/Road-Map-for-Financial-Recovery. We suggest you read it and ponder the implications. 

We don't have a monopoly on wisdom so please share your ideas on how you see things.