444 days after the Lehman Brothers
bankruptcy signaled the beginning of the current financial crisis, many are
wondering: Is it over? It looked close to over on January 15, 1931, 444 days
after the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression. Yet the Dow
wouldn't hit bottom until July 8, 1932. The equivalent date in the current
downturn would be May 27, 2011.
On Thursday, January 15, 1931,
444 days after the beginning of the Great Crash, the Dow was down 4.64 points.
At 162.82, already a hefty 218 points below its September, 1929 peak of 381.17,
it had another 122 points to fall before finally reaching its nadir in July,
1932. This bleak financial climate contributed to the fall of the Chelsea Bank and Trust
Company, which was taken over by the state of New York in December and, on January 15, was
assessing its reorganization options. Bank closings hit a more primal note in Macon, GA,
where two wealthy residents fought a fatal duel over the collapse of a local
On Thursday, December 3, 2009,
444 days after the beginning of the current financial crisis, the Dow dropped
86.53 points, closing at 10,366.15--still a solid 3,798 points below its October
9, 2007 peak of 14,164.53. Corporations and banks are feeling the crunch, as
just this morning Comcast purchased
the struggling NBC from GE for over $30 billion. Though bankers may not be
fighting duels, they are packing for self-defense--a handful of Goldman Sachs
executives have apparently been buying
handguns in the case of a potential populist revolt against the bank.