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Poulson and the rest of them are motivated by the narrative that it was "spillover" from the financial markets to the "real economy" that caused the Great Depression. But that doesn't seem to be borne out by facts.
As noted, the Federal Reserve indexes of industrial activity and of factory production, the most comprehensice monthly measures of economic activity then available, reached a peak in June [1929]. They then turned down and continued to decline throughout the rest of the year. The purning point in other indicators--factory payrolls, freight-car loadings, and department store sales--came later, and it was October or after before the trend in all of them was clearly down. Still, as economists have generally insisted, and the matter has the high authority of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the economy had weakened in the early summer well before the crash. -- John K. Galbraith in The Great Crash 1929
In addition, Poulson and the rest of them are motivated by not having the "spillover" happen under their watch. They might just manage to keep the economy teetering on the brink until a Democrat is elected in November or takes office in January.

It'd be nice if the battle were only against the right wingers, not half of the left on top of that — François in Paris
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 18th, 2008 at 11:45:14 AM EST

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