Underreported: Panic of 1873

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Many are measuring the current financial crisis against the Great Depression – but what’s happening now may be more like the Panic of 1873, a little-known economic crash that started in Europe with a building boom and led to a banking collapse. Scott Reynolds Nelson is professor of history at the College of William & Mary.


Scott Reynolds Nelson

Comments [3]

Edie from UWS

This was a wonderfully insightful piece (and scary!) I played it back from the website, so my husband, an economist and money manager, could have a perspective he wasn't getting from MSNBC and Bloomberg. Thanks for the clear historical parallels, from a complicated time, Prof. Nelson, and thanks for "underreported" Mr. Lopate.

Oct. 19 2008 01:34 PM

I seem to recall from Ron Chernow's book "Titan" that the panic of 1873 provided JD Rockfeller he opportunity to buy up all the petroleum processing and distribution infrastructure in the northeast and mid-west and set the stage Standard Oil's collosal control of its industry...and without even owning a single oil well. The book described scenes of JD and Henry Flagler speeding through the streets of Cleveland, going from bank to bank to telegraph office, making deals to buy up every bit of petroleum processing infrastructure in sight within a couple of weeks. These events have long lasting effects.

Oct. 17 2008 05:49 PM
Eric Zeisler from Astoria, New York

Finally! Someone is talking about this! I am a historical novelist who researched this part of history and saw the parallel when it happened and was dumbfounded that NO ONE was talking about it! Thank you, Leonard Lopate for bringing this history and parallel to the attention of the public and hopefully policy makers. Maybe someone on Wall Street and in Washington will take a note from history and not just 1929.

Oct. 16 2008 01:22 PM

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