Black Tuesday Market Crash

The stock market crash of October 29, 1929

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What Was Black Tuesday?

Black Tuesday is the stock market crash that occurred on October 29, 1929. It is considered the most disastrous market crash in the history of the United States. The Black Tuesday event was preceded by the crash of the London Stock Exchange and Black Monday, and was characterized by panic sell-offs on the New York Stock Exchange and dramatic declines in major market indices.

Black Tuesday Crash in New York City, 1929

Black Tuesday was the starting point of the Great Depression that hit the economies of the United States and other countries across Europe.

Preceding the Black Tuesday Market Crash

The 1920s (also known as “the Roaring Twenties”) were characterized by dynamic economic and socio-cultural growth around the world. The world was recovering from the devastating consequences of World War I, and the population was spending more on consumer goods and boosting economic growth.

The United States, which suffered significantly less than major European countries during World War I, became the largest economy in the world. The US successfully transferred its economy to peacetime conditions. Relatively new industries, such as automobile production, film and radio industries, and the introduction of mass production, fueled consumer spending and the subsequent economic expansion.

The 1920s were also distinguished by constant growth in the stock market. There was a strong public sentiment of an almost perpetual economy and stock market expansion. Amid the economic surge, the stock market’s growth was partially encouraged by speculation. Speculative activities, exacerbated by enormous borrowing carried out to fund the trading of stocks, resulted in the big bubble.

By the end of the 1920s, economic growth slowed down. As there was no support for the further expansion of the stock market, it was only a matter of time before the crash would occur.

Events of Black Tuesday

In September 1929, British financier Clarence Hatry was arrested for allegations of fraud. The event caused a crash on the London Stock Exchange that also changed the optimistic sentiment of American investors. The US stock market became volatile and experienced the Black Monday event on October 28, 1929.

On October 28, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost 13% of its value. The next day, the decline continued when DJIA fell by another 12%. A panic sell-off of securities that could not be stopped ensued.

Consequences of Black Tuesday

Black Tuesday resulted in devastating consequences not only for the US economy but for other economies around the world. The market crash ended the period of economic growth and prosperity and led to the Great Depression. Black Tuesday triggered a chain of catastrophic macroeconomic events in the US and Europe, which included mass bankruptcies and unemployment, and dramatic declines in production and money supply.

The US stock market did not fully recover from the consequences of Black Tuesday until the 1950s.

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