mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)

Black Monday, 1987

From This Day in History (

"In 1987, the markets were enjoying a record-setting bull run, seemingly unbothered by occasional cocaine scandals or the arrest of Ivan Boesky. However, on October 19, "panic selling" sent the Dow into an unprecedented 508-point freefall. After a day of frantic action, the markets had shed 23 percent of their total value. The staggering loss sent analysts scurrying to find a smoking gun--and they found several. Along with the usual suspects, inflation and rising interest rates, the announcement of a surprisingly steep trade deficit and news of an American attack against Iran were both blamed for Wall Street's woes. Some industry insiders looked even closer to home, speculating that the market's computerized trading system played a role in sparking the crash. The computers, however, refused to comment on the incident."

Anyone have personal memories of this particular stock market crash?

I don't recall the day itself too well, but I do have a vivd memory of the day after. I was a college freshman, and Tuesday mornings I had my Physics 55a class. I remember sitting in the hall with a friend who was reading the front page of the college newspaper, which was all about the crash. He was speculating that things were going to go badly for us in the next few years. In retrospect, the crash appears to have contributed to the recession that we tend to associate with the first Bush presidency. I vividly recall how the media reported that my college class (1991) was graduating into the worst economy since the 1970s.

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