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Black Monday, 1987

From This Day in History (http://www.historychannel.com/tdih/tdih.jsp?category=wallstreet):

"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.

Comments

Interesting that you posted this on the same day that gnomi posted about paying off her student loans. Why? Because the crash of '87 actually took care of my student loans. I'll never forget it. Within a couple of weeks after the crash, I got my promisory note back with a letter saying that "recent events in the stock market" had affected my loan such that it was to be considered paid in full and that my obligation had been fulfilled. I really couldn't believe me eyes and had to read the letter several times to fully comprehend that i was free of the debt. It was quite The Something. I may have been the only person in the country to actually benefit from the crash.
That's the strangest result of the Crash I've ever heard.
I actually have the journal I was keeping at the time with me. I spent most of the day in classes. I was in college in England at the time. I purchased a ticket for a trip to Israel before news of the crash. The guy I was planning to travel with heard about the crash before he purchased his ticket and decided he couldn't afford to go. I also applied for my visa to visit the Soviet Union that day.
I was in high school at the time, a boarding school. I didn't usually have a great day there at the school. It's lonely being one of a very few geeks in a crowd of non-geeks.
When I heard the news I thought, 'Grea-a-at. Now the economy's in the toilet. I wonder how bad it'll be when I'm not in school anymore.' Being in school and knowing that the parents are covering the bills, which they were can provide a measure of detachment from that news.
I waas a little surprised by it - not the event itself, only that the market correction happened in one day and that was the day. I probably would have been just as surpised any other day it happened.
I remember it. I also remember that my main stock at the time wound up gaining 16% on the year, even with the crash (the market as a whole was up something like 2%).

I wish I'd had money to shove into the market right after the crash...but as a college sophomore, spare money was pizza.
I was at work (first job after graduation) and heard the screams of anguish from coworkers who were affected. I owned no stocks at the time (my IRA money was in a CD because I didn't know any better when I stashed it there), so I wasn't personally affected. But it probably set back the creation of the (start-up) comapny's 401(k) plan, which didn't come online until the following year.
I was a college freshman, busy and oblivious. I mostly remember reading about it in Doonesbury, in a collection I found in the student bookstore. ("Check your Egos at the Door", a reference to the USA for Africa storyline also included.) Mark's Dad got mixed up with Boesky and ended up in prison.

I don't recall it particularly clearly

But I do remember we ended up talking about it a lot after the fact in Social Studies in High School.
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