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A good friend of ours at UBS, Robert Procaccianti, periodically emails us his pithy market thoughts, and yesterday he sent us the following. Great digging into some now infamous quotes after the 1929-30 bear market and the widespread view at the time that the worst was over because, of course, Mr. Market said so … erroneously as it turned out.
“[1930 will be] a splendid employment year.” — U.S. Department of Labor, New Year’s Forecast, December 1929
“I am convinced that through these measures, we have reestablished confidence.” — Herbert Hoover, U.S. President, December 1929.
“While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed through the worst — and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover. There has been no significant bank or industrial failure. That danger, too, is safely behind us.” — Herbert Hoover, U.S. President, May 1930.
“This is the time to buy stocks. This is the time to recall the words of the late J. P. Morgan ... that any man who is bearish on America will go broke. Within a few days there is likely to be a bear panic rather than a bull panic. Many of the low prices as a result of this hysterical selling are not likely to be reached again in many years.” — R. W. McNeel, market analyst, as quoted in the New York Herald Tribune, October 30, 1929
“The Wall Street crash doesn't mean that there will be any general or serious business depression ... For six years American business has been diverting a substantial part of its attention, its energies and its resources on the speculative game ... Now that irrelevant, alien and hazardous adventure is over. Business has come home again, back to its job, providentially unscathed, sound in wind and limb, financially stronger than ever before.” — BusinessWeek, November 2, 1929
“...despite its severity, we believe that the slump in stock prices will prove an intermediate movement and not the precursor of a business depression such as would entail prolonged further liquidation...” — Harvard Economic Society (HES), November 2, 1929
“The end of the decline of the Stock Market will probably not be long, only a few more days at most.” — Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics at Yale University, November 14, 1929
“For the immediate future, at least, the outlook (stocks) is bright.” — Irving Fisher, Ph.D. in Economics, in early 1930
“... the outlook continues favorable...” - Harvard Economic Society Mar 29, 1930