In the years leading up to the Great Depression, numerous mainstream “experts” and politicians were quick to discount the idea of economic collapse, and most people were more than ready to believe them. Equities markets were, of course, the primary tool used to falsely elicit popular optimism. When markets rose, even in spite of other very negative fiscal indicators, the masses were satisfied. In this way, stock markets have become a kind of dopamine switch financial elites can push at any given time to juice the citizenry and distract them from the greater perils of their economic future. During every upswing of stocks, the elites argued that the “corner had been turned,” when in reality the crisis had just begun. Nothing has changed since the crash of 1929. Just look at some of these quotes and decide if the rhetoric sounds familiar today:
John Maynard Keynes in 1927: “We will not have any more crashes in our time.”
H.H. Simmons, president of the New York Stock Exchange, Jan. 12, 1928: “I cannot help but raise a dissenting voice to statements that we are living in a fool’s paradise, and that prosperity in this country must necessarily diminish and recede in the near future.”
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