Quotes From 1929-1930: Buy, Buy, Buy

Tyler Durden's picture

Courtesy of David Rosenberg, here is how the media propaganda scene looked like the last time the US stock market was about to enter a 10 year bear market culminating with world war. Hopefully all who threw their money in the market back then managed to sell at the very peak and avoided the upcoming 10+ sequential plunges in the stock market. Of course, selling at the peak is exactly what all the computers, algos, momentum chasers, primary dealers, and naive daytraders hope to do, just ahead of the flush. As usual, we wish them all the best.

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

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Postal's picture

We have always been at war with Eastasia...

Selah's picture

CRAP! I thought we have always been at war with Eurasia!

Thank you for correcting me on this.

Hate Week will be much better now...

bugs_'s picture

"a permanently high plateau"

Cookie's picture

Buy, buy, buy...

Buy gold

Buy bullets

Buy adult diapers


rubearish10's picture

Hey Hey, market oversold, buy it!

AnonymousMonetarist's picture

 A couple more...

"There may be a recession in stock prices, but not anything in the nature of a crash." 
- Irving Fischer, September 1929

"A severe depression like that of 1920-21 is outside the range of probability. We are not facing protracted liquidation."
- Irving Fischer, November 1929


reading's picture

more like the Dick Bove of 1929

hedgeless_horseman's picture

"Honey, I hear things are better out in California." -Grandpa

lsbumblebee's picture

"Buy Anaconda Copper!"

- Grandpappy Cramer

Gimp's picture

80 years ago the Ivy League Economist had it wrong, nothing has changed, do not listen to these fools.

Prof Gulliver's picture

"600-840 On The S&P"

 David Rosenberg, May 25, 2009.

"On March 9th [2009], there was much more upside; today at 892, quite the opposite."




ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Rosie's got to give it up - there is no deflation.

cougar_w's picture

Or rather there is inflation of the things you do need and deflation of the things you don't need, and at the moment these are just nearly balancing out.

Ignore the net response of a dynamic system. Pay attention to the gears.

Bam_Man's picture

"Buy Consolidated Lint and sell Amalgamated Dust."



BS Inc.'s picture

You know what's gonna be awesome? The look on your face when you realize that all those capital gains you've got from being long the last year are not going to be yours to keep. They'll be taxed out the wazoo and, in the end, you'll be as dirt poor as those who've been bearish the whole time. Only, because you thought the "all clear" sign had been given, not only will you be dirt poor, you won't have prepared for the hard times ahead.

Chew on that for a while and see if you're still feelin' snarky.

economicmorphine's picture

Replace bull with bear and the comments on this board are eerily reminiscent of late last February.  Take it for what it's worth.

Pure Evil's picture

My momma always told me, "Snarky is as snarky does"


Stalin - Man of Snarks

AnonymousMonetarist's picture

The struggle of virtue and vice is writ large as the debate between deflationistas and debasionistas. Ones' lens depends on what one means by ones' ends. The deflationistias mean that deflation is the midwife of hyperinflation. The debasionistas mean that America's resilient wealth exporting machine will import higher asset values. The former pines for reason before farce, the latter embraces the tragedy.

Bear's picture

He'll be wrong ... until he's right

cougar_w's picture

He'll be wrong as long as the markets are not cut loose to react as appropriate.

Smart people being consistently wrong about obvious things is a sign that the normal laws are no longer in play.

Either we now get new laws, or the old ones return with a vengence.

Place your bets, gentlemen.

gjp's picture

In 1929-1930, with stock quotes in newspapers and rudimentary telecommunication, they couldn't hold it together much more than a year.

In 2008-2010, the debt bubble is exponentially larger, trading is in microseconds, yet it's holding together into the third year after the crash.

What will it take to kill it?  How much longer can it go on?

cougar_w's picture

The market is no longer a function of value determinations. This situation may continue indefinitely. If so then the market concept will evaporate and in the future we won't be discussing it any more. Just like we no longer discuss the departure schedule of the Titanic.

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Rosie just official lost all my respect.  Any economist who can't see the difference between 1929 and today is useless.

The difference is not in the direction of the economy, I have no doubt it will get worse.

The difference is the measuring stick.  Today, the USD is tied to nothing.

Even a comparison to Japan is useless.  Bernanke is willing to be far more reckless with our fiat currency than the Japanese ever were.  Debasing the currency by more than 50% (as measured by the Fed balance sheet) is something the Japanese wouldn't even do.

The economy will continue to deteriorate, but the market could continue to climb, and it could even climb exponentially.  See Zimbabwe.



BS Inc.'s picture

The difference is the measuring stick.  Today, the USD is tied to nothing.

I used to think that, but then I was persuaded by the folks who argue that when we went off the gold standard, we implicitly went on an oil standard.

Debasement in that context has diminishing marginal returns. What are people going to do, spend every free minute outside of work topping off their gas tanks before gas prices go up in another 30 minutes? That will do wonders for any industry other than the locking gas cap industry, for sure.

A Zimbabwe happens because it's not a modern industrial economy which runs on oil and isn't very far from barter anyway.

equity_momo's picture

Dont be a numbnut. You cant be the Worlds reserve currency and not be tied to anything. Think about it.

Astute Investor's picture

"Everybody's got plans...until they get hit"

- Mike Tyson -

Marzen's picture

lol, and his plan was to bit off Holyfield's ears! US may do the same metaphorically speaking.

Jim in MN's picture


Here's a nice site that reads the WSJ from the corresponding day in 1930-31.


From January 16, 1931: One broker reports about 30% fewer clients than at the 1929 bull market peak; about 15% were "cleaned out" and 15% took their money out of stocks. In 1929, 99 7/8% of his clients were bullish; 75% remained bullish until the fall of 1930; now, 70% are bearish.

Extend>>>>>>>pretend>>>>>>>>>defend>>>>>>>>>>upend>>>>>>>>>>>The End

Anonymouse's picture

I am currently reading "The Great Depression: A Diary" by Benjamin Roth that I saw reference on ZH a couple of weeks ago.  Just 40-50 pages in but it is highly recommended.  It is the diary of a lawyer in Youngstown, OH writing in his journal about the events he saw as the depression unfolded.

It is eerily similar today.  So much that I almost wonder if it was not written now.

economicmorphine's picture

Yeah, no deflation, except of course for that $11.5 billion unexpected plunge in consumer credit yesterday.  The market can ignore it for awhile, but it's breathtakingly naive to assume that because it's being ignored that it doesn't exist.

nope-1004's picture

Agreed.  Households are maxed out on credit and those that are inundated with financing fees confuse the fact that today's economic deflation (an increase in buying power) is only for those who did not go all-in on the credit train.

Slewburger's picture

"All safe deposit boxes in banks or financial institutions have been sealed... and may only be opened in the presence of an agent of the I.R.S." - President F.D. Roosevelt, 1933

Bear's picture

You know they didn't have helicopters in 1930 and those early biplanes couldn't carry much in the way of payloads, so we should last much longer 

SheepDog-One's picture

All humming along splendidly, well until it no longer does. Of course all is well until some big bank or other gets a fly in the ointment, then its time to pull the rug out again and throw a crisis tantrum about this 'unforeseen event', whatever that may be. Remember every 'crisis' is always unforeseen, just like the collapse from 14,000 levels which had been totaly confirmed as quite solid by Bernanke himself, the present re-affirmer of 'all is well', until it suddenly wasnt well and we saw 700 point down days.
I dont trust any of it the least bit!
How do you think the present finely tuned scam machine will run in Nov. if the elections cause a huge up-end in the congress and senate, as is projected?
Or imagine if riots and Kent State style killings take place at Wash DC demonstrations next week? These things alone could immediately set it all on its ear.
Extend, pretent, defend, up-end till The End.

Slothrop's picture

"Chinese solar stocks will make you rich" -- Leo K.

wmefford's picture

"When you come to a fork in the road take it."  What year is this?

SWRichmond's picture

I did sell at the very peak: October/November 2007.  My capital's been in hiding ever since.  I have made some of it available to precious metal miners, but no one else.  If there is another such peak, it will be at the expense of the buying power of USD.

Agent Orange's picture

As a research guy, I am a little jealous that Rosenberg's firm lets him continue unabated with a reality-based message. I lost "friends" at my frim over my view. People just stopped talking to me. I got to the point where I just had to comment on what was happening in a neutral fashion and give up the angry bear routine.

Bubbles occurr because analysts aren't free to fight them. They can only protest for so long before they are bounced for questioning the status quo. I hope Rosie is around long enough to be vindicated.



MaxPower's picture

I feel your pain. I did my "analysis" over lunches with other military officers. Don't think that bubbles occur because analysts aren't free to fight them; it's because almost everyone would rather live in the warm abodes of their delusions than in the cold, rainy parking lots of reality.

By the way, I sacrificed that military career just shy of qualifying for a retirement because my principles would no longer let me sleep at night. Best decision I ever made.

Before, I was trying to "bring the man down from inside (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)," now I'm just a freelancer.

Keep your faith. It'll sustain you better than any "go-long!" calls ever will...

Flakmeister's picture

   In all fairness to Fisher, he realized the extent of his error and proceeded to publish one of the best analysis of the

1930's credit bust. If only 1/4 of the ass hats in this generation of economic shaman witch doctors had read what he wrote, the worst of the past 15 years might have been avoided.



Moneygrove's picture


Pure Evil's picture

Trying to get out at the top in a market is a lot like riding a roller coaster. When you approach the highest point, the ride up to the pinnicle is long and time consuming, when you reach the top, you barely have time to grap your pecker before the roller coaster rushes down the hill faster than you can scream Geronimo.

tyler's picture

kudlow sounds like that.