The Pompous Prognostications Of "Permanently High Plateau" Prophets

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

The talking heads will be rolled out on CNBC to assure the masses that all is well. The economy is strong. Corporate profits are awesome. The stock market will go higher. Op-eds will be written by Wall Street CEOs telling you it’s the best time to invest. Federal Reserve presidents will give speeches saying there are clear skies ahead. Obama will hold a press conference to tell you how many jobs he’s added and how low the budget deficit has gone.

We couldn’t possibly be entering phase two of our Greater Depression after a temporary lull provided by the $8 trillion pumped into the veins of Wall Street by the Fed and Obama. Could we?

1927-1933 Chart of Pompous Prognosticators
Colin J. Seymour



Chart locations are an approximate indication only

1. “We will not have any more crashes in our time.”
- John Maynard Keynes in 1927

2. “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.”
- E. H. H. Simmons, President, New York Stock Exchange, January 12, 1928

“There will be no interruption of our permanent prosperity.”
- Myron E. Forbes, President, Pierce Arrow Motor Car Co., January 12, 1928

3. “No Congress of the United States ever assembled, on surveying the state of the Union, has met with a more pleasing prospect than that which appears at the present time. In the domestic field there is tranquility and contentment…and the highest record of years of prosperity. In the foreign field there is peace, the goodwill which comes from mutual understanding.”
- Calvin Coolidge December 4, 1928

4. “There may be a recession in stock prices, but not anything in the nature of a crash.”
- Irving Fisher, leading U.S. economist , New York Times, Sept. 5, 1929

5. “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. I do not feel there will be soon if ever a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as (bears) have predicted. I expect to see the stock market a good deal higher within a few months.”
- Irving Fisher, Ph.D. in economics, Oct. 17, 1929

“This crash is not going to have much effect on business.”
- Arthur Reynolds, Chairman of Continental Illinois Bank of Chicago, October 24, 1929

“There will be no repetition of the break of yesterday… I have no fear of another comparable decline.”
- Arthur W. Loasby (President of the Equitable Trust Company), quoted in NYT, Friday, October 25, 1929

“We feel that fundamentally Wall Street is sound, and that for people who can afford to pay for them outright, good stocks are cheap at these prices.”
- Goodbody and Company market-letter quoted in The New York Times, Friday, October 25, 1929

6. “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

“Buying of sound, seasoned issues now will not be regretted”
- E. A. Pearce market letter quoted in the New York Herald Tribune, October 30, 1929

“Some pretty intelligent people are now buying stocks… Unless we are to have a panic — which no one seriously believes, stocks have hit bottom.”
- R. W. McNeal, financial analyst in October 1929

7. “The decline is in paper values, not in tangible goods and services…America is now in the eighth year of prosperity as commercially defined. The former great periods of prosperity in America averaged eleven years. On this basis we now have three more years to go before the tailspin.”
- Stuart Chase (American economist and author), NY Herald Tribune, November 1, 1929

“Hysteria has now disappeared from Wall Street.”
- The Times of London, November 2, 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.”
- Business Week, 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

8. “… a serious depression seems improbable; [we expect] recovery of business next spring, with further improvement in the fall.”
- HES, November 10, 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

“In most of the cities and towns of this country, this Wall Street panic will have no effect.”
- Paul Block (President of the Block newspaper chain), editorial, November 15, 1929

“Financial storm definitely passed.”
- Bernard Baruch, cablegram to Winston Churchill, November 15, 1929

9. “I see nothing in the present situation that is either menacing or warrants pessimism… I have every confidence that there will be a revival of activity in the spring, and that during this coming year the country will make steady progress.”
- Andrew W. Mellon, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury December 31, 1929

“I am convinced that through these measures we have reestablished confidence.”
- Herbert Hoover, December 1929

“[1930 will be] a splendid employment year.”
- U.S. Dept. of Labor, New Year’s Forecast, December 1929

10. “For the immediate future, at least, the outlook (stocks) is bright.”
- Irving Fisher, Ph.D. in Economics, in early 1930

11. “…there are indications that the severest phase of the recession is over…”
- Harvard Economic Society (HES) Jan 18, 1930

12. “There is nothing in the situation to be disturbed about.”
- Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon, Feb 1930

13. “The spring of 1930 marks the end of a period of grave concern… American business is steadily coming back to a normal level of prosperity.”
- Julius Barnes, head of Hoover’s National Business Survey Conference, Mar 16, 1930

“… the outlook continues favorable…”
- HES Mar 29, 1930

14. “… the outlook is favorable…”
- HES Apr 19, 1930

15. “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, President of the United States, May 1, 1930

“…by May or June the spring recovery forecast in our letters of last December and November should clearly be apparent…”
- HES May 17, 1930

“Gentleman, you have come sixty days too late. The depression is over.”
- Herbert Hoover, responding to a delegation requesting a public works program to help speed the recovery, June 1930

16. “… irregular and conflicting movements of business should soon give way to a sustained recovery…”
- HES June 28, 1930

17. “… the present depression has about spent its force…”
- HES, Aug 30, 1930

18. “We are now near the end of the declining phase of the depression.”
- HES Nov 15, 1930

19. “Stabilization at [present] levels is clearly possible.”
- HES Oct 31, 1931

20. “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

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Stoploss's picture

Speaking of jobs..

Who wants to sign up for the military!!

TheAnalOG's picture


      ~Fonestar at $1100 BTC

economics9698's picture

None of these guys knew Hoover would raise the top rate from 25% to 63%, increase spending 47%, and pass the Smoot-Hawley tariff act.  

economics9698's picture

Executive order 6102 and defaulting on liberty bonds fucked up the works as well. 

CASTBOUND's picture

my buddy's ex-wife makes $80 hourly on the computer . She has been fired from work for 7 months but last month her pay check was $19252 just working on the computer for a few hours. see here

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

"Speaking of jobs.."

They either suck or they blow.  Take a pick.

Smiddywesson's picture

Join the military, see the world, meet new people, and kill them.


Join the military, see the world, meet new people, and be killed by their infectious diseases.  Fixed it!


lordbyroniv's picture

What a croc it all is.

ebworthen's picture

The Harvard Economic Survey (HES) folks were clearly not the brightest in the room. 

That, or they were the most complicit.

saints51's picture

20. “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



This is the comment that should really piss everyone off.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Don't need a safe deposit box.  Everything of value that I owned is at the bottom of a deep lake.  And if it ever really did come to this, I would throw the rest of everything I own into the lake too. 

disabledvet's picture

Not as much as "the Bank is closed. Forever."

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Funny how people think that the bank is taking care of their belongings and money for them.  When you bring ANYTHING to the bank, it becomes the banks property people!!

disabledvet's picture

"90% of the law is possession."

Perhaps even spiritually

wmbz's picture

It should, but people by nature always believe "it's different this time". It is, this time you will not be present they will just take it!

TheSecondLaw's picture

And one that Americans will hear again in the coming years. Also - the holding of private gold is forbidden and must be sold at (choose a number) to the Federal Reserve by such and such a date.

saints51's picture

I also think about this scenario myself. I also wonder if it would ever happen again, If this is how the Fed plans to deliver Germany's gold. How ironic would it be? Now this is way out in left field tin foil hat wearing thinking but I do wonder.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

I personally think that they will confiscate it via Taxes.  

By putting a windfall tax rate of about 90% they will get most of any appreciation that you might get in the future.  

Plus it looks good to the non gold holding serfs: screwing the rich PM holders and all that.

WhackoWarner's picture

Good luck with that.  People are not quite as stupid this time around.

People with bullion that is.

Good luck with that.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

If you can't trust the usual banks, use Bank of Serta, Sealy & Posturepedic.

If you can't trust the banks' Safety Deposit Boxes, use the Gun Safe at home.  Unless you're from CA or NY -- in which case it's "In Gov* We Trust". 

For those who still travel, there are always Safety Deposit Boxes in other countries.  Best bang for the buck, if you must keep stuff outside your country -- whatever country you happen to be in.

* Fat-finger typo.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

One interesting point that I think was not part of the mix during the great depression is that certain states (Utah, Oklahoma and a few others) have made gold legal tender.

Not sure how that plays into this but it may put them down the taxation route rather than the confiscation route...


Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Vaild point.  My bet is 99% on Taxation at Point-of-Sale:  Cheaper, faster, more effective.

saints51's picture

You and race are likely correct. Reminds me of Detroit where you can buy foreclosed homes for less than $100 but have some enormous tax making it a bad investment.

n8dawg84's picture

While I agree that taxation will be the likely route TPTB take over confiscation, I feel it must be pointed out that this route will ultimately fail as well. When the metals reassert themselves as money, people will exchange goods and services for them as they are the most trusted form of money in history. Should any form of government (local or federal) attempt to apply a windfall tax, the transactions will simply go unreported, or the metals will go into hiding as quickly as you can say, "FDR".

I'll take a different route and say that those governments will actually WANT transactions to take place using metals. The FRN will be toilet paper, and the only way to grow the economy will be to allow the use of gold and silver as money since there will be no other form to circulate that is so trusted. The government may try to apply a windfall tax at first, but it will fail quickly, and then the government will be forced to back off and actually encourage their use in transactions to help things normalize after a period.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Interesting, if taxation is the vehicle, then barter does come into play.  Not being a specialist, I am just guessing but the IRS specifically has rules for Barter.  It basically says that you must treat market value as the driver.

I wanted to do trades for realestate but am not too sure that is possible.  I think some people will try old silver coins in smaller denominations, but that might be wierd for larger realestate...

n8dawg84's picture

It'll be interesting to see how it all turns out. I think once the collapse is over, and things are returning to "normal" institutions like banks will have lots of real estate on the balance sheets to get rid of. Hard assets like pure gold and silver will be safe and trusted, as long as they can be proven legitimate. Those institutions will be glad to sign over a deed to some land for something of long lasting value. Paper will be worthless, so what else will they do?

I remember reading an article on about gold's role in southeastern Asia and how gold must be used towards a land purchase since paper currency is distrusted. I imagine it will be the same once US goes 3rd world

edit - those institutions will likely include some form of government, be it city, county, and/or state. They'll want to trade land for gold,
for sure.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

It occurs to me as an afterthought, thinking a few moves out in the game of Capital Control/Flight and Monetary Reset, that such an event would best be timed to coincide with travel restrictions and slow-downs caused by Ebola -- whether these fears are valid or artificial.

You might use your wheels, a private plane or boat to get out, but even Interstate travel could be temporarily curtailed during a Banking Reset, that just happened to coincide with peak Ebola panics.  I realize this scenario might be a "bit out there" and is unlikely to happen, but I would not put anything past these guys these days.  Banksters are not anything if not creative and devious, so you have to think like them and play it out several moves ahead.

WhackoWarner's picture

Ok but any safe deposit box in any bank anywhere in North America; Europe or "allies"  is just the same.  Forget NZ or Australia.  Forget Swiss, unless they vote for gold backed.  Forget any multinational Western based bank.


Singapore.  But then I watch it all.  Most cases best storage is within your grasp or at the bottom of the lake that you do not remember where or when.



Rusty Loads's picture

Charter Extension[edit]

The Federal Reserve Act was originally granted a twenty-year charter, to be renewed in 1933. This clause was amended on February 25, 1927: "To have succession after the approval of this Act until dissolved by Act of Congress or until forfeiture of franchise for violation of law." 12 U.S.C. ch. 3. As amended by act of Feb. 25, 1927 (44 Stat. 1234). The success of this amendment is notable, as in 1933, the US was in the throes of the Great Depression and public sentiment with regards to the Federal Reserve System and the banking community in general had significantly deteriorated. Given the political climate, including of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration and New Deal legislation, it was uncertain whether the Federal Reserve System would survive.

Rainman's picture

' Now is a great time to buy stawks ' !!

           B. HUSSEIN OBLAMEO , March 2009

disabledvet's picture

I don't recall them waking up in 1930 and realizing a 50% fatality thingy was on the move.

Perhaps if CNBC could explain the private sector solution...

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

And it will be a whole lot worse today too because so many people can't even wipe their own asses, much less take care of themselves.  If supply chains break down because of this, watch out for zombies!!

disabledvet's picture

"Scutter...I have a doubt.

Can you hear me?

SheepDog-One's picture

Exactly, we don't have to crash 50% in order for there to be chaos in this present society of benefits and supplements, all it takes is a little hiccup.

Amish Hacker's picture

Especially when you consider that in 1935, the US population was 127 million, and there were 6.8 million farms. Today, 313 million Americans get their food from 2.2 million farms. 

My point is that a significant percentage of Americans back then were connected to agriculture, either directly or indirectly, giving them access to food. Today, we have just-in-time delivery systems, refridgerated warehouses rolling on 18 wheels, and a 3 day supply of food on the supermarket shelves. Let's hope nothing goes wrong.

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

I heard one of those peckerwoods saying that there were so many stocks at bargain basement prices. Doesn't this dickless retard realize that stocks are still at all time highs from like 6 months ago.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

He should lend me his money at 0% interest so I can buy all the stawks he recommends!!  Better hope I don't default dude!!

disabledvet's picture

We're out on a limb. Or out of a limb.
One or the other...both bad.

Muppet's picture

One of the best things I've read on ZH.  Excellent. 


When the same piece is written about 2008-2020, consider that most of the quotes will involve CNBS. 

dbTX's picture

Unfortunately he can

Dr. Engali's picture

I'm sorry to say that you now have Ebola, but the goodness is we have Obamacare to take care of you.

JuliaS's picture

All HazMat suits have been sealed... and may only be opened in the presence of a clipboard carrying medical protocol supervisor.

- President B. H. Obola, 2014

El Hosel's picture

Welcome to Dirtyfuckerville, have a nice day.

robnume's picture

My name is Dr. Pangloss and I say, "This is the best possible of all worlds."

ramacers's picture

QE4? we're all the proverbial hogs been fattened for the slaughter.

WhackoWarner's picture

"They" may have gotten here BUT the main goal is not done yet.  Take care.

All private pensions and retirement plans have way to much don't you know?  Trillions and trillions if you look around the Western world.  All the 401K, Roth, RRSP, etc.  and even all those jealously regarded sovereign wealth funds?


How dare they not be confiscated?  The audacity. The utter gall.

Targeting all.  Like Sinclair said years ago now;   GTFOTS....of whatever...Get the "frig" out of the system. 


Safe deposit box is now a fool's belief.  RRSP or TFSA?  401K or Roth?  How long are the existing laws going to function before it changes overnight?  And investments are "directed".